Master of Arts in Human Services Counseling

The MA in Human Services Counseling prepares graduates to integrate biblical-theological, psychological, and counseling insights and apply them to a variety of non-licensure work activities and settings. It provides graduate-level knowledge and skills in human behavior that promote the spiritual and emotional well-being of those whom they serve. This degree does not prepare graduates to work as licensed professional counselors.

What You'll Learn as a Human Services Counseling Student

The objectives of the MA in Human Services Counseling degree will enable students to:

  • Integrate biblical-theological concepts and principles with psychological theories and counseling methods.
  • Identify and address common life-adjustment issues in an ethical and culturally-sensitive manner.
  • Apply counseling skills in specialized non-clinical settings.

Why Earn a Master of Arts in Human Services Counseling at CIU?

  • Intentional integration of biblical-theological foundations.
  • Intentional integration of cultural context considerations.
  • Intentional mix of theory and techniques.
  • Online modality allows you to pursue your degree without relocating.
  • Time- and cost-efficient.
  • Accredited regionally by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and nationally by the Associate of Biblical Higher Education.

Career and Ministry Opportunities for Human Services Counseling Graduates

Human Services Counseling students come from all professions and walks of life, seeking to become more effective in ministering to others. Graduates of the degree can go on to be more effective in roles such as

  • Behavioral Health Assistant
  • Peer Support Specialist
  • Crisis Intervention Advocate
  • School Guidance Counselor
  • Mission Care Specialist
  • Grief Support Specialist
  • Small Group Ministry Coordinator
  • Children and Family Ministries Coordinator
  • Family Services Specialist
  • Resident Care Coordinator
  • Shelter Care Coordinator

Master of Arts in Human Services Counseling Admission Requirements

  • Completed application
  • $25 application fee
  • Official transcripts for highest earned degree and any master’s degree work
  • Church leader reference
  • Application Essay (800 words total, typed)
  • Minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA

Human Services Counseling Required Courses

Course of Study

36 credit hrs

Biblical-Theological Foundation 9

9 credit hrs
  BIB 5410  Hermeneutics 3 credit hrs
  ICS 6024  Understanding Cultures and Worldviews 3 credit hrs
  THE 6320  Systematic Theology in Global Christianity 2 3 credit hrs

Counseling Core

15 credit hrs
  CNC 6400   Care and Counseling Techniques 3 credit hrs
  CNC 6540   Group Care and Counseling 3 credit hrs
  CNC 6711   Psychopathology for Ministry Contexts 3 credit hrs
  CNS 5310   Counseling Theory 3 credit hrs
  CNS 5300  Foundations of Growth and Development 3 credit hrs


12 credit hrs
  CNC 6411 Sexuality Counseling 3 credit hrs
  CNS 5342 Foundations of Marriage and Family Counseling 3 credit hrs
  CNS 6820 Family Systems Theory 3 credit hrs
  CNS 6821 Family Counseling 3 credit hrs


Degree Program Faculty

Thomas Barbian

Thomas Barbian

Adjunct Counseling Professor

B.A., Southern California College; M.S., California Lutheran University; Ph.D., Cambridge Graduate School of Psychology


Steve A. Johnson

Assistant Professor of Ministry Care

B.A., Indiana University (chemistry & psychology); M.S., Indiana University (philosophy); M.A., Christian Theological Seminary (marriage & family therapy); Ph.D., Indiana University (philos



Glenda Nanna

Clinical Counseling Associate Professor

B.S., Wayland Baptist University, M..A., Columbia International University; SC Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor


Larry R. Wagner

Larry R. Wagner

Professor of Counseling

B.A., Wheaton College; M.Ed., George Mason University; Ph.D., Texas A&M


Credit Hours
Approx. Program Length
24 months