Top 20 Christian Colleges for a Counseling Degree

By BCD Staff

Best Counseling Degrees - Christian Colleges

Attending a Christian College can be particularly relevant for students interested in working in the counseling profession. A faith-based program will support students in growing in their own religious and spiritual framework. Additionally, students will develop the skills to support clients in approaching life's challenges from a Biblical perspective. Many individuals and families report that they would prefer to see a counselor or therapist who shares their religious values. In this ranking, we present our selections in the top Christian college counseling degree programs.

This list covers a wide range of Bachelors of Arts and Sciences degrees with a counseling emphasis in areas including; Pre-Counseling, Psychology with a Counseling Concentration, Professional Counseling, Addictions Counseling, Counseling and Health Psychology, Counseling Psychology, Biblical Counseling, Behavioral Health, and Transformational Ministry with a Counseling Concentration.

Graduates of these programs can choose to go directly into the workforce in the human service field or pursue graduate study. Graduates can build careers in a number of areas including social service agencies, addiction counseling, government organizations, and human resources. Additionally, many of these schools prepare graduates to work in the church setting. Students interested in working as professional counselors with individuals, couples, and/or families will need to complete a masters degree and the licensure process.

This list was developed by examining schools accreditations, possible placement in major national ranking publications, student-to-teacher ratios, retention rates, and graduation rates. If you are interested, you can read more about the data and methodology used to develop this ranking. Graduation rate, retention rate, and net price are taken from NCES College Navigator.

Ranking the Top 20 Christian Colleges Counseling Degree Programs 2015


#20 Maranatha Baptist University

Biblical Counseling

Watertown, WI

The Biblical Counseling major at Maranatha Baptist University focuses on the Bible and theology with an introduction to Biblical Counseling. A focus is placed on using Scripture to address life's challenges. The programing for this major is listed in separate schedules for men and women. About 30% of the students at Maranatha Baptist University are homeschool graduates.

  • US News Regional Ranking: Midwest: #62
  • Graduation Rate: 48%
  • Retention Rate: 72%
  • Net Price: $18,369

Courses Include

General Psychology, Introduction to Biblical Counseling, The Biblical Counselor, Counseling Problems & Procedures, Biblical Interpretation, Counseling Techniques.


#19 Judson University

Psychology: Pre-Clinical Counseling

Elgin, IL

The Psychology Major at Judson University offers four optional concentrations including the Pre-Clinical Counseling Concentration. The Pre-Clinical Counseling Concentration offers coursework in areas that will support graduates in working in direct service with children, adolescents, and adults. These courses will also prepare students for graduate studies in the field of counseling. Judson is an evangelical Christian university, providing an education in the liberal arts, sciences, and professions, just 45 minutes northwest of Chicago.

  • US News Regional Ranking: Midwest: #36
  • Graduation Rate: 50%
  • Retention Rate: 72%
  • Net Price: $20,239

Courses Include

Abnormal Psychology, Psychological Tests/Measurements, Adolescent Culture, Health Aspects/Chemical Dependency, Crisis Intervention with At-Risk Adolescents, Counseling Theories, Basic Helping Skills.


#18 (Tie) Life Pacific College

B.A. in Biblical Studies (Counseling Concentration)

B.A. in Transformational Ministry (Counseling Concentration)

B.A. in Human Development and Psychology

San Dimas, CA

Life Pacific College offers several biblically centered Bachelor of Arts Degrees three of which offer a concentration in counseling. In an effort to provide an education that fits each students ministry interests five concentrations are offered including one in counseling. Graduates go on to pursue graduate degrees as well as careers in fields such as Ministry Leadership, Chaplaincy, Education, Research, Counseling, Children and Youth Programs, Social Justice, Family Ministry, Family Advocacy, and Child Welfare.

  • Religious Accredidation: Association for Biblical Higher Education
  • Graduation Rate: 51%
  • Retention Rate: 63%
  • Net Price: $16,329

Courses Include

Counseling, Advanced Counseling, Child and Adolescent Development, Human Sexuality.


#18 (Tie) Alvernia University

Bachelor of Arts in Behavioral Health

Reading, PA

Alvernia University is guided by Franciscan values and a history that is rooted in the Catholic and liberal arts traditions.The Behavioral Health major offers three areas of concentration; Addiction Studies, Mental Health, and Child Welfare. This major is designed to support students in becoming professionals with expertise in these areas.

  • Graduation Rate: 51%
  • Retention Rate: 71%
  • Net Price: $26,264

Courses Include

Substance Abuse & Society, Origins of Mental Illness, Neuropharmacology, Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy, Prevention and Intervention Services, Assessment & Evaluation, Case Management, Crisis Intervention, Practicum Field Experience, Counseling Special Populations.


#17 Newman University

B.S. in Counseling

Wichita, KS

Newman University is grounded in Catholic values and traditions and respects all faith traditions. The Bachelor of Science in Counseling at Newman University offers three different concentrations; Addiction Studies, Child & Adolescent Studies, and Criminal Justice. All areas will prepare students to work with children, adolescents and adults. Throughout the course of the program students will participate in internships to practice and increase skill development.

  • Graduation Rate: 52%
  • Retention Rate: 73%
  • Net Price: $16,943

Courses Include

Perspectives on Substance Use & Abuse, Counseling Methods, Case Management of the Dually Diagnosed Client, Criminology, The Exceptional Child, Deviant Behavior.


#16 Maryville College

B.A. or B.S in Psychology (Counseling Track)

Maryville, TN

Maryville College is a liberal arts school affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. The Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science in Psychology offers a Counseling Track. Students can choose to pursue graduate studies for future careers in fields such as clinical psychology, counseling, or marriage and family therapy. The program also prepares graduates to go straight into direct service positions in social service agencies. Maryville emphasizes learning through research and hands on learning in service to others.

  • Graduation Rate: 56%
  • Retention Rate: 72%
  • Net Price: $15,605

Courses Include

Introductory Neuroscience, Contemporary and Professional Issues in Psychology, Adult Development & Aging, Cognitive Psychology, Sociology of Marriage and Family.


#15 Grace College and Theological Seminary

B.A. and B.S. in Counseling

Winona Lake, IN

Grace College offers Bachelor of Arts, and a Bachelor of Science in Counseling. This program focuses on supporting students in identifying challenges and learning how to solve those challenges from a biblical perspective. Students at Grace are encouraged to take ownership over a personal faith. Students may choose to pursue a three-year accelerated degree option to make the degree more affordable.

  • US News Regional Ranking: Midwest: #46
  • Graduation Rate: 61%
  • Retention Rate: 77%
  • Net Price: $16,549

Courses Include

Christianity & Thinking, Public Speaking, Essentials in Behavioral Science, Lifespan Development, Theories of Personality, Introduction to Counseling, Group Techniques of Counseling, Addiction Treatment.


#14 Calvary Bible College and Theological Seminary

B.S. in Biblical Counseling

Kansas City, MO

The Biblical Counseling program at Calvary supports students in gaining an understanding of the biblical philosophy of counseling, while developing counseling skills and strengthening their Christian character. Calvary believes in providing all students with a biblical foundation for a life of service.

  • Religious Accredidation: Association for Biblical Higher Education
  • Graduation Rate: 50%
  • Retention Rate: 66%
  • Net Price: $14,182

Courses Include

Systematic Theology, Developing a Biblical Worldview, Introduction to Biblical Counseling, Counseling Youth, Marriage and Family Counseling, Crisis Counseling, Biblical Counseling Internship, Conflict Resolution.


#13 Grace University

B.S. in Psychology: Concentration in Drug and Alcohol Counseling

Omaha, NE

Grace University is a Christ-centered University offering a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with several concentrations available including Drug and Alcohol Counseling. This program supports students in examining psychological knowledge from a biblical perspective. Graduates will be prepared to work in careers in numerous areas including Drug and Alcohol counseling as well as to go on to complete graduate studies.

  • Religious Accredidation: Association for Biblical Higher Education
  • Graduation Rate: 52%
  • Retention Rate: 72%
  • Net Price: $15,142

Courses Include

Courses include: Spiritual Life & Evangelism, Theology of Church Mission, Psychology & Social Work, Spiritual Issues & Psychology, Child/Adolescent Development, Group Dynamics, Alcohol/Drug Assessment, Case Planning & Management, Medical & Psychosocial Aspects.


#12 Oral Roberts University

B.S. Christian Caregiving and Counseling

Tulsa, OK

Oral Roberts University is a Christ-centered community focused on educating "the whole person-mind, body, and spirit." This Bachelor of Science degree in Christian Caregiving and Counseling is designed to prepare students for professional or lay ministry in a variety of pastoral settings. Careers opportunities include chaplain, counselor, missionary, pastor, researcher, and teacher. This major is also available via distance learning.

  • Graduation Rate: 53%
  • Retention Rate: 81%
  • Net Price: $21,523

Courses Include

Introduction to Christian Caregiving, Issues/Identity of Caregiver, Pastoral Approaches to Counseling, Lifespan Development, Developing Helping Skills, Practical Application of Helping Skills.


#11 The Master's College and Seminary

B.A. Biblical Counseling

Santa Clarita, CA

The Master's College and Seminary offers a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Counseling aimed to prepare graduates for service in their local church or other Christian settings. Students will learn to counsel people through life challenges while grounded in the Word of God. Graduates will be prepared to pass the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors certification exam.

  • Graduation Rate: 54%
  • Retention Rate: 81%
  • Net Price: $26,451

Courses Include

Christian Theology, Introduction to Biblical Counseling, Theological Basis of Biblical Counseling, Counseling & Proverbs, Marriage & Family Counseling, Biblical Conflict Resolution, Counseling Practicum.


#10 Oklahoma Baptist University

B.A. Psychology: Pre-Counseling

Shawnee, OK

The Psychology: Pre- Counseling degree at Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU) is designed for students planning to pursue a career in counseling. Students will have the opportunity to be exposed to counseling theory and practice and choose courses that fit with their individual interests and future professional goals. OBU is a Christian liberal arts university serving just under 2,000 students.

  • US News Regional Ranking: West: #4
  • Graduation Rate: 55%
  • Retention Rate: 74%
  • Net Price: $16,617

Courses Include

Child and Adolescent Development, Theories of Personality, Basic Counseling Skills, Theories of Counseling, Family Therapy Theory and Practicum, Parent-Child Relationship, Family Communication, Aging and Death.


#9 (Tie) North Park University

B.A. Counseling Psychology

Chicago, IL

North Park University describes itself as a "distinctly Christian, urban, and multicultural learning environment". The Counseling Psychology program offers courses in the evening, weekend, online, and accelerated formats in order to meet the individual needs of students. Graduates will find employment in mental health and social services settings or may choose to pursue graduate studies. Located on Chicago's north side, North Park University was founded in 1891 by the Evangelical Covenant Church.

  • Graduation Rate: 56%
  • Retention Rate: 81%
  • Net Price: $18,724

Courses Include

Research Methods and Design, Lifespan Development, Psychology, Principles of Counseling Diverse Populations, Personality, Biopsychosocial Disorders of Human Development, Helping Skills for Social Services.


#9 (Tie) Crown College

B.S. Psychology/Counseling

Saint Bonifacius, MN

Crown College is a private Christian college offering classes on campus and online. Crown College offers a Christ-centered Bachelor of Science in Psychology/Counseling degree online. This is one of Crown College's most popular programs, as few other degrees like this are offered online. A minor in Drug and Alcohol Counseling can be added to this degree.

  • US News Regional Ranking: Midwest: #54
  • Graduation Rate: 56%
  • Retention Rate: 70%
  • Net Price: $21,538

Courses Include

Survey of Biblical Literature, Christian Faith and Reason, Social Science Research Methods, Personality Theories, Theories of Counseling & Psychotherapy, Methods of Counseling, Diversity Issues In Counseling, Marriage & Family Counseling.


#8 (Tie) Johnson University

B.A. and B.S. in Human Services (Counseling)

Knoxville, TN

A major in Human Services with a concentration in counseling is offered at Johnson University at both the Florida and Tennessee Campuses. Students will learn to counsel from a Christian worldview in a variety of professional contexts. The program prepares graduates to go on to work towards their Masters or Doctorate in the mental health field. Students interested in the benefits that small schools offer may be drawn to the Florida campus which serves approximately 200 undergraduate students; for those interested in something a little larger, the Tennessee Campus serves approximately 800 undergraduates.

  • Religious Accredidation: Association for Biblical Higher Education
  • Graduation Rate: 57%
  • Retention Rate: 80%
  • Net Price: $13,417

Courses Include

Human Development, Human Sexuality, Interviewing and Counseling Skills, Human Services, Faith & Ethics, Fundamentals of Christian Faith, Exegetical Methods for English Bible.


#8 (Tie) University of Detroit Mercy

B.S. in Addiction Studies

Detroit, MI

The University of Detroit Mercy is a Catholic university in the Jesuit and Mercy traditions. The Bachelor of Science in Addiction studies educates students in the prevention and treatment of addictions and process related disorders (from substance abuse to gambling and sexual addiction) for preparation in working with individuals and families. Students will participate in internships to practice applying the skills they have learned and to begin the process of building their professional careers. Many students find that they are already employed or accepted into graduate school before graduate from the program. Courses are scheduled in the evening to accommodate working students.

  • Graduation Rate: 57%
  • Retention Rate: 82%
  • Net Price: $24,223

Courses Include

Assessment of Substance Use Disorders, Techniques of Individual Counseling, Family Theory & Therapy, Process Disorders: Gambling & Sexual Addiction, Spirituality & Recovery, Health Psychology, Biopsychology.


#7 (Tie) Emmanuel College

Psychology: Counseling and Health Psychology

Boston, MA

Emmanuel College is a Roman Catholic liberal arts and sciences college located in Boston. The Psychology major offers a concentration in counseling and health psychology. This program explores mental health and emphasizes the psychophysical bases of health and illness. All students in this department will complete an internship or research experience. Due in part to being located in Boston, a wide range of prestigious internships are available to students, depending on their area of interest, from Harvard Medical School to Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America.

  • Graduation Rate: 58%
  • Retention Rate: 81%
  • Net Price: $30,899

Courses Include

Physiological Bases of Behavior, Counseling Theories & Techniques, Cross-Cultural Psychology, Adulthood & Aging, Theories of Personality.


#7 (Tie) Morningside College

Bachelor of Arts Counseling Psychology

Sioux City, IA

The Department of Psychology at Morningside College offers four areas of concentration, including the Counseling Psychology major. The Counseling Psychology major is for students with an interest in learning about counseling ethics, theories, and techniques. A unique feature of the Bachelor of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology is that students can choose within the major to take courses focused on a graduate school track or a career track. Morningside College is a private college affiliated with the United Methodist Church.

  • US News Regional Ranking: Midwest: #23
  • Graduation Rate: 58%
  • Retention Rate: 73%
  • Net Price: $18,985

Courses Include

History and Systems of Psychology, Psychological Testing & Lab, Psychology of Counseling & Lab, Group Counseling, Brain & Behavior Lab, Psychology & Gender.


#6 Mid-Atlantic Christian University

B.A. or B.S in Counseling and Psychology

Elizabeth City, NC

Established in 1948, Mid-Atlantic Christian University offers a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Counseling and Psychology. The program, which blends psychology and counseling courses, includes a Biblical Studies Major. Graduates of this program can go into ministry related fields of marriage and family ministry or pastoral counseling as well as on to graduate school if they are interested in professional counseling occupations.

  • Graduation Rate: 59%
  • Retention Rate: 63%
  • Net Price: $17,142

Courses Include

Cross-Cultural Communication, Introduction to Counseling, Counseling Theories, Human Sexuality, Christian Formation: Developing a Spiritual Life, Research and Statistics for Human Services.


#5 Indiana Wesleyan University

B.S. in Addictions Counseling

Marion, IN

Indiana Wesleyan University offers a Bachelor of Science in Addictions Counseling. Students will learn about the biopsychosocial and spiritual components of addiction and recovery. This major will prepare graduates to work with individuals and families impacted by the disease of addiction.

  • Religious Accredidation: Association of Theological Schools
  • Graduation Rate: 65%
  • Retention Rate: 78%
  • Net Price: $24,546

Courses Include

Addictions Theory, Addictions Counseling, Psychopharmacology, Counselling Addicted and Dysfunctional Family Systems, Adolescent Growth and Development, Minority Group Relations.


#4 Lancaster Bible College

B.S. in Professional Counseling

Landcaster, PA

The Counseling and Social Work Department at Lancaster Bible College allows students to choose from five specialized majors. Students will learn to understand, evaluate, and practice counseling from a biblical perspective in both secular and Christian practices. The Bachelor of Science in Professional Counseling prepares students to work with individuals, couples, and families. Options are also available to complete both your bachelors and masters in a five-year program.

  • Religious Accredidation: Association for Biblical Higher Education
  • Graduation Rate: 70%
  • Retention Rate: 72%
  • Net Price: $18,954

Courses Include

Engaging Faith & Life, Group Process & Self Evaluation, Christian Narrative, Principles & Techniques of Counseling, Christianity & Culture, Therapy Lab, Theories of Personality.


#3 William Jessup University

B.A. in Psychology (Counseling Concentration)

Rockling, CA

William Jessup University aims to prepare Christians for leadership and service in the church and society. The Psychology Program supports students in integrating psychological and theological knowledge to prepare for graduate studies as well as a variety of careers in the human services field. Coursework is Christ-centered and faith based.

  • Religious Accredidation: Association for Biblical Higher Education
  • Graduation Rate: 56%
  • Retention Rate: 82%
  • Net Price: $19,019

Courses Include

Career opportunities include: Clinical Counseling, Education/Career Counseling, State/County Agency Work, Social Work, Corrections/Probation Work, Rehabilitation Counseling, Mediation/Court Advocacy, Non-Profit Leadership.


#2 Cedarville University

B.A. Psychology: Comprehensive Counseling Track

Cedarville, OH

Cedarville University is a Christ-centered Baptist institution that offers a Psychology Major with five tracks of specialization including the Comprehensive Counseling Track. All students complete a minor in Bible and the psychology courses incorporate biblical principles with psychological science. Graduates of this program have gone on to work in numerous human services settings, from human services to home health care, and to graduate school.

  • US News Regional Ranking: Midwest: #6
  • Graduation Rate: 73%
  • Retention Rate: 85%
  • Net Price: $22,648

Courses Include

Human Development: Lifespan, History & Systems of Psychology, Psychology & Christianity, Learning & Memory, Professional Counseling, Group Dynamics, Counseling Couples & Families.


#1 Moody Bible Institute

B.A. in Pre-Counseling Major

Chicago, IL

The Educational Ministries Department at Moody Bible Institute prepares students to work with and serve diverse populations. Bachelor of Arts in Pre-Counseling graduates will have a strong Christian faith and counseling framework to effectively provide services to individuals and families in a range of contexts.

  • Religious Accredidation: Association for Biblical Higher Education
  • Graduation Rate: 84%
  • Retention Rate: 78%
  • Net Price: $17,644

Courses Include

Introduction to Ministry, Spiritual Life and Community, Christianity and Western Culture, Quantitative Reasoning, Introduction to Counseling, Counseling Skills Training, Multicultural Counseling, Contemporary Issues in Science, Abnormal Psychology.

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