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Grace College Online Education

Clinical Mental Health Counseling, MA


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 program was developed in 2010 and is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) through 2020. Students can complete the majority of their coursework in a fully online format while attending an annual seven-to-ten day residency on campus in scenic Winona Lake, Indiana.

The online Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is committed to Scripture as the foundation for truth in each course with a complementary understanding of the truths in psychology and the social sciences. The program is further committed to the professional and interpersonal development of the student which is essential for effective counseling practice.

At A Glance

  • Next Start Date May 13
  • Course Delivery 80% Online / 20% Campus
  • Credit Hours 60
  • Degree Master of Arts
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  • CPY 5000-I Residency One

    Credit Hours: 0

    Residency consists of counselor preparation and training, evaluation in skill development, and spiritual growth activities facilitated by online and residential faculty members. The first residency focuses on orientation to clinical mental health counseling, skill development, and student-to-student and faculty-to-student connections. Each day of residency, students will participate in a spiritual formation activity that encourages a closer walk with the Lord and fosters understanding of a Christian counselor identity. Students are required to attend Residency each year that they are enrolled and actively taking classes within the CMHC program. (Zero hours)

  • CPY 5002-I Residency Two

    Credit Hours: 0

    Residency consists of counselor preparation and training, evaluation in skill development, and spiritual growth activities facilitated by online and residential faculty members. The second residency centers around assessing interpersonal competencies, skill development and evaluation, and advanced topics. Each day of residency, students will participate in a spiritual formation activity that encourages a closer walk with the Lord and fosters understanding of a Christian counselor identity. Students are required to attend Residency each year that they are enrolled and actively taking classes within the CMHC program. (Zero hours)

  • CPY 5003-I Residency Three

    Credit Hours: 3

    Residency consists of counselor preparation and training, evaluation in skill development, and spiritual growth activities facilitated by online and residential faculty members. The third residency consists of training in professional identity topics, preparing for licensure and employment, potential research endeavors, and taking the CPCE exam. .Each day of residency, students will participate in a spiritual formation activity that encourages a closer walk with the Lord and fosters understanding of a Christian counselor identity. Students are required to attend Residency each year that they are enrolled and actively taking classes within the CMHC program. (Zero hours)

  • CPY 5005 Orientation to CMHC

    Credit Hours: 0

    Students are introduced to Clinical Mental Health Counseling by learning about the key components of the CMHC program. Topics discussed include the historical roots and three distinctives of the program, the emphasis on skill development, professional counselor identity, CACREP accreditation, gatekeeping elements, the graduate culture, advising, the two learning platforms, clinical field requirements, APA writing style, and technology requirements. (Zero hours).

  • CPY 5050, CPY 5050-I Theological Foundations in Counseling

    This course will examine a theological foundation of counseling specifically as it pertains to Scriptural truths and principles. A biblical theory of personality will be presented which will lead to biblical concepts of counseling. (Three hours) Prerequisites: none

  • CPY 5100, CPY 5100-I Foundations of CMHC

    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. (Three hours) Prerequisites: none

  • CPY 5150, 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. (Three hours) Prerequisites: CPY5200

  • CPY 5200, CPY 5200-I Personality and 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. Students 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. (Three hours) Prerequisites: none

  • CPY 5250, CPY 5250-I Psychopathology

    This course focuses on concepts of psychopathology as well as the major diagnostic categories of the current DSM, etiological factors, and differential diagnoses. Students are introduced to psychopharmacology as well as current therapeutic approaches, with an emphasis on ethical assessment and treatment planning. Students will examine issues of psychopathology and normalcy through the lens of Scripture while considering cultural, biological, social, psychological, and spiritual factors.(Three hours) Prerequisites: none

  • CPY 5350, CPY 5350-I Counseling Skills

    Professional skill development is the focus of this course. Students will learn to identify client issues that impact wellness, and gain proficiency in basic counseling skills through instruction, modeling, and practice. Students will develop awareness of strengths and weaknesses in relating to others, and explore how interpersonal factors influence therapy. (Three hours) Prerequisites: CPY5100

  • CPY 5380, CPY 5380-I Psychotherapy with Children and Adolescents

    The course will explore diagnoses specific to children and adolescents with an emphasis on theories, processes, evidence-based practices, techniques, and incorporating families in working with this population. A central theme in the course includes developing an understanding and readiness to address the needs of children, adolescents, and their families using biblical and counseling perspectives. (Three hours) Prerequisites: CPY5200, CPY5250

  • CPY 5480 Spirituality in Counseling

    This course is designed to expand students’ knowledge of ways in which spirituality influences the practice of clinical mental health counseling. Students will learn strategies for exploring clients’ spiritual concerns, addressing pain from a theological perspective, assisting clients in spiritual growth, and using the Bible to directly promote client change. Students will also engage in activities designed to promote personal spiritual formation. Note: Online Class.

  • CPY 5592, CPY 5592-I Research and Program Evaluation

    As it pertains to the study of counseling, this course is designed to familiarize students with common research designs, basic statistical concepts and analyses, and critical evaluation of published research. Students will learn how to utilize this knowledge as it relates to program evaluation. (Three hours) Prerequisites: none

  • CPY 5610, CPY 5610-I Candidacy

    Credit Hours: 0

    Candidacy is the first of three DOGC gatekeeping processes which assess student readiness to advance through the CMHC program. Students register for Candidacy following successful completion of Practicum. Registration for Candidacy requires prior approval from the student’s advisor. (Zero hours) Prerequisites: CPY 5050, CPY 5100, CPY 5350, CPY 6350, CPY 5250, CPY 5200, CPY 5700

  • CPY 5650, CPY 5650-I Addictions Counseling

    This course examines the models, etiologies, psychopathologies, assessments, and recovery strategies related to addiction counseling. Students engage in applied learning activities to enhance understanding of addictive behavior and its treatment. Evidence-based interventions and the stages of change model are emphasized. Students explore the dynamics and treatment of addiction from an ethical, multicultural, sociological, and biblical framework. (Three hours) Prerequisites: CPY5200, CPY5250, CPY6350

  • CPY 5691, CPY 5691-I Assessment and Testing

    In this course, the measurement of human behavior with assessment instruments will be examined and students will build a working knowledge of ethical evaluation, administration, and interpretation of tests used in treatment planning for counseling. Content will include an introduction to the basic statistical concepts in testing and the historical, ethical, multicultural, social, and clinical use of standardized and nonstandardized tests for individuals and groups. Students will learn methods for determining the appropriate assessment for a particular population, and practice administering formal and informal psychological assessments. (Three hours)
    Prerequisites: CPY5200, CPY5250, CPY5350

  • CPY 5700, CPY 5700-I Practicum

    This course is the first of three fieldwork courses and emphasizes application of foundational counseling skills, diagnosis, and theory-based case conceptualization and treatment planning during a minimum of 100 hours of supervised, counseling interactions with clients. Students are introduced to advanced counseling techniques and continue to develop competency in foundational counseling skills at off-campus clinical sites through a combination of observation, co-counseling, and leading counseling sessions or groups under direct supervision. Students use audio/video recordings during weekly, live supervision with clinical and faculty supervisors throughout the course. (Three hours) Prerequisites: CPY 5100, CPY5200, CPY5250, CPY5350, CPY6350

  • CPY 5705, CPY 5705-I Preparation for Clinical Courses

    Credit Hours: 3

    Students are introduced to Practicum, Internship, and Advanced Internship by learning about the key components of clinical field experience. Topics will include orientation to Practicum and Internship, requirements for clinical courses, recommendations for obtaining a site, and suggestions for taping and uploading client sessions. (Zero hours).

  • CPY 5750, CPY 5750-I Gender and Sexuality

    This course considers biological, physiological, psychological, cultural, societal, and biblical considerations of gender and human sexuality including populations under-reported in research. Emphasis is placed on the development of understanding and appreciation for the role of gender and sexuality throughout the various phases of the life cycle, and on preparing to work with clients who bring concerns related to gender or sexuality. (Three hours) Perquisites: none

  • CPY 6000, CPY 6000-I Advanced Clinical Practices & Treatment

    This course will examine the practice of counseling as it pertains to treatment and interventions. Evidenced based counseling strategies for the treatment of a variety of mental health issues will be reviewed. Attention will be paid to crisis, trauma, grief, anxiety and depression. Students will use their knowledge of etiology, nomenclature and diagnosis to solidify their application of interventions and treatments.
    Prerequisites: CPY5250, CPY 5350, CPY 5100, CPY5200, CPY5700

  • CPY 6200, CPY 6200-I Ethical and Legal Issues

    Students will acquire a broad knowledge base of the legal and ethical issues relevant to clinical mental health counseling practice. Instruction in critical thinking and ethical decision-making is a major component of this course. Students will draw from scripture, codes of ethics, and state and federal law to develop a high degree of personal and professional ethics to enhance clinical work (Three hours) Prerequisites: none

  • CPY 6250 Contemporary Issues and Trends in Counseling

    Credit Hours: 1

    This course explores contemporary topics relevant to the practice of clinical mental health counseling. Students study changing paradigms within the helping professions and discuss issues that impact client treatment. Students are introduced to current research and innovative counseling strategies that enhance treatment and promote client wellness. The course is designed to increase the student’s knowledge base of counseling-related subjects and provide advanced skill training. Note: Online Class. Elective (One hour) Prerequisites: none

  • CPY 6350, CPY 6350-I Group Counseling

    This course will examine the dynamics, theories, ethics, leadership styles, types and purposes, methods and skills, development, and therapeutic factors of group counseling as applied in a multicultural society and as viewed from a Christian perspective. Students will be trained in applications of group counseling through group discussions and applied learning activities for the purpose of developing proficiency in group leadership skills. This course includes an experiential component intended to increase the student’s understanding of the dynamics of group membership. (Three hours) Prerequisites: CPY5250, CPY5350, CPY 5200

  • CPY 6400, CPY 6400-I Human Growth and Development

    In this course, developmental models and theories will be examined and synthesized to understand the needs of individuals, families, and communities using neuro-biological, physiological, sociological, multicultural, cognitive, emotional, moral, and spiritual dimensions throughout the lifespan cycle. Students will examine the effects of resilience, and spirituality on human behavior and development related to disability, psychopathology, and during crises, disasters, or other situational factors. Students 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. (Three hours) Prerequisites: CPY5200

  • CPY 6500, CPY 650-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 student’s multicultural awareness across diverse counseling settings. (Three hours) Prerequisites: none

  • CPY 6600, CPY 6600-I Lifestyle and Career Counseling

    This course will assist the student in defining a biblical view of work and its relevance in both secular and Christian contexts through the examination of scripture, theories, decision-making models, techniques, and resources related to career development and maintenance, and the resolution of career-related problems. Students will explore avocational, educational, occupational and labor market and career information resources with an emphasis on developing basic competencies in career and educational planning. The usefulness of assessment instruments and techniques relevant to career planning and decision-making will be demonstrated through experiential learning providing an understanding of specific populations, multicultural issues, and the intersection of mental health and career. (Three hours) Prerequisites: CPY5200, CPY5350

  • CPY 6700, CPY6700-I Internship in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

    This course is the second of three fieldwork courses where students continue to develop and refine clinical skills while meeting state hourly requirements for working directly with clients in a mental health counseling setting. Students attend weekly individual or triadic supervision with a licensed supervisor on site. Faculty provides weekly group supervision, offering feedback from both a clinical and biblical perspective. (Three hours) Prerequisites: CPY5610, CPY5700, CPY6200

  • CPY 6710, CPY 6710-I Advanced Internship in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

    This course is the third of three fieldwork courses and a continuation of the internship experience. Students complete state requirements for counseling hours and attend weekly individual or triadic supervision with a licensed supervisor on site. Faculty provides weekly group supervision, offering feedback from both a clinical and biblical perspective. (Three hours) Prerequisites: CPY6700

  • CPY 6720 Advanced Internship Extension

    Credit Hours: 3

    This course is an extension of Advanced Internship. Enrollment in this course requires prior approval by the Department Chair. Elective (One hour)
    Prerequisites: CPY6710

  • CPY 6800, CPY 6800-I Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE)

    Credit Hours: 0

    The Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE) is second of three gatekeeping 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: Professional Counseling Orientation and Ethical Practice, Social and Cultural Diversity, Human Growth and Development; Career Development, Counseling and Helping Relationships; Social and Cultural Foundations; Group Counseling and Group Work; Assessment and Testing, and Research and Program Evaluation. The CPCE is a “Pass/Fail” component of the CMHC degree. Registration requires prior approval from student’s advisor.(Zero hours) Prerequisites: CPY5100, CPY 5350, CPY 6350, CPY 5250, CPY 5690, CPY 6200, CPY 5200, CPY 5700, CPY 5592, CPY6400, CPY 6500, CPY 6600, CPY 5610

Tuition & Fees

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How Much Will I Pay for my Degree?
Full Program Tuition $624 Per Credit Hour $37,440
Online Course Fee (Per Online Class) $150 $3,000
Full Program Total $40,440

Financial Aid & Credit Transfer

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How to Apply

In order to be considered for enrollment in one of the graduate programs at Grace, you must fulfill certain admission requirements. Below is a list of the requirements for the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program.

  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution
  • Undergraduate GPA: minimum 3.0
  • Complete the application process
  • Background check

**Please note that any applications or application materials received after deadline (below) can’t be guaranteed admission for the semester. Availability after the deadline is dependent upon open / unfilled seats.

Step 1: Online Application

After all parts of your application have been completed and received in our enrollment office, your application will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee.

*Please note that any applications or application materials received after this deadline can’t be guaranteed admission for the semester. Availability after the deadline is dependent upon open / unfilled seats.

Step 2: Transcript Request

Submit official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions which you have attended. To do this, please complete the Official Transcript Request Form and fax it to 800-473-2512.

Step 3: Reference Forms

Please contact the necessary references (these cannot be relatives) and have them complete the applicable reference form below.

  • Spiritual Reference Form should be completed by a pastor or mentor involved in a local church adhering to the Christian faith.
  • Professional Reference Form should be completed by a recent (within the last three years) employer, instructor, or supervisor of one year or longer.

Step 4: Background Check

Please go to to request a criminal background check at the Applicant’s expense ($50). This document may not automatically be sent to you. If the electronic report is made available to you when you submit your information online, please save or print it and then email to You can also mail a copy to the Department of Online Education Office (address above).

Due to the process of securing a practicum/internship and licensure, it is highly unlikely that applicants who have a history of physical violence, sexual misconduct, and/or multiple criminal charges will be admitted to the CMHC program. In addition, applicants who have served a prison sentence will not be considered for enrollment in the CMHC program.

Step 5: Resume

Email an up-to-date resume to In addition to employment, please include any volunteer experience relevant to the helping profession.

Step 6: Interview

Once you have completed steps 1-6, and the Department of Online Education has received all of the forms, you will be ready for a phone interview. A faculty member will contact you to schedule a personal interview.

When all of the steps have been completed, you will be advised of the Admissions Committee’s decision. The Admissions Committee may request that you submit additional materials and/or that you interview with a representative of the College.

Step 7: Acceptance Process

Admission’s Requirements for Special Circumstances

  • written statement addressing how the applicant will overcome their special circumstances to achieve success as a graduate student and counselor-in-training.
  • An additional reference that provides insight into or addresses the applicant’s special circumstances.
  • Additional documentation or verification of student’s special circumstances.
  • An additional interview with a faculty member to address the applicant’s special circumstances

Admission Requirements for Unclassified Students

Applicants who are not seeking a degree but require additional or specific coursework to satisfy educational requirements related to state licensure may apply to the online Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) program as an Unclassified Student under the following conditions:

  • Unclassified students are eligible to take up to nine credits in the CMHC program.
  • Unclassified students are not eligible to take clinical courses in the CMHC program, including Counseling Skills, Group Counseling, Practicum, Internship, or Advanced Internship.
  • Unclassified students must submit a complete application for admission into the online CMHC program as per the graduate application process.
  • Unclassified students may be asked to provide “documentation of need” for the specific course(s) offered within the online CMHC program.  Documentation of need may include, but is not limited to, correspondence from a state licensing board indicating the courses needed for licensure (to compare with student’s transcript) and/or information from the student’s previous school showing they do not have access to certain courses through that institution.
  •  In all cases, unclassified student admission decisions will be based on the current enrollment numbers within the online CMHC program.  Registration priority will be given to full-time online CMHC students.

For more information about applying to the online CMHC program as an unclassified student, please contact the School of Professional and Online Education or call 800-599-1762.

Step 8: Credit Agreement

Upon acceptance, please fill out the credit agreement.

Application Deadlines

  • Spring Start November 17
  • Summer Start March 17
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"The Online CMHC program is designed to make graduates ready for clinical counseling in the real world. We look for students with a strong work ethic who are spiritually-sensitive scholars motivated to serve in the helping professions, and who are dedicated to excellence in communication. Our students will leave Grace fully prepared to help clients of diverse needs, cultures, and spiritualities with compassion and competence."

Dr. Rhonda Ladd - Associate Professor

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Dee Anna Muraski - Associate Director of Internships