Graduate Certificate in Mental Health and Wellness: Christian Ministry Emphasis

Graduate Certificate of Completion in Mental Health and Wellness with an Emphasis in Christian Ministry

Offered By: College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Support Well-Being With a Graduate Certificate in Mental Health With a Christian Perspective

The Graduate Certificate in Mental Health and Wellness with an Emphasis in Christian Ministry at Grand Canyon University can prepare those with a servant’s heart and passion for helping others to pursue a career in mental health ministry. In this 16-credit graduate certificate program, you will be guided to develop a foundation in biblical knowledge and theological wisdom within the context of mental health and wellness.

This experience introduces concepts of human nature from a Christian perspective with a focus on cognitive, behavioral, interpersonal, mental, social and spiritual motivations. You can become familiar with research and best practices in mental health and wellness as they relate to human resilience, recovery and functioning.

Mental Health and Wellness: Emphasis in Christian Ministry Courses and Topics

With an emphasis on Christian ministry, this online graduate certificate in mental health and wellness introduces you to the relationship between Christian theology and psychological theories. You can experience courses that allow you to gain competencies in these areas of focus from a Christian perspective:

  • Analysis of the nature of God, mankind, sin and the relationship between God and man
  • Assessment of the implications of models for integrating psychology theories and Christian theology
  • Planning for self-care that’s rooted in spiritual formation, accountability and the Holy Spirit
  • Development of a mental health and wellness model that can be reconciled with and implemented in a Christian ministry setting
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As a Christ-centered university, GCU integrates faith into coursework, learning experiences and academic settings. Therefore, you will be taught from a biblically rooted curriculum based on GCU’s Christian worldview, which can enhance the study of psychology and its connection to theology in this program.

GCU’s interactive digital learning platform can serve as a supportive community where you can collaborate with peers and interact with faculty. Online learning allows you to study at times and locations that are convenient for you.

Study Mental Health Counseling Skills Using Christian Principles

This four-course graduate certificate in mental health and wellness with an emphasis in Christian ministry begins with the topic of mental health, biblical narrative and Christian theology. You will examine a theology of pain and suffering from a biblical perspective, along with mental health and social issues within a ministry setting.

Progressing through the Christian ministry courses, you will explore:

  • The historical intersection of faith and science and how these areas apply to a contemporary setting
  • The physical, emotional and spiritual health of the Christian helper
  • How self-care is an important aspect of maintaining a balanced approach to ministry
  • How to maintain vitality through healthy practices, while examining concepts of burnout, compassion fatigue and vicarious traumatization

The online certificate courses in mental health conclude with an examination of how to develop a practical ministry plan that addresses the needs of those seeking help to cope with life stressors, from marriage and family issues to grief and crises.

Career Paths for Graduates With a Certificate in Mental Health and Wellness: Christian Ministry Emphasis

No program of study can guarantee a specific career outcome, and some careers may require additional academic credentials or licensure. However, potential career opportunities for those who complete this certificate in mental health online can gain skills in various fields, including:

  • Human services
  • Community mental health
  • Health and wellness
  • Ministry

While this certificate does not lead to licensure, you may choose to apply your knowledge to a master’s program in Christian counseling, clinical mental health counseling, mental health and wellness, or psychology to help position yourself for possible career advancement within a Christian helping profession.

Take Online Certificate Courses in Mental Health From an Institutionally Accredited University

Before enrolling in a graduate certificate in mental health online, it’s important to ensure that the school you choose is institutionally accredited. GCU proudly maintains our institutional accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), prioritizing our commitment to quality education.

Graduate Certificate in Mental Health and Wellness: Christian Ministry Emphasis FAQs

As you plan your career pathway and think about your future, you should take some time to do some career-related research so you can make informed decisions. Use the following frequently asked questions and answers to guide your research.

The Christian faith teaches that followers were made in God’s image, and yet humans are, by nature, imperfect. The Bible does not condemn those who struggle with anxiety, depression or other mental health issues. Rather, it often calls for compassion. Consider these verses:1

  • Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)
  • Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippines 4:6-7)
  • Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalms 23:4)

Licensure requirements for mental health counselors vary from state to state. You should research the requirements for the state in which you plan to work before enrolling in an educational program. In general, all mental health counselors who work in private practice or agency settings must be licensed. An aspiring counselor pursuing licensure must obtain a master’s degree and complete supervised clinical experience hours. You would also need to pass a state-approved licensure exam and maintain your license by completing annual continuing education courses.2

These online certificate courses in mental health do not lead to licensure as a mental health counselor. However, you may decide to earn a graduate certificate in mental health if you would like to pursue non-licensure positions or if you would like to add to your existing credentials if you’re already a licensed counselor. The curriculum is designed to teach you to bring the compassion of the Christian faith and a biblical perspective to your work.

Recovering from mental health challenges from a biblical perspective can be about pursuing the wholeness of self and self-acceptance, rather than trying to “fix” oneself. It could be argued that attempting to create a “better version” of oneself is born of external motivators and can even serve to reinforce negative self-talk. Remember that Jesus accepted sinners as they were.3

Additional Christian principles that pertain to mental health recovery include:4 

  • Depend on God for inner peace and strive to experience less anxiety.
  • Live in the present, as only God knows what will happen next. Try not to worry about tomorrow.
  • Actively strive to practice anger management. When upset, give yourself time to calm down before figuring out how to handle the situation.
  • Behave with compassion and kindness, always.

Examine mental health and wellness from a Christian perspective. Apply today for enrollment in GCU’s graduate certificate in mental health, available via online courses.


1 Bricker, V. (2021, July 28). What does the Bible say about struggling with mental health? Retrieved Sept. 1, 2023.

2 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2022, Oct. 24). How to become a substance abuse, behavioral disorder, or mental health counselor. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Retrieved Sept. 1, 2023.

3 Mental Health Grace Alliance. (n.d.). Frequently asked questions. Mental Health Grace Alliance. Retrieved Sept. 1, 2023.

4 Dr. Bisignano, A. (2015, April 9). 5 biblical principles for better mental health. Angela Bisignano, PhD. Retrieved Sept. 1, 2023.

Total Credits: 16
Online: 8 weeks
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The University will accept one course of the total certificate requirements in transfer.
Online: $590 per credit
[Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid]

Cost of Attendance

Course List

16 credits
Degree Requirements:
16 credits

Core Courses

Course Description

This course explores relevant topics such as the nature of God and mankind, sin and psychopathology from a Christian worldview. A theology of pain and suffering from a biblical perspective is examined. A brief overview of mental health and social issues most likely to be seen in a ministry setting is explored.

Course Description

This course explores the historical intersection of faith and science and how they apply to a contemporary setting. Various models of integration of psychology and Christian theology are examined. Students formulate their own understanding of the reciprocal relationship between psychology and Christian theology and examine implications for a ministry setting. Prerequisite: MHW-511.

Course Description

This course examines the physical, emotional, and spiritual health of the Christian helper. Focus is on maintaining vitality in ministry through healthy practices such as boundaries, spiritual disciplines, stress management, and healthy lifestyle practices. In addition, this course examines concepts of burnout, compassion fatigue, and trauma as it applies to ministry. Students explore the importance of self-care that entails a balanced approach to ministry.

Course Description

This course exposes the Christian worker to a wide variety of life stressors that are issues needing attention in a ministry context. Students develop a practical ministry plan to address these needs. Prerequisite: MHW-521.

Program Locations

GCU Online Student

Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.