M.A./M.A. in Counseling Dual-Degree Program
school of theology and ministry
The dual M.A./M.A. in Mental Health Counseling program was developed by the Institute of Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry (IREPM), now part of the School of Theology and Ministry (STM), and the Lynch School of Education (LSOE) for individuals who wish to pursue graduate studies that combine theories and practice in counseling and psychology with studies in religion and exploration of the pastoral dimensions of caregiving. It combines the foundational studies and faculty resources of the M.A. in Theology and Ministry with the M.A. in Mental Health Counseling. Students generally complete the dual degrees in approximately 3 years of full-time study
The dual M.A./M.A. program attracts students who wish to include an appreciation for the faith or spiritual dimensions of human life into their practice of mental health counseling. Dual degree students couple their study of counseling psychology with the study of pastoral care and spirituality and can seek licensing as professional mental health counselors. Such licensed counselors are well equipped to seek positions in mental health agencies, shelters, pastoral placements in parishes, campus ministry programs, prison work and youth and young adult programs. Graduates will bring the strength of solid counseling skills and exposure to spiritual direction work to their positions.
The LSOE and the STM assign each student faculty advisors in their respective schools when a student begins his or her program of studies for the dual degree. Students are encouraged to meet with advisors in each school to plan their individual programs.
As with all dual-degree programs, initiative and planning are necessary to navigate two graduate schools. Students are encouraged to plan out their studies as much as possible so all required classes can be completed in the three year timeframe. Students generally begin their studies in the STM, and students are encouraged to stay in close contact with advisors both in the STM and the LSOE throughout the three years.
TUITION AND FINANCIAL AID
Students are registered as members of the school in which they take courses in a given year. The tuition payments in a given year go to the school in which the student is enrolled that year. For students pursuing Option A, the required STM course in the Psychology of Religious
Development must be taken in a LSOE year. Students taking the STM Summer Option will complete two further STM three-credit hours courses during their LSOE studies in the academic year. Requests for exceptions to this policy should be made in writing to the STM associate dean of academic affairs, with a copy sent to the LSOE liaison.
LSOE and STM have different tuition rates during the academic year. However, because the payment for all courses taken by a student in a given year is made to the school in which
the student is currently enrolled, students are eligible for financial aid only from that school. Therefore, students are eligible for STM financial aid only during their STM enrollment year(s) and summer(s).
PREREQUISITES FOR ADMISSION
- A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
- If no prior theological studies, admissions committee may require that Foundations of Theology course be taken first semester.
- You must also apply to the LSOE M.A. Mental Health Counseling Program.