Western Seminary–Portland

Counseling Program
Last Updated

The counseling programs are designed to meet the requirements for state licensure. In addition to the seminarys educational goals, the counseling programs endeavor to equip counselors for ministry in and through the Church. The programs provide students with the skills to integrate biblical and theological foundations with psychology and practical counseling strategies while promoting growth in Christian maturity. From a thoroughly biblical world view, the counseling programs seek to understand and explain the emotional, relational, behavioral, and spiritual problems that people face in life. In and out of the classroom, students are challenged to reflect upon the practical application of theory and what meaning it has for them professionally and personally.

Program Overview
Program Administrator
Dr. Kay Bruce (head)
Campus Enrollment
Program Options
  • Master’s
Areas of Study
  • Counseling (Child, Couples, or Family) - Master's
Department Address

5511 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd.
Portland, OR 97215
United States

Phone Number
Graduate Program
Graduate Director
Dr. Kay Bruce
Graduate Courses Offered
  • Learning to Interpret Scripture
  • Interpreting Genesis to Song of Solomon
  • Interpreting the Prophets to Gospels
  • Interpreting Acts to Revelation
  • Survey of Knowing the Triune God: Theology I
  • Survey of Glorifying the God of our Salvation: Theology II
  • Survey of Living as the Community of the Spirit: Theology III
  • Clinical Foundations: Basic Counseling Skills/Interventions
  • Psychological Theory & Techniques
  • Family Systems Therapy
  • Psychotherapeutic Systems
  • Psychopathology
  • Legal and Ethical Issues
  • Human Life Span Development
  • Introduction to Integrative Issues
  • Advanced Integration
  • Spiritual Development and Assessment
  • Group Counseling
  • Social and Cultural Foundations
  • Marriage Counseling
  • Career and Lifestyle Development
  • Human Sexuality
  • Research in Counseling and Family Studies
  • Tests and Measurements
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Neuropsychology
  • Counseling Addictions
  • Internship Case Conference I
  • Internship Case Conference II
  • Internship Case Conference III
  • Internship Case Conference IV
  • Internship Case Conference V
  • Counseling Violence and Abuse Issues
  • Emergency Preparedness: Suicide Prevention
  • Emergency Preparedness: Trauma Counseling
  • Electives (Consult with department advisor)
Master's Level
Masters Program Options
  • Counseling
  • Counseling: Intercultural Studies
  • Counseling: Partoral Counseling
  • Counseling and Pastoral Care to Women
Masters Comments

The M.A. in Counseling prepares Christian counselors with the skills to practice counseling in churches, non-profit organizations, or clinical settings. Further training in children and adolescent issues is offered through the Child and Youth specialization track. Learning by doing, all counseling students are required to spend five semesters in a supervised internship. The M.A. in Counseling/M.Div. in Pastoral Counseling dual degree adds an emphasis in the biblical and theological areas and prepares individuals for both professional counseling and pastoral ministries. The M.A. Counseling/M.A. Intercultural Studies dual degree is for students who envision their future to include counseling in intercultural settings. While training cannot be applied to any one culture, students are equipped to begin the process for their intended setting by completing an additional six month supervised intercultural internship.

CFLE Information

NCFR recognizes schools offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs with course work that follows the Standards and Criteria required for approval as a Provisional Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE). NCFR approval allows the school to offer their graduates the opportunity to apply for Provisional Certification using the Abbreviated Application process. The CFLE Checklist represents the courses that meet the CFLE criteria at that school. Students must complete all the courses on a checklist in order to qualify to apply for the CFLE designation through the Abbreviated Application process.