What Do I Need To Know About The Counseling Admissions Interview? Print

Modified on: Wed, 13 Jul, 2022 at 10:47 AM


The Purpose

The interview is an opportunity in which we get to think together with you about whether the role of counselor is a good career/ministry fit for you. More specifically, we want to verify that:

  • You have time in your schedule for academic work and personal processing.
  • You are gifted in the necessary characteristics of an effective counselor that, among others may include skills of listening, empathy, ability to challenge others effectively, and sensitivity to work with diverse people.
  • You have personal stability and ego strength sufficient to withstand the stress of counseling people who have endured severe and disturbing circumstances and life events.
  • Other people in your life are supportive and encouraging of you in your academic pursuits.
  • The desire to be a counselor flows out of your walk with God.

Even in assessing the above, it is a daunting task for the interviewing committee to try to determine your gifting in a one-hour interview. Because of that, we also review the input from those who furnished personal recommendations as well as the materials you provided in your admission application. We may ask questions about how your current life circumstances will interact with your counseling ministry or profession. While we attempt to assess the appropriateness of applicants for the program, we value diverse people with various life experiences because having a variety of perspectives will expand and enrich our profession.  

The Experience

The interviewing committee will consist of four or more Western Seminary representatives—faculty members from the Counseling department. They may sometimes be assisted by another Western faculty member or a representative from the Office of Student Development. It is our desire to seek the Lord’s direction and to think together with you about your fit for the counseling program. 

On California campuses, the interview will typically follow a standard interview process being approximately one hour in length. On the Portland campus, the interview is a monthly group interview that is two hours in length. For Portland applicants, it may be helpful to think about something you have been working on in your own life that would be safe to share during an interview.  You may be asked to step out of the room for a short time for interviewers to dialog about their observations. 

Candidates often come away not knowing whether they were viewed favorably. It is not our desire to make you uncomfortable. It is, however, of great importance that we think carefully about your suitability to enter the counseling program. We want to ensure that your time, money, and effort are spent wisely in an area where we are trying to collaboratively predict your success. We want Western Seminary counseling graduates to be of the highest caliber and excellent representatives of our Lord Jesus Christ in the counseling profession. 

The Results

The interviewing committee will make a recommendation to the Admissions Office once all criteria are evaluated. This combined with the other aspects of your application will be reviewed to make a final determination. A decision letter will be sent to you within two business weeks, advising you of your status. 


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