Master of Arts in Counseling Program Receives CACREP Accreditation

Reformed Theological Seminary is pleased to announce that its Master of Arts in Counseling (MAC) program has received accreditation for clinical mental health counseling from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). 

“CACREP accreditation establishes that graduates of the RTS MAC program have met rigorous national standards for professional mental health counselors,” shared Adjunct Professor Michael Hillerman, who also serves as the MAC Program Development Coordinator. “A growing number of states require CACREP accredited training in order to qualify for licensure. State licensure boards, as well as prospective students, employers, and third-party payors, can now be assured that the RTS MAC program provides training that meets the highest standards in the nation for professional mental health counselors.”

CACREP Accreditation Process

In 1981, RTS began offering the Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy at the Jackson campus. The Orlando campus began a Master of Arts in Counseling program in 1995. RTS began investigating the feasibility of CACREP accreditation at the end of 2016, culminating in a study published in January of 2017. In 2017, the seminary decided to pursue accreditation through CACREP. Over the next two years, the entire MAC faculty and staff worked together to merge the Orlando and Jackson programs, develop a common curriculum, and establish common program objectives and a means for measuring program outcomes. 

In 2019 the program completed an 18-month effort to author a comprehensive self-study of the program that was over 1,500 pages in length. After pandemic-related delays, the MAC program hosted a virtual site visit with CACREP that thoroughly reviewed the program and interviewed faculty, administrators, students, alumni, and employers of its graduates. All in all, over four years of work were devoted to the accreditation process.

Provost and Chief Academic Officer Robert Cara shared, “Among other things, CACREP accreditation is an affirmation of the quality of RTS’ MAC program. RTS has dedicated counseling professors who teach in the MAC program. An aspect of their dedication is shown by the significant time they collectively devoted to gathering and submitting the required documentation to CACREP.”   

“Because of CACREP accreditation, students can have confidence that the RTS MAC program meets the highest national standards for professional mental health counselors. Their academic and clinical efforts will be recognized by future licensure boards, employers, and educational institutions,” shared Professor of Counseling Scott Coupland.

About the MAC Program

“The MAC program at RTS has been able to place 99% of graduates in counseling positions in the last five years,” said Professor of Counseling Jim Hurley. “As more states require specialized accreditation for licensure, RTS’ obtaining CACREP accreditation will strengthen the program and ensure that MAC graduates are able to serve in whatever state to which they’re called.” 

The RTS MAC program exists to train distinctly Christian and exceptionally competent professional counselors. The curriculum integrates professional counseling coursework and clinical experience with a Reformed theological foundation, equipping graduates to counsel both churched and non-churched populations in multicultural and pluralistic societies. The MAC program is offered at the Jackson and Orlando campuses. 

“The 78-credit Master of Arts Counseling program at RTS is a highly demanding program, without peer anywhere in graduate education,” shared Chancellor and CEO Ligon Duncan. “I am thrilled that the quality of our program was recognized by CACREP and am very proud of our faculty who worked diligently to demonstrate that we meet and even exceed these national standards.”

Dr. Duncan continued, “One distinctive of our professional counseling program is that students study not only psychology and therapeutic modalities, but do so with a scriptural foundation, so that they fully appreciate how the Bible and theology relate to counseling issues. Our students and graduates are well-prepared specialists who faithfully serve the church and the wider world as we deal with suffering and sin on this side of heaven.”

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