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Master of Arts in Christian Counseling

Master of Arts in Christian Counseling

The MACC is a professional degree that prepares students to be effective, licensed counselors with a strong Christian worldview who are eligible to work in any public or private institution providing psychological care. The 60-hour program is intended to provide a broad base of scriptural knowledge with an intensive, State-mandated core set of competencies and will include a thesis focusing on a particular issue or set of issues within the Christian counseling sphere. This is a cohort-based program, so admissions are restricted to Fall semesters each year. It is, however, possible to be enrolled in a dual-degree program with any other degree program at Erskine Theological Seminary.

Program Director

Elsner, Robert J.F.

Professor of Psychology

Dr. Elsner is an experienced leader in evangelical theological education. Formerly Assistant Professor of Family and Community Medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Dr. Elsner’s work had been…

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Degree Objectives


The Seminary seeks to develop students in this degree program in areas of Concepts, Competence, Calling, and Character:

  1. Concepts. Graduates will interpret the Bible and draw on the Church’s theological and historical heritage as they apply the Bible’s message to faith, life, and ministry in contemporary contexts.
    1. Bible . Graduates will interpret and apply the Bible in the light of its linguistic, literary, historical, and theological setting.
    2. Heritage . Graduates will utilize the Church’s theological and historical heritage as they apply the Bible’s message.
    3. Context . Graduates will identify, evaluate, and critically engage scholarly literature, viewpoints, and methods in their research.
  2. Competence. Graduates will serve the Church effectively using skills required for their particular calling of counseling, especially communication and listening, caring for others, leadership, and administration.
    1. Communication. Graduates will clearly and effectively present the results of their research, orally and in writing.
    2. Care. Graduates will deal respectfully with diverse viewpoints and those who hold them.
    3. Leadership. Graduates will attract, influence, and guide followers in their ministries.
    4. Administration. Graduates will plan, manage, evaluate, and improve their own research and writing.
  3. Calling. Graduates will identify, develop, and use their abilities to advance the Church’s mission to worship and serve Jesus Christ.
  4. Character. Graduates will demonstrate integrity in their research, writing, and personal lives.
Program Requirements


Applicants must have completed a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution with a minimum 3.0 grade point average. For those without undergraduate degrees in psychology, some prerequisite courses may be required.


Students must complete the 60 semester hours of coursework as outlined below with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. The program is a cohort model to be completed in two years of fulltime study. Sometimes students need to take a semester off due to life events, and it should be noted that students must complete the program within six years or courses will expire and must be taken again. While advanced standing is available to students already holding appropriate theological degrees, the State-mandated courses are taught on a two-year cycle and there is no availability for directed study.

Practicum and Internship

In a CACREP-accredited program, this consists of a minimum of a 100 hour Practicum with a minimum of 40 hours of Direct Service with clients to be done during the first year of the program. During the Second year of the program, students will complete a minimum of a 600 hour Internship with a minimum of 240 hours of Direct Service with clients. These hours are to be done outside of class times and only enrolled students can sign up for slots to counsel clients in the Due West, Greenville, Columbia, or other Erskine-affiliated Counseling Centers through arrangements with the Program Director. It is highly recommended that students work in the clinics during the summer, and consider taking some of the Bible and Theology courses online during that time to ease their load during the second year.

 Transfer and Residence

Students may take courses at Erskine’s Due West, Greenville, or Columbia campuses. Students may transfer all 18-hours of Bible and theology core credits required for their degree from previous work at Erskine Theological Seminary or other ATS accredited institution, but no more than half of the credits may have been previously applied to another graduate degree; and only courses with grades of C (2.0 on a 4.0 scale) or higher may be transferred. Courses are expected to have been taken within a ten year period of enrolling in the MACC except in special circumstances. Although CACREP rules do not allow for translation of undergraduate courses to this professional program, students who would otherwise have advanced standing may, upon consent of the Program Director, substitute more advanced courses in theologically-appropriate areas.

60 Credit Hours

Consists of twin cores:

  • Reformed, Biblical Christian worldview and assurance of Scriptural knowledge and integrity.
  • Clinical and theological knowledge base that will allow for licensure and employment in a variety of sacred and secular settings
  • BI 501 – Bible Survey
  • BI 502 – Principles of Exegesis
  • CH 551 –  Survey of Church History
  • ST 551 – Survey of Systematic Theology
  • ET 711 – Christian Ethics

State Mandated Core

Students must complete 42 hours of coursework for CACREP – accredited program

  • CC 501 – Professional Orientation (3 s.h.)
  • CC 505 – Social and Cultural Foundations of Psychology (3 s.h.)
  • CC 510 – Psychopathology (3 s.h.)
  • CC 515 – Psychological Appraisal (3 s.h.)
  • CC 520 – Human Growth and Development (3 s.h.)
  • CC 600 – Psychology Research and Evaluation (3 s.h)
  • CC 605 – Addiction: Theories and Interventions (3 s.h.)
  • CC 610 – Groups and Group Therapies (3 s.h.)
  • CC 615 – Counseling and Helping Relationships (3 s.h.)
  • CC 620 – Diagnostics of Psychopathology (3 s.h.)
  • CC 625 – Crisis, Trauma, and Disaster Counseling (3 s.h.)*
  • CC 630 – Lifestyle and Career Development (3 s.h.)*
  • CC 670 – Thesis Research (3 s.h.)*
  • CC 675 – Thesis Writing (3 s.h.)*

Please Note: Because of the high cost of offering these courses, all courses designated CC are charged at a rate of $750 per credit hour. Traditional discounts are not applicable to these courses. Faculty and Staff at Erskine College and Theological Seminary are limited to one person per year being able to take these as free courses and are required to apply directly to the Program Director for approval.

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