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M.A. in Mental Health Counseling


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Has God called you to ease people’s suffering? Be a catalyst for change in the lives of individuals, couples, families and groups with a Master of Arts degree in Mental Health Counseling.

The only graduate program in Belmont’s College of Theology & Christian Ministry, the M.A. in Mental Health Counseling is unique among counseling programs. Combining rigorous study in contemporary scientific psychotherapy with the wisdom, insight and values of the Christian tradition of caring for souls, this one-of-a-kind graduate program will give you practical tools and techniques to more effectively treat your patients. Moreover, it will also expand your capacity for compassionate and professional service.

Our ecumenical program, drawing students from a variety of faith backgrounds, is led by a diverse faculty and staff who represent different denominations of the Christian faith, as well as varied life experiences and educational backgrounds. Their diversity of thought not only challenges you to think differently, but it also prepares you for the variety of people you will encounter in professional practice.

As a student in the Mental Health Counseling program, you will choose one of three specialty tracks. Each requires 60 hours of coursework and common classes in Christian ethics, Christian perspectives on human suffering and techniques of counseling and psychotherapy. The school counseling track integrates spirituality into school-based coursework. These tracks prepare you for variations in care approaches, practice settings and licensure requirements.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling

This track satisfies the academic coursework requirements for Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and the Licensed Professional Counselor with the Mental Health Service Provider designation (LPC-MHSP) in Tennessee. Graduates of this track can work in a variety of settings, such as clinical mental health counseling facilities, nonprofit agencies, addiction treatment centers, career counseling centers, adult probation offices, hospital counseling centers and in private counseling practices. 100% of our CMHC graduates passed the National Counseling Exam (NCE). More specific data can be found in the SACSCOC report posted on the accreditation page linked above.

Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling

This specialty track qualifies you to apply for licensure as a Marital and Family Therapist (LMFT) in Tennessee. Graduates go on to work with individuals, couples and families in a variety of counseling settings. Being licensed as a marriage, couple and family therapist does not limit your ability to work with individuals. The designation refers more to the approach—an LMFT is trained to help each client within the context of his or her social environment and relationships, past or present. 75% of our MCFC students passed the MFT Clinical Exam. More specific data can be found in the SACSCOC report posted on the accreditation page linked above.

Clinical Pastoral Therapy

This track satisfies the academic requirements for licensure in the state of Tennessee as a Clinical Pastoral Therapist. While a Clinical Pastoral Therapist will have a practice that looks very similar to that of an LPC, LPC-MHSP or LMFT, the difference is in their reliance on faith, spirituality and theology, in addition to psychotherapy, to help people who are suffering. Graduates can work in a variety of settings including clinical mental health counseling facilities, faith-based counseling centers, psychiatric hospitals and in private practice. Zero students have taken the licensure exam in this track.

School Counseling

The School Counseling Track prepares graduate students to serve as school counselors in public or private pre-k-12 schools. The program satisfies the educational requirement for licensure as a School Counselor in the State of Tennessee. Since this is a new program track, no students have taken the Praxis II Exam in this track.