Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

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Together with a Christian frame of reference and Christian faculty, NCU’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is distinctive in several important ways.

First, you will gain a solid foundation of counseling skills, procedures, and theories. Building upon that base, you’ll be encouraged to develop a theoretical orientation to counseling that matches your own personality and value system. Students implement and refine this personal approach to counseling in their second year by seeing clients in the NCU Counseling Center. All Practicum and Internship students receive individual and group supervision from qualified supervisors throughout the program.

By the end of the first year, you will focus on a special population, clinical issue, or effective treatment modality. In other words, you will have developed your own area of specialization. Additionally, you will individualize your own program through choices of electives and numerous internship sites available to our students.

Graduates of the program meet the academic standards leading to Oregon licensure as a professional counselor (LPC). LPCs offer counseling services to individuals or groups in private practice and agency settings. These services may be in the areas of personal-social concerns, educational programs, and career decisions. Counseling services include the use of recognized best practices, counseling techniques, appraisal/assessment methods, and current research.

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Program Mission

The mission of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is to prepare culturally competent mental health counselors who integrate current, evidence-based interventions and techniques with clients to foster their wellness and relationships.

Program Format & Course Offerings

This 60-credit hour program is offered in a hybrid format and is designed to be completed in 28 months. Some of your classes will be on site during the evening hours and part of your classes will be offered online. In addition to class time, students have an opportunity for direct client contact at NCU’s operational onsite counseling clinic.

Requirements for the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program

  • Professional Orientation
  • Personality and Counseling Theory
  • The Helping Relationship
  • Ethical and Legal Issues
  • Research and Evaluation
  • Group Dynamics & Theory
  • Human Growth and Development
  • Lifestyle and Career Development
  • Counseling in a Multicultural Society
  • Family Systems
  • Diagnosis and Psychopathology
  • Testing and Appraisal
  • Addiction Counseling
  • Crisis, Trauma, and Grief Counseling
  • Clinical Practicum I
  • Clinical Practicum II
  • Clinical Internship
  • Capstone

Academic Standing Policies

Graduate students must maintain at least a 3.0-grade point average throughout their master’s studies. Cumulative GPA is calculated on all courses taken at NCU to satisfy specific requirements of the program. Courses in which a C+ or lower is earned are not accepted for graduate credit but are factored into the calculation of the cumulative GPA.

The 60 credit curriculum includes coursework in counseling theories and approaches, courses in specialty areas of mental health, and applied clinical experiences during Practicum and Internship (minimum 700 hours, including 280 direct hours with clients). During Internship, students work 15 hours per week (approximately) in a counseling agency in the community with supervision from professional counselors.

The Capstone involves the completion of a final clinical project evaluated by the faculty. Once the clinical project is approved, the student is advanced to candidacy and may apply for graduation.


NorthNorthwest Christian University is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programswest Christian University’s Master of Arts Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

NCU’s Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program is approved by the Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists (OBLPCT).

Counseling Program Information

Student Outcomes 2017-2018

  • 16 Graduates from the CMHC program in the past year
  • 80% Completion rate of students from the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program
  • 100% Licensure/certification exam pass rate of students graduating from the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program
  • 79%  Job placement rate of graduates from the CMHC program actively seeking employment


2017-2018 Vital Statistics Survey

Graduate Perceptions, Licensure & Employment 2015

In Spring 2015, there were 11 graduates from the program. These alumni were invited to participate in a survey. Of those responding the majority (77%) indicated that they were working as a counselor, and most (67%) were hired in their first counseling job prior to graduation. All those not hired at that time (33%) were hired as a counselor within 6 months or less after graduation.

Most alumni (78%) feel confident or very confident in their ability as a counselor, overall. One graduate had taken the licensure exam for counselors and had passed it. Most of the others plan to take a licensure exam this year (67%).

The alumni were satisfied that their M.A. in Counseling helped them achieve their career goals. The majority (89%) were satisfied that they obtained a realistic view of the counseling field from the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program.

Annual Report

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling program faculty disseminate an annual report that includes a summary of the program evaluation results, subsequent program modifications, and a description of any other program changes.

Admission Requirements

  • A free application for admission.
  • Official transcripts showing completion of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university, with a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0. If the applicant’s GPA is below a 3.0, he/she may be asked to submit a current (within 5 years of application) official test score report showing:
    1. An official test score report showing a minimum combined score of 297 (verbal and quantitative) on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or
    2. a minimum scaled score of 400 on the Miller Analogy Test (MAT).  Scores for either of these exams must be within the past five years).
  • A statement of purpose of two to three pages (double-spaced) showing skills in written communication, articulating interest in counseling as a profession and demonstrating maturity to work in a counseling setting.
  • A resume documenting education and experience in psychology, mental health, or related fields.
  • Two letters of recommendation, preferably one professional and one personal, highlighting any relevant counseling experience and which speaks to the character of the applicant.
  • At their own expense, applicants must obtain and pass a criminal background check.
  • A personal interview with the Admissions Committee.
  • A minimum score of 550 on the TOEFL (213 on the computer TOEFL) for applicants from non-English speaking countries.

Applications may be accepted until July 1 but are admitted on a space-available basis.

Tuition and Financial Aid


Tuition: $695/credit

At NCU, we know financial aid inside and out and can help you apply for and receive the best financial aid package available. For more information regarding financial aid, click here.


Program Director: Ryan Melton, Ph.D.

Ph.D Oregon State University
M.A. Pacific University
B.A. Pacific University

Dr. Ryan Melton graduated from Pacific University in 2000 with a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology.  Dr. Melton earned his Ph. D. from Oregon State University in 2012.   Currently Dr. Melton is the clinical director of the EASA Center for Excellence at Portland State University’s Regional Research Institute …

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