Christian Counseling is a type or form of therapy that combines traditional methodologies with Christian belief practices through the incorporation of theological concepts. Prospective students who wish to take on this unusual career path may want to consider earning a bachelor’s in Christian Counseling.
Part of the Christian counseling curriculum is the basic principles of counseling that relate to individuals, families, organizations, and human development. Students learn various counseling techniques and develop strategies that enable them to manage conflict within organizations.
In Christian counseling, graduates are expected to address conditions and concerns that have to do with spirituality, self-esteem, stress, chronic illness, depression, anxiety, anger, grief, and relationship problems. They are integral in helping individuals with Christian faith develop spiritual well-being.
Carve a successful and meaningful career as a Christian counselor! These online and hybrid bachelor’s programs made it to our list for meeting these criteria:
- Awarded a Bachelor’s in Christian Counseling or as a specialization under the Christian Ministry, Christian Psychology, or Christian Caregiving degree program,
- Earned regional accreditation from academic agencies, renowned for its full compliance with instructional and learning standards,
- Recognized by Christian associations and faith-based organizations that promote the advancement of the field,
- Delivered as an online or blended Christian Counseling program,
- Features the core Christian Counseling courses that prepare students to meet expectations and overcome the challenges as a professional in the sector,
- Features faculty members with excellent credentials and relevant professional experience,
- Emphasizes affordability by providing financial aid, transfer credit programs, and relevant student support to qualified students.
To explore the details of our ranking process, please visit our Methodology page.
Best Online Bachelor’s in Christian Counseling
Nazarene Bible College
Bachelor of Arts in Ministry, Counseling for Christian Ministries
Nazarene Bible College offers a Bachelor of Arts in Ministry with a concentration in Counseling for Christian Ministries. It enables students to acquire competence in counseling theory and principles.
In this program, students will find a conceptual framework that is applicable in the helping professions, such as parachurch organizations, pastoral ministries, and human management occupations.
While the program is predominantly available online, students may need to attend two required, intensive, face-to-face courses. One of which is at the beginning of the year and another at the end of the year.
- Students are expected to gain a deeper understanding of the counseling principles as they relate different perspectives, including families, organizations, abnormal behavior, and Christian thought.
- The program curriculum focuses on helping students identify basic counseling techniques and develop strategies for conflict management within organizations.
- Some of the core courses in the program include New Testament Gospels, Doctrine of Holiness, Systematic Theology, Pentateuch, Poetic and Wisdom Literature, Development Issues in Counseling, Marriage and Family Counseling Theories, Abnormal Psychology for Counseling, Managing Change and Conflict, and more.
What Makes This Program Unique:
This bachelor’s degree is part of the AdVantage program, where faith and education go hand in hand. The curriculum focuses on experiential learning, equipping students with practical skills they can apply in real life.
Through the AdVantage program, students will be able to finish their degree in as little as two years. Students can take one class at a time through the college’s NBC online delivery platform.
Did You Know?
Around 85% of students at Nazarene Bible College receive some form of financial aid. The financial aid options fund comes from a variety of sources. This includes grants, scholarships, low-cost student loans, and many more.
Colorado Christian University
Bachelor of Science in Applied Psychology
At Colorado University, a Bachelor of Science in Applied Psychology is available to students who want to pursue a career in various fields, including one in a counseling ministry.
This degree provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the foundational theories of human nature from a Christian worldview. They are encouraged to integrate their faith with studying human behavior in a scholarly environment. This will help them cultivate their problem-solving and critical-thinking skills.
- The program requires the completion of 120 credit hours, including electives.
- Students may take the psychology courses individually, allowing them to complete them in five-week blocks.
- The program focuses on various subject areas, such as abnormal psychology, psychological research methods and theories, interpersonal relationships, cross-cultural competence, and integrating psychology and theology.
What Makes This Program Unique:
The program is available in both non-emphasis and emphasis formats. Those who want to try out the latter may choose among three emphases that will lead to both an undergraduate and a graduate degree.
This includes Biblical Studies, Clinical Counseling, and Criminal Justice. This means students can choose the Dual Degree option, where they earn a bachelor’s in Psychology and a master’s degree in any of those three emphases.
Did You Know?
Students who have successfully earned the psychology degree program can get admitted into the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. The master’s degree program offers optional specializations to prepare graduate students for a variety of accelerated master’s programs and a wealth of job opportunities upon graduation.
Oral Roberts University
BA in Christian Caregiving and Counseling
A private evangelical university in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Oral Roberts University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Caregiving and Counseling. The degree is accessible 10% online and is designed to equip students for lay counseling roles within the contexts of the local church and other church-related bodies.
- The program contains 124 credit hours in total and, on a full-time enrollment basis without transferred credits, can be finished in around 3.5 years.
- The program design equips students with the philosophical, methodical, and resource bases that prepare them for professional or lay ministry roles across a broad range of pastoral settings.
- The program curriculum includes courses in Crisis Intervention, Developmental Psychology, and Christian Leadership, among others.
What Makes This Program Unique:
As one of the largest Christian Universities in the world, ORU’s Christian Counseling degree, as well as their other degree programs, are built on their core principle of Whole Person education: that is, students educated in mind, body, and spirit, who hear their calling and put this calling to work in the world.
Did You Know?
Oral Roberts University supports its students with a dedicated team of Success Coaches that serve as guides for students and assist them with their educational concerns. There is easy access to professors’ support and a helpful array of learning resources.
BS in Psychology – Online Christian Counseling Degree
Liberty University, a private university in Lynchburg, Virginia, offers a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Christian Counseling cognate degree program.
This online Christian counseling degree program prepares students with the skills necessary to be qualified counselors who can be a safe place and source of healing to others in a curriculum that is grounded in Biblical principles and leading research.
- The degree program has a total of 120 credit hours and a completion time of 3.5 years on average. Up to 75% of the program credits are also transferrable, which can shorten students’ time earning their degrees.
- Courses are delivered 100% online, which affords flexibility and lets students balance their coursework with their prior commitments. The program’s curriculum includes courses in Psychological Measurement, Abnormal Psychology, Issues in Christian Counseling, and more.
- Liberty University has gained accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges & and Schools Commission on Colleges.
What Makes This Program Unique:
Liberty University remains committed to quality education at affordable rates. Liberty University has, thus far, frozen its tuition rates for its undergraduate and graduate programs for the past eight years and counting.
Likewise, undergraduate learning resources like electronic textbooks are provided to students at no cost; ample discounts are provided to current service members, veterans, and their spouses. An additional discount is given to veterans who serve as civilian First Responders.
Did You Know?
Liberty University has a chapter of the Psi Chi, which is the international honor society for the field of Psychology.
Houston Christian University
BA in Psychology – Christian Counseling
A private Baptist university in Houston, Texas, Houston Christian University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, with an emphasis in Christian Counseling. The program is steeped in the tradition of the liberal arts while at the same time providing students with relevant knowledge on Christian Counseling.
- The program contains a total of 125 Credit hours. The Psychology Core component of the program makes up 37 credit hours, and the Christian Counseling Cognate takes up a total of 18 hours.
- The degree provides a solid liberal arts foundation that also prepares students for other career fields by teaching them a range of interpersonal, analytical, and critical thinking skills. The program also emphasizes a firm grounding in the scientific and applied traditions of psychology, on top of methods, theories, and issues relevant to Christian Counseling.
- Included in the program’s curriculum are courses in the Psychology of Personality, Theories of Counseling, Marriage and Family Counseling, Psychology of Religion, and more.
What Makes This Program Unique:
The Houston Christian University Christian Counseling Degree program is also designed as an ideal launching point for further graduate study in either field of psychology or counseling. The unique faith-based Christian perspective at the heart of the curriculum equips men and women to be ready for the ultimate goal of serving others.
Did You Know?
For those seeking further study after their undergraduate degree, among The graduate programs offered by Houston Christian University are Master’s Degrees in Christian Counseling (MA), Christian Psychological Studies (MA), Christian Psychology, and a web-based MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree program.
What Sets Christian Counseling Degree Programs Apart
The field of Psychology has, over the years, seen many schools of thought take root and develop. These individual schools of thought are founded on their own theoretical bases (which often have contradicting/competing views of the human person), and these theoretical bases determine professional practice and major activities (such as research and counseling).
As one of the thriving schools of thought, Christian Psychology and the practice of Christian Counseling is rather unique in the field, being founded on a Biblical view of the human person.
The concepts of sin, brokenness, salvation through Jesus, and a relationship with God permeate a significant part of Christian Counseling practice. Man is broken by sin, and it is the role of the Christian Counselor to provide guidance toward salvation and wholeness.
This is compared to other schools of thought that do not necessarily take spirituality and the religious experience into account or do not place it at the core of their theoretical foundation. The Christian Worldview has man’s relationship with God at its heart, which informs the practice of Christian Counseling in all the contexts it applies.
Common Courses in Christian Counseling Degree Programs
Christian Counseling programs can be broadly seen to have two essential parts: that of a traditional psychology and liberal arts foundation and the Christian component. Looking at critical thematic areas, here are some of the common courses in Christian Counseling program curriculums:
Statistics and/or Research
The field of Psychology also undertakes significant amounts of research activity. Christian Counseling degree programs also contain one or more research and statistics courses as part of its fundamental components.
Traditional Psychology Course Components
As Psychology degrees, Christian Counseling Program curricula typically contain a set of fundamental Psychology courses that look at specific areas, such as Cognitive Psychology, Social and/Cultural Psychology, and Human Growth and Development, and particularly relevant to the degree, Psychology of Religion.
Theories of Counseling and Theories of Christian Counseling
Like any professional practice, Counseling is informed and guided by one or more sets of theories. Christian Counseling has its own theory bases as well, and this may often be treated as an entirely separate course.
Contemporary Christian Issues
This course is part of the Christian Counseling core component and serves as an exposition of the current trends and issues commonly faced in the profession, which students can expect to deal with once they earn their degrees and launch their careers. These issues may also be the bases for students’ inquiries in their forthcoming undergraduate capstones.
Methods and Strategies in Christian Counseling
This course serves as an exposition of the various sets of strategies and methods currently used by practitioners in the field, which will form part of graduates’ own toolkit of approaches in their future careers.
Choosing the Best Online Christian Counseling Programs
Prospective online Bachelor’s in Christian Counseling students must weigh their options carefully and select a school and online program to support their interests and goals.
Here are some of the factors online students will need to look at when choosing one.
Students will benefit a lot if they take the time to compare prices between institutions. They can start by looking at the cost of traditional programs versus online offerings.
They may find that some universities and Christian colleges will offer different tuition rates for in-state and out-of-state students. There are also significant differences in program costs between private and public schools.
Some online programs may offer the majority of the counseling courses online but will require students for a few face-to-face sessions. This means interested students will need to make sure they can easily travel to another city or state when required.
Universities and colleges can guarantee quality education through accreditation. Students can gauge the credibility of the institution through the accreditation they receive.
Some of the most popular accreditation bodies in the country include the Higher Learning Commission and the SACSCOC, among others. An accredited online bachelor’s in Christian Counseling will give one more enhanced credentials.
Students may also want to look into the support they can receive at a particular online school. They can check the online student services provided, from the required tools to the accessibility of course materials. They can also compare the financial aid and career services support on offer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are online Christian Counseling programs worth it?
A bachelor’s degree in Christian Counseling integrates the principles of psychology into concepts in Christian theology to help others overcome stressful and emotional life happenings. This online program will equip them with the knowledge and counseling skills necessary to provide guidance and direction with the use of faith-based Counseling.
Although most of the jobs in this field will lead to positions in religious institutions, there are many others that will help students land roles in other settings such as nonprofit and government.
Some of the possible careers for graduates of a Christian counseling degree online include the role of a pastor, missionary, correctional treatment specialist, teaching assistant, clergy, religious worker, and social and human services assistant.
How long does it usually take to complete a Bachelor’s degree in Christian Counseling?
Most bachelor’s programs take four years to be earned. However, this can be affected by several factors. Students enrolled full-time can complete the degree in four years or less. Those who are enrolled on a part-time basis may take more than four years to earn the degree.
Part-time options for online students are quite common. This allows students to juggle work and educational pursuits to fit their classes around their busy schedules. Students will have the option to take fewer classes at a time, which means spending more time completing the degree.
Ultimately, the program duration will depend on the coursework that students are willing to take every semester and whether they choose to go with the accelerated option or simply take their time when it comes to their courseload.
What career paths are open to graduates of Christian or Biblical Counseling programs?
The Christian perspective that serves as the starting point of these degree programs most readily translates to career paths that are primarily within the bounds of religious institutions and their related activities, especially those related to ministry leadership and providing spiritual and moral support to church members.
Some examples of careers directly related to church contexts are Chaplains, Pastors, Missionaries, and Christian Counselors. These programs also lead to careers as Lay Counselors, which has its own set of requirements like a further Master’s degree.
On the other hand, Christian Counseling programs are still full-blown Psychology degree programs. They have the same liberal arts & psychology theory base as their more secular counterparts. These still translate to other career paths that are typically open to graduates of Psychology degrees.
Bachelor’s degrees in Christian Counseling programs are either designed as programs dedicated especially to counseling and related work in the context of church-related settings or as Psychology degrees with a built-in Christian perspective and approach. Needless to say, most of the colleges or universities that offer these specialized degree programs are private institutions with affiliations to Christian churches and religious movements.
Christian Counseling degree programs provide a unique perspective on the field of counseling by anchoring practice on a Biblical perspective, that is, looking at the human person through the lens of scripture and Christian spirituality, which includes aspects of the whole person that may otherwise not be considered in other psychological traditions and schools of thought.
Despite the limited and focused perspective, Christian Counseling programs provide ample grounding in the liberal arts, which translates to skills that are readily applicable in other careers and fields.