Program Details

Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with an Emphasis in Christian Counseling

Offered By: College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Support Clinical Mental Health with a Master of Science in Christian Counseling Degree

Learn to provide counseling with grace, dignity and the spirit of Christ as you integrate the principles of the Christian worldview into your counseling practice. Grand Canyon University is pleased to offer the Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with an Emphasis in Christian Counseling. This master’s degree can be a pathway toward licensure as a clinical counselor.

Offered by GCU’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences, this Christian counseling degree empowers future counseling professionals to take a Christ-centered approach to their practice. Acquire foundational knowledge in psychological principles and best practices. Gain the clinical skills necessary to competently evaluate, diagnose and treat patients with mental, behavioral, social and emotional problems.

As you pursue your online MS in clinical mental health Christian counseling degree, you will take courses that were selected to meet the academic requirements established by the National Board for Certified Counselors for the National Certified Counselor (NCC) credential, the Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CCMHC) credential and the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners.

Learn Christ-Centered Mental Health Techniques with the MS in Clinical Mental Health - Christian Counseling Emphasis

Graduates of the master’s in Christian counseling are capable of communicating effectively to diverse audiences. GCU emphasizes the importance of treating others with compassion and dignity, embracing servant leadership and making ethical decisions. Learn to integrate your counseling practices with Christian truths and healing spirituality. Empower your clients to embrace self-care and spiritual growth within a safe and compassionate environment.

As students prepare to meet the spiritual needs of their clients, they are also encouraged to reflect on their own personal spiritual growth and Christian character formation. Students will study an intensive curriculum, which includes the following topics:

  • Ethical issues that apply to the Christian counselor
  • Crisis intervention and trauma counseling, spousal or partner abuse and child abuse assessment and reporting
  • The structure and dynamics of the family, including methods of marital and family intervention and counseling
  • A narrative approach to the theology of God, humanity and salvation
  • Major counseling theories and principles, including psychoanalytic, Adlerian, existential psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy

Additionally, students undergo two internship experiences and the Counseling Practicum to gain hands-on, practical experience in the field under supervision.

Pursue a Meaningful Career as a Christian Counselor

Graduates with a master’s in Christian counseling are prepared to pursue licensure and a career in faith-centered mental health counseling. Graduates may choose to pursue positions working with clients who struggle with substance abuse issues or trauma, or they may decide to focus their practice on marital and family issues.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for substance abuse, behavioral disorder and mental health counselors is expected to grow at a rate that is much faster than average. From 2016 through 2026, the projected job growth rate in this field is 23 percent.

GCU’s Master of Science in clinical mental health Christian counseling is designed to meet the standards for licensure as a Licensed Associate Counselor (LAC) or a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) under regulations applicable to Arizona. Licensure and certification requirements can vary from state to state. Students should check the licensing requirements for the state in which they wish to practice.

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TOTAL PROGRAM CREDITS & COURSE LENGTH:
Total Program Credits: 74
Online: 8 weeks [More Info]
TRANSFER CREDITS:
Up to 12 credits or 1/3 of the total program requirements in transfer (whichever is less)
PROGRAM TUITION RATE:

Online: $530 per credit [More Info]

Course List

The programs offered at Grand Canyon University may vary by content and course length. You are currently viewing the program version available in Arizona. For information about specific course content, credit length and VA approval in your state, please contact a counselor at 1-855-GCU-LOPE or click here to request more information.
Major:
74 credits
Total Degree Requirements:
74 credits

Program Core Courses

Course Description

This course is designed as an orientation for the graduate learning experience at Grand Canyon University. Students have opportunities to develop and strengthen the skills necessary to succeed as graduate students in counseling. Emphasis is placed on utilizing the tools for graduate success.

Course Description

This course provides a broad understanding of counseling ethics, legal standards, and responsibilities, including professional identity, report writing, record keeping, and service reimbursement for professional and substance use disorder counselors. Also covered are the history of and current trends in counseling. Important goals of this course are to help students develop a strong personal and professional ethic, as well as an appreciation of the value of professional collaboration and identity.

Course Description

This course provides a comprehensive survey of the major counseling theories and principles. Coursework includes the following theories: psychoanalytic, Adlerian, existential psychotherapy, behavioral, cognitive behavioral, person-centered, reality therapy/choice theory, and rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT).

Course Description

This course provides a broad understanding of the stages, processes, and effects of substance use disorders, social and psychological dynamics of substance use disorders, and the professional's role in prevention, intervention, and aftercare, including recovery and relapse prevention. This course explores theories and models of treatment of substance use disorders, drug classification, and assessment. It also continues building foundational knowledge, utilization of professional resources, and exploration of standards to help students prepare for licensure/certification within the counseling industry.

Course Description

This course provides a broad understanding of counseling processes, including characteristics and behaviors that influence the helping processes. Included are age, gender, ethnic differences, verbal and nonverbal behaviors, personal characteristics, and orientations. The development of counseling techniques is emphasized, including establishing and maintaining the counseling relationship; diagnosing and identifying the problem; formulating a preventative, treatment, or rehabilitative plan; facilitating appropriate interventions; and successfully terminating the counseling relationship.

Course Description

This course provides a broad understanding of issues and trends in a multicultural and diverse society. Studies in this area include the following: attitudes and behaviors based on such factors as age, race, religious preference, physical disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity and culture, family patterns, gender, socioeconomic status and intellectual ability; individual, family, group, and community strategies for working with diverse populations; theories of multicultural counseling and identity development; multicultural competencies; and issues such as substance use disorders. Students examine a variety of cultural populations in multiple regions of the United States, exploring issues and trends that are associated with each population. Cultural considerations for immigrants, refugees, and undocumented citizens are also addressed.

Course Description

This course provides a broad understanding of group development, group dynamics, group counseling theories, and ethical standards with reference to professional and substance use disorders counseling. The course addresses group process components, appropriate selection criteria, developmental stage theories, group members’ roles and behaviors; and group leadership styles and approaches. The course includes didactic and experiential group learning. Required synchronous group experience: 12 hours. Prerequisite: CNL-515.

Course Description

This course introduces students to the basic principles of psychopharmacology and the effects of psychoactive substances. Students examine the behavioral, psychological, physiological and social effects of psychoactive substance use, and learn to recognize symptoms of intoxication, withdrawal, and toxicity. The class covers various screening options, limitations, legal implications, and the utilization of pharmacotherapy as part of substance addiction treatment.

Course Description

This course is divided into two distinct and separate sections. The first part of the course examines human sexuality and systems of sexual therapy. Psychological, biological, social, and moral perspectives on sexual development and functioning are also examined. The last part of the course provides an understanding of the nature of aging and the elderly. Theories and strategies for facilitating optimum care of the elderly are addressed. Elder abuse, dependent adult abuse, and neglect of the aging and elderly are explored. Sexuality, mental health, physical health, the role of substance use disorders, and family issues are also addressed.

Course Description

This course provides an understanding of the nature, needs, and differing abilities of individuals at all developmental levels. Theories of individual and family development, transitions across the life span, theories of learning, theories of personality development, and ethical and cultural strategies for facilitating optimum development over the life span are addressed.

Course Description

This course provides a broad understanding of the structure and dynamics of the family, which may include assessment and methods of marital and family intervention and counseling.

Course Description

This eight-topic course is divided into three distinct and separate sections. The first three topics examine crisis intervention and trauma counseling; Theories and strategies of trauma counseling and facilitating crisis interventions are also addressed. The second three topics examine spousal or partner abuse assessment, detection, and intervention strategies. The legal and ethical issues, the role of substance use disorders, and children in families where domestic violence and abuse occur are also addressed. The last two topics examine child abuse assessment and reporting. Legal and ethical issues and specific California child abuse assessment and reporting codes are also examined.

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to basic tests and appraisal in counseling. Individual and group approaches to testing, assessment, evaluation, behavioral observations, computer-managed and computer-assisted methods are addressed. The following statistical concepts are also addressed: scales of measurement, measures of central tendency, indices of variability, shapes and types of distributions, correlations, reliability, and validity.

Course Description

This course provides a broad understanding of career development and related life factors including psychotherapy, career counseling techniques and processes, career development theories, decision-making models, issues of diversity, and interrelationships between work and family.

Course Description

This course introduces research methods and basic statistical analysis, including the following: the importance of research, opportunities for research, and difficulties in conducting research. Research methods such as qualitative, quantitative, single-case designs, action research, and outcome-based research are addressed.

Course Description

This course provides a conceptual framework for the use of assessment and diagnostic tools for the development of appropriate treatment interventions for a variety of behavioral health and substance use disorders. Included is an introduction to the use of the diagnostic tools, including the DSM, and the integration of diagnostic and assessment information, in the development of treatment plans.

Course Description

This course introduces the study of mental illnesses and the science of psychopathology. The goal is to provide counseling students a conceptual understanding of psychological and behavioral dysfunction that occurs in mental illnesses. The course includes a survey of major psychiatric disorders and their causes.

Course Description

Students in this course are introduced to a variety of testing instruments used to determine a client's emotional or mental status. Assessment procedures are explored within the context of diagnosis and treatment planning. This course focuses on the administration and interpretation of individual and group standardized tests of mental ability, personality, and measurement.

Course Description

This course is a narrative approach to the theology of God, humanity, and salvation. Students learn to apply the story of the Bible to the life and practice of the Christian counselor.

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to spiritual formation with attention to classical spiritual disciplines and stages of growth. This course includes an exploration into personal spiritual health and character development with implications for counseling practice. Prerequisite: CCN-601.

Course Description

This course explores relational health in connection with topics including self-assessment, forgiveness, reconciliation with God and others, and the pursuit of spiritual health. Personal practice and implementation in professional counseling are emphasized. Prerequisite: CCN-650.

Course Description

In this course, students explore the integration of the Christian worldview into counseling theory and practice. Emphasis is placed on the nature and purpose of human beings from a biblical perspective as well as ethical issues pertinent to the Christian counselor, while critically evaluating contemporary secular theories and practices. Prerequisite: CCN-655.

Course Description

The practicum course is a distinctly defined, supervised clinical fieldwork experience in which the student develops basic counseling skills and integrates professional knowledge under the supervision of a faculty member or an on-site clinical site supervisor approved by the college or university with a minimum of 1 hour per week of individualized and/or triadic supervision throughout the practicum. Practicum students participate in an average of 1 ½ hours per week of group supervision with a counseling faculty member or student supervisor who is under the supervision of a counselor education program faculty member on a regular schedule throughout the practicum. Documentation of a minimum requirement of 100 hours of counseling-related activities, which includes 40 direct client contact hours, is submitted directly to the college’s Office of Field Experience for verification and tracking. The practicum is completed prior to the internship; therefore, students may not progress to CNL-664A without the required amount of hours submitted, the required amount of individual and group supervision, and proper approval. This course has multiple synchronous required activities. Students must be prepared to be flexible in meeting the demands of this course in order to progress to the internship. Practicum/field experience hours: 100. State licensure requirements may mandate additional hours. Students must review and adhere to their state board's additional requirements. Prerequisites: Completion of all didactic coursework in the program; a GPA of 3.0 or better; and maintenance of student professional liability insurance in the amount of $1 million, $3 million.

Course Description

The internship course is a distinctly defined, supervised clinical experience in which the student refines and enhances basic counseling and student development of knowledge and skills, and integrates and authenticates professional knowledge and skills related to program objectives. The internship is performed under the supervision of an on-site clinical site supervisor approved by the college or university with an average of 1 hour per week of individualized and/or triadic supervision throughout the internship. Internship students participate in a minimum of 1 ½ hours per week of group supervision with a counseling faculty member or student supervisor who is under the supervision of a counselor education program faculty member on a regular schedule throughout the internship. Documentation of 300 hours of counseling-related activities, which includes a required minimum of 120 direct client contact hours, is submitted directly to the college’s Office of Field Experience for verification and tracking. Internship hours: A minimum of 300 total hours of which 120 is total direct hours. Students must successfully complete CNL-624 before progressing to the internship. This course has multiple synchronous required activities. Students must be prepared to be flexible in meeting the demands of this course in order to meet the internship requirements. Practicum/field experience hours: 300. State licensure requirements may mandate additional hours. Students must review and adhere to their state board's additional requirements. Prerequisites: CNL-624; a GPA of 3.0 or better; maintenance of student professional liability insurance in the amount of $1 million, $3 million; and college approval.

Course Description

The internship course is a distinctly defined, supervised clinical experience in which the student refines and enhances basic counseling and student development of knowledge and skills, and integrates and authenticates professional knowledge and skills related to program objectives. The internship is performed under the supervision of an on-site clinical site supervisor approved by the college or university with an average of 1 hour per week of individualized and/or triadic supervision throughout the internship. Internship students participate in a minimum of 1 ½ hours per week of group supervision with a counseling faculty member or student supervisor who is under the supervision of a counselor education program faculty member on a regular schedule throughout the internship. Documentation of 300 hours of counseling-related activities, which includes a required minimum of 120 direct client contact hours, is submitted directly to the college’s Office of Field Experience for verification and tracking. This course has multiple synchronous required activities. Students must be prepared to be flexible in meeting the demands of this course in order to meet the internship requirements. Practicum/field experience hours: 300. State licensure requirements may mandate additional hours. Students must review and adhere to their state board's additional requirements. Prerequisites: CNL-664A; a GPA of 3.0 or better; maintenance of student professional liability insurance in the amount of $1 million, $3 million; and college approval.

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.

GCU Evening Student


Grand Canyon University’s evening programs cater to the demands of working professionals who prefer an in-person learning environment. Our night classes meet just once per week and offer the interaction and discussion of a typical college classroom.

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

Program Domains

Online and Evening program disclosures (4.583 years)

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Program subject to change.

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