The New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary has received notification of accreditation for its licensure-track master’s programs in counseling and the counseling doctoral program by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a signal to the program’s quality and professionalism.
CACREP, a specialized accreditor that evaluates professional preparation programs within institutions, notified NOBTS by letter Feb. 22.
“I am excited for the decision made by the CACREP Board of Directors to accredit our graduate and doctoral programs in counseling,” said Jamie Dew, president. “This accreditation means our graduates will be able to take their biblically-saturated training in counseling and serve in a multitude of contexts to be salt and light in a broken and hurting world.”
Accredited were the licensure-track master’s specializations in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling, as well as the Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision.
According to the CACREP website, CACREP accreditation means “the program has been evaluated and meets standards set by the profession.” The website notes also that CACREP-accredited programs meet the required educational training for counseling licensure in most states, “making CACREP-accreditation a pathway to portability.”
The accreditation process included a voluntary self-study submitted by the NOBTS graduate counseling faculty that was reviewed by counselors and counselor educators using CACREP standards. A visit by a CACREP on-site team followed.
“I am proud of the team that has led our program through the accreditation process,” Dew said. “Southern Baptists can rest in the knowledge that when they send us students for training in counseling they will be sent out with a biblically-based training that has prepared them to serve anywhere God calls them.”
CACREP requirements for accreditation focused on institutional settings, program mission and objectives, program content, practicum experiences, student selection and advising, faculty qualifications and workload, program governance, instructional support, and self-evaluation.
“The accreditation process was rigorous, and the reward is significant for our students,” said Craig Garrett, associate dean, division of counseling.
“CACREP accreditation signals to licensing boards, employers, and the public that our seminary counseling graduates have trained in a program that meets the highest training standards,” Garrett continued. “It especially positions our doctoral grads to teach in CACREP accredited higher education programs where they can influence new generations of counselors.”
A 2016 response letter posted on the CACREP “about page” clarified the organization’s position on allowing programs at faith-based institutions to act in ways consistent with the institution’s mission. The letter states “CACREP standards provide a framework of educational standards that is intended to provide flexibility for programs and the institutions that house them.”"The world is in great need of licensed counselors with a biblical worldview,” said Norris Grubbs, provost. “We are excited about the doors this accreditation opens for NOBTS students to minister to those who are hurting."