by Jenny Gregory

CLEVELAND, Ga. – The Truett McConnell University (TMU) Leonhard Schiemer School of Psychology and Biblical Counseling announces the new Master of Arts in Professional Counseling (M.A. in Professional Counseling) degree program, recently approved by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), to be offered beginning August 2017.

“One of the great needs of our day lies in mending the minds and hearts of this generation through biblical counseling. How thrilled I am to announce that Truett McConnell University will be on the cutting edge of blessing this generation through biblically trained counselors who seek to help the mind, heart and soul while recognizing the needs of the individual through the lens of the Creator who formed them in His image,” said TMU President Dr. Emir Caner.

The M.A. in Professional Counseling, which is TMU’s fifth master’s degree program, will offer a variety of courses required by the state of Georgia for licensure. The unique courses in this master’s program provide students with knowledge about psychological theory, counseling techniques and assessment through a biblical worldview.  

“I am extremely excited about our new M.A. in Professional Counseling,” said Dr. Brad Reynolds, Vice President of Academic Services and Dean of Faculty. “Our world, our families, our churches and our lives are filled with painful moments, events and even people. This sin-stained world is certainly cursed, and secular counseling might, at times, provide a Band-Aid, but it could never cure the curse.

“However, Christ came to redeem us from this sin-stained world and to ultimately cure the curse on creation itself (Romans 8:21-22),” Reynolds stressed. “Our graduates will be trained by a world class Christian faculty to use God’s Holy Word to bring hope and life and solutions to lives filled with hurt, pain and sin.”

Courses for the M.A. in Professional Counseling will be offered on the TMU campus two days each week, providing a flexible schedule for students who plan to work while completing the program.

Dr. Holly Haynes, Dean of The Leonhard Schiemer School of Psychology and Biblical Counseling and Associate Professor of Behavioral Sciences, shared, “I am excited about the opportunity to educate the next generation of biblically-based counselors. The counseling field reaches so many people, often at their time of greatest need. We will be able to train young men and women to counsel in a way that will help truly transform lives.”

In addition to the Christian worldview, the approved program will permit students eligibility for licensure as counselors with the state of Georgia upon completion. “This means that our graduates will be able to obtain gainful employment as counselors in a variety of programs. They can also eventually begin their own counseling practice,” Haynes added.

Dr. Rick Fowler, who will be joining the TMU faculty as Professor of Psychology, expressed his thoughts on the new program, saying, “In every class at TMU, students learn from the experience of seasoned therapists who are willing to share practical insights they have accrued from years of counseling.” 

“The goal for TMU’s graduate program of professional counseling,” continued Fowler, “is to train students to be fully equipped academically, relationally and spiritually in order to minister God’s truth in an effective and grace-filled manner for lasting results.”

The state of Georgia requires that all counseling students in the program complete a practicum and an internship. “We are fortunate that students in TMU’s graduate programs are required to complete a cross-cultural ministry practicum,” added Haynes. “Students will also complete an intense internship in their field during their second year of the program. This internship serves to hone students’ counseling skills and it provides practical experience with various populations.”

In addition to a baccalaureate degree prerequisite, students looking to apply are strongly recommended to complete a research methods course that includes statistics prior to applying to the program.

Current and prospective TMU students interested in pursuing the M.A. in Professional Counseling may contact Dr. Natalie Ford at or Graduate Admissions at or 706-865-2134, ext. 2131. A complete list of degrees offered at TMU may be found by visiting

Truett McConnell University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award baccalaureate and master’s degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Truett McConnell University.


Jenny Gregory is the Content Manager for Truett McConnell University

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