The story of Christian education in the United States has gone through some exciting twists in the past decade. The spread of Internet access has allowed Christian colleges to reach out to students all over the nation and greatly increased the availability of higher education programs with a Christian mindfulness. Many online Christian colleges enable students to earn useful degrees and qualifications remotely, including Christian counseling certification.
Choosing Career Goals
Before taking the first step on the road to becoming a Christian counselor, students have some important long-range plans to make. The biggest question facing prospective counselors is whether they want to practice in a secular or church setting. Among professional counselors, these two paths are distinguished by calling them either the “business” or the “ministry” of counseling.
A good Christian college is capable of equipping students to fulfill either role and many Christian counselors work in both fields. However, entering the business of counseling requires adhering to state and federal regulations, many of which forbid introducing personal faith into the counseling process. In contrast, entering the ministry of counseling allows more religious freedom. Educational options may be narrower, though, and different denominations may require additional, specialized training.
Weighing Different Online Christian Colleges
The best educational choices for a given student depend heavily on whether he or she intends to work for the church or the state. Each career path demands certain curricula and accreditation. For the state path, students need a degree from a counseling program with CACREP (Council for the Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs) certification. This accreditation is NOT available from all Christian colleges, so educational details need to be reviewed carefully.
Speaking generally, students should be prepared to earn both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree if they intend to achieve full counseling certification. There are important counseling roles available to those who do not earn a master’s degree, but certification generally requires it. This is universally true on the state counseling path and almost universal in the church arena. Many Christian colleges do not offer master’s degrees online, so students need to verify the full curriculum available from their chosen institution.
The Advantages Of Earning Christian Counseling Certification Online
Online learning is a tremendous boon to Christian students who are interested in achieving counseling certification. Christian colleges with comprehensive counseling departments are in relatively short supply, and many prospective students are simply too far away to consider attending them in person. Distance learning makes it possible to erase geographical separations and fit their counseling education into a part-time schedule.
For students who are looking for the most useful possible degrees, the best value in online Christian education will probably be established Christian colleges which have expanded to offer online courses. Examples of traditional schools with strong online counseling / psychology programs include Colorado Christian University and Regent University, among others. Students who intend to enter the ministry of counseling should consult their clergy for advice on choosing an online college.
Becoming a certified Christian counselor is a noble endeavor. Thanks to the greater range of educational options available to modern students, achieving success in this field doesn’t necessarily require attending a school in person. Online learning allows students from every corner of the nation to get the education they need to prepare them for careers in counseling.