Master of Science in Counseling

At Cairn, we believe that psychological health centers on the restoration of relationship — with God and with our fellow man. Building on classroom learning, our students practice models and techniques for healing relationships through weekly labs with an intimate cohort of fellow believers preparing to serve the Great Reconciler, Jesus Christ.

The mission statement of the graduate counseling program is to equip women and men to be biblically-minded, professionally competent persons of character as professional counselors. Cairn’s MSC program provides an emphasis in clinical mental health counseling as it pursues this mission.

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Credit Hours


Years (Avg.)

Next Start Date
January 9, 2023

Class Type
On-campus Courses, 15-Week Terms




Emphasis on Biblical Worldview Integration

The emphasis on biblical worldview is an important element of the MSC curriculum. First, it reflects the University’s academic mandate to first and foremost serve students, the church and the world as an evangelical, biblically-based institution. Second, the ability to think about persons and their problems from the vantage point of a Christian worldview is especially vital in counseling where the need to engage in dialogue with and a critique of research and applied psychology and psychotherapy defines “Christian” and “non-Christian” counseling. In addition, the MSC curriculum informs students about the practice of counseling in a culturally diverse environment in which numerous aspects influence both the needs of people and the kinds of effective counseling services that can be provided both within the context of a distinctly Christian ministry and the society at large.

Real-to-Life Laboratory Experiences

The counseling faculty teaches counseling as an art that must be practiced in order to be mastered. From the first day to the last day in the program, students participate in laboratories and/or practical field experiences that serve as realistic training environments. Students learn basic counseling skills, an individual assessment model, a marriage counseling model, and group counseling through hands-on, trial and error rehearsals under the watchful eyes and artful supervision of the faculty. By the time students complete 48 credits and begin their practicum and internship they will have spent more than 160 hours of their graduate education putting into practice the skills, concepts and models they learned in their core lecture courses.

Approachable and Invested Faculty

Cairn’s counseling faculty are committed to teaching counseling by example. This requires personal involvement with students both inside and outside the classroom. The counseling faculty are involved with students as people immersed in professional life and ministry and are committed to giving students the same personal attention and respect they will one day give to their counselees. From assistance with the application process and advice on registering for courses to classroom interaction and one-on-one lab supervision, our faculty and staff make it a priority to focus on each student as a unique individual. This is essential to helping each student realize their full potential.

Ability to Pursue Licensure

Cairn’s MSC program is a 60-credit program which provides students with the preparation needed to be eligible for professional licensure. Many of Cairn’s graduates have become licensed counselors in various states though most students pursue and become licensed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. For additional information pertaining to licensure please see our licensure page and/or contact the Director of Practicums & Internships. Students who wish to pursue licensure in states other than Pennsylvania and New Jersey should review the state licensure links on our licensure page and investigate state licensure requirements for state(s) of interest to ensure that Cairn’s MSC program meets each state’s requirements.

Opportunity to Intern at Oasis Counseling Center

Students of the MS in Counseling program have the opportunity to apply to Oasis Counseling Center for their Practicum and Internship which occurs during the third year of the program. Cairn has the privilege to offer the counseling services of staff and intern counselors to graduate and undergraduate students of the University as well as to members of the surrounding community. Oasis offers a number of exceptional students a professional and unique training opportunity which includes;

  • Integration of Technology (live & recorded video) with Student Training
  • Diversity of Clinical and Subclinical Presentations
  • Broad Range of Clientele Demographics
  • Individual and Group Supervision
  • Collegial Atmosphere of Support
  • Access to a Variety of Counseling Resources
  • Concentrated Hands on Trainings

Program Objectives

  1. Students demonstrate an understanding of counseling from a Christian perspective.
  2. Students demonstrate proficient knowledge and skills in the areas of:
    • Clinical Mental Health Counseling
    • Professional counseling orientation and ethical practice
    • Social and cultural diversity and multicultural awareness and sensitivity
    • Human growth and development
    • Career development
    • Counseling theory and helping relationships
    • Group counseling and group work
    • Assessment and testing
    • Research and program evaluation