Western Seminary



Psychology and Counseling Programs Offered at the Western Seminary

Western Seminary appears in our ranking of the Top 25 Master’s Degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy Online.

Though the Western Seminary offers just one counseling program, it offers this program through two of its campuses. That makes it easy for students to choose the campus that is closest to where they live and want to work. The seminary offers a Master of Arts in Counseling on its campus in Portland, Oregon and on its Sacramento and San Jose campuses in California. Both programs include the same classes and offer the same training for students.

Both programs include 68 credits of courses that students can complete in 36 months. The California program allows students to earn up to 10 credits online, while the Oregon program allows students to earn up to seven credits online. Students can visit either campus to see where they’ll take classes and fill out a request form to have the seminary send them more information about either program. In their final semesters, counseling majors have the chance to take the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination and get their counseling credentials. More than 98% of Western Seminary students pass this exam on their first attempts.

Portland students will find that the seminary offers classes every Monday and schedules those classes later in the day and early evening. Students will do internships and other work in A New Day Counseling Center, which has branches in both Portland and Vancouver. Those enrolled in the California program will find similar opportunities in both Sacramento and San Jose. California students can take classes at night and on the weekends, which lets them graduate in less time than those on the Oregon campus do.

The seminary expects students to take Old Testament Literature for Counselors and New Testament Literature for Counselors to fulfill their biblical requirements. They will also take Theology I and II for Counselors. Both programs include a counseling studies core that is worth 60 credits. Those classes include Human Life Span Development, Research in Counseling and Family Studies, Counseling Addictions and Counseling Violence and Abuse Issues. They’ll also do a counseling practicum and four internships. The Portland campus offers a specialization in child and youth counseling, while the California campuses offer an emphasis in marriage, couple and family counseling. Other specializations are available in pastoral care, biblical and theological studies and ministry and leadership.

About the Western Seminary

The Western Seminary is a theological seminary affiliated with the Conservative Baptist Association of America. Established in 1927, it is one of the oldest seminary schools in the western United States. Dedicated to the idea that all students should learn the gospels and use that knowledge in their careers, it is an evangelical school that requires all students to take religion classes. Even graduate and doctoral students will take a few religious studies courses. Those courses focus on their majors and show them how they can use the ideas and concepts in any position. Western Seminary has theological/biblical accreditation and regional accreditation. It offers six graduate degrees, three doctoral degrees and several bachelor’s degrees. Students can also earn certificates from the seminary, including those in Transformational Coaching, Lay Leadership Training, Advanced Studies, General Graduate Studies and Addiction Studies.

Western Seminary Accreditation Details

The MA in Counseling program at Western Seminary has accreditation from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Any fieldwork that students do away from their campuses and the work they do in their classes has accreditation from this organization. The seminary also has accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCS), which is the regional accreditation that lets the school accept credits earned from other campuses with the same accreditation. Regional accreditation is also important because it’s one of the main requirements for students who want to use either state or federal financial aid to pay for their classes.

Western Seminary Application Requirements

Students can only enter the Western Seminary counseling programs if they have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college/university in the United States or an equivalent degree from a school outside of the country. The seminary requires official transcripts to make sure that incoming students had a GPA of at least 3.0 in their undergraduate studies and that they took a variety of liberal arts courses, including classes in psychology and behavioral sciences. The application asks students several questions about their religious beliefs, where they attend church, any experiences they have in that church and in counseling positions and why they chose the seminary.

If an applicant does not have the necessary credits, the seminary will give the student two options. He or she can either take one semester of classes through the seminary to complete those credits or attend another college and fulfill the requirements. Those who attend another school may have the option of transferring some credits back to the seminary. The seminary may ask for letters of recommendation from church leaders, employers and academic references or for a resume from the student too.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Most graduate students attending the Western Seminary pay $585 per credit hour for their classes. The MA in Counseling program on the Portland campus charges a slightly higher fee of $615 per credit hour. Students can audit classes for $120 per credit hour and sign up for enrichment courses, which cost $120 per credit hour. The seminary also charges an education resource fee that includes all fees and applies to any student who takes at least one class in a term. This fee is $220 per semester.

Any student who takes at least four credit hours of classes in a term is a half-time student and qualifies for financial aid. The deadline for financial aid is August first, which is when the seminary must receive a completed FAFSA. More than half of all Western Seminary receive financial aid, and nearly 50% of its students get at least one scholarship or grant. Students can combine grants and scholarships as long as the awards do not cover more than 20% of their total costs each semester. The seminary will typically apply the largest award to the student’s account first to make sure that the recipient gets as much help as possible. Students enrolled in any counseling program on any of the Western Seminary can get and use financial aid.