Master of Arts in Clinical Counseling
Here’s what it takes
The Moravian MACC degree program is more than an education. It is an intensive experience that prepares you for work in areas such as addictions, community mental health, college counseling, hospice, children and adolescents, senior living, church settings, and more. The program is a 60-credit degree and when you graduate, you’ll meet the academic and practicum/internship requirements for Licensed Professional Counselors in Pennsylvania. These academic requirements are outlined in PA Act 49.2.
Most students follow a three-year course of study that includes coursework and practical clinical work. Some students are able to complete the program in a rigorous two years that includes summer and Jan-term courses. All students must complete the program within six years.
Our program addresses the following Learning Outcomes:
- Professional Identity: Articulate and demonstrate one's counseling identity and demonstrate appropriate professional behavior; demonstrate and utilize ACA Ethical Code (2014); utilize theological reflection and spiritual formation to enrich understanding of personal identity and case conceptualization.
- Human Growth and Faith Development: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the biological, moral, faith, familial, and societal bases of human development and behavior throughout the lifespan.
- Helping Relationships: Understand foundational frameworks for counseling and interviewing processes in a intercultural society; develop counselor self-awareness and basic listening/attending skills needed to form and sustain effective counseling relationships; learn methods and processes of theological and spiritual integration within the counseling process.
- Research Design and Methodology: Demonstrate knowledge of scientific methods commonly used by counselor practitioners in clinical work, including knowledge of application of evidence-based scholarship to evaluate psycho-spiritual clinical practices, interventions, and programs.
- Social and Cultural Foundations: Demonstrate knowledge, self-awareness, and skills in working with community members representing various cultural, interfaith, and personal backgrounds; learn to ethically apply multicultural assessment models.
- Clinical Appraisal: Demonstrate knowledge of theories and classification systems and relevant measures of psychological and psycho-spiritual pathology, including but not limited to, biological and sociocultural theories as applied to case formulation, diagnosis, and treatment planning.
- Counseling Theory: Demonstrate knowledge of evidence-based theories and practices of counseling by articulating therapeutic orientations and applying selective interventions for different clinical issues and social locations.
- Group Theory and Practice: Understand the history, principles and theories of group counseling and therapy. Demonstrate an ability to identify group dynamics and apply various models of group counseling, as they relate to issues of psycho-education, interpersonal communication, problem-solving, ethical decision-making, and psycho-spiritual integration.
- Career and Lifestyle Development: Understand the history, principles and theories of career counseling. Demonstrate an ability to apply various models of career counseling as they relate to assessment, developmental perspectives, cultural and spiritual considerations in vocational planning.
Theological and Spiritual Integration: Understand the spiritual and theological dimensions of individuals and families from a cultural and inter-faith context. Demonstrate in-depth academic and clinical training combined with theological reflection and spiritual formation. Integrate an inclusive holistic perspective in counseling work that allows work with issues of mind, body, and spirit.
Opening up about secrets and hurts takes courage and vulnerability. We think it is vital that counselors experience what it’s like to be on the receiving end of counseling and require that MACC students undergo 5-8 sessions of individual counseling prior to beginning the clinical experience.
Continuing Education Requirements
Each MACC student is required to participate in at least 4 continuing education programs. You get to choose which ones you attend—and there are lots to choose from.
Some of our courses are available via distance learning. Some of these might be intensive classes or "hybrid" classes in which at least 50% of the course is held with all students on campus. The Seminary does not currently offer a completely online degree program. To obtain the MACC degree, students must complete at least one-third of the required credits on campus in Bethlehem, PA.
*Note: In response to the coronavirus, since March 2020 all in-person courses have transitioned to video-conference. Moravian College and Moravian Theological Seminary are in ongoing discussions about how and when it is safe to re-open campus to in-person instruction. For Fall 2020, our faculty are preparing for both possibilities: that campus will open and some courses will be held in-person and some online, or that campus will remain closed and all courses will be held online. No matter what the outcome will be, students can rest assured that they will be getting the personal instruction that they have come to expect from Moravian Seminary.
The Clinical Experience
Good counseling work requires intellectually and emotionally strong and agile therapists, and, as a result, we take preparation for clinical work seriously. This program is not just an academic program. It is also a personal development program that helps you grow into your personal and professional identity so that you can withstand the rigors of the work. No student is guaranteed a site placement by how many courses they have taken. You are evaluated throughout the program to determine readiness for clinical work. If you are studying full-time, you may begin clinical placements in a practicum setting in your second semester. Many students, though, do not start their clinical placements until they have more coursework under their belt and have had more time to absorb, reflect, and consider their growth and development at the Seminary.
Before you begin your practicum and internship, you will meet with the Clinical Director to discuss areas of interest, skill development, and career goals. Most students interview at several sites before deciding where they want to do their clinical work. Students have chosen sites such as Valley Youth House, Mid-Atlantic Rehabilitation Services, Luther Crest/Diakon, Penn Foundation, St. Luke’s Hospice, and DeSales University Counseling Center. You can also suggest potential sites of interest to the Clinical Director.
The Supervision and Peer Group classes that you must take concurrently with your clinical experience provide both supervisory and peer support to help you integrate and process experiences, learnings, and understandings. To graduate, you must complete at least 700 hours of supervised clinical experience, which meets the requirements for licensure as an Licensed Professional Counselor in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
The Master of Arts in Clinical Counseling program at Moravian Theological Seminary is designed to meet the academic requirements in Pennsylvania for Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC). Graduates seeking to become Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC) in Pennsylvania must pass an approved exam and complete 3000 additional hours of supervised clinical experience, half of which must be under the supervision of an experienced LPC, as per Act 76 of 2018 (Senate Bill 530). Students who plan to practice counseling outside of Pennsylvania after graduating are responsible for understanding the licensing standards of the particular state in which they hope to practice. For more information, visit the website for the State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Licensed Professional Counselors.
Adding a Concentration or Graduate Certificate
You can focus your electives on biblical studies, contemplative practices, or spiritual formation and obtain a 7-credit Concentration in Formative Spirituality or dive deeper by adding a Graduate Certificate in Biblical Studies, Spiritual Direction, or Formative Spirituality.