Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

School of Adult & Graduate Studies

Advance Your Counseling Career

Montreat College’s counseling program trains candidates in the fundamentals of human development, human behavior, and counseling in preparation for professional practice in a variety of settings, including private practice, community, government agencies, and other mental health settings. The counseling program provides a forum for candidates to engage in reflective practice as professionals and to become life-long learners, active global citizens, and advocates for social justice.

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Clinical Mental Health Counseling Degree Highlights

  • Become a counselor practitioner while learning the history and development of the counseling profession, the theories and ethical practice of counseling, and the competencies necessary for working with a diversity of patients and clients.
  • Prepare to deliver healing and health in the areas of developmental, behavioral, psychological, social, emotional, and career-based challenges and crises.
  • Learn theory, ethics, and strategies are emphasized, in addition to a counseling practicum and two internships.
  • Upon completion of the Master of Arts in Counseling degree, graduates will have met North Carolina Licensed Professional Counselor educational requirements.

For over 25 years, Montreat College’s School of Adult and Graduate Studies has been helping adult students acquire essential skills, complete their degrees, and take their career to the next level. Montreat offers undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs in a classroom or online.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Montreat College’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree program offered?

Courses are offered in Asheville, Charlotte, and Morganton. The program is designed in a hybrid format with face-to-face classes and online coursework.

When are the start dates for the Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree program?

Cohorts are scheduled to begin in August, January, and May.

How long does it take to complete the Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree program?

The program requires completion of 60 credit hours. If students take a full-time load each term (three classes), they should complete the program in less than 3 years.

How much does the Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree program cost?

The cost is $435 per credit hour, or $26,100 total for the 60 credit program, plus a $35 technology fee per semester. Keep in mind that there are multiple college and government financial aid programs available to help mitigate the cost of your education. You can learn more about your financial aid options here.

What jobs can you pursue with a Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree?

According to the U.S. Bureau for Labor Statistics (BLS), the job market for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors is expected to grow 23% from 2016-26, much faster than the job market generally. Mental health counseling jobs include: licensed professional counselor, licensed clinical professional counselor, human services educator, higher education counselor, student affairs administrator, drug and alcohol counselor, addictions counselor, licensed mental health counselor, director of human services agency, geriatric counselor, school counselor, social and community service, occupational/industrial counselor, marriage and family counseling, child counseling, and more.

What do clinical mental health counselors do?

Mental health counselors provide treatment to individuals, families, couples, and groups. Some work with specific populations, such as the elderly, college students, or children. Mental health counselors treat clients with a variety of conditions, including anxiety, depression, grief, low self-esteem, stress, and suicidal impulses. They also help with mental and emotional health issues and relationship problems.

How much money do clinical mental health counselors typically make?

According to the BLS, clinical, counseling, and school psychologists earn an average annual salary of $76,990. However, the amount of money that such counselors make depends on many factors, including region, industry, and specialization.

Other Information
Admission and Application Requirements
To qualify for admission into the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree program, the following conditions must be satisfied in addition to the standard graduate admissions requirements:

  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 from the last 60 credit hours of undergraduate study*
  • Submit a Professional Goals Essay
  • Submit a current resume that includes both academic and employment history
  • Submit official transcripts for all colleges attended
  • Complete and pay for a national background check
  • Submit GRE scores **
  • Successfully complete a personal interview with the Program Director and other panel members

*If applicant has a GPA below 3.0 in their last 60 credit hours of undergraduate study, a “Low GPA” essay is required. The essay should cover challenges that contributed to the low GPA, as well as specifically what the applicant will do to maintain a 3.0 overall GPA in the CMHC program.

The GRE requirement is waived under three circumstances:

  1. The applicant has completed a master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and is verified by receipt of official transcripts.
  2. The applicant is applying as a transfer student with graduate level counseling coursework from a counseling degree program that did not require the GRE or graduate coursework in a related field (such as social work, psychology, pastoral counseling human services, and marriage and family counseling) from a regionally accredited institution and is verified by receipt of official transcripts.
  3. The applicant is a former Montreat College CMHC student, in good standing, being readmitted within five years.

For applicants currently working full time in a Qualified Professional health and human services position (such as QP, case manager, assessment evaluator, peer support) for three or more years, and have a bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 GPA from the last 60 credit hours of undergraduate study within ten years of the proposed start date, can apply to waive the minimum score requirement of the GRE. The assessment and decision of each case will be made by the CMHC department.


Program Requirements

View full course listings and degree plan

Sample Courses

CN 610 Theories & Techniques in Counseling

This course will provide an overview of counseling theories and related techniques including psychoanalytic, gestalt, behavioral, cognitive, reality, existential, Adlerian, family systems, feminist, and postmodern therapies. Students will have the opportunity to role play and demonstrate beginning skills for counseling through videotaped role play sessions with classmates.

CN 620 Spirituality & Religion in Counseling

This course will examine the role of spirituality and religious beliefs in the counseling relationship and process. Students will explore how different religious traditions that clients may participate in could influence the counseling process as well as examine their own religious and spiritual foundations for their counseling theory and practice. Ethical standards will be discussed.

CN 635 Mental Health Diagnosis and Treatment

This course will provide students an overview of clinical diagnoses according to the current Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM V). Diagnosis criteria will be reviewed and current best practice treatment options will be reviewed. Case studies will be utilized to provide students opportunities to practice diagnostic skills. Treatment planning in counseling will also be discussed.

Crystal Joudry '18

I have chosen Montreat College because I know my peers also possess similar goals and values. I also love the encouraging and intelligent professors that possess a wealth of knowledge. It is obvious the faculty and staff are willing to help students succeed.

Crystal Joudry '18

I have chosen Montreat College because I know my peers also possess similar goals and values. I also love the encouraging and intelligent professors that possess a wealth of knowledge. It is obvious the faculty and staff are willing to help students succeed.

Norèal Armstrong

Dr. Norèal Armstrong
Assistant Professor of Counselor Education
Clinical Mental Health Counseling Department Chair

Gregg Blanton

Dr. Gregg Blanton
Professor of Psychology and Human Services

Photo of Megan Clunan

Dr. Megan Clunan
Assistant Professor of Psychology and Human Services

Brad Faircloth

Dr. Brad Faircloth
Director of Assessment
Associate Professor of Psychology and Human Services
Psychology and Human Services Department Chair​

John-Nelson Pope

Dr. John-Nelson Pope
Associate Professor of Counselor Education

Adjunct Faculty

Dr. Nina Davis

Dr. Donna Fletcher

Dr. Michelle Gordon

Dr. David Graham

Dr. Jessica Korzyniowski

Dr. Penny Hamblin

Dr. Joy Martin

Dr. Melissa Mullins

Dr. Janet Reading

Dr. Terri Tilford

CACREP Accreditation

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 Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) program in the School of Adult and Graduate Studies at Montreat College.

CACREP Accredited logo

Montreat College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges Southern Association of Colleges & Schools to award associate, bachelor, and master degrees. You can contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097 or call (404) 679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Montreat College. If you want to speak with someone at Montreat College about our accreditation, please contact Academic Affairs at (828) 669-8012 ext. 3621 or The complaint process for SACS COC can be found at

Other Links

Annual Report 2017-18

Annual Report 2016-17

Annual Report 2015-16

Program Handbook

Practicum Planning Guide

Tuition and Fees

View Degree Plan and Full Course Listings

Chi Sigma Iota (Montreat College’s chapter is Mu Chi)

CMHC curricula is determined, developed, written, reviewed and evaluated by core and affiliate faculty once per quarter. Core and affiliate faculty are as follows: Dr. John Pope, Dr. Noreal Armstrong, Dr. Megan Clunan, and Dr. Brad Faircloth.

Montreat College is an Approved National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) Continuing Education Provider: # 4576