Request Info
CCU Online logo

CCU's Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is nationally accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Programs accredited by CACREP are reviewed against professionally approved standards, resulting in a streamlined licensure application process.

Help couples and families thrive with a degree that aligns with your values.

CCU's Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy addresses the growing demand for compassionate professionals who can provide biblically-informed prevention, intervention, and healing for distressed families, couples, and individuals. The Marriage and Family Therapy program offers an in-depth understanding of interpersonal relationships, human behavior, social influence, mental and emotional issues or disorders, conflict resolution, and most importantly, family dynamics.

Taught by Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFTs), the coursework equips you with an excellent academic and training foundation that prepares you for licensure as an LMFT in a clinical environment. You will learn to provide therapeutic services from a systemic and relational perspective, and to address any relationships that intersect with marriage and family issues. This program integrates the whole family or surrounding relationships as part of the counseling process.

Employment of Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists is projected to grow 23% from 2016-2026.*

The Marriage and Family Therapy emphasis unites biblical truth and clinical competence, drawing on an approach that balances theological beliefs about relationships with the growing scientific knowledge and theories available. You will be trained to draw from systemic, relational, and biblical frameworks. You will be challenged to think and practice as a marriage and family therapist (MFT) and will be supported in examining and deepening your spirituality and its relation to your clinical practice.

Students who enroll in this master's degree program should intentionally seek to become Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFTs).

    • Program Format: 100% online or in an in-seat and online hybrid format
    • Locations: Online, Lakewood, Colorado, and Colorado Springs, Colorado
    • 69 total credit hours 
    • CACREP accredited program
    • Courses are taken two at a time and are typically completed in seven-week blocks
    • Designed for busy adult learners; complete in as little as 30 months of consecutive coursework, even with a full-time or part-time job
    • All students are required to attend three in-person residencies in Colorado
    • Students can transfer up to 12 graduate-level credit hours
    • Graduates are academically prepared to take the National Counselor Exam
  • Curriculum in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Master's Degree Program

    The Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, offered through CCU's College of Adult and Graduate Studies, will provide you with a strong clinical counselor and education background within a Christian framework that promotes the study of the whole person, including the spiritual dimension. Integrating faith, clinical experience, and current counseling theory into a comprehensive educational experience will equip you to be an effective counselor in a variety of settings.

    As a Counseling graduate student, you will participate in a foundational core of study that includes counseling theories and techniques designed to equip you as a leader and counseling professional in the mental health field. You will explore counseling theories and methods, family systems, developmental psychology, group therapy, human development, and career development from a Christian worldview and a culturally responsive framework. You will complete your course of study with an innovative capstone course designed to integrate theory, faith, and clinical fieldwork, and field experience.

    Counseling students may select an optional emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy or Substance Use Disorders.

    The in-seat M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree requires completion of the following 69 hours:

    • Counseling Core (28 hours)
    • Emphasis Core (26 hours)
    • Bible and Theology (4 hours)
    • Practicum/Internship (9 hours)
    • Electives (2 hours)

    The online M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree requires completion of the following 69 hours:

    • Counseling Core (26 hours)
    • Emphasis Core (26 hours)
    • Bible and Theology (4 hours)
    • Practicum/Internship (9 hours)
    • Residency (4 hours)
  • Admission Requirements for the M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

    Admission to the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at Colorado Christian University is selective. Each applicant is carefully evaluated for his or her potential as a counselor, ability to contribute to the program, and ability to contribute to the counseling profession. The application review process will assess the relevance of career goals, aptitude for graduate-level study, potential success in forming effective counseling relationships and respect for cultural differences.

    Admission to the M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is not guaranteed. The Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Admission Committee determines whether an applicant is admitted or declined admission. Applicants will complete all admission requirements before being considered by the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Admission Committee.

    After the first semester in the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program, each student is again formally assessed by the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling faculty and administrative team based on his or her academic work, basic skills, and professional behavior. This evaluation process is performed to fulfill our CACREP and professional gate-keeping responsibilities, and to ensure that each student has the skills needed for a professional counseling career.

    Application Deadlines

    In-person cohorts begin in August of each year while online learning cohorts begin in July of each year. Students who wish to begin classes before their cohort begins may take electives and/or CSL-512 and CSL-515.

    It is recommended that applications are completed at least four weeks prior to the student's anticipated start date. All required admission documents and background check results must be received by CCU before an admission interview will be scheduled. Applicants will be extended an interview invitation and are required to respond within three days to schedule the admission interview. A delayed response may result in a delayed start date if applicant is accepted.

    Application files will be evaluated in the order received. Applicants should complete the admission process as early as possible to allow adequate time to work with an advisor and finalize financial aid.

    Counseling Admission Requirements
    • A completed application for admission.
    • Program-specific essays.
    • Valid state-issued driver's license or state-issued ID card or valid passport.
    • Resume or Curriculum Vitae.
    • An official transcript showing a conferred bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. Applicants with an undergraduate grade point average between 2.0 and 2.49 will be admitted on a conditional admit (CAD) basis for the first semester. CAD students must maintain a 3.0 GPA or better in their first semester.
    • Official transcript(s) of completed graduate-level counseling credits completed through another graduate program.
    • A criminal background check through CastleBranch from every country the student lived in the past 7 years. Applicants should consult with their enrollment counselor before placing their Castlebranch order.
    • A completed Candidacy Writing Sample per essay prompts.
    • Admission interview(s) and additional documentation and/or requests from the MAC Admissions Committee, and/or designated program personnel.
    Counseling Transfer Courses

    In accordance with CCU's Graduate Residency Policy, students transferring from a regionally accredited institution may transfer up to twelve (12) approved semester hours of graduate credit from a regionally accredited master's program toward the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree. The remaining hours must be completed at CCU.

    The coursework must be comparable to that offered at CCU and fulfill the CCU degree requirements for Master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Specific courses which will not be accepted for transfer include:

    • CSL 514 Counseling Practicum
    • CSL 581 Counseling Residency I
    • CSL 582 Counseling Residency II
    • CSL 653 Counseling Internship
    • CSL 674 Professional Orientation
    • CSL 680 Integrative Seminar
    • CSL 681 Counseling Residency III
    • CSL 504 Counseling Skills II
    • CSL 654 Counseling Internship II
    • CSL 655 Counseling Internship III
    Licensing

    Admission to a licensure program in the College of Adult and Graduate Studies does not guarantee licensure at the completion of the program. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure they meet all licensure requirements which often includes a background check.

    The Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree meets all the requirements for graduates to test for licensure in the state of Colorado. Licensure requirements vary from state to state, and students are responsible for knowing the requirements of the state in which they seek licensure, including Colorado, and to review the state requirements above and beyond academic achievement and testing. The State Board Map provided by the National Board for Certified Counselors is a helpful resource when researching state licensure information.

    International Students

    CCU cannot enroll students with any type of VISA, even a work VISA, into any Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, including the online counseling degree cohort, since it is against the law for international students to attend the required on-site program residencies on a VISA.

    Time Limitation

    All work applied toward the Master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree must be completed within a six-year period from the date of enrollment. After the six-year period, any student who has not completed the requirements to graduate will be required to complete a Petition for Exception to Academic Policy. Continuing study is not guaranteed, and must be approved by the Dean of the School of Behavioral and Social Sciences. Students are required to adhere to the most current Academic Catalog, CAGS Student Handbook, Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Handbook/ Manuals, fees, and tuition rates.

    Students who need to step out of the cohort, and who have not attended a class for a period of 365 days, will need to reapply to the program, have an updated interview, and if accepted, will then be held to the current catalog standards. Stepping out of the cohort will result in a delayed completion of the student's program.


    To submit application-related materials that were not already submitted through the online application, email them to AdmissionsSupport@ccu.edu or mail to:

    Colorado Christian University
    Attn: Service Central – CAGS Transcripts
    215 Union Blvd, Suite 600
    Lakewood, CO 80228

Curriculum

The Marriage and Family Therapy emphasis core coursework covers topics such as contemporary couple relationships, social and cultural foundations for marriage and family, couples and sex therapy, research and evaluation methods, and ethical practice guidelines.

Residency Requirement

If you enroll in the online cohort for the core M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, you will be required to attend a five-day on-campus residency held each summer of the program. You will attend a total of three residencies during your matriculation in the online marriage and family therapy counseling program.

Marriage and Family Therapy Licensure

Upon completion of the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and the Marriage and Family Therapy emphasis, you will be prepared to begin the process of seeking licensure as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). The program meets the education requirements for licensure in Colorado as well as 48 other states. The LMFT emphasis is aligned with COAMFTE and CACREP standards and is designed for licensure through the CCE Equivalency Review process adopted by the LMFT-Licensing Board.

Licensure requirements vary from state to state, and students are responsible for knowing the requirements of the state in which they seek licensure, including Colorado, and to review the state requirements above and beyond academic achievement and testing. Some states may allow graduates to seek licensure as both a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT).

Career Outlook for Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists

Marriage and family therapy (MFT) has been designated by the federal government as a core mental health profession, along with psychiatry, psychology, social work, and psychiatric nursing. A driving force behind the increased demand for LMFTs is the increasing integration of mental and physical health.

A typical entry-level position for a new, unlicensed graduate is often as a "mobile therapist" or "family-based therapist" within an agency. These positions work in a team format and visit the homes of client families where therapy is given in a variety of ways.

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT) are employed in a wide variety of settings, including social services agencies, churches, addiction treatment centers, medical centers, legal and correctional systems, and any environment where families or married couples are affected. Many LMFTs also pursue private practice. 

Employment of marriage and family therapists is projected to grow 23% from 2016-2026, much faster than the average for all occupations.*

* Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook


Professional Licensure Disclosure

Colorado Christian University offers several academic programs which lead to professional licensure in the state of Colorado and, in some programs, prepare students for a national exam. All students should be aware that states vary in their educational and professional requirements depending on the profession. Some states require specific educational requirements, clinical requirements, accreditation requirements, or exam requirements. See professional licensure disclosures for details.

State Exclusions for Online Students

The School of Behavioral and Social Sciences at Colorado Christian University offers courses to online students in all states with the exception of the following program-specific state exclusions:

  • CAGS does not offer Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling courses (degree or emphases) to online students who reside in Delaware. In addition, CCU does not offer the Marriage and Family Therapy emphasis for the M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling to online students who reside in Mississippi.

Apply for Free