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 is accredited by 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 three-year schedule of study or take our accelerated two-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.  

  • 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 an 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 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 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 academic licensure 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, Indiana 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, the 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 three-year schedule of study or take our accelerated two-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?

The length of the program depends on the semester in which the student begins classes, the platform in which the student takes classes (residential or online), and how many credit hours the student takes per semester. Students work with their advisers to determine the schedule of study that works best for them. 

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 of 12 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 n Applicatio for Course Transfer Credit form to the department chair. In addition to the application, students must submit a syllabus for each course. Courses that do not closely align with the Grace Graduate program course offerings will not be accepted for transfer.  In addition, no clinical courses may be transfered.  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 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 their situation. Students who file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) may qualify for a Federal Stafford Loan.