Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is distinctive about the graduate counseling degrees at Grace?
2. What is the difference between the M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and the M.A. in Interpersonal Relations?
3. What is CACREP?
4. Why attend an accredited program?
5. Will I be a licensed counselor when I graduate?
6. What do I do if I want to pursue a license in another state?
7. What is In-Residence?
8. What is the NCE?
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 RESIDENTIAL M.A. in Clinical Mental Health degree?
11. How long will it take to complete the ONLINE M.A. in Clinical Mental Health degree?
12. How long will it take to complete the RESIDENTIAL M.A. in Interpersonal Relations degree?
13. Do I have to attend classes in the fall?

14. Can I transfer previous graduate work?
15. Where can I complete my internship?
16. How many hours of work a week are recommended for a Masters student?
17. Financial Aid

1. What is distinctive about the graduate counseling degrees at Grace?

  1. We offer a 62 credit hour, CACREP accredited, residential and online Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree and a 37 credit hour, residential Interpersonal Relations degree.
  2. Our commitment to Scripture as the foundation for truth, as well as an understanding of the complementary truths in psychology is the hallmark of Grace.
  3. We are committed to student growth in diversity. Thus our Clinical Mental Health Counseling students engage in a seven day cross cultural field experience in another part of the world.
  4. Trauma is a part of lives of many people. Thus, we offer a course in the study of trauma, suffering, and transformative healing.
  5. 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.
  6. As a graduate program, Grace provides an atmosphere for the development of interpersonal competency. Students are encouraged to grow personally and spiritually as an essential element for effective counseling.
  7. Our M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree is accredited with the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).
  8. Our Grace graduate program provides students with a Christ-centered learning environment where all students, faculty, and staff are professing Christians.

2. What is the difference between the M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and the M.A. in Interpersonal Relations?

The M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree prepares students to obtain licensure or to pursue doctoral studies. The M.A. in Interpersonal Relations is a ministry degree that prepares graduates to work in the church, on the mission field, and in the work place. However, the M.A. in Interpersonal Relations is not intended for those are seeking licensure.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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

7. What is In-Residence?

In-Residence is a block of time set aside for all online students in a cohort 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 session.

8. What is the NCE?

The NCE is the National Counselor Examination. By passing the NCE, one is eligible to become a National Certified Counselor. The NCE is the examination that some states use as a requirement for licensure. Grace College participates in the NCE application program for graduate students. Through this program, students may take the NCE within six months of graduation. More information.

9. Am I required to attend full-time, or may I go at my own pace?

The program is designed with a fixed course schedule, which means students will move together as a cohort through each semester in sequence.

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

Those students who choose to attend classes full time (approximately 9 credit hours per semester) can complete the program in three years.

12. How long will it take to complete the RESIDENTIAL M.A. in Interpersonal Relations degree?

Those students who choose to attend classes full time (9-16 credit hours per fall, spring, and summer semester) can complete the program in one year. The length of the program depends on the student and how many credit hours he or she takes per semester.

13. 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.

14. 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. Students entering the Interpersonal Relations program can transfer a maximum of six credit hours.

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 graduate program may be transferred. A Course Transfer Request Form must be completed (available on the Grace Graduate Department of Counseling and Interpersonal Relations web page).

Transfer Credits for the M.A. in Interpersonal Relations Degree
No more than six (6) credits of academic course work from another graduate program may be transferred.

A Course Transfer Request Form must be completed (available on the Grace Graduate Department of Counseling and Interpersonal Relations web page).

15. 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.

16. How many hours of work a week are recommended for a Masters student?

Residential students have the opportunity to take classes on specific days of the week, while other days have no classes scheduled. This allows for flexible work hours. Online students have the flexibility to work at their jobs because students can set their “class” and study time around distinctive schedules. The Online program is designed to allow students to work full-time and part-time, as long as they are able to keep up with the work load assigned by each of the professors.

17. Financial Aid

A high-quality Christian education from Grace College is affordable and it's 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, including federal and state loans as well as school-based scholarships. Unfortunately, scholarships are not available to online students. Students who file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) may qualify for a Federal Stafford Loan. Grace College also offers one M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling residential student the opportunity of an assistantship.