24 Most Accessible Bachelor's in Counseling Degree Online Programs

Updated June 27, 2023

In this article, we highlight the 25 most accessible accredited online counseling bachelor's degree programs.

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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.

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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.

  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

  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%

  3. Purdue University Global

    Indianapolis, IN

    Purdue 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%

  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%

  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%

  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%

  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%

  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%

  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%

  10. Ottawa University-Phoenix

    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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