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Psychology & Counseling

Bachelor of the Arts Degree
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Psychology & Counseling

Concentrations: Family & Marriage Counseling, Crisis Counseling, Life Coaching - Certifications: Mental Health First Aid

The Psychology and Counseling degree is designed to provide students with a basic foundation for any kind of crisis counseling, spiritual formation, coaching, or mentoring ministry. Students may choose to build on this foundation with further education and/or training specific to an area specialization, such as the pursuit of a Master’s or Doctoral degree required to attain state licensure as a professional counselor. Upon successful completion of this program you will be prepared to either pursue further education or serve in a context that does not require licensure.

Students participate in innovative programs and experiences (internships, mentorship and enrichment training) which allow them to become State Certified as Mental Health First Aid Assessors and Behavioral Assistants.

Unique Benefits and Features:

  • This degree is also offered through Pillar College’s LEAD (Life Enhancing Accelerated Degree) program. Through LEAD, the Psychology and Counseling degree can be completed in as little as 4 Semesters.
  • Eligibility for membership in the Psychology and Counseling Club. Students engage in therapeutic workshops to practice Psychological techniques and learn to facilitate therapeutic groups.
  • Membership in Pillar College Chapter of Psi Chi (one of the largest honor societies in the United States). Membership offers benefits of scholarships and awards, the opportunity to publish and present at conferences, networking and more.
  • Strong collaboration. Our partners include the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Division of Injury Prevention, Integrity House, the FBI, DEA, HBO Life of Crime Series, to name a few.

Learn About Psi Chi

Key elements of the program include: developing a biblical and theological framework for counseling with special emphasis on the role of the Holy Spirit as the true Counselor who empowers those who would be effective helpers; acquiring the knowledge and theories that are foundational to counseling and psychology; growing in relationship with God and others; cultivating strategies and skill-sets necessary to counseling in a variety of contexts; and, exposure to various therapeutic approaches to counseling with a special emphasis on Cognitive and Family Systems theories and techniques.


There are five concentrations from which to choose:

  • Marriage and Family Counseling
  • Crisis Counseling
  • Life Coaching
  • Certification in Mental Health First Aid
  • Professional Coaching

Marriage & Family Counseling

This concentration will emphasize counseling within the context of family systems and will assist students who wish to prepare to do effective ministry with couples and families. It is geared towards individuals who wish to specialize in marriage and family therapy.

COUN 306 Marriage & Family Counseling
COUN 307 Multicultural Counseling
PSYC 406 Conflict Theory/Christian Peacemaking
PSYC 403 Human Sexuality

Crisis Counseling

This concentration is an integration of faith and psychology. It provides theoretical models and strategies that are necessary to effect change in crisis situations and will enable individuals to move forward in more functional ways. Crisis Counseling is for those who wish to become a professional Christian Counselor, Trauma and Crisis Advocate, Chaplain, or Emergency Volunteer, among other options.

PSYC 406 Conflict Theory/Christian Peace
COUN 305 Crisis Counseling
COUN 407 Creative Counseling Methods
COUN 310 Life Coaching Skills

Concentration in Life Coaching

In today’s fast-paced, always-on world, there is a real demand for accredited, certified Life Coaches to help people manage the many pressures of the modern world. The Pillar College concentration in Life Coaching will equip students with the proper techniques and tools utilized by professionals in this dynamic field. Students will equip students for Accreditation with the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and allow them to begin a rewarding career as a Certified Life Coach.

Required Courses:

  • Introduction to Life and Wellness Coaching
  • Life and Wellness Coaching
  • Creative Counseling Methods
  • Group Dynamics

Certification in Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a relatively new, and innovative discipline that teaches the skills necessary to identify, understand, and respond to warning signs of mental health and substance abuse challenges. Through the Pillar College certificate program in MHFA, students will demonstrate increased confidence in their ability to help individuals in their community or church, particularly those in distress. The instruction consists of a 1-hour self-paced class, followed by a 4-hour, instructor-led class via videoconference. Students must take and pass the MHFA examination at the completion of training to receive their certification.

New: Professional Coaching Concentration

This concentration is in response to the growing need for Mental Health Services and for qualified individuals to respond to the urgent need. This concentration provides professional training and experiences to equip students to work without supervision as Life and Wellness Coaches. Additionally, this course will equip students for credentialing from the International Federation of Coaches (ICF).
Students in both the Traditional Program and LEAD Program are eligible to complete this concentration (LEAD students may take these courses as part of their electives or above and beyond their required coursework).
Graduates who have already earned a bachelor’s degree may take these courses separately toward a Professional Coaching Certificate through PACE (PACE pricing to be determined).


A Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology & Counseling provides the foundation for:

  • Careers in Counseling and/or Psychology and Crisis Counseling
  • Certification as a Behavioral Assistant or Technician
  • Spiritual Formation
  • Coaching
  • Mentoring ministry
  • Master’s or Doctoral degrees that permit students to attain state-licensure as a professional counselor

The B.A. in Psychology & Counseling degree can lead to numerous careers including but not limited to:

  • Counseling
  • Rehabilitation
  • College Teaching
  • Clinical Practice
  • Behavioral Management
  • Behavioral Research
  • Psychological Testing
  • Psychiatric Social Work
  • Personnel Training
  • Human Resource Management
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Meet the Program Chair

Maxine A. Bradshaw, Ph.D., MBA; M.Ed.  B.Sc.
Associate Dean and Professor of Psychology and Counseling 

60 Park Place, Suite 701
Newark, NJ 07102