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24 Most Accessible Bachelor’s in Counseling Degree Online Programs

Best Counseling Degrees - Top Online Programs

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By: BCD Staff
April 2018

Welcome to Best Counseling Degrees! In this article, we highlight the 24 most accessible accredited online undergraduate counseling degree programs. If you are looking to earn or complete your undergraduate degree in an efficient and convenient way you will find an online counseling degree to meet your needs here.

More and more schools are offering online undergraduate degrees to students looking for flexibility and convenience as they pursue their educational and professional goals. Self-motivated individuals who are committed to work and family will find that an online degree fits their lifestyle. Most schools will accommodate students with some college or transfer credits in an effort to support students in finishing their degrees in a timely manner. Additionally, students with strong work histories will find that some schools offer college credit for work experience. Online colleges and universities tend to place an emphasis on supporting the self-motivated, working adult with flexible scheduling and an accelerated format.

A bachelor's degree in counseling can prepare graduates for work in the human services sector in a number of positions, such as case managers, crisis intervention specialists, rehabilitation specialists and chemical dependency counselors. A focus on counseling in undergraduate studies will also support students in pursuing graduate school in a range of fields, including psychology, counseling, and marriage and family therapy. For more information, see Psychology and Counseling Careers and Professional Organizations.

In general, the online bachelor of arts or science degree will consist of general education requirements and the major/specialization core curriculum. A number of bachelor of arts and science degrees in the field of counseling are featured on this list, including Substance Abuse Counseling, Addictions Counseling, Christian Counseling, Human Development, and Pastoral Care and Counseling. This list is sure to have a school offering programming to support you in reaching your careers goals.

24

The King's University

Southlake, TX

A Bachelor's Degree in Biblical Counseling is offered online at The King's University. The program is designed for students who wish to focus a career under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. A commitment to the psycho-spiritual growth of each student is emphasized. Students will be taught to integrate biblical truths and theories of counseling and psychology. Graduates will be prepared for a career in Christian Counseling in their church and community. Graduates will also be well prepared for a graduate program in counseling or Divinity.

Courses include: Health Family Dynamics; Biblical Counseling; Counseling Skills; Human Development; Health and Wellness/ Life Coaching; Counseling Theory; Marriage and Family Counseling; Group Counseling; Crisis Counseling; Counseling Children and Adolescents; and Personality Development.

  • Percent of applicants admitted: 56%
  • Percent of students receiving financial aid: 67%
  • Retention Rate: 69%

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23

Grand Canyon University

Phoenix, AZ

Grand Canyon University offers a Bachelor of Science in Counseling with an Emphasis in Addiction, Chemical Dependency, and Substance Abuse. Students will learn to work professionally with children, adolescents, adults, and families impacted by the disease of addiction at all phases of the treatment process. Students will learn skills focused on the prevention, intervention, assessment, treatment, and relapse prevention for diverse populations of individuals and families. Students will have the opportunity to engage in fieldwork to develop clinical skills. As an accredited program, graduates may find they are ready to pursue state or national certification as drug and alcohol counselors. Students are encouraged to consult their home state licensing board for further information.

Courses include: Introduction to Counseling Theories; Foundations of Addiction and Substance Use Disorders; Co-Occurring Disorders and HIV/AIDS; Case Management and Crisis Intervention Skills for Addiction and Substance; Spirituality and Addiction; Professional, Legal, and Ethical Issues- Addiction and Substance Use Disorder Counselors.

  • Percent of applicants admitted: 57%
  • Percent of students receiving financial aid: 99%
  • Retention Rate: 66%

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22

Baptist College of Florida

Graceville, FL

The Baptist College of Florida offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Students in this online program will complete foundational courses in psychology and counseling which integrate theory, practice, and a Christian worldview. Students will learn the principles of research, assessment, and diagnosis to promote the mental, emotional, and behavioral health of individuals and families. Graduates will be well prepared to pursue a graduate degree in counseling or psychology.

Courses include: General Psychology; Developmental Psychology; Marriage and Family; Personality Theory; Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy; Abnormal Psychology; Techniques in Counseling and Psychotherapy; Social Psychology; and Counseling Practicum.

  • Percent of applicants admitted: 59%
  • Percent of students receiving financial aid: 82%
  • Retention Rate: 87%

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21

Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Natchitoches, LA

Northwestern State University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Addiction Studies. A Bachelor's degree in Addiction Studies is a good fit for students who want to work professionally as an addiction counselor. Students can get the educational requirements met for most states for certification as an addiction counselor with a focused bachelor's degree. The field of addiction counseling is growing with an increasing need in our country for well-trained counselors to fight back against the disease of addiction impacting so many individuals and families.

Courses include: Introduction to Addiction Disorders; Family Dynamics; Screening and Assessment; Case Management; Addiction Counseling Skills; Dynamics of Group Counseling; Special Populations; Co-Occurring Disorders; and Pharmacology of Addiction.

  • Percent of applicants admitted: 62%
  • Percent of students receiving financial aid: 94%
  • Retention Rate: 70%

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20

Oral Roberts University

Tulsa, OK

Oral Roberts University offers a Bachelor of Science in Christian Caregiving and Counseling that is available online. The program provides students the opportunity to take coursework in psychology and Christian caregiving to develop a strong foundation in both theory and practice. Graduates of the program will be ready to provide lay-counseling or go on to graduate school for an advanced degree if they wish to pursue professional licensure as a counselor.

Courses include: Whole Person Assessment; Principles of Psychology; Issues and Identity of the Caregiver; Christian Worldview and Culture; Introduction to Christian Caregiving; Pastoral Approaches to Counseling; Lifespan Development; Ethics; and Developing Helping Skills.

  • Percent of applicants admitted: 68%
  • Percent of students receiving financial aid: 95%
  • Retention Rate: 82%

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19

University of Cincinnati

Cincinnati, OH

A Bachelor of Science in Substance Abuse Counseling is offered online at the University of Cincinnati. This online program works to be convenient and flexible for students with spring, summer, and fall start dates. Students can complete the program in as little as two years by taking a heavier course load and summer classes. The program emphasizes a commitment to research and practical skill development to prepare graduates to effectively treat individuals and families impacted by the disease of addiction. Graduates of the program will have met academic requirements for licensure under the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professional Boards, students planning to work in states other than Ohio should consult their home state licensure board.

Courses include: Group Skills in Substance Abuse Counseling; Substance Abuse Counseling for Families and Other Relationships; Crisis Management Skills; Maintenance Strategies for Long Term Substance Abuse Recovery; Case Management and Treatment Planning in Substance Abuse Counseling; and Clinical Supervision Perspectives in Substance Abuse Counseling.

  • Percent of applicants admitted: 76%
  • Percent of students receiving financial aid: 84%
  • Retention Rate: 88%

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18

University of Arizona

Tucson, AZ

The University of Arizona offers a number of online undergraduate degrees including the Bachelor of Applied Science in Human Services. Courses are designed to provide students with a strong foundation and understanding of the dynamics and research relevant to the field of human services. Graduates of the program work in social service settings such as community social service agencies, law enforcement, and medical clinics. Graduates are also well prepared to pursue a graduate degree in social work or counseling.

Courses include: Transitional Resiliency; Cultural Humility; and Health in Human Services.

  • Percent of applicants admitted: 79%
  • Percent of students receiving financial aid: 83%
  • Retention Rate: 80%

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17

Lee University

Cleveland, TN

Lee University offers an online Bachelor of Arts/ Science in Ministry Leadership with a Counseling Emphasis. Students in this program will complete a religion core, general education core, ministry leadership specialty area, and the counseling emphasis. Lee University works hard to make their online courses accessible for busy students with flexible programming and 7-week courses that allow students to engage at their convenience with the opportunity to connect with peers in the same program. Graduates will be prepared to work in church or community settings or to pursue graduate school.

Courses include: Personality Theory; Psychology of Human Sexuality; Abnormal Psychology; Crisis Intervention Counseling; Theories of Counseling; Methods of Counseling; The Christian Family; and Pastoral Counseling.

  • Percent of applicants admitted: 87%
  • Percent of students receiving financial aid: 96%
  • Retention Rate: 77%

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16

Messenger College

Euless, TX

Messenger College offers a Bachelor of Arts in Counseling. This degree is available online and on-campus. The program provides education and training focused on teaching students to provide counseling in a pastoral setting. Students will learn to work with diverse populations of children, adolescents, adults, and families. Students that wish to earn professional licensure for a career as a counselor or therapist in secular or non-secular settings will be ready to apply to graduate school and earn a graduate degree of their choice.

Courses include: Christian Worldview; Practical Ministry Training; General Psychology; Marriage and Family; Theology of Ministry; Counseling Children and Adolescents; Crisis Intervention and Management; Counseling Adult Populations; Healthy Sexuality; Theories of Marriage and Family Counseling; and Pastoral Care and Counseling.

  • Percent of applicants admitted: 90%
  • Percent of students receiving financial aid: 100%
  • Retention Rate: 73%

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15

Southern New Hampshire University

Manchester, NH

Southern New Hampshire University offers several online undergraduate degrees including the Bachelor of Arts in Human Services. The Bachelor of Arts in Human Services offers a generalist degree and areas of concentration in Human Services in Child and Family Services; Gerontology; and Substance Abuse. Southern New Hampshire University strives to make their online education accessible and efficient for all students. Graduates will be prepared to provide direct services in areas such as counseling and advocacy for individuals impacted by mental illness, substance abuse, and domestic violence. Graduates will also be well prepared to pursue a graduate degree in human services, social work, psychology, and/or counseling.

Courses include: Lifespan Development; Abnormal Psychology; Sociology of Social Problems; Introduction to Human Services; Communication Skills for Human Service Professionals; Human Services Organizational Systems; Public Policy and Advocacy; Law and Ethics in Human Services; Case Management; and Social Science Research Methods.

  • Percent of applicants admitted: 93%
  • Percent of students receiving financial aid: 66%
  • Retention Rate: 53%

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14

Calvary University

Kansas City, MO

A Bachelor of Science in Biblical Counseling is available online at Calvary University. Military and Full-Time Ministry Workers are eligible for a significant tuition discount. Calvary University strives to make all of their degrees offered on-campus also available online. Classes are video recorded so that on-campus and online students can access the coursework and course materials at their convenience. The degrees at Calvary University integrate a biblical worldview and prepare graduates to serve their communities and churches.

Courses include: Human Growth and Development; Introduction to Biblical Counseling; History of Psychological Systems; Theological Foundations of Biblical Counseling; Group Counseling Practicum; Marriage and Family Counseling; Senior Counseling Project; Biblical Counseling Internship; and Ethics and Biblical Counseling.

  • Percent of applicants admitted: 98%
  • Percent of students receiving financial aid: 82%
  • Retention Rate: 52%

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13

Nazarene Bible College

Colorado Springs, CO

Nazarene Bible College offers a Bachelor of Arts in Ministry with a Counseling for Christian Ministries major. This degree is available online. Students will move through the program with the support of their cohort as they complete online coursework with two required, weekend, intensive, face-to-face courses on-campus. Students will learn counseling theories, principles, and techniques. Students will also learn conflict resolution skills and have focused study in the area of professional development.

Courses include: Orientation to Counseling for Christian Ministries; Developmental Issues in Counseling; Counseling and Christian Thought; Individual Counseling Theories; Marriage and Family Counseling Theories; Abnormal Psychology for Counseling; Group and Organizational Behavior; and Managing Change and Conflict.

  • Percent of applicants admitted: Open admissions
  • Percent of students receiving financial aid: 0%
  • Retention Rate: 40%

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12

Aspen University

Denver, CO

A Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Addiction Counseling is offered online at Aspen University. The program focuses on training students to provide professional addiction counseling services to diverse populations. Students will learn to provide prevention, intervention, and treatment to individuals and families impacted by the disease of addiction. Students who have a specific area of interest will have the opportunity to choose specific courses in areas that match their educational and professional goals. Graduates will also be in a position to pursue an advanced degree in counseling.

Courses include: Substance Abuse in Educational Settings; Addiction Counseling Theories; Multicultural Counseling Theories; Child Development; Counseling Skills; Assessment Procedures in Addiction Counseling; Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues in Counseling; Psychology of Addiction Counseling; Substance Abuse Counseling; Crisis Intervention and Prevention; Child Abuse and Neglect Counseling; and Group Therapy.

  • Percent of applicants admitted: Open admissions
  • Percent of students receiving financial aid: 16%

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11

World Mission University

Los Angeles, CA

World Mission University offers an online education with a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Counseling. This is a four-year undergraduate degree focused on the general requirement areas of: General Education; Bible; and Theology. Students will complete 126 semester credit hours along with successful completion of a Bible Comprehensive Exam and demonstrate Christian character. The program prepares graduates to provide counseling related ministries in a church setting and/or to pursue a graduate degree in Christian Counseling.

Core competencies include: the ability to articulate biblical foundation for Christian counseling; personal growth and spiritual development; the skills necessary to successfully integrate Christian faith and counseling theory; and cultural competency.

  • Percent of applicants admitted: Open admissions
  • Percent of students receiving financial aid: 50%
  • Retention Rate: 100%

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10

Ottawa University

Phoenix, AZ

A Bachelor of Arts in Psychology is offered online at Ottawa University. This online major provides students with a strong foundation in psychology covering areas including human physiological; mental; intellectual; and personal and social development. The program emphasizes a commitment to training culturally competent, empathetic, critical thinkers. Graduates of the program may choose to go on to pursue a graduate degree and/or a career in areas such as counseling; research; teaching; consulting; and social services.

Courses include: Principles of Psychology; Developmental Psychology; Theories of Personality; Psychology of Abnormal Behavior; Ethnic Relations and Multiculturalism; Social Psychology; Research Design and Analysis; History and Systems of Psychology; and Interpersonal Communication.

  • Percent of applicants admitted: Open admissions
  • Percent of students receiving financial aid: 52%

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9

Charlotte Christian College and Theological Seminary

Charlotte, NC

Charlotte Christian College and Theological Seminary offers an online education with a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Christian Ministries with a Concentration in Counseling. This degree provides students training in systems theory with a focus on empowering urban communities. Through coursework and training graduates will be prepared to pursue career teaching within the church, serving through mission fieldwork, and/or to pursue graduate study in a related field.

Courses include: Basic Pastoral Counseling; Introduction to Christian Counseling; Abnormal Psychology; Counseling Theories; Counseling Social Problems; Crisis, Loss and Grief; Addiction Issues; Marriage and Family Counseling; The Christian and Sexuality; and Emotional and Spiritual Preparation for Ministry.

  • Percent of applicants admitted: Open admissions
  • Percent of students receiving financial aid: 67%
  • Retention Rate: 33%

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8

Bethesda University

Anaheim, CA

A Bachelor of Arts in Religion is offered at Bethesda University. This online program provides a broad education in religion allowing students to train for vocational ministry or for graduate school in a related field of choice. Graduates will have met several core competencies including knowledge of the history, traditions, and practices of the Church; a firm understanding of ministry; how to minister to and lead a congregation; and a Christian worldview and lifestyle.

Courses include: Introduction to Psychology; Christian Ethics; Personal Evangelism; Church History; Pastoral Theology; Introduction to Preaching; Church Growth; and Pastoral Counseling.

  • Percent of applicants admitted: Open admissions
  • Percent of students receiving financial aid: 76%
  • Retention Rate: 49%

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7

Indiana Wesleyan University

Marion, IN

A Bachelor of Science in Addiction Counseling is offered online at Indiana Wesleyan University. Students can complete this online major, with the support of a cohort in 22 months. The program integrates a Christian perspective throughout the coursework. Students will gain experience working with individuals and families struggling with the disease of addiction through practicum placements at convenient and agreed upon locations.

Courses include: General Psychology; Principles of Addiction Counseling; Addictions Theory; Minority Group Relations; Developmental Psychology; Addictions Counseling Skills; Theory and Practice of Group Counseling; Psychopharmacology; Counseling Addicted and Dysfunctional Family Systems; and Addiction Programs and Professional Development.

  • Percent of applicants admitted: Open admissions
  • Percent of students receiving financial aid: 79%

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6

Arlington Baptist University

Arlington, TX

An online undergraduate Bachelor of Science in Biblical Counseling is available at Arlington Baptist University. The counseling program is available 100% online and offers the same coursework as the on-campus program. Students will earn their bachelor's degree while learning core theory for Biblical counseling including the integration of psychology and Christian theories. Graduates of the program will be prepared for Biblical counseling ministry in the church and/or for graduate school in Biblical Counseling or a related field.

Courses include: Theological Basis of Counseling; Christian Service; Premarital Counseling; Biblical Conflict Resolution; Biological Psychology; Marriage and Family Counseling; Counseling Problems/Procedures; and Cross-Cultural Ministry.

  • Percent of applicants admitted: Open admissions
  • Percent of students receiving financial aid: 82%
  • Retention Rate: 39%

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5

Hobe Sound Bible College

Hobe Sound, FL

Hobe Sound Bible College offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Counseling. Students in the program will complete core coursework in the areas of Bible; General Education; Counseling Major; Selected Minor; and Christian Service Field Education. The Counseling Major provides coursework that will prepare graduates to have a strong foundation in the field of counseling which in turn will support their process in choosing and applying to a graduate program in counseling if they wish to pursue professional licensure as a counselor or therapist. The Christian Service component will provide students practice skills and experience as well as spiritual growth.

Courses include: Introduction to Counseling; Marriage Therapy; Crisis Intervention; Family Therapy; Introduction to Group Counseling; Abnormal Psychology; Assessment in Counseling; Human Sexuality; and Addiction Intervention.

  • Percent of applicants admitted: Open admissions
  • Percent of students receiving financial aid: 89%
  • Retention Rate: 74%

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4

Ohio Christian University

Circleville, OH

A Bachelor of Arts in Substance Abuse Counseling is available online at Ohio Christian University. The program integrates Christian principles throughout the curriculum and strives to support students in enhancing critical thinking skills. Students in the program will learn to provide chemical dependency counseling and psychoeducation to individuals, families, and groups. The program is designed to prepare graduates to pursue licensure and careers as Substance Abuse Counselors.

Courses include: Ethical and Legal Issues in Counseling; Introduction to Substance Abuse; Family Dynamics in Substance Abuse; Psychopharmacology; Diagnostic Evaluation and Personal Assessment; Individual Chemical Dependency Counseling; Theories and Techniques of Group Counseling; Methods of Counseling; and Spiritual Dimensions of Illness and Recovery.

  • Percent of applicants admitted: Open admissions
  • Percent of students receiving financial aid: 89%
  • Retention Rate: 62%

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3

Kaplan Online

Various Locations

Kaplan University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Psychology in Addictions. The program is accredited by the National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission (NASAC). Students earning this degree will learn to work professionally with individuals struggling with substance abuse and behavioral addictions, such as gambling. Coursework supports students in learning about the history of, and current theories in psychology. This online degree provides training to successfully prepare graduates to enter the field of addictions in direct service and provide critical care in areas including assessment, intervention, prevention, and treatment.

Courses include: Personality Development; Health Psychology; Clinical Psychology; Abnormal Psychology; Case Management in Clinical Settings; and Psychopharmacology of Alcohol and Drugs.

  • Percent of applicants admitted: Open admissions
  • Percent of students receiving financial aid: 90%

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2

Bethel College

Hampton, VA

A Bachelor of Science in Church Ministries with a concentration in Christian Counseling is available online at Bethel College. This is a four-year undergraduate degree that will prepare students to pursue graduate studies as they work toward careers in Christian Counseling, Pastoral Care, and/or professional licensure in the field of counseling. Students in the program will engage in coursework and hands-on/practical experiences that will support their academic, spiritual, and professional growth.

Courses include: Curriculum Requirements Include: Biblical Studies; Theological Studies; and Professional Studies.

  • Percent of applicants admitted: Open admissions
  • Percent of students receiving financial aid: 100%
  • Retention Rate: 100%

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1

City Vision University

Kansas City, MO

City Vision University offers an Addiction Studies Counseling Degree online. This online bachelor's degree is designed to prepare graduates to pursue a career in addictions counseling. Students will learn counseling skills to complete screening, intake, assessment, treatment planning, and aftercare with individuals struggling with the disease of addiction. Because of the programs accreditation status courses are approved for addiction counseling credit in most states. Financial aid opportunities include a 25% discount to military/veterans and staff at Rescue Missions and Salvation Army and a 50% discount to ministry interns.

Courses include: Managing Residential Recovery Programs; Counseling in the City; Life Skills Training; Case Management; Recovery Dynamics; Counseling Foundations; Drugs of Abuse; Counseling Alcoholics; Mental Illness and Addiction; Group Counseling Practices; Sexual Issues in Addiction; and Family Issues and Recovery.

  • Percent of applicants admitted: Open admissions
  • Percent of students receiving financial aid: 100%
  • Retention Rate: no listed

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Methodology

To develop the ranking for the Top 24 Most Accessible Online Bachelor's Degrees in Counseling, we used the Institute of Education Sciences' College Navigator to gather a list of schools that offered a counseling program as a bachelor's degree in an online/distance education format. Data was gathered on the percent of undergraduate applicants who were admitted to the institution as well as the percent of first-time students receiving financial aid. Schools offering open admissions were ranked at the top of the list with percent receiving financial aid as a secondary ranking. The remaining schools were then ranked based on the acceptance rate.

Students may also be interested in our 50 Most Affordable Accredited Marriage and Family Therapy Programs ranking article.