Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (MA) featured image background

Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (MA)

Earn your MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

The M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) program consists of 60 credit hours of course work and supervised clinical training experiences. Students learn to promote mental wellness, prevention, and resilience in individuals and communities. The program prepares graduates for careers as culturally competent professional counselors in a variety of settings. Students will receive a strong foundation in counseling theory, acquire an understanding of the profession’s legal and ethical responsibilities, and master the skills necessary for effective assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of clients. Upon program completion, students will be eligible to apply for licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor. 

Professional Counseling Careers

  • Counselor with mental health agency
  • Grief counselor with hospital or hospice center
  • Addictions or rehabilitation counselor
  • Spiritual counselor affiliated with a church, denomination, or church-affiliated community agency
  • Private or group practice, working with couples, families, or individuals

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Michael DeVries

Dr. Michael DeVries, who directs the CMHC program, has been a licensed clinical psychologist in Illinois for over 30 years and maintains a clinical practice with Olive Branch Counseling Associates in Tinley Park, Illinois. Dr. DeVries brings a wide range of clinical experience to his teaching. He is deeply committed to the integration of spirituality into the counseling process and is dedicated to the development of interculturally competent professional counselors.

More about Dr. Devries

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Clinical Internship

All CMHC students must complete 700 hours of supervised clinical work (100 hours of practicum and 600 hours of internship), working under the supervision of a licensed counselor, delivering assessment, counseling, and related professional services. Typically, this stretches over two semesters, but it can be lengthened to accommodate work and life schedules. North Park has partnerships with a variety of internship settings, or you can seek your own internship that closely aligns with your interests. Along with on-site hours, the internship course meets for a selected number of times throughout the semester to provide feedback and support during your practicum. 

How it Works

This program follows a generalist model of counselor training, in which students are broadly trained to function as competent, professional counselors in a broad range of settings. Within this generalist model, students have the opportunity to define specific areas of specialization, based on course selection and internship site selection. Some of these potential areas of specialization include: culturally responsive counseling; pastoral counseling; and addictions prevention and treatment. In order to complete the program, students complete a capstone project related to a clinical issue within the context of the Internship II course

CMHC Coursework

Coursework blends theory with practice, designed to prepare you for the Licensed Professional Counselor exam. Courses follow an accelerated format with classes meeting once a week for 7-week sessions, with the exception of the two semester-long internship courses. The program is designed to be completed in two years of full-time study. This master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling builds upon the broader North Park identity of embracing cultural diversity and the active integration of an inclusively defined Christian perspective. Students will learn the skills and knowledge bases that are required to function as a professional counselor. 

Pre-Licensure Preparation

The M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling program aligns with degree and coursework requirements to be eligible for licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Illinois. Candidates for licensure must pass the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE). All candidates are also required to complete the application process, which may include fees and/or a background check.  

Admission Requirements

Along with this convenient online, no-fee application, you’ll need: 

  1. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
  2. An electronic copy of your current resume.
  3. Two professional and/or academic recommendations are required as part of your application. Log in to the supplemental items list in your account athttps://npu.force.com/appto send a recommendation request through our online system.
  4. An essay, as described on the application 
  5. Official transcripts from all colleges and universities you have attended, sent directly to North Park University. 

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Continuing Education (CE) Workshops for Professional Counselors

Looking to enhance your counseling skills?

North Park University offers a variety of Continuing Education Workshop opportunities for mental health professionals seeking to expand their professional skills. Continuing Education Units, required by the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation, are available for Licensed Professional Counselors and Licensed Clinical Professional Counselors.

This workshop, led by Karla Ivankovich, Ph.D. will discuss ways to enlarge your counseling practice through audio and visual interaction with clients.  Participants will learn best practices for providing competent tele-counseling informed by ethical principles and legal requirements.

Earn 3 hours of CE Credit for Professional Counselors.  RSVP here.

Ashley Cosentino, Ed.D. will lead an interactive presentation that examines The Supervisory Agreement as an informed consent document used in clinical supervision.  The workshop will explore the ethical and legal challenges in supervising counselors-in-training.

Earn 3 hours of CE Credit for Professional Counselors.  RSVP here.

Existential approaches to counseling place the interpersonal encounter between counselor and client at the heart of the therapeutic process.  This workshop, led by Michael DeVries, Ph.D. will explore how existential themes capture essential dimensions of counseling theory and effective counseling practice.

Earn 3 hours of CE Credit for Professional Counselors.  RSVP here.

This workshop, led by Megan Ross, Ph.D. will integrate science, culture, human rights, and evidence-based clinical care to approach the global mental health challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants will explore advances in neuroscience and cultural knowledge for the service of traumatized persons, our communities, and the globe. 

Earn 3 hours of CE Credit for Professional Counselors.  RSVP here.

CMHC Viewbook

Take a quick look at some facts about the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.