MA IN Mental Health Counseling

Deerfield, IL

Why study an MA in Mental Health Counseling at TEDS?

In addition to preparing you for certification, the MA/MHC helps students foster self-awareness, gain greater insight into the nature of human persons, develop the clinical skills necessary for professional counseling, and develop a framework for integrating biblical-theological truth with social sciences and counseling theory.

The MA in MHC is a licensure track program designed to prepare students for a variety of counseling-centric vocations that require professional credentials. Our graduates have gone on to both private practice and positions within larger organizations such as community agencies, clinics, hospitals, managed behavioral healthcare organizations, outpatient mental health programs, residential treatment and rehabilitation settings, employee assistance programs, substance abuse treatment programs, and colleges. 


The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), has granted accreditation to the M.A. in Mental Health Counseling program at Trinity International University.


The Counseling Department of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School seeks to equip students to serve others through the ministry of counseling in vocational ministry and professional mental health settings.

Counseling Department faculty have established four major competency areas with specific learning objectives. Graduates of the Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling program at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School will demonstrate proficiency in each area and on all objectives.

1. Christian Theological Tradition and Vocational Calling

  1.1 The graduate student will formulate gospel convictions, a working Christian theology, and prepare to contextualize faith within the counseling profession and academy (Theological Tradition)

  1.2. The graduate student will begin the journey of articulating how counseling process, wellness and clinical service delivery are an outgrowth of one’s Christian ministry and vocation (Vocational Calling).

  1.3. The graduate student will manifest empathy and respect for how social and cultural influences as well as individual differences impact development, functioning and flourishing in diverse human persons created in the image of God (Theological Anthropology).

2. Professional Counselor Identity and Integrity

  2.1. The graduate student will synthesize a routine and professional development plan to pursue an identity as a helping professional that blends self-awareness with an understanding of role expectations (Professional Counseling Orientation).

  2.2. The graduate student will commit to provide all counseling services within the ethical guidelines of a professional organization (e.g. American Association of Christian Counselors, American Counseling Association, Christian Association of Psychological Studies) (Ethical Practice).

  2.3. The graduate student will display to faculty and supervisors the knowledge of theories and models of counseling, counselor characteristics, and interpersonal skills to function as a helping professional (i.e. establishing a therapeutic alliance, crisis intervention, conceptualizing cases and applying relevant, evidence-based treatment approaches) (Counseling and Helping Relationships)

3. Comprehensive Knowledge of Curricular Domains

  3.1. The graduate student will exhibit mastery of curricular domains within the comprehensive counseling curriculum (Human Growth and Development, Career Counseling, Group Counseling, and Assessment and Evaluation; Clinical Mental Health Foundations).

  3.2. The graduate student will show competence in reading, interpreting, evaluating, and critically applying scholarly research and evaluation models in the practice of mental health counseling (Research and Program Evaluation).

  3.3. The graduate student will begin to address in self, others and human systems the brokenness of human relations by identifying patterns of oppression, discrimination and bias whether deliberate or unintentional; and recognize the importance of social justice (Social and Cultural Diversity).

4. Proficiency in Communication and Clinical Skills

  4.1. The counseling intern will apply the knowledge and skills required for a specialty in mental health counseling (i.e. etiology, assessment, case conceptualization, diagnostic classification procedures, application of evidence based treatments) (Clinical Mental Health Counseling Practice and Contextual Dimensions).

  4.2. The counseling intern will consistently generate evidence of professional behavior, oral and written communication, treatment planning, clinical documentation and reporting (Clinical Mental Health Counseling Practice and Contextual Dimensions).


Hear what faculty, students and alumni have to say about the MA in Mental Health Counseling.


A mental health counseling core is coupled with biblical and theological courses and finished off with an internship (for licensure) or capstone options for students anticipating either international work or PhD work. Your courses will include the following:

Course Title Credits
ID 5000 Biblical Theology and Interpretation 3 hours
ST 5201 Theology I: The God of the Gospel 3 hours
ST 5202 Theology II: The Gospel of God 3 hours
CO 6710 Counseling and Theological Worldview: Faith and Practice 3 hours
Course Title Credits
CO 5210 Counseling Skills Training 3 hours
CO 5400 Foundations of Mental Health Counseling 3 hours
CO 5310 Counseling Strategies: Theory, Treatment, and Technique 3 hours
CO 6110 Career Counseling 3 hours
CO 6130 Group Counseling 3 hours
CO 6510 Human Growth and Development 3 hours
CO 6650 Multicultural Issues in Counseling 3 hours
CO 6720 Ethics and Issues in Counseling 3 hours
CO 7210 Assessment and Evaluation 3 hours
CO 7450 Psychopathology 3 hours
CO 7900 Research Methods 3 hours

Mental Health Counseling Electives (11-13 hours)

Formation Group
Course Title Credits
ID 5080 Formation Group (two semesters) 0 hours

Capstone in MHC

(CO 6950 is required, and select one of other two options) (6–8 hours)

CO 6950 Counseling Practicum 2-3 hours
(1) Internship Option
(Note: This is the only option leading to possible licensure.)
CO 7961 Mental Health Counseling Internship I 3 hours
CO 7962 Mental Health Counseling Internship II 3 hours
(2) International Counseling Internship
(Note: Non-licensure option; by department consent only.)
CO 7969 International Counseling Experience 6 hours


Program Assessment

  • In May 2021 we were proud to graduate 17 students from the MA in MHC program.
  • Of students who matriculate into our program, 75% continue on to completion.
  • On the National Counselors Exam (NCE), 98% of our students pass on the first attempt.
  • The job placement rate of graduates from our program who are actively seeking employment is 95%.

The MA in Mental Health Counseling Dashboard contains systematic program evaluation data as well as the aggregate assessment of student learning outcomes.

View the Assessment Dashboard


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