The Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling (MABC)* is a 61-credit (non-thesis) or 63-credit (thesis) program designed to offer students a Reformed and Baptist theological education that uniquely provides them with the best of both biblical counseling training and certification.

The MABC student begins by building an exegetical and theological foundation at RBS in Hermeneutics and Systematic Theology.  Next, students learn Practical Theology at CCEF's School of Biblical Counseling, where some of the most experienced professors and skilled biblical counselors are researching, writing, training and practicing their biblical counseling at the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF). Finally, students are mentored by observing more experienced counselors and by being evaluated as they counsel others; this takes place through two practicums, whereby RBS gives the student credit for completing the certification process provided by the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).

This unique program seeks to provide the student with a solid foundation in Reformed theology (RBS), together with the best practical theological education available in biblical counseling (CCEF) combined with a mentoring process for learning to excel in discipling and counseling others (ACBC). By offering this counseling program in the shorter format of a Master of Arts instead of a Divinity degree, the length is more feasible for laypeople and bi-vocational elders. However, our hope is to simultaneously offer a sufficiently robust and flexible enough program to also sharpen busy vocational pastors who are seeking to excel in pastoral counseling and the training of disciple-making counselors in the church.


Program Outline

Research Skills and Exegetical Theology - 5 Credits

Three core courses (5 credits) to develop research skills and exegetical theology.

  • RW 101 Research & Writing
  • LT 161 Logos Academic Training
  • ET 621 Hermeneutics

Practical Theology - 8 Credits Non-Thesis (10 with thesis)

One course (2 credits) in Practical Apologetics. An abbreviated form of ST 501, this is designed for evangelism and apologetics to prepare you for counseling non-Christians. 

  • PT 811: Practical Apologetics

Two courses (6 credits) are allocated for pursuing ACBC certification:

  • PT 931: Introduction to Biblical Counseling
  • PT 932: Counseling Practicum 

The thesis track is optional and counts for two additional credits. Students who are considering pursuing a more advanced degree after their MABC should consult with prospective schools about the need for completing a thesis during their MA program.

Systematic Theology - 21 Credits

Seven courses (21 credits) in systematic theology:

  • ST 502 The Word
  • ST 601 God & Decree
  • ST 602 Man & Sin
  • ST 701 Christ
  • ST 711 Salvation
  • ST 721 Holy Spirit
  • ST 801 Church

Biblical Counseling (CCEF) - 27 Credits

Ten courses in biblical counseling will be taken at CCEF and transferred to RBS to satisfy your educational training in counseling theory and practice.

  • Dynamics of Biblical Change
  • Helping Relationships
  • Human Personality
  • Counseling in the Local Church
  • Marriage Counseling
  • Problems and Procedures
  • Counseling and Physiology
  • Theology and Secular Psychology
  • Counseling Children and Adolescents
  • Counseling Abusive Marriages

Students begin by taking RW 101, LT 161, ET 621, all their ST courses and PT 931 at RBS. They then complete and transfer their CCEF coursework to RBS, and finish with PT 932, which guides them through the final phase of certification with ACBC. Please note that ACBC has specific deadlines once you start Phase 1, which is during your PT 931 course at RBS. Additionally, ACBC has a required reading list in preparation for your exams, and this reading list should be consulted regularly so that students actually complete most, if not all, of their ACBC required reading during their RBS and CCEF coursework. Please speak with an RBS staff member if you have any questions about completing the course of studies for the MABC. 

* A BA or BS is required for acceptance into the MABC. For students without a Bachelor of Arts degree, the same program listed above may be completed for an Associate of Arts in Biblical Counseling. Please use the same application process but indicate AABC instead of MABC for your desired program.