Academic Programs

Academic Programs

MDiv in Counseling and Family

Degree Purpose

What is the purpose of the Master of Divinity degree?

The Master of Divinity degree is the central degree program at Phoenix Seminary. It provides comprehensive graduate education utilizing the various theological and ministry resources of Phoenix Seminary.

The Master of Divinity degree is designed to equip students for professional, vocational ministry in church and para-church settings. This may include a broad range of occupations, including the pastorate, intercultural service, Christian leadership, pastoral counseling, chaplaincy, evangelism, and youth ministry. In many churches and denominations, the MDiv degree has been recommended for those preparing for ordination. It can also provide the academic basis for the DMin, ThM, or PhD degrees.

Students will engage in the systematic study of the Scriptures and theology while being exposed to current theological issues and positions with the goal of equipping the student to think biblically, independently, and constructively in vital areas of ministry.

The student will also be directed by a Seminary mentor or local church mentor during his or her training for personal development of character.

What is the purpose of the Counseling and Family concentration?

The Counseling and Family concentration prepares students to provide biblical guidance, sustenance, healing, and reconciliation to individuals, couples, and families in either church or para-church settings. This degree can provide the basis for further academic study.

The program is designed to prepare graduates for nurturing healthy families and restoring broken relationships. Particular emphasis is given to the development of a personal and biblical understanding of spiritual formation, family life, and the ministry of counseling. This concentration does not provide the course work needed for counselor licensure in the state of Arizona. If you are seeking to be licensed as a professional counselor, please see the cooperative MAC program with Ottawa University.

Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the Master of Divinity in Counseling and Family should be able to:

  1. Know and apply Scripture according to proper hermeneutical principles;
  2. Articulate sound doctrine according to historic Christian orthodoxy;
  3. Explain how to shepherd God’s people with biblical wisdom, compassion, and justice;
  4. Demonstrate healthy relationships with God and neighbor;
  5. Counsel according to biblical principles;
  6. Design and assess programs for biblical counsel and care. 

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the Master of Divinity program must have earned an accredited baccalaureate degree (or its equivalent) that includes exposure to a breadth of liberal arts. Phoenix Seminary encourages undergraduate course work in philosophy and the history of western civilization. An undergraduate GPA of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale) is required. Those who do not meet these academic requirements may petition the Admissions Committee for special consideration. Applicants must have vocational goals consistent with the design of the Master of Divinity. Applicants must demonstrate evidence of mature Christian character and ministry potential. 

Degree Requirements (94 Hours)

MDiv Counseling and Family Core Requirements

Course Title Hours (46)
BC499 Graduate Writing Workshop Transcripted
BL501 Principles for Biblical Interpretation 4
BL502 Survey of the Pentateuch 2
BL503 Survey of the Historical and Wisdom Literature 2
BL504 Survey of the Prophets 2
BL505 Survey of the Gospels 2
BL506 Survey of Acts and the Pauline Epistles 2
BL507 Survey of the General Epistles and Revelation 2
CD501 Living in God’s Presence 2
CD504 Foundations of Intimacy 2
CD530 30-hour Faculty Review Transcripted
CD560 60-hour Faculty Review Transcripted
CH501 History of World Christianity I 3
CH502 History of World Christianity II 3
IS501 Cross-cultural and Diversity Competency 2
IS502 Global Outreach 2
IS503 Evangelism and Discipleship 2
TH501 God, Scripture, Revelation, and the Holy Spirit 4
TH502 Humanity, Angels, and the Person and Work of Christ 4
TH503 Salvation, the Church, and the Future 4
TH506 Contemporary Moral Issues 2
TH599 Theological Oral Examination Transcripted

MDiv Counseling and Family Concentration Requirements

Course Title Hours (48)
CF500 Counseling Skills 3
CF503 Counseling Issues and Strategies 2
CF506 Soul Care: The Practice of Spiritual Formation 2
CF507 Marriage and Family Ministry 2
CF508 Marriage and Family Counseling 3
CF509 Integration of Psychology and Christianity 3
CF510 Human Sexuality 3
CF511 Addictive Disorders 3
CF593 Counseling Pre-Practicum 3
NT500 Introduction to Greek 3
OT500 Introduction to Hebrew 3
–5## Apologetics Elective: Choose from
TH504, TH505, IS509, or IS510
–5## Homiletics / Teaching Elective: Choose from
BC501, BC509, or MS506
–5## Ministry Skills Elective: Choose from
MS501, MS508, LD501, or LD509

* Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) may in some cases be undertaken to fulfill requirements for general elective credit.

Note: Courses which list “Transcripted” are recorded on the transcript as S (Satisfactory) or U (Unsatisfactory). No tuition or fees are charged except in the case of BC499.

Transfer Credit

A maximum of 50 percent (47 semester hours) of the course work required for the Master of Divinity may be transferred from another seminary or graduate school when the transfer credits fit the nature of the program and other requirements are met.

Graduation Requirements

Because counseling is a highly interpersonal activity with individuals and groups who are often distressed, it is imperative that students attend to their own emotional health and clinical suitability. Students are required to participate in individual or group counseling while enrolled in the program. Deficits in the skills necessary for clinical practice may require remediation or may result in dismissal from the program. The Master of Divinity requires the completion of 94 semester hours within six years with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0. 

Additional Information

Phoenix Seminary takes an integrative approach to Christian Counseling. We believe God is the source of all truth—whether discerned through careful study of special revelation in Scripture, or through systematic examination of general revelation in nature. We consequently believe true scientific findings and accurate interpretation of biblical teaching on the same subject will not ultimately contradict one another. Knowing that both nature and human reason are affected by sin, in cases of apparent conflict, we accept Scripture (correctly interpreted) as the final arbiter. Much can be learned through the observation of creation (in this case human physiology and behavior) and the systemization of those observations. This learning is a rich source of information for those in helping professions as they integrate this knowledge with a comprehensive understanding of Scripture. 

Ready to Get Started?

Visit to begin your Online Application for Admission. If you have any questions, contact our Enrollment Department at 602.429.4910 or toll-free at 888.443.1020.


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