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Program Details

Master of Arts

Our M.A. in Counseling program prepares students to become counselors who provide meaningful mental health care with compassion and integrity. The Counseling program with its specialty area of clinical mental health counseling provides students the skills to practice mental health in the diverse and changing communities that they will serve.

Face to Face


You'll meet during the evening at one of our convenient locations.

Location: St. Paul

Start Dates: Fall 2020

Total Credits


Finish in as Few as

3 years


  • Foundations of Clinical Mental Health Counseling (COUN600)

    Overview of the history and current practice of Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Emphasis is on professional identity, practice issues, working with systems, consultation and advocacy, and preventative counseling. Issues of serving diverse communities and access to service will be addressed.

    3 credits

  • Family Systems (COUN605)

    The study of family systems and the major family therapy theories including their application to case conceptualization, clinical treatment planning, and clinical intervention methods. Emphasis on the relationship between theory and practice and critiquing models in light of current research perspectives, including gender and diversity concerns.

    3 credits

  • Counseling Microskills (COUN610)

    Overview and practice of core counseling skills. Emphasis is on the development of core helping skills and attitudes foundational to an effective counseling process. Specific focus on interviewing skills with attention towards counseling relationship ethics and cultural diversity factors may influence the counseling process.

    3 credits

  • Worldview and Integration of Faith and Spirituality in Counseling (COUN615)

    Overview and critique of different worldviews and their impact on the counseling process. Topics include those central to counseling and engaging respectfully with issues of faith and spirituality. Specific focus is on working to understand ones own faith and spirituality and how to engage with clients who differ.

    3 credits

  • Multicultural Counseling and Social Justice (COUN620)

    Demonstration of knowledge of theories and models of multicultural counseling. Examination of heritage, attitudes and beliefs upon view of others. Application of social justice ethical principles. Evaluation of power and privilege. Examination of personal cultural identity. Integration of ethical and culturally sensitive counseling strategies.

    3 credits

  • Theories and Techniques of Group Counseling (COUN625)

    A study of the theories, techniques, history, and principles related to group practice in counseling. Emphasis is on development of group facilitation skills. Ethical concerns, multicultural adaptations, and spiritual integration in group dynamics are addressed.

    3 credits

  • Addictions Counseling (COUN630)

    Demonstration of knowledge of addiction counseling and its various forms. Demonstration of understanding of the etiology of addiction, symptoms, assessments, and diagnoses including co-occurring disorders. Examination of neurological factors and the role of psychopharmacology in addiction counseling. Evaluation of evidence-based treatment approaches. Examination of legal and ethical issues and gender and culturally responsible counseling strategies specific to addictions counseling.

    3 credits

  • Lifespan Development (COUN635)

    Demonstration of knowledge of human development and aging issues. Examination of developmental theory assumptions. Examination of biological, cultural, social and spiritual factors. Evaluation of crisis and trauma. Integration of cultural and developmental factors in clinical practice.

    3 credits

  • Psychopathology and Diagnosis (COUN640)

    Demonstration of knowledge of diagnostic categories of the DSM-5 and ICD. Examination of the history and etiology of psychopathologies. Demonstration of ability to extract important diagnostic information in the diagnostic process. Evaluation of clients context to formulate diagnosis. Analysis of diagnosis to understand clinical issues. Examination of ethical issues of diagnoses and treatment.

    3 credits

  • Individual and Family Assessment (COUN645)

    Examination of assessment throughout the counseling process. Current and historical context of assessment and testing in counseling. Emphasis on administration, scoring, and interpretation of instruments for assessment and diagnosis of personality and psychopathology; psychometric properties; ethical use of instruments; factors affecting reliability and validity; and synthesizing data. Ethical and cultural relevant strategies for assessment are addressed.

    3 credits

  • Theories and Techniques of Counseling (COUN650)

    Demonstration of knowledge of the major theories and models of counseling and consultation. Demonstration of theoretical applications including case conceptualization, clinical treatment planning, and clinical intervention methods. Evaluation of counseling models from theological and contemporary counseling research including gender and diversity concerns. Examination of counseling problems from different theoretical perspectives. Examination of evidence based treatment approaches.

    3 credits

  • Professional Orientation and Ethics (COUN655)

    Demonstration of knowledge of the legal and professional structures of the counseling profession. Demonstration of knowledge of ethical standards, codes of ethics, and MN state licensure. Application of ethical decision making steps. Examination of current professional issues. Examination of cultural and spiritual considerations of ethical issues in the clinical context.

    3 credits

  • Research Methods and Evaluation (COUN660)

    Evaluation of research designs applicable to professional counseling. Evaluation of effectiveness research in clinical practice. Development of research skills with emphasis on critiquing published research and using effectiveness research in clinical decision making. Application of ethical and culturally relevant strategies for research.

    3 credits

  • Clinical Assessment and Intervention (COUN665)

    Demonstration of knowledge of crisis intervention models. Application of crisis intervention skills to clinical scenarios. Examination of ethical and culturally responsible strategies with clients in crisis. Application of intake and mental health assessments to clinical scenarios. Specific focus on treatment planning and crisis intervention models including suicidal clients, child abuse and neglect, and IPV.

    3 credits

  • Theories and Techniques of Career Counseling (COUN670)

    Examination of major career development theories and their application to practice. Specific topics include career assessments, gender and cultural implications and career decision-making. Emphasis on practical skills to support client career decisions and development.

    3 credits

  • Child and Adolescent Counseling (COUN675)

    Overview of the major theories and techniques for working with children and adolescents in counseling. Topics include: behavioral interventions, expressive therapy interventions, communication with school and outside services, legal and ethical issues specific to children and adolescents, and multicultural practice implications. Specific focus on the family system and its engagement in the counseling process.

    3 credits

  • Neuroscience, Counseling, and Trauma (COUN680)

    Introduction to the structure and function of the brain including biological basis of normal behavior and behavioral disorders, the influence of trauma on the brain, and drug influences on behavior. Trauma treatment strategies in counseling and psychopharmacological approaches will be addressed.

    3 credits

  • Practicum (COUN780)

    Demonstration of professional counseling competencies in initial supervised counseling experience at a community placement site. Demonstration of professional and ethical behavior including administration skills and self-evaluation. Application of theoretical constructs to clinical cases. Implementation of individual and group supervision feedback. Completion of 100 hours of experience at a practicum site including 40 hours of direct client contact hours.

    2 credits

  • Internship I (COUN781)

    Demonstration of professional counseling competencies in supervised counseling internship experience at a community placement site. Demonstration of professional and ethical behavior including administration skills and self-evaluation. Application of theoretical constructs to clinical cases. Implementation of individual and group supervision feedback. Completion of 300 hours of experience at a practicum site including 120 hours of direct client contact hours.

    4 credits

  • Internship II (COUN790)

    Advanced supervised counseling internship provides students the continued opportunity to gain professional and clinical experience providing mental health services to the community. 300 hours of experience at an internship site including a minimum of 120 direct client contact hours. Individual and group weekly supervision is required. Completion of course signified the completion of program clinical training requirements

    4 credits

Course Schedule

Students earning their M.A. in Counseling degree at Bethel take 60 semester credits during the 33-month program. View the Course Schedule to see a breakdown of courses by year. The final year of the program includes a 12 month clinical course series.

This program fulfills the educational requirements for licensure in the state of Minnesota. To obtain this license, you’ll need to complete and meet all requirements in the LPC/LPCC application, pass a national exam, and complete the additional supervision and clinical hours required by the state. While our program prepares you for the national exam, we cannot guarantee you’ll pass the exam. If you want to obtain this license in a state other than Minnesota, you’ll need to check that state’s licensure requirements.

Practicum and Internships

The program has a 12 month clinical series beginning in the second summer and continuing throughout the end of the program. Students will attain a community practicum site in an area of interest where they will serve the mental health needs of the community under supervision. The clinical series is made up of 3 courses: Practicum (Summer), Internship I (Fall) and Internship II (Spring).

Program Mission

The M.A. in Counseling Program is informed by an understanding of Christian faith and mental health.  We are committed to training graduate-level clinicians to be instruments of change that reflect a compassionate presence to the diverse and changing communities they will serve.  Graduate students are trained in the knowledge and skills of effective counseling and ethical practice in order to seek social justice and offer hope as they serve others with integrity and humility.

Program Outcomes

Graduates of the M.A. in Counseling Program at Bethel University will:

  • Develop a professional identity as a Clinical Mental Health Counselor within the broader counseling profession.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in the counseling core curriculum and specialty area of Clinical Mental Health Counseling.
  • Apply research to the evaluation and practice of effective counseling.
  • Apply ethical principles and ethical decision-making to counseling practice.
  • Apply cultural sensitivity and social justice advocacy in research, assessment, and practice.
  • Develop sensitivity to religious and spiritual diversity throughout the counseling process.
  • Demonstrate professional counseling competencies in a mental health clinical setting.

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