News: CCU Launches School of Counseling

CCU Announces New School of Counseling

University Poised to Produce the Next Generation of Leaders in the Mental Health Profession

Colorado Christian University, the flagship Christian university in the Rocky Mountain region, is proud to announce the launch of the new School of Counseling in the College of Adult and Graduate Studies.

The University recently surpassed 1,000 students in its Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (MACMHC) degree program, representing two-thirds of all graduate students at CCU. Launching a School of Counseling is a natural and necessary next step for the institution.

"Our MACMHC program has outpaced the average growth rates for graduate counseling programs," notes Dr. Ryan M. Burkhart, dean of the School of Counseling and professor of counseling. "By forming the School of Counseling, the University is better able to meet the demands of our students and influence the mental health profession in a meaningful way."

While CCU's high admission standards, CACREP accreditation, residency requirements, and other distinctives contribute to a demand for a dedicated school of counseling, its launch is largely driven by need, both tangible and intangible.

According to Mental Health America, 19.86% of adult Americans, or nearly 50 million, are experiencing a mental illness, while 4.91% are experiencing a severe mental illness. Additionally, 15.08% of youth (age 12-17) report suffering from at least one major depressive episode in the past year. This increased by 306,000 (1.24%) from the prior year's dataset. Childhood depression is more likely to persist into adulthood if untreated.

"We're expanding and diversifying the specialty areas that we offer to meet the mental health needs that our community and culture are presenting to us," Burkhart said. "The need for counselors trained in specialty areas, such as substance use, school counseling, and marriage and family therapy, is incredibly important right now."

The School of Counseling's emphasis in substance use disorders addresses the high demand for trained professionals to address widespread behavioral disorders while specializing in substance and process addictions. The emphasis in marriage and family therapy addresses the growing demand for compassionate professionals who can provide a biblically-informed mental health wellness model within the context of relational systems such as families and couples.

"The School of Counseling is a great fit for the mission of our institution," said Tim McTavish, interim president. "We believe in dedicating resources and providing opportunities to train up the next generation of professional counselors who will go out and impact the world with grace and truth."

The School of Counseling in the College of Adult and Graduate Studies offers degree programs in Lakewood, Colorado Springs, and through CCU Online. The available degree programs combine rigorous coursework, experiential learning, and mentoring relationships designed to equip students to become culturally responsive professional counselors.

Experts in their areas of emphasis and specialty, the degree programs are led by:

A distinguishing feature of the MACMHC program is the Christian framework that encompasses every aspect of the curriculum. CCU's Clinical Mental Health Counseling students come from nearly every state in the U.S., with more than 80% of students taking classes online.