Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Counseling

Multi-site and Hybrid Options

Asbury Theological Seminary’s 75-hour Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Counseling offers instruction in the theory and practice of professional counseling within a Christian worldview. Our counseling degree integrates a biblical and theological foundation for relationships with an understanding of historical and contemporary theory in order to meet academic and professional standards.

The Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Counseling meets academic requirements for eligibility as a licensed marriage and family counselor for many states.

The mission of the Department of Counseling and Pastoral Care is to equip students to serve diverse communities by facilitating healing and growth through reflectively integrating Christian values, principles and resources with pastoral or professional counseling competencies and practices.

What to expect from the degree

As you complete your degree, you’ll be able to

  1. Master clinical skills in individual and systemic therapeutic models at an accomplished level, including an ability to articulate the theoretical foundations for these skills.
  2. Practice professional behavior that maintains appropriate boundaries, conforms to ethical standards and reflects respect and sensitivity for persons from diverse backgrounds.
  3. Practice theological and theoretical integration that is demonstrated in both theories and a mature, biblically grounded understanding of God and persons.

*Refer to the Academic Catalog for the exact wording of Program Learning Outcomes.

Advanced Standing

Save time and money with our advanced standing program. Here’s how it works.

If you received a religion major or minor from an accredited college or university, you can receive a maximum of 12 credits toward a Master of Arts degree.

*Transcripts evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Admissions Requirements

Application (online at

  • $50 non-refundable Application Fee
  • Accredited baccalaureate degree
  • All Counseling programs require a cumulative GPA of 3.0/4.0
  • Official transcripts from all schools where classes were taken for more than one semester
  • Personal history essay (300 words for each)
  1. Share your life story, including at what point you began your relationship with Jesus Christ. Talk about your growth since that time and what brings you to apply to Seminary at this season in your life. Include your thoughts on how you would like to see your faith grow during your time in Seminary.
  2. What draws you to your desired major/area of study? What is your intended outcome upon degree completion? Why is that career or ministry choice meaningful to you?
  3. Discuss a local, national, and/or international issue and why you are passionate about it.
  4. Counselors of faith have at least two sources of information that they can draw upon to counsel others. Imagine a continuum where #1 represents the position of “using Bible only” and #5 represents the position of “psychological studies only.” Where would you currently place yourself on this continuum?
  5. Describe how relating to persons who are different from you (race, gender, age, economic, sexual orientation) has impacted you.
  • Four references completed on the Admissions Office form at, including at least one pastoral reference, at least one reference from a professor or academic administrator, and at least one reference from a counseling/mental health professional. References from family members are excluded.

  • For applicants whose primary language is not English, a TOEFL score of 550 (79 internet-based) or an IELTS score of 7.
  • Background Check
  • A personal interview may be required upon request by the Admissions Committee

Application Process

When all your transcripts have been received, and you have a satisfactory GPA, you will be invited to contact the counseling office to set up the Counseling Tests and Inventories. These tests provide information about your social, emotional, and psychological functioning. The information is reviewed by professors in the area of Counseling and Pastoral Care for admissions purposes only. Your test results will be maintained in a secure file and will not be used for any other purposes.

Following the completion of the admissions requirements and the Counseling Tests and Inventories, you will be invited to attend a group interview, in which all counseling applicants will be in attendance. The interview is usually held two to three weeks following the deadline for admissions requirements and Counseling Tests and Inventories.

Once the group interview has been completed, the counseling faculty will communicate their recommendation to the Admissions Office for further processing. The Admissions Office will then notify you of the Admissions Committee’s decision regarding your application.

CACREP Vital Statistics

Hrs Course ID Course Name
3 MS501 Missional Formation (must be taken in initial 21 hrs at ATS)
3 BT501 Biblical Narrative
3 CO526/TH501 Counseling and Christian Beliefs -or- Basic Christian Doctrine
3 CO/MF600 Family Systems Theory
3 CO/MF601 Counseling Theories/Techniques
3 CO610 Ethical and Legal Issues in Counseling [PRQ: CO600 or CO601] – JAN
3 CO660 Crisis Counseling [PRQ or Concurrently: CO/MF600 or CO601]
3 CO655 The Counseling Relationship: Process and Skills [PRQ or Concurrently: CO600 or CO601]
3 CO675 Group Counseling [PRQ or Concurrently: CO/MF600 or CO601, and CO655]
3 CO680 Career Counseling [PRQ: CO/MF600 or CO601]
3 CO720 Psychopathology: Theory and Assessments [PRQ or Concurrently: CO600 or CO601]
3 CO715 Assessment Inventories in Counseling [PRQ: CO600 or CO601 & CO720]
3 CO622 Theories of Personality Development Across the Life Span [PRQ: CO600 or CO601 & CO720] Summer
3 CO625 Recognizing and Treating Addictive Disorders [PRQ:CO/MF600, CO601, PC510 or PC515]
3 CO600 Counseling Practicum
3 CO725 Research Seminar: Theory and Design
3 CO730 Advanced Issues in Cross-cultural Counseling [PRQ: CO600 or CO601]
3 CO705 Counseling Internship—One [PRQ: CO600 or 601, CO610, & CO655, CO700, & CO720]
3 CO706 Counseling Internship—Two (PRQ: CO705)
3 NT(IBS)510/511 NT(IBS)510 Matthew -or- NT(IBS)511 Mark
3 TH601 Theology of John Wesley
3 CO618 Counseling Children [PRQ:CO/MF600 or CO601, CO720 or PC520, CO655]
0 MF411 Professional Development Meeting
As Needed (9 hours of elective courses are required)
3 CO/MF611 Dynamics of Human Sexuality [PRQ: CO600 or CO601] – SUMMER
3 CO/ MF617 Counseling Adolescents [PRQ: CO600 or CO601, CO655, CO675, or PC520]
3 CO/MF626 Couples Counseling Theory and Interventions [PRQ: CO600 or CO601]
3 CO/ MF627 Family Counseling [PRQ: CO600 or CO601]
3 CO672 Relational Psychodynamic [PRQ: CO/MF600, CO601, or PC510; and CO655]
3 CO708 Internship III [PRQ: CO706]

Asbury Seminary is committed to providing you with a quality theological education and practical skills for a lifetime. We offer more than 400 scholarships annually to help you graduate with minimal debt.

Cost of Attendance

Degree Total Credits Cost
Master of Arts 75 credits $692/credit hour
Total $51,900
Academic Year 2022-2023 All Campuses Fall/Spring All Campuses Summer
Technology Fee $210 per semester $105 per semester
Graduation Fee $200 one-time fee $200 one-time fee
Student Services Fee $150 per semester $75 per semester


Institutional scholarships are available through Asbury Theological Seminary. Scholarships are highly competitive and priority consideration is given to those who have completed their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the Asbury Financial Aid Application, and who have been admitted by the Admissions Office by March 1.

Recipients of scholarships must represent strong promise for Christian ministry and demonstrate a financial need.

Some of the scholarships include:

  • Mary Whetstone and Walter J. Knabe Scholarship – average award $10,700
  • Windgate Scholarship – average award $10,000
  • J.C. McPheeters Scholarship – average award $7,000
  • Timothy C. Tennent Church Planting and Cross-Cultural Missionary Service Scholarship – average award $4,500
  • Leo H. Naughton Scholarship – average award $3,200
  • Asbury Deans Scholarship – average award $1,500