Master of Arts in Counseling Program
Christian Counseling is a highly specialized calling that requires careful training. Hurting people can heal. In the Master of Arts in Counseling (MAC) program at Reformed Theological Seminary, we prepare Christians to work with God's Word and God's world as they apply God's truth to the fabric of people's lives. Under the authority of Scripture and with the foundation of a biblical worldview, our students learn to see the people they help both as individuals living before the face of God and as active members of family relationships.
The MAC program at RTS currently meets the academic and clinical requirements outlined by the Mississippi Board of Licensed Professional Counselors, the Florida Board of Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counselors, as well as most state's licensure boards. Some states such as Ohio and Kentucky require a Master of Arts in Counseling degree from a CACREP accredited program in order to pursure licensure. RTS has designed its program to meet CACREP standards and has entered into the multi-year CACREP accreditation process. There is no guarantee that we will be granted CACREP accreditation though it is our goal to do so. Students graduating from the RTS MAC program within eighteen months prior to our accreditation approval will be considered graduates of a CACREP accredited program.
Solid Biblical Foundation
Faithful and vigorous biblical studies shape our understanding of God's character, God's world, and his work in our lives. We teach biblical studies courses that cover every book in the Bible as well as courses devoted to theology and the relationship of theology and counseling. Biblical teaching is a critical part of counseling and of the counselor's approach to issues. Each student takes 17 hours of coursework in biblical and theological studies. 6 hours of the MAC curriculum are devoted to the relationship of theology and counseling.
Integrated with Strong Academic Counseling Studies
We are committed to Scripture as God's Word and our norm for faith and practice. Each Counseling course is taught from a biblical perspective and interacts with current theory and the best available texts in the field. Students will learn to evaluate counseling in light of Scripture and to put what they have learned into practice.
The program also examines counseling from a family systems perspective. Students will discover how to understand people's lives in the context of their personal development, family relationships, and social interaction. In addition to learning how to help people reshape their lives and relationships in constructive, godly ways, students will help them clarify and live out what they believe as they draw around God's truth together.
Extensive Clinical Experience
Students will find strong emphasis on practical experience at RTS Jackson. Your 78-hour program will include the following:
- At least 400 hours of face-to-face client contact, 150 of which must be relational
- Weekly engagement in direct supervision with practicing professional counselors, totaling 100 hours
- Between 1000 and 1500 hours of total clinical experience (2.5 hours weekly)
Students are gradually eased into their clinic experience. During their first year, students start by spending one hour every week at the reception desk in the clinic as their first exposure to clients. In the fall of their first year, students shadow a senior student counselor. In the spring of their first year, they participate as co-counselors with senior student counselors, and after 100 hours they may begin seeing clients on their own.