A degree and licensing opens many doors of opportunity. Many who enter the program already are involved with their church leadership in a Christian counseling ministry there and wish to better trained and credentialled. Others may wish to operate an independent ministry in affiliation with a number of area churches who are willing to commission their services. Still others, desire to open an independent counseling ministry in their community under the authority of a church ministry/ordination covering.
The honest answer is that it is basically up to the student! The courses are self-paced and we have seen motivated students complete the MA program in less than a year and PhD students do it in 15 months. The key is being disciplined and scheduling study time!
If you are an ordained, licensed or commissioned minister, you probably can accept remuneration for counseling since most states exempt clergy from having to be state licensed. However, you need to check your state’s statutes. The N.C.C.A.’s license is national, not state and, like ordination, it is a “Sacred” office.
Lockton has reviewed the N.C.C.A.’s requirements and credentialing procedures and will provide professional malpractice/liability insurance coverage for our members who reside within the continental United States. Some restrictions apply, e.g., persons who have been convicted of a felony.
You need to decide if you want to be in the “business” of counseling or in the “ministry” of counseling. If “ministry,” then the N.C.C.A.’s licensing program will better suit your goals to serve the Lord Jesus Christ and fulfill His call on your life. Each individual must decide if he or she wants to be an agent of the state or an agent of the Church. If you have a divine call on your life to counsel and minister to the hurting, then a state license may, put many prohibitions on such a ministry.
Yes! We have a program to allow mature students (typically older than 30) to gain their MA degree even without a prior bachelors degree. Click here for details. Apart from that, students can also be license to counsel even without a degree.
Yes, research shows that persons who are trained by the N.C.C.A. are usually able to help more than 90% of those who turn to them for counsel. This, of course, depends on each individual’s God-given talent.