Pillsbury College & Seminary-Equipping Ministers and Training Counselors through Affordable Distance Learning Education

Frequently Asked Questions  

1. Is Pillsbury College & Seminary accredited?

We are accredited by Accrediting Commission International. ACI has accredited more than 300 Christian colleges and seminaries in 39 states, but it is not officially recognized by the U. S. Department of Education. This means that students at Pillsbury are not eligible for federal government grants or loans.

Pillsbury also is a member of the Apostolic Council for Educational Accountability and of the Association of Independent Christian Colleges and Seminaries.

2. What other official connections does the school have?

We operate as a Christian school which was granted "exempt institution" status by the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education on August 19, 1992.

Our Biblical Counseling tracks lead to certificates issued by the American Association of Christian Counselors.

We are an authorized Certified Academic Institution (CAI) of the National Christian Counselors Association (NCCA), and our Christian Counseling Psychology degrees meet the qualifications for NCCA licensure and board certification.

Our Chancellor, Dr. Curt Scarborough, is a member of the National Association of Evangelicals.

Pillsbury College & Seminary is owned, controlled, and operated by FreeWay Foundation, a Christian non-profit corporation originally chartered in 1890. FreeWay Foundation is recognized as an unofficial agency of the Missouri Baptist Convention (SBC), which provides some financial support, and to which we report annually.

3. Do I have to spend any time on campus in St. Louis?

Although we do offer classes on campus, it is possible to earn associate, bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees entirely through distance learning.

4. Can I receive advanced standing through life learning experience?

Undergraduate students are required to prepare a student portfolio of life learning experiences, for evaluation and possible credit. Pillsbury College & Seminary may offer up to 25% of the total hours required for undergraduate degrees by Life Learning Experience. Specifically, a maximum of 15 Life Learning Experience credit hours may be awarded toward a 60 credit hour associate's degree, and a maximum of 30 Life Learning Experience credit hours toward a 120 credit hour bachelor's degree.

Some Life Learning Experience credits may be applied toward the Master of Ministry degree, but no Life Learning Experience credits may be applied toward the other Masters or any of the Doctoral degrees.

5. Is the NCCA license and board certification the same as (or equivalent to) a state's Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) certification?

No. NCCA licensure (LCPC: Licensed Clinical Pastoral Counselor, or LCCC: Licensed Clinical Christian Counselor) is not the same as a state-licensed LPC. NCCA training, degrees, and licensure are offered only to licensed, ordained or commissioned ministers who offer counseling as part of a local church, a Christian denominational entity, or a not-for-profit Christian ministry (para-church organization). (NCCA provides assistance to God-called persons needing ministerial credentials.)

The NCCA curriculum is based on spiritual principles and a Christian worldview as found in the Scriptures. In contrast, most state colleges and other training institutions foster a secular worldview, and their basic psychological therapy is based on principles of humanism.

6. Why are Pillsbury College & Seminary tuition costs so much lower than most other institutions of higher learning?

Pillsbury College & Seminary is owned and operated by FreeWay Foundation, which pays the salaries and benefits of all school personnel. The school occupies a part of the Foundation's building in the St. Louis area without charge; therefore tuition remains low because overhead costs of the school are minimal. Textbooks are available at wholesale cost to students.

7. What are the differences between the doctoral degree programs offered in counseling?

The Doctor of Christian Counseling is a 60 credit hour program using the curriculum and format of NCCA. This program costs $6,600 ($110 per cr. hr.) and it meets the requirements for NCCA licensure and board certification.

The Doctor of Christian Psychology in Clinical Counseling is a 45 credit hour program using the curriculum and format of NCCA. Only persons who already have an earned doctoral degree may enter this "second doctorate" program. This program costs $4,950 ($110 per cr. hr.), and it meets the requirements of NCCA licensure and board certification.

8. Is it possible to transfer courses between the AACC curriculum and the NCCA curriculum?

No. Both the AACC and the NCCA curriculum programs are independent and mutually exclusive. Transferring of credits between the two programs is not allowed. The AACC format uses videotapes and open-book examinations; the NCCA format uses textbook study and proctored, closed-book examinations.

9. Can I take NCCA courses while enrolled as an undergraduate student?

You may take AACC courses in pursuing an undergraduate degree (associate or bachelor), but NCCA courses are available only for graduate students . . . those pursuing a master's or doctoral degree.

10. How long does each degree program usually take?

30 credit hours of Associate or Bachelor of Ministry degree. . . . . . . . . . . . . 12-15 months
30 credit hours of Master of Ministry degree . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12-15 months
45 credit hours of Master of Christian Counseling degree . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15-20 months
30 credit hours of Doctor of Ministry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12-15 months
60 credit hours of Doctor of Christian Counseling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21-30 months
45 credit hours of Doctor of Christian Psychology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15-20 months

Students may enter any time during the year and work at their own pace, which may be for a shorter or longer time period than the estimates shown above. Students may graduate whenever their academic work is finished and all tuition and fees are paid. We recommend completing one course per month.

11. Does Pillsbury College & Seminary have a formal graduation ceremony?

Yes. Students may choose to attend the graduation exercises held annually in St. Louis, Missouri. The ceremony usually is scheduled on a Saturday in May.

12. Am I required to have an undergraduate degree in counseling, Bible, or ministry to enroll in one of the masters degree programs?

You must have a standard bachelors degree (120 cr. hrs.) in any discipline from a recognized school or college to enroll in a masters program at Pillsbury College & Seminary. (If you do not have an undergraduate degree, we can help you to earn one with a combination of transfer credits from another school, other formal training, life learning experience credits, plus some courses at Pillsbury.)

To enter most Doctoral programs at Pillsbury, you must have a standard masters degree (32 cr. hrs. minimum) in any discipline from a recognized school or college. To enter the Doctor of Christian Psychology program, you must already have an earned doctoral degree in any discipline.

13. If I have earned AACC credits or NCCA credits at another institution, may I transfer them into a degree program at Pillsbury.

Yes. There is a small charge for such a transfer, and the courses to be transferred must exactly match the Pillsbury catalog requirements; no substitute or equivalent courses will be accepted.

14. Does Pillsbury offer financial aid? Are credit cards accepted for payment?

Pillsbury does not offer student loans or financial aid. However, we do offer extended payment plans (approximately one-third down with the balance in payments of not less than $100 per month.)

A limited number of scholarships are available annually.

Our financial office now accepts credit card payments through PayPal.

15. How can I do the required NCCA case studies if I am not currently working as a Christian counselor?

You will be assigned a clinical supervisor who will assist you in meeting this NCCA requirement. You will be instructed on how to obtain the necessary case studies from among your family members, friends, and acquaintances.

16. What is your statement of faith?

Pillsbury College & Seminary supports the basic belief statement of the National Association of Evangelicals. We are a Trinitarian, conservative Bible-believing institution, in the Christian tradition which emphasizes salvation by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. » Statement of Faith

Dr. Curt Scarborough, Chancellor of Pillsbury College & Seminary, is an ordained Southern Baptist minister, with 50 years of full-time service and experience.

17. Why is the school named "Pillsbury College & Seminary"?

The school is named in honor of a Christian family in St. Louis who have been substantial and long-time financial supporters of FreeWay Foundation, and its predecessor, Christian Civic Foundation. In fact, at least one member of the Pillsbury family has served on the Board of Directors of the Foundation every year for the past 50 years.

Because of the rather narrow scope of our majors (or areas of concentration), when the school was chartered in 1992, the Board of Regents decided to use the name "Institute" rather than to call the school a college or a seminary. The name was changed to College & Seminary in 2005 due to the addition of several new courses and areas of concentration.

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