MA in Counseling Distinctives

EMU’s master of arts in counseling is a 60 semester hour CACREP-accredited Clinical Community Mental Health Counseling program designed for men and women with busy lives. Our students are working individuals who need to balance work or family while returning to school. Some commute from Roanoke, Charlottesville and Washington D.C., to participate in our program’s psychologically and spiritually grounded experiential training.

The two-day back-to-back course schedule (usually Tuesday/Wednesday or Wednesday/Thursday) during the academic year was designed to accommodate even the busiest schedule. Program highlights include:

  • Practical skills and training
  • Emotionally focused therapy (EFT)
  • Psychoanalytic perspectives
  • Contemplative practice and mindfulness
  • Expressive Arts
  • Focusing
  • CACREP accreditation
  • Continuing education (CE) each year for regional clinicians and practitioners

Two degree tracks

  • Clinical Mental Health Counseling: a 60-credit, CACREP-accredited track that prepares students for clinical practice and meets educational requirements for Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the state of Virginia.
  • Dual seminary and counseling degree: a dual degree program that helps students earn both the MDiv and an MA in counseling in approximately one year less and at less cost than if the degrees were pursued separately.

CACREP accreditation

EMU MA in counseling graduate Christian Haase
“The time I spent as a graduate student at EMU was the most enriching, inspiring, and enjoyable time in my life. As I set off into the world, confident in my abilities to help others, I am thankful for the diverse training I received that has prepared me to succeed.”

Christian Haase, MA in counseling graduate

EMU is a CACREP-accredited program. (Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) is the national accrediting body for professional counseling.) Why is this accreditation important to students?

  • CACREP graduates perform better on the National Counselor Examination for licensure and certification (NCE).
  • CACREP programs have been reviewed against the highest professionally approved standards.
  • Attending a CACREP program streamlines the licensure application process since most states recognize what a CACREP degree contains.

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at Eastern Mennonite University is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The accreditation runs through October 31, 2017. (Note: The Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is currently accredited under the 2001 standards for Community Counseling programs as a Community Counseling program. The CACREP 2009 standards combine the Community Counseling and Mental Health Counseling standards into standards for Clinical Mental Health Counseling programs. The counseling program intends to seek accreditation for this program as a Clinical Mental Health Counseling program when it comes up for reaccreditation, per CACREP guidelines.)

Program / Student Outcomes

Approximately 40 students are enrolled in the program. Sixty-three percent of accepted students graduate in the expected time period; two years for full-time students and three years for part-time students. Courses accommodate both part-time and full-time students. We also accommodate our students who are working professionals.

Since 1995, program graduates seeking counseling positions have been very successful in doing so. Of the twenty-three 2012 graduates, nineteen pursued employment and all nineteen found jobs within six months.

Focus on Relationships and Ethics

We strive to achieve the highest standards of professional excellence in providing psychologically and spiritually grounded training for counselors. We seek to create a community atmosphere within the program, a community bold with creative ideas and open with honesty, partnering in the inner work counselor training requires. We are committed to creating an educational environment that values relationships and promotes growth and maturity in individuals, churches, and communities.

Our students learn about the ethical standards of the counseling profession and the American Counseling Association (ACA). Mentors encourage and guide students in the formation of their professional counselor identity. Ethics workshops are offered during the continuing education series each spring.