Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is distinctive about the Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree at Grace?
2. What is CACREP?
3. Why attend an accredited program?
4. Will I be a licensed counselor when I graduate?
5. What do I do if I want to pursue a license in another state?
6. What is Residency?
7. What is the NCE?
8. Is the GRE required at Grace College?
9. Am I required to attend full-time, or may I go at my own pace?
10. How long will it take to complete the M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree?
11. Do I have to attend classes in the fall?
12. Can I transfer previous graduate work?
13. Where can I complete my internship?
14. Financial Aid

1. What is distinctive about the Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree at Grace?

  • Our M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree is accredited with the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

  • We offer both residential and online learning options to assist students in meeting their educational goals while fulfilling work and family responsibilities.

  • Full time students are given the option to follow a 3 year schedule of study or take our accelerated 2 year schedule of study.  For those who choose to take classes part-time, our advisors will work with students to plan a course of study that is flexible yet enables them to graduate in a timely manner.  

  • A hallmark of  our program is our commitment to Scriptural truth as a foundation for understanding the complementary truths of psychology and other helping professions.  

  • Trauma is a part of lives of many people. Thus, we offer a course in the study of trauma, suffering, and transformative healing.

  • Since children and adolescents face many challenges in this world, students will learn about how to care and counsel children and adolescents in a course devoted to this important topic.

  • As a graduate program, Grace provides an atmosphere for the development of interpersonal competency. Students are encouraged to grow personally, professionally, and spiritually to achieve competence as and effective counselor.

  • Our Grace graduate program provides students with a Christ-centered learning environment where all students, faculty, and staff are professing Christians.

2. What is CACREP?

Accreditation certifies that the content and quality of the clinical mental health counseling education offered by Grace College has been evaluated extensively by the institution and accrediting council and meets the standards set by and for the profession. Appropriate knowledge and skill areas will be included that are necessary for the entry into the professional counseling field. Students graduating from CACREP accredited programs have been found to have higher level counseling skills and knowledge. CACREP accredits the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at Grace College. More about CACREP.

3. Why attend an accredited program?

A CACREP accredited program provides the following to students:

  1. Recognition that the M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree has been evaluated and meets or exceeds national standards.
  2. Knowledge that the graduate has met prerequisites for credentialing and is ready for entry into professional practice.
  3. Understanding that the focus of the program will be on clinical mental health counseling, not psychology, education or other helping professions.

4. Will I be a licensed counselor when I graduate?

No. In the state of Indiana, potential counselors must pass a licensure exam and complete additional post-graduate hours of clinical experience. Licensure requirements vary depending on the area of licensure and the state in which one pursues licensure. Students are encouraged to contact the state licensing agency of the state in which they desire to practice to determine specific licensure requirements.

5. What do I do if I want to pursue a license in another state?

Our M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) degree meets the licensure academic requirements for the state of Indiana. Any student desiring to practice in another state needs to research the requirements for licensure in that state to see if any additional courses are needed.

Download and read more details.Licensure Info

6. What is Residency?

Residency is a block of time set aside for all students  to come to Grace College’s Winona Lake, IN campus to meet as a group and engage in coursework, teambuilding activities, workshops and social/ cultural events. The In-Residence time on campus is typically scheduled just prior to the first week of classes each fall.

7. What is the NCE?

The NCE is the National Counselor Examination. By passing the NCE, one is eligible to become a National Certified Counselor and apply for Indiana licensure as an LMHCA  (Licensed Mental Health Counselor Associate).  The LMHCA is a prerequisite to  applying for  the full professional license of LMHC (Licensed Mental Health Counselor).  More information.

8. Is the GRE required at Grace College?

No, GRE is not required as part of the application process.

9. Am I required to attend full-time?

Full time students are given the option to follow a 3 year schedule of study or take our accelerated 2 year schedule of study.  For those who choose to take classes part-time, our advisors will work with students to plan a course of study that is flexible yet enables them to graduate in a timely manner.  

10. How long will it take to complete the M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree?

Those students who choose to attend classes full time (9-15 credit hours per semester) can complete the program in two years. The length of the program depends on the student and how many credit hours he or she takes per semester.

11. Do I have to attend classes in the fall?

Students are able to start classes in the fall or spring semester. Starting classes in the spring will increase the time necessary to graduate due to the sequence of classes.

12. Can I transfer previous graduate work?

Students entering the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program are able to transfer a maximum twelve credits of applicable graduate work from a CACREP-accredited program. 

Transfer Credits Policy
The Transfer Credit Policy allows transferability of academic courses needed to fulfill degree requirements at Grace. Applicants must seek prior approval by submitting a course description to the department chair. If the course description is insufficient for the chair to make a determination, then a course syllabus will be required. The Registrar’s Office will be notified of all transfer approvals. This policy applies to all courses transferred regardless of mode of delivery, including online or residential. Applicants should request an official transcript from the institution where the course was completed and have it submitted to the Registrar’s Office. Subsequent to matriculation, no classes may be transferred.

Transfer Credits for the M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Degree
No more than twelve (12) credits of academic course work from another CACREP-accredited graduate program may be transferred.

13. Where can I complete my internship?

Internships can be completed at the qualifying location of the student’s choice. Students are encouraged to secure their own internship sites in the area of their interest.

14. Financial Aid

A high-quality Christian education from Grace College is affordable and is a solid investment. To help students reach their educational and career goals, our financial aid team works closely with students to design an aid package that's best for your situation. Students who file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) may qualify for a Federal Stafford Loan.