Every potential student I have asks the same question at some point in the application process: “How long does it take to get the Christian Counseling degree?”
It’s a fair question and I understand the reasoning behind it. However, given the nature of our program, I smile when it is asked and give the same response each time!
Above & Beyond Counseling Academy offers a distance-learning program through the National Christian Counselors Association (NCCA) where motivated students can earn their Masters or PhD Degrees in Clinical Christian Counseling. Many universities and seminaries around the country provide students with the opportunity to earn these types of graduate degrees in the field of Christian counseling.
Most people are familiar with brick and mortar institutions where one attends classes onsite at fixed and inflexible times. You attend, you do the work, you pass the tests and course requirements and you graduate. Simple! Many have expanded their programs to include online courses and some, such as the University of Phoenix, deal almost exclusively with students in this manner.
It’s pretty simple to figure out how long it will take you to do the program: you mesh your schedule (and finances) with the course calendars and the date falls out.
Our program involves self-paced, home study courses where the books are shipped to the students home. The courses can also be done online but the pace and schedule is completely at the student’s discretion. Unless the student wants to attend the graduation ceremony at the institution they receive their degree from, there is absolutely no need to visit the seminary!
Prospective students understand that our program works this way but they still are hoping that someone will give them a target to shoot for. They want me to tell them how long it will take to win the prize.
Please understand: I appreciate very much the interest that people have in our program. I am not mocking them in any way for asking the question because I understand the intent behind it! It’s the same question I asked my Clinical Supervisor when I started the program over 16 years ago!
We all love realistic goals and targets even if they come from someone else. If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there. I answer the question the same way, almost verbatim, every time.
Want A Christian Counseling Degree? Be Disciplined!
“The answer to your question really depends on how disciplined you are. What I encourage you to do is to schedule study time on your calendar just like any other appointment. (I ask each person how many hours a week they expect to have available for study). If you do, you can get the program done quickly. If you wait until you have time, it will take you forever!”
I have had students who completed the Masters Program in twelve months because she was committed to scheduling it on her calendar. Others, in the same program, are over two years in and are less than half way there! Life happens and distractions come along but a detour cannot become a new road if we are to reach our goals!
This idea of scheduling time to get things done is not new or complicated obviously. I think that Nike’s “Just Do It” slogan pretty much sums it up. We generally find time to do the things we really want to do even if we don’t realize what they are.
Thinking about moving ahead in this area? Check out our Christian Counseling Degree programs. We even have a program for those who want to pursue a Bachelors Degree. My wife’s bible study has a slogan for this year: If you want different results you need to do something different. Personally, I’m making a concerted effort this year to forge new paths, including writing more articles like this!
Makes sense to me. How about you?