Residency: A Highlight of the Online Counseling Master Degree Skip to content

October 7, 2022

Welcome to Residency: A Highlight of the Online Counseling Master Degree

In the world of mental health counseling, interpersonal skills are vital. Being able to interact with a variety of people from diverse backgrounds is an important aspect of being successful in the field. So, it may feel counterintuitive to have counseling classes almost entirely online. How are students supposed to practice what they are learning in face-to-face settings? At Grace College, students can benefit from the flexibility of online classes without losing the opportunity for connection. How? The answer is: Residency! 

Did you know that all online counseling master degree students are required to attend a week-long Residency each year? Residency is a week of intensive learning and application of skills developed in the clinical mental health counseling programs. This unique opportunity also gives online counseling master degree students the chance to meet face-to-face with others in their cohort. 

“I really enjoyed spending time with fellow students,” says Jesse Lawrence, current counseling student. “I’ve never met so many wonderful people in such a short amount of time in my life! This was an experience I will never forget.”

So what does a typical day in an online counseling master degree Residency look like? Students start the day with breakfast and worship. After that, groups head into classes for the morning.  Lunch break is held in Alpha Dining with peers. Then students head to afternoon classes where they continue in-depth courses that correlate with the clinical mental health counseling programs.

“Something that stood out to me in our classes was when Dr. Edgington shared that what a client brings into a session is a chasm of how they do life outside of the counseling room,” shares Lawrence. “He said that we want to observe and bring attention to patterns in relationship styles, help them see the positive elements of those relationships, and bring attention to what patterns may be causing problems.”

The class time provides valuable and rich information. However, another important aspect is what happens after the courses are over. Students and faculty enjoy dinner and fellowship together – something that is greatly appreciated in a mostly  online program. 

Brendan Miles, one of our counseling students, felt that the dinner time and after-hour time were a great opportunity to build relationships. “The meal times were great for connections,” he shares. “And I felt that the days ended early enough to give us time to get to know other students and even faculty.” 

Lawrence agrees. “I loved the opportunity to worship and pray together each day,” he says. “We also had a game night where we played ping-pong and Scattergories with some of the Grace faculty. It was nice to be in a physical room together.”

Students leave Residency with new insight and knowledge not only for their careers but for their own personal growth as well.

“I enjoyed being stretched, having to deal with my own issues, and learning how to listen better,” says Miles.

“I can’t wait for next year!” says Lawrence. “I felt like I walked out of Residency having made some lifelong friends. Everybody was so welcoming, and I wouldn’t miss a future Residency for anything.”

Are you interested in learning more about Grace’s clinical mental health counseling programs? An online counseling master degree could be perfect for you! Our applications are completely free and take just a few minutes. Check out our online application today!