(Orlando, Fla.) Reformed Theological Seminary’s Orlando campus now offers a counseling emphasis with their traditional Master of Divinity degree. “This is a program that will help prepare future pastors for the ministry of soul care,” said Dr. Scott Coupland, director of the Master of Arts in Counseling (M.A.C.) program and a faculty member, who believes this added emphasis will give pastors practical ways to apply their biblical and theological understanding to life’s struggles.
For those students pursuing the new counseling emphasis, five counseling classes have been added to the Master of Divinity curriculum, in addition to Introduction to Counseling, that is already required for all divinity students. The five additional classes replace some elective hours as well as two previously required courses. The requisite counseling classes for the new emphasis are: Addictions, Sexuality and Sex Therapy, Couples Counseling, Psychology in Relation to Theology and Theory, and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy.
Dr. Jim Coffield, professor of counseling at RTS Orlando and a popular speaker, is equally excited by the new degree emphasis. “In today’s society,” he said, “to be an effective pastor and shepherd, students need training in dealing with the struggles of their flock.”
In the past, students seeking additional preparation for counseling have chosen to earn both the M.Div. and M.A.C. degrees. RTS Orlando has graduated numerous students with those double degrees in the last 16 years.
RTS Orlando’s Master of Arts in Counseling was first offered in the fall semester of 1994, with the first group of M.A.C. graduates in 1996. The M.A.C. program is an intensive, two-year co-hort experience for the students and includes a considerable number of hours of clinical experience counseling clients.
The M.Div. Counseling emphasis was approved by the faculty and the RTS board’s executive committee late this spring. For more information on this program, go to: www.rts.edu/Orlando/mdivcounseling.