Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling


Historic. Accredited. Online.

Grace College and Theological Seminary has a rich history of offering graduate counseling degrees since 1995. The online 60-credit hour Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) program was developed in 2010 and is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP) through 2020. Our CMHC students complete the majority of their coursework in a fully online format while attending an annual 7-10 day Residency on campus in scenic Winona Lake (IN). The CMHC is also available as a Residential program.

CACREP Accreditation Information


Examples of courses in this major:

CPY 5050-I Theological Foundations of Counseling

This course will examine a biblical theory of counseling based upon a biblical theory of personality. Other topics will include biblical presuppositions, theories of "integration," the image/likeness of God, and prayer. The implications of counseling will be discussed in each of these topics.

CPY 5100-I Foundations of Clinical Mental Health Counseling

This course is intended to offer an introduction to the profession of mental health counseling. Students will be exposed to the historical, philosophical, societal, economic, and political dimensions of mental health counseling. The focus will be on fostering student knowledge and professional identity by increasing awareness of various roles and duties of professional mental health counselors as well as learning how they interact with professionals from other disciplines within the mental health field.

CPY 5150-I Marriage and Family Counseling

Through the lens of Scripture, this course will examine a broad theoretical and practical foundation for counseling couples and families. Students will explore how the counselor can implement knowledge and skills necessary to aid in the mending of marriages and the restoration of proper family functioning.

CPY 5200-I Personality & Counseling Theories

This course examines the origins, development, and current status of major personality/counseling theories that provide a framework for clinical application and inform current counseling practice. The emphasis will be on the structure and dynamics of personality and implications for understanding behavior and change. Learners will evaluate the compatibility of these theories in light of their Christian worldview, ultimately selecting a particular theoretical orientation to be used in counseling practice.

CPY 5250-I Psychopathology

This course provides an introduction to the concepts of psychopathology and to the major diagnostic categories of the current DSM and their etiologies. Learners will examine issues of psychopathology and normalcy through the lens of Scripture, providing an opportunity for students to develop diagnostic skills. Emphasis is placed on understanding how cultural, biological, social, psychological, and spiritual factors are all necessary components when developing an ethical model of assessment and treatment planning.

CPY 5350-I Counseling Skills

Professional skill development is the emphasis of this course. The student will learn about and practice implementing counseling skills. Strengths and weaknesses related to interpersonal competencies (e.g., openness, flexibility, cooperativeness, aware of impact on others) will be explored as well.

CPY 5380 Psychotherapy with Children & Adolescents

The course will provide students exposure to the scope of counseling with children and adolescents. This course is designed to equip students with both theory and practical applications unique to the issues related to counseling youths. A central focus will include the use of assessment procedures with children and adolescents.

CPY 5500 Psychotherapy and Trauma

This course will examine the nature and practice of psychotherapy as it pertains to the topic of crises, disasters, and other trauma causing events. The nature of trauma, trauma resolution, and the standard of care in responding to trauma survivors will be explored.

CPY 5590 Research and Statistics

This course will address research design and experimentation as it pertains to the study of counseling. It will also address a basic understanding of the statistics employed to analyze data gathered.

CPY 5650 Addictions Counseling

Mental health counselors and other helping professionals are faced with the challenging reality of addiction and its widespread impact on individuals, families, and communities. This course is primarily designed to address the various dynamics, models, etiologies, diagnoses/psychopathologies, and recovery strategies related to addiction. The secondary intention of this course is to provide counselors and helping professionals with salient treatment methods and assessments for substance-related and addictive disorders in order to better apply these across diverse populations and developmental life spans in a rapidly changing field.

CPY 5690 Psychological Testing and Measurement

Students will receive instruction in the measurement of human behavior with psychological instruments. The course will include an introduction to tests of intelligence, achievement, personality, and interest, with emphasis on test construction, administration, and validation.

CPY 5750 Gender and Sexuality

This course considers biological, psychological, cultural, societal, and biblical considerations of gender and human sexuality. Emphasis will be placed on the development of an understanding and appreciation of the role of gender and sexuality throughout the various phases of the life cycle. Counseling issues germane to both gender and sexuality will also be explored.

CPY 6200-I Ethical and Legal Issues

This course is designed to develop a broad biblical knowledge base, critical thinking, and ethical decision-making skills for mental health counseling practice. A focus on the development of student desire and diligence as practicing counselors and the development of a high degree of personal and professional ethics to enhance clinical work will be emphasized.

CPY 6350-I Group Counseling

This course will examine the history, theories, and methods of group counseling as applied in a multicultural society and as viewed from a Christian perspective. Learners will be trained in applications of group psychotherapy through group discussions and a group experience for the purpose of developing and growing their group leadership proficiency.

CPY 6400-I Human Growth and Development

In this course, developmental principles will be examined and synthesized from the biological, sociological, cognitive, emotional, moral, and spiritual dimensions throughout the lifespan cycle. Learners will learn to link theory and theology to practice and demonstrate how a strong grasp of developmental principles can inform the practice and art of competent therapy.

CPY 6520-I Social and Cultural Issues

Cultural issues such as ethnic heritage, socioeconomic status, age, disability, and religion will be considered as germane to the therapeutic relationship and client conceptualization. Emphasis will be placed on understanding worldviews, cultural history, values, systems and structures, and other such factors as they impact effective diagnosis, assessment, and interventions used with culturally diverse clients. Understanding culturally specific theories and advocacy will be introduced as part of a culturally competent clinician's developed skill set. Each of these concepts will be considered in light of a Biblical framework that foundationally understands God’s view of all people groups. This course includes an experiential component intended to increase the learner’s multicultural awareness across diverse counseling settings.

CPY 6600-I Lifestyle/Career Counseling

This course will assist the learner in defining a biblical view of work and articulate its relevance and application in both the secular and Christian context. Components of various career development theories and decision-making models will be emphasized. The learner will identify career, vocational, educational, occupational, and labor market information resources and systems that are available to assist in career and educational planning and will be able to demonstrate the usefulness of assessment instruments and techniques relevant to career planning and decision-making. Career counseling processes techniques, and resources applicable to specific populations and multicultural issues in career development will be discussed.

Fieldwork Courses

Fieldwork courses are clinical courses required to develop and refine advanced counseling skills that conceptually link counseling theory and practice in a clinical setting. All fieldwork courses are completed in approved clinical sites within the United States or on U.S. military installations.

CPY 5700 I Practicum/Advanced Skills

This course is the first of three fieldwork courses. Students will complete didactic and skill-based training in advanced counseling skills during the second year residency and will gain clinical experience through observation and participation in off campus sites, acquiring at least 40 hours of direct client contact. In addition, students will maintain weekly supervision by a licensed site supervisor and regularly scheduled electronic group supervision with a university professor. Prerequisite and Concurrent courses: All first year courses must be completed; Ethical and Legal Issues CPY 6200-I, and Group Counseling CPY 6three50-I are taken concurrently with Practicum.

CPY 6700-I Internship in Mental Health Counseling

This course is the second of three fieldwork courses. Students will conduct practicum in off-campus sites acquiring at least 120 hours of direct client contact. In addition, students will maintain weekly supervision by a licensed site supervisor and regularly scheduled electronic group supervision with a university professor.

CPY 6710-I Advanced Internship

This course is the third of three fieldwork courses. Students will conduct practicum in off-campus sites acquiring at least 120 hours of direct client contact. In addition, students will maintain weekly supervision by a licensed site supervisor and regularly scheduled electronic group supervision with a university professor.

Capstone Elements

CPY6800 Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination

The Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE) is one of two capstone processes that assess students for readiness to graduate from the CMHC program. The CPCE tests the student’s proficiency in the following eight core curriculum areas: Human Growth and Development; Helping Relations; Social and Cultural Foundations; Group Work; Career and Lifestyle Development; Appraisal; Research and Program Evaluation; and Professional Orientation and Ethics. The CPCE is a “Pass/Fail” component of the CMHC degree.

Portfolio Review – CPY6900

The Portfolio Review is one of two capstone processes that assess students for readiness to graduate from the CMHC program. The Portfolio Review is comprised of both written and oral components that include academic assignments and a presentation of a professional case conceptualization for a client with whom they have worked during the Advanced Internship Course. The Portfolio Review is a “Pass/Fail” component of the CMHC degree.