Luther Rice College and Seminary in our ranking of the 20 Best Master’s in Pastoral Counseling Online Degree Programs.
Luther Rice College and Seminary offers two programs for those looking to pursue a career in counseling or psychology. Undergraduates may earn a Bachelor of Arts in Religion with a minor in biblical counseling. Students may enroll in the on-campus or online program or take classes in a hybrid format in order to earn the degree. Though students are required to take 120 credit hours of coursework, Luther Rice will accept up to 90 transfer credits. In addition to completing general education requirements, areas of study include preparing for Christian service, personal evangelism, theology, church history, and biblical interpretation. Many of the graduates of the B.A. in Religion program counsel parishioners in their own churches, helping them cope with the death of a loved one or the cheating of a spouse. The minor courses a student will take cover the methods and theories of counseling as well as working with specific populations and groups of people. Potential careers include a pastor, ministry staff, community care and outreach pastor, Christian education, missionary, associate pastor, or church counselor.
Students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree may consider pursuing the Master of Arts (M.A.) in Biblical Counseling. This program not only trains students to work with parishioners but also helps them to meet the requirements for sitting for the counseling examination in their respective states. Though most students complete the program within 24 months, those taking a heavier course load may earn their degree in only 18 months. Students are required to take 36 credit hours of coursework, including a practicum that gives students the opportunity to work with patients in need of counseling as well as classes dedicated to issues and ethics for counselors, helping skills, methodology for biblical counseling, crisis counseling and pastoral care, an introduction to the Old Testament, and an introduction to psychology and counseling theories.
Luther Rice College and Seminary is a small, conservative religious college located in Georgia. Founded in 1962 as the Luther Rice Seminary, the college opened its first campus in Jacksonville, Florida. One of the five pastors that helped to found the school, Robert Gee Witty, noticed that pastors could not attain a higher education due to their families at home and that future pastors struggled to begin their careers due to the lack of local religious schools. As a result, Luther Rice College and Seminary opened and began to offer courses that were designed to prepare students to begin and continue their careers as pastors. After adding additional degree programs to Luther Rice Seminary’s curriculum, the word “college” was added to the school’s name. Luther Rice Seminary and College began to offer distance learning programs, allowing students to take classes via the mail and earn their degrees without sacrificing their careers or family responsibilities. Now, students may complete nearly any program Luther Rice offers completely online. Luther Rice continued to operate in Jacksonville before it moved to its current location in Atlanta in the early 1990s. Its current enrollment includes just over 800 doctoral and graduate students as well as nearly 500 undergraduate students.
Luther Rice College and Seminary is one of many religious higher learning institutions throughout the U.S. that have earned accreditation from religious organizations instead of traditional accrediting agencies. Luther Rice is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the Association for Biblical Higher Education, which is approved and recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Luther Rice does not require approval from the state’s Department of Education due to a federal law that exempts religious organizations and institutions from certain types of approval. Though Luther Rice is not regionally accredited, students may still use federal funds and forms of financial aid to pay for the cost of their education.
Luther Rice College and Seminary makes it easy for students to apply to one of the school’s degree programs as the school uses one application for both undergraduate and graduate students. The application asks students whether they’ve attended a post-secondary institution in the past as well as the desired program of study. The specific application requirements and questions will depend on the degree the student wishes to pursue. Students must provide personal information such as their current address, date of birth, and Social Security number. The following sections will ask for additional information such as standardized tests taken, whether the applicant has already earned a degree, and where he or she went to high school. Students are also required to provide information about their religious beliefs as well as the church they attend. Applicants must pay a $50 application fee and submit transcripts from all institutions previously attended. Luther Rice also requires applicants to print a Christian character reference for someone to fill out on behalf of the applicant, explaining why the applicant is a good fit for the school. Students must take the online Bible Content Test, which is used to evaluate an applicant’s knowledge of the Bible. Luther Rice may not accept students who score poorly on this exam.
Luther Rice College and Seminary offers two tuition rates depending on whether a student is pursuing his or her studies on the main campus in Atlanta, Georgia or online. Traditional students will pay $238 per credit hour, while online learners will pay $270 per credit hour. Including fees, the cost per class is $809 and $905, respectively. This tuition rate applies to all bachelor’s degrees offered by Luther Rice. Although graduate students can expect to pay the same on-campus tuition rate, graduate students pursuing a master’s degree will pay $267 per credit hour. These tuition costs make Luther Rice one of the more affordable private religious colleges in the U.S.
Students who cannot afford the full cost of tuition at Luther Rice may consider completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for financial aid. Though the college does not award any state aid, Luther Rice offers a tuition assistance program for students in need of additional financial help as well as a separate tuition assistance program for veterans and military students. Luther Rice College and Seminary recommends that prospective students talk with their current church about possible sponsorship opportunities that may help to offset the cost of tuition.