Master of Arts in Counseling
Counseling is a relatively new branch of science, located among social pedagogy, pedagogy, sociology, and psychology. The M.A. in Counseling program at Friedensau Adventist University (FAU) gives insight into these fields as well as into economic sciences, medicine, and theology.
Although counseling is a newer branch of science, it already has a long tradition in pastoral care. Therefore, and due to FAU’s Christian profile, the M.A. in Counseling program offers an advantage over other institutions who have not had the long-standing tradition of offering education in counseling. Moreover, the M.A. in Counseling program from FAU is state-recognized—and most importantly—accredited. This offers students the possibility to continue on to a doctorate degree after their master’s. Another bonus is the ability to enroll in this program extra-occupational, allowing one to continue work while studying.
The M.A. in Counseling program offers a solid foundation for any kind of career concerned with marriage counseling, family counseling, or life counseling. This program is a perfect fit for students who already have a degree in social work, social education, pastoral ministry, or other similar fields of study.
Unlike other extra-occupational program of this kind, the M.A. in Counseling program offers instruction in not only theory, self- and partner-perception, and an extensive internship under supervision, but also a strong research component.
Friedensau Adventist University is a member of the German Association for Counseling (DGfB), and covers in its M.A. in Counseling program all necessary training criteria for the counseling profession.
Content and Structure
Counseling is a broad field which cannot be covered completely in two years of full-time study. It is, therefore, necessary to do some specialization. The M.A. in Counseling program at FAU offers the possibility to specialize in the field of marriage counseling, family counseling, and life counseling. While half of the studies focus on the chosen specialization which includes an extensive internship under special technical and interdisciplinary supervision, the other half provides the foundations of counseling, courses in psychology and health sciences as well as research methods and extensive scientific work in form of the master's thesis.
The normal program length is 4 semesters for full-time studies and 6 semesters for part-time studies. Courses are offered during block weeks.
The program has a modular structure. A module consists of several courses, which are grouped in a thematic block. The modules generally take up one semester or one year of study.
Passing all individual courses of a module is the requirement for the completion of a module. The module overall grade is the arithmetic mean of the individual course grades. For each module completed, a set number of credits is given according to the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). The credits are recognized throughout Europe and therefore transferable. Thus, transferring to a study program abroad should be easy.
There is more than enough work for counseling graduates as the psychosocial hardships and problems around us are increasing steadily. However, the problem is not the work, but the payment for it. Nonetheless, we want to encourage you. Counseling graduates can work autonomously, on the basis of an honorarium, or in a permanent position in counseling offices of free or municipally agencies, in hospitals, especially institutions for psychological problems, or in leadership positions within social or Christian institutions. Certainly, an academic career is also possible and, especially in such a new branch of science, interesting and appealing.
For all applicants, the prerequisite for the program is a bachelor's degree in social sciences, social pedagogy, psychology, educational sciences, political sciences, sociology, or in an equivalent field of study with a final grade of at least 2.5 (or GPA 3.5 or better in the American grading system). Applicants with a bachelor's degree in other fields of study, must prove knowledge in certain fields or enroll in some modules of the B.A. in Social Work program at FAU.
Moreover, applicants must provide proof of at least 50 hours of self-perception courses. Exceptions may be made by the examination committee of the School of Social Sciences of FAU.
All applicants must prepare for two interviews: an interview with a lecture at FAU and another interview with a counselor in any counseling office with a focus on marriage counseling, family counseling, or life counseling who shall assess the aptitude of the applicant. Applicants must provide written proof of the interviews with a remark stating that the applicant most probably is fit/conditionally fit/unfit to become a counselor. If an applicant is assessed as unfit in both interviews, the necessary requirements are not met. If an applicant is assessed as conditionally fit in both interviews, study permission might be granted under certain conditions.
Foreign applicants who have little or no knowledge of German may take a one-year course in German as a Foreign Language at Friedensau Adventist University. Applicants must otherwise be able to demonstrate good knowledge of German, e.g. by successfully passing a test of German as a Foreign Language (TestDaF examination) with at least 2x TDN 4 and 2x TDN 3.
- Submit the complete application file online within the application deadline.
- The application for admission will be examined by the Admissions Committee and the Finance Committee within 1 week to 1 month. The decision on admission will be made under consideration of the admission capacity and the clarified student financing.
- The applicant will be notified in writing by e-mail within one week after the meeting of the Admissions Committee and Finance Committee.
- Admitted applicants will be asked to transfer the down payment and the deposit to FAU within 2-3 weeks after being informed about the decision on admission, EU citizens by August 31 at the latest, non-EU citizens by May 31 at the latest.
- Upon the receipt of the down payment and deposit, the Admissions Office will send the letter of admission as well as information for the start of studies and the arrival to the prospective student. In case the student needs a visa, further documents relevant for the embassy will be sent within 1 month.
- Information on visa: Prospective students need a student visa. Please check in advance how much time you need in order to get an appointment at the respective embassy. The visa application normally takes 6-8 weeks.
- Applicants for the M.A. in Music Therapy and M.A. in Counseling programs will be contacted by the Admissions Office regarding the certificates of participation in a self-perception course, the results of the interviews (1 for Music Therapy, 2 for Counseling), and the aptitude test (only for Music Therapy) later in the admissions procedure. There is no need to upload these documents.
The easiest way for applicants to FAU is the online application—simply create a user account and start the online application right away.