Biblical Counseling

The Ph.D. in Biblical Counseling equips students to serve as counselors, professors, educational specialists, and consultants in the local church and in denominational settings.

Why Biblical Counseling?

With the introduction of the Ph.D. in Biblical Counseling degree, Southwestern has become one of only a few institutions worldwide to offer such a degree. This biblical counseling degree sets Southwestern apart in that it views Scripture as the sufficient authority.

“We believe that the Bible is sufficient for the counseling task and that it is superior to anything the world has to offer. It’s not the Bible and bits and pieces of behavioral sciences. The Bible is sufficient.”

John Babler

Why a Ph.D.?

As churches seek to fulfill their biblical role and responsibility to counsel members of the local church, the need for people who will teach the discipline rises. In order for churches to turn from extra-biblical counseling methods that deny the power, authority and sufficiency of the inspired and inerrant Word of God, Southwestern accepts the responsibility to train its graduates to rightly handle the Scriptures as they relate to the human condition and conflict. Graduates from Southwestern’s Biblical Counseling Ph.D. leave the seminary prepared to help churches reclaim the ministry of counseling from the world’s wisdom and replace it with Scripture’s timeless and perfect wisdom.

Degree Components

Students can expect to spend three to five years working on a Ph.D. in Biblical Counseling and during their time of study will complete 44 hours in seminars and eight hours in completion of a dissertation, for a total of 52 hours. Students will spend 20 of those hours (five seminars) in biblical counseling and 12 of those hours (three seminars) in a minor of their choosing.

Minor options:
  • Administration
  • Childhood Ministry
  • Family Ministry
  • Foundations of Education
  • Student Ministry
  • Adult Ministry
  • Women’s Ministry

Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling

The Masters of Arts in Biblical Counseling is a 66-hour program of study designed primarily to equip Christian men and women to minister God’s Word through counseling in the context of the local church or other Christian ministries. The degree includes 29 hours of theological preparation vital for effectively interpreting and ministering the Word of God. The counseling courses (37 hours) will prepare students to apply God’s Word in both formal and informal counseling settings.

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Certification in Biblical Counseling

The Certification in Biblical Counseling is designed for those who desire further training alongside or outside of traditional degree programs. Our certification is the perfect supplement for ministers, laymen, or laywomen who are interested in learning about the nature, work, and ministry of Biblical Counseling within the local church context. This certification contains 3 Levels of classes which include application of theological and practical knowledge leading up to a capstone weekend of intense training and examination of the student’s counseling knowledge. 

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John Babler

Professor of Counseling, Director of Walsh Counseling Center

  • Co-author, Counseling by the Book
  • Vice President, Texas Corps of Fire Chaplains
  • Warren C. Hultgren Chair of Ministerial Counseling
Frank Catanzaro

Professor of Adult Education and Counseling, Associate Dean for Doctor of Educational Ministry Studies

  • Author, “Why Biblical Counsel” in Faith and Mission, Spring 2000
  • Served for over 30 years in various pastoral ministry settings as well as teaching in SBC seminaries.

Established 1908 Fort Worth, Texas