Master of Arts in Counseling (MAC)

Our MAC students are those who are drawn to walk alongside hurting people, seeking to be conduits of God’s healing to emotional and relational brokenness. Missio prepares them to skillfully apply the grace and truth of the Gospel first to their lives and then to those of their counselees.

At our suburban Philadelphia campus, MAC students come to class one night a week, one Saturday a month, for three years and learn to engage science and culture from a Christian perspective, with wisdom and discernment. Students are equipped for professional and non-professional counseling contexts, as they learn effective evidence-based counseling skills from faculty who are practicing clinical counselors. The MAC program is tailored to Pennsylvania state licensure requirements.

What do our graduates do with their degree?

The MAC program trains Christians for a broad spectrum of service. Missio’s Graduate School of Counseling program meets the needs of students in a variety of career and avocational settings. MAC graduates serve on pastoral teams or in counseling ministries in their local churches, in social service and mental health organizations, in para-church ministries, in specialized counseling services, and more. MAC’s curriculum is designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and self-awareness needed for effective, Christ-centered counseling. Courses, retreats, and fieldwork experiences address key professional counseling areas of study while maintaining a biblical and ministry focus.

How can the MAC program benefit you?

At Missio, the cohort model is a powerful delivery format for professional development because it taps into students’ prior life experiences, it is collaborative, and it occurs over a period of three years. Because students move through the program together, the quality of learning from one course to another is enhanced. Cohorts develop strong communication skills as students sharpen and challenge each other. This dynamic learning community produces the kind of deep learning, authentic contextualization, and relational wisdom that missional leaders need today.

Students will also embrace spiritual formation through participation in retreats, and share their internship experiences throughout their time in the program.

A counseling degree in the Philadelphia area with a distinctly Christian-based program that leads to licensure.

Listed below are six reasons why our counseling program is unique for Christian Counselors.

Wise Counsel:

Develop effective people-helping knowledge, skill, and self-awareness for wise practice (Proverbs 2:2).

Biblical Anthropology:

Explore the biblical story and God’s design for human life in light of creation, fall, and redemption.

Counseling Skills and Practice:

Gain experience over three years through mock counseling, then transition into fieldwork by completing 700 supervised hours.

Theology Developed for Counselors:

Combine a thorough understanding of the biblical text and theology and use it specifically in a counseling context.

Cohort Community:

Remain together and follow a sequenced curriculum. Annual retreats assist in building community.

Generalist Program:

Receive a broad and solid foundation for a wide variety of callings in God’s kingdom including both professional and pastoral settings.

Why choose Missio for my counseling degree?

Missio’s Master of Arts in Counseling program is tailored to assist in preparing you for the helping field, whether it is your career/ministry or your avocation/ministry. You will be learning from faculty who actively counsel and bring that expertise to the classroom. MAC faculty are passionate about training men and women to counsel others with “wise counsel.” You will be learning alongside others who desire to bring their faith commitments to counseling in a way that helps people in their life struggles and points them to Christ.

We also now have two options for obtaining your degree in counseling. The first is our 3-year program that provides all the core counseling classes and degree completion requirements that will lead directly into obtaining licensure. Our second option is the traditional 2-year program that will lead to a Master in Counseling degree.

Available Tracks and Curriculum

Below is a table that represents the course order that should be taken to ensure completing the MAC program at the end of three years.


CoursesYear OneCandidacy Level:
MAC510 Helping Relationships
MAC501 Counseling & the Biblical Text I
MAC500 Human Development & Change
Retreat - Non-credit; Required
Fall (9 Credits)
MAC525A Ethics & Professional Orientation *Winter (2 Credits) OnlineCCE - Clinical Counseling Exam Part A
MAC512 Psychopathology
MAC511 Counseling & the Biblical Text II
MAC704 Models of Counseling
Spring (9 Credits)CCE - Clinical Counseling Exam Part B
Electives (Varies)Summer (varies)Total of 4 credits needed for degree

CoursesYear TwoCandidacy Level:
MAC595 Counseling & Theology
MAC602 Counseling & Physiology
MAC605 Advanced Counseling Skills
Retreat - Non-credit; Required
Fall (9 Credits)
MAC803A Social & Cultural Diversity *Winter (2 Credits) OnlinePracticum Candidate
MAC520 Practicum & Professional Experience
MAC805 Group Counseling
MAC621 Child & Adolescent Counseling
International students must take Psychological Assessment in Spring of Year 2
Spring (7 Credits)
MAC804a Career & Lifestyle Development *
Electives (varies)
June (2 Credits) Online
Summer (varies)
Internship Candidate
Total of 4 credits needed for degree

CoursesYear ThreeCandidacy Level:
MAC600 Internship & Professional Seminar 1
MAC601 Marriage & Family Therapy
Elective Tracks (varies)
Retreat - Non-credit; Required
GTRI Online (elective) *
International Students must take 3 elective credits in Fall of Year 3
Fall (6-9 Credits)
MAC802a Research Methods & Program Evaluation *
GTRI Online (elective) *
Winter (2-3 Credits) Online
MAC610 Internship & Professional Seminar 2
MAC521 Counseling & the Biblical Text III
MAC801A Psychological Assessment *
Elective Tracks (varies)
GTRI Online (elective) * or Intensive Tracks
Spring (8-12 Credits)Graduate Candidate, eligible to apply for NCC and take NCE exam
NCC - National Certified Counselor
NCE - National Counseling Exam
Graduate in June
GTRI Immersion Elective
Summer (2)

Notes regarding the program:

Students will be expected to complete 20-25 hours of homework each week. Students will complete 700 hours of supervised practicum and internship in an area for which they have a passion.

During the spring semester of the third year a graduate candidate is eligible to apply to become a National Certified Counselor and take the National Counseling Exam.

* These courses are offered only online.


Total Required Credits – 60

Below is a table that represents the course order that should be taken to ensure completing the MAC program without licensure at the end of two years.


CoursesYear OneCandidacy Level:
MAC510 Helping Relationships
MAC501 Counseling & the Biblical Text I
MAC500 Human Development & Change
Retreat - Non-credit; Required
Fall (9 Credits)
MAC525A Ethics & Professional Orientation *Winter (2 Credits) OnlineCCE - Clinical Counseling Exam Part A
MAC512 Psychopathology
MAC511 Counseling & the Biblical Text II
MAC704 Models of Counseling
Spring (9 Credits)CCE - Clinical Counseling Exam Part B
Electives (need 9 total credits for degree)
MAC715 Addictions Series
Summer Counseling Electives
Summer (varies)Total of 9 credits needed for degree

CoursesYear TwoCandidacy Level:
MAC595 Counseling & Theology
MAC601 Marriage & Family Therapy
MAC605 Advanced Counseling Skills
GTRI Online (elective) *
Retreat - Non-credit; Required
Fall (9-10 Credits)
MAC803A Social & Cultural Diversity *
GTRI Online (elective) *
Winter (2-3 Credits) OnlinePracticum Candidate
MAC520 Practicum & Professional Experience
MAC521 Counseling & the Biblical Text III
MAC621 Child & Adolescent Counseling
GTRI Online (elective) *
Spring (8-9 Credits)
Electives (need 9 credits for degree)
MAC804A Career & Lifestyle Development *
MAC715 Addictions Series
Summer Counseling Institute Electives
Summer (varies)Total of 9 credits needed for degree
Graduation Candidate

Notes regarding the program:

Students will be expected to complete 20-25 hours of homework each week.

* These courses are offered only online.


Total Required Credits – 48

Ready to start your journey?

Whether you are looking for more information regarding a program, scheduling a visit, starting the application process, or just wanting to talk to someone about your dreams, our admissions department is always available to assist you and answer any question that you might have.

What are professors saying?

Eugene Peterson lectures at University Presbyterian Church in Seattle in May 2009. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Eugene Peterson: The Man Who Translated – and Lived – The Message

My wife called me Monday afternoon with the expected, but untimely news that my mentor and friend Eugene Peterson had passed away. “I’m sorry,” she said with a soft and warm tone, her voice trailing off into silence. I was preparing for this moment for the past few years – even more so the past week, as he was put on hospice – but the tears still flowed. Some out of sadness, most out of gratitude for his life. His son, Eric, wrote that for someone who practiced Sabbath, which he kept on Mondays, it’s only fitting Eugene experienced true rest for the first time on that particular day of the week.

Read More


0 Comments10 Minutes

Learning the How-To’s of Pastoral Ministry

Several years ago, when I graduated from Biblical Seminary, I was equipped with valuable theological, missiological and philosophical truth about God and His Mission. I learned what it meant to join God and His mission in the world by being incarnational. But looking back, I realized I had missed something: I didn’t really know how to do that specifically and practically in my day-to-day role as a pastor. I lacked the practical training for how to put into practice what I had learned.

Read More


2 Comments5 Minutes