This degree is for students seeking to enter vocations in religious leadership with skills both in theology and counseling. Students enrolled in the joint degree program can complete the requirements for both the Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Counseling degrees in four years instead of the five years needed if each program is undertaken separately. The curriculum meets the accrediting standards for each degree program. The joint degree program is designed to ensure that students meet the educational requirements for licensure as professional counselors in North Carolina and most other states.