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Master of Arts in Counseling (M.A.)

Become a culturally responsive counselor as you integrate Christian faith and sound principles to develop the knowledge and skills you need to become confident and compassionate as a counseling professional.

Counseling with a purpose.

Students in the Master of Arts in Counseling (MAC) program experience a blend of high-quality clinical experience and training in a holistic Christian atmosphere. With a commitment to excellence in community service and a focus on promoting respect for the diversity of each person, the program produces professional counselors who are prepared to work in a variety of settings, both secular and religious.

The MAC program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

Read more about outcomes for SAU’s CACREP-accredited programs [PDF].

One Program. Two Concentrations. Three Choices.

Students may choose between a Clinical Mental Health, School Counseling, or Dual Track. All students will complete a 60-credit hour core program. School Counseling/Dual Track students will complete up to three additional courses. Dual Track students will complete a 600-hour internship in both Clinical Mental Health and School Counseling settings, which will lengthen the program by up to one year. When students complete both internships, they will be eligible to graduate with CACREP accreditation in both Clinical Mental Health and School Counseling.

Woman studying at desk.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Within the state of Michigan, a license is required to work in any facility as a professional counselor. This track is designed to help students with preparation for Michigan licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). LPCs may be employed in mental health settings, churches, clinics, other agencies, and/or a private practice setting.

Students in the Adult and Professional Program at Desk

School Counseling

The school counseling track is designed to assist students with preparation for becoming a K-12 licensed or endorsed school counselor in Michigan. Counseling in a K-12 school requires a school counseling license from the Michigan Department of Education. The school counseling track is also intended to assist students with preparation for Michigan licensure as an LPC.

Spring Arbor University’s MAC program was exactly what I was looking for. It not only offers quality instruction, friendly support staff and a family-like environment with your cohorts, but it also allows you to embrace your faith. I’ll never forget the memories and friendships I made throughout my educational journey at SAU.

-Zach, Class of 2020

Ready to get started?

Click to request more information or to apply to earn your M.A. in Counseling at SAU!

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Application Deadlines

Fall 2022: Week of September 5 (Application Deadline is July 1)  
Spring 2023: Week of March 13 (Application Deadline is February 1)
Late applications will be accepted on a case-by-case basis.

Virtual Classroom Option

This option combines online learning with face-to-face interaction. Study from home, like in an online program, while still engaging with your classmates face-to-face. For more information, please contact your admissions representative or fill out a program inquiry form.

Virtual Classroom Video

NOTE: Students who are considering licensure in states other than Michigan should contact the Board of Counseling or State Education Department of that state to learn about the requirements for licensure. This should be done prior to enrolling in the MAC program. The MAC program provides details of these requirements only for the state of Michigan.

The MAC program prepares students for clinical practice in community agencies, private practice, hospitals, schools, universities, hospice facilities and other human service settings, both non-profit and for-profit.

Key Courses

Master of Arts in Counseling (Clinical Mental Health Track)

  • CNS 603 Introduction to Counseling: The Counselor and Diversity (3)
  • CNS 611 Legal Issues and Ethics in Counseling (3)
  • CNS 664 Career Counseling (3)
  • CNS 614 Crisis Intervention (3)
  • CNS 613 Social and Cultural Diversity (3)
  • CNS 606 Advanced Clinical Psychopathology and Abnormal Behavior (3)

Click here to read Counseling course descriptions.

Master of Arts in Counseling (School Counseling Track)

  • CNS 643 Introduction to Classroom Dynamics (3)
  • CNS 673 Development and Admin. of School Counseling Programs (3)
  • CNS 683 Mental Health within the Schools (3)

Find a complete list of MAC courses in the graduate catalog.

Faculty

Terry Darling, Professor of Psychology

Jamie McNally, Department Chair, Associate Professor of Counseling

J. Frederick Bland, Assistant Professor of Counseling

Dave Flowers, Interim Clinical Director

Andrew Graham, Associate Professor of Counseling

Pamela Jordan, Associate Professor of Counseling

Laura Kellicut, Assistant Professor of Counseling

Victor L. Kennerly, Professor of Counseling

Saudia Twine, Assistant Professor of Counseling

Ashley VanBemmelen, Assistant Professor of Counseling

Janice Morrison, Academic Advisor

MAC Admissions Requirements

In addition to meeting the general requirements for graduate admissions and submitting the online application, applicants to the master’s in counseling program have the following additional requirements which will be directed by the admissions representative:

  • A successful interview with two faculty members of the MAC program and/or designees.
  • Successful completion of a writing assessment, demonstrating proficient computer, reading and writing skills.
  • Submission of two recommendation forms. (These are forms that will be provided, not letters from references.)
  • A criminal background check and completed Misdemeanor and Felony Disclosure Form

For out-of-state MAC student guidelines for researching home state requirements, click here.

MAC Diversity Statement

The counseling department at Spring Arbor University is strongly committed to diversity and genuinely encourages applicants from members of historically underrepresented groups of all God’s peoples, and all who will assist us with achieving and maintaining our mission of a diverse and inclusive academic community. While the MAC program is not a biblical or Christian counseling program, the curriculum is taught from a Christian perspective.

Graduate Tuition & Financial Aid

Spring Arbor University offers its graduate programs at competitive rates. Rates and fees differ for each program and are subject to change. View current tuition rates and fees for the MAC program on our Graduate Tuition & Aid page. You can also learn more about applying to the MAC program and obtaining financial aid on our Graduate Admissions & Aid page.