Shasta Department of Bible and Theology appears in our ranking of the 20 Best Master’s in Pastoral Counseling Online Degree Programs.
The Shasta Department of Bible and Theology is led by Dean Benjamin King, MDiv, and offers four counseling degrees designed to integrate His Word with the study of human behavior. Shasta Bible College (SBC) and Graduate School also offers a Certificate in Christian Professional Studies for Biblical Counseling. Courses are delivered in Korean or English, on-campus in Redding or online, for 15-week terms with a low student-faculty ratio of 5:1, ensuring students benefit from personalized interactions. Aspiring pastoral counselors can prepare for careers in mental health services with the following degrees offered by SBC.
The Bachelor of Arts in Christian Professional Studies with a concentration in biblical counseling is reserved for adults 24 years of age and older who have already earned 60 or more credits in college courses as well as three years of work experience. Returning students may choose from three concentrations, including Biblical Counseling, to complete in two years. Majors may expect courses in areas such as addictions, family dynamics, conflict resolution, biblical discipleship, survey theology, and hermeneutics. Students may also join global outreach teams for missions in Ghana, Thailand, and Haiti.
Shasta’s Bachelor of Arts in Bible and Theology degree boasts a freshman retention rate of 60 percent. It is the traditional four-year undergraduate program that prepares students with knowledge of the New and Old Testament to fulfill the Lord’s final command in six concentrations such as Biblical Counseling. Students must complete 128 units of courses that cover topics such as church history, life cycle issues, interpersonal relations, vocational guidance, and apologetics. Five units of field ministry work are included at locations such as Faith Christian Jr./Sr. High School, First Baptist Church in Red Bluff, and more.
The Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree is designed for post-bachelor’s students who are looking for full-time lay positions or ordained ministry careers that serve the church and spread His Word. The 96-credit terminal degree features four tracks, including Christian Family and Biblical Counseling, designed to focus on building loving relationships in Christ. Advanced MDiv courses educate students on topics such as family finance, crisis management, counseling children, self-confrontation, pastoral ministry, elementary Hebrew, and homiletics. Students must complete a thesis project or capstone practicum before leaving Shasta.
Finally, the Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling degree is a Christ-centered program designed for post-graduates with the goal of guiding God’s children toward spiritual growth. Although graduates are not immediately licensed after completing the program, the 39-credit degree offers two tracks with courses in marital therapy, premarital counseling, personal evangelism, and family life education before a semester-long practicum project. The program begins each January and August and offers students opportunities such as the Alpha Omega Conference, ASB activities, and a trip to Israel.
Dr. Royal D. Blue founded Shasta Bible College (SBC) and Graduate School in 1970 as the Northern California Bible Institute (NCBI) with the goal of providing spiritual-based evening courses. In 1982, the institute officially became Shasta Bible College under President Gordon Rasmussen’s leadership and pursued accreditation. Currently, Shasta is a nonprofit, private Baptist college affiliated with the Associations of Baptists for World Evangelism (ABWE) and its missionary services. SBC consists of a close-knit community of 200 full-time students and operates a 55-acre Sacramento Valley campus in Redding, the 72nd best city for job growth, according to Forbes. Christian Universities Online ranks SBC as the sixth best online Christian school, and it is the eighth most affordable Bible college in the country with an average net tuition cost of $17,973. Noteworthy alumni of Shasta include Pastor Tony Loubet, Tom Meyer, Mark Connors, and Lisa Bowe.
Although Shasta Bible College and Graduate School is not regionally accredited, the school has been nationally accredited by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS) in Category III since 2012. This accrediting body is recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), and Shasta is licensed by the California Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) to operate. Shasta Bible College also belongs to the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) for parochial school counselor or teacher certifications.
Although Shasta Bible College and Graduate School has a history of accepting every student who applies, admission is not guaranteed. Freshmen seeking a bachelor’s degree must earn a high school diploma as well as a 2.5 grade-point average (GPA) or higher. In addition, graduate students seeking a master’s degree must hold a four-year bachelor’s degree and must have completed a number of humanities prerequisites. While Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test scores are optional, students generally earn a minimum of a 140 on the verbal and quantitative sections. In order to apply, students must send a completed application via snail mail or online as well as a $50 nonrefundable application fee, signed student reference forms, official transcripts from each school attended, a personal statement or essay, and college entrance exams, including scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) if applicable.
Both graduate and undergraduate students can expect to pay $350 per unit. Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree will pay $12,060 per year, while graduate students taking nine or more credits per semester will pay $1,200 per term. Students should consider the $1,200 per term fee for room and board as well as a $40 accident insurance fee, $70 student activity fee, $150 technology fee, and $200 registration fee.
Approximately 100 percent of full-time students receive some type of financial aid, and Shasta awards an average of $4,351 in funding per year. Institutional financial aid is available, including the Romaine Oliver Memorial Scholarship, the Beverly Ann MacNeill Memorial Award, the Oran Smith Memorial Award, and the Gerald K. Duckett Memorial Award. Shasta also offers a multiple sibling discount, which allows students to reduce their tuition by 10 percent for every brother and/or sister that attends. Graduate students may also earn financial aid via the federal work-study program, which pays $10 per hour for campus employment. Federal aid programs such as the William Ford Direct Loan, the SEOG Grant, and the Pell Grant are also accepted. Shasta Bible College and Graduate School is also a Yellow Ribbon school for veterans and military benefits.