Do you need counseling licensure?
Everyone needs help at some point in time. Changes in careers, education, and emotional and economic transitions happen at all stages of life and counselors help people grow by offering support, therapy, consultation, teaching, and evaluation. And since it's estimated that one in four Americans is affected by mental health issues each year, counseling careers, though highly-regarded, face numerous challenges and opportunities. In order to achieve licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) counselors typically need to fulfill requirements in three areas: academic, national examination, and counseling hours.
How can the Graduate School of Counseling help?
Our 52-hour master of arts in counseling degree is designed for students who wish to pursue licensure in the Commonwealth of PA. In addition, many of the courses assist students and alumni in other states to also pursue licensure. But a master's degree doesn't always fulfill the academic requirements. That is why BTS also has a Certificate in Advanced Professional Counseling (CAPC). The CAPC is a 10-credit/ five-course certificate with courses in the five specific areas usually required by the states and tested on the licensing exam. Acceptance into the CAPC program is by application after completion of a master's degree. Click here for the application and registration form for more information on our CAPC program.
Requirements for Licensure:
Academic - Usually at least a 48-hour master's degree in counseling or a counseling-related field is required, plus additional courses. For example, in Pennsylvania counselors need at least 60 academic credits. (See PA Academic Requirements)
Exam - You will need to pass the National Counselor Exam (NCE) for licensure.
Counseling Hours - Usually 3000 or more post-graduation counseling hours are required. In Pennsylvania the requirement is 3000 post-graduation hours.
Please review the specific code requirements for the state in which you wish to obtain licensure. The information on this page is a helpful overview, but it cannot replace written state information. Go to your state's website for complete information.
with any questions.
Have you started to pursue licensure?
The BTS Graduate School of Counseling can help no matter where you are in the licensure process. This includes additional classes or fieldwork/clinical instruction. Below are the courses and fieldwork options that we provide on an annual basis.
Additional resources to help guide you through the licensure process.
Why Choose the BTS Graduate School of Counseling for Training?
Downloadable MAC Resources
BTS has classes and programs that are custom tailored to assist in preparing you for a career or ministry in the helping field. In addition to continuing education offerings, BTS provides the following additional options:
Master of Arts in Counseling (MAC) - This 52-hour degree is delivered in a cohort class format that meets one night a week and one Saturday a month for two years. It includes a reduced schedule in the summer (see summer counseling institute) and two fall retreats.
Certificate in Christian Counseling (CCC) - An excellent means of developing basic counseling competencies at the graduate level. This certificate benefits pastors, church leaders and many others interested in counseling others from a biblical perspective. Courses taken in the certificate program are eligible to be transferred into the Master of Arts in Counseling degree.
Certificate in Advanced Professional Counseling (CAPC) - This certificate allows students with a master's degree in counseling to acquire advanced counseling training. Many students who complete the CAPC program will pursue full licensure.
Master of Arts, Counseling Concentration (MA,CCC) - This 48-hour degree is delivered in a traditional class format with an emphasis in practical theology and counseling.
Master of Divinity degree, Counseling Concentration (MDiv, CC) - The language-based Master of Divinity consists of 90 credits in a convenient format. Due to block scheduling, full-time students are on campus a maximum of only two days per week. Courses are offered in the afternoon and evening so students may work and minister as they complete their degree.
Summer Counseling Institute - The institute is open to current students completing their elective credits, alumni, and those desiring additional couseling education and training at the graduate level. Course topics have included anxiety, suffering and disability, depression, grief, victimology, and more. CEU credits are also available, and are provided over a weekend.
Global Trauma Recovery Institute - Dr. Diane Langberg & Dr. Philip Monroe provide high quality continuing education for those interested in addressing the needs of psychosocial trauma victims in the United States &around the world.
BTS Graduate School of Counseling's Program Goals
- Live grace-based lives increasingly characterized by wisdom, the fruit of the Spirit, and love for God and community.
- Demonstrate a commitment to humble, learner-oriented ministry in a world marked by cultural, theological, and philosophical diversity.
- Grow in knowledge of the Bible and ability to humbly interpret & apply it in light of history, culture, and genre.
- Demonstrate effective counseling skills in light of student's gifting, call, and context.
"The past two years in the cohort have been very challenging and very rewarding. I have gained great knowledge, insight, friendship, and experience."
Lindsay Nolan, MA in Counseling