Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling (M.A. in Mental Health Counseling)

Asbury Seminary’s 75-hour Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling allows you to pursue an understanding of wholeness, boundaries, ethics and diversity through theory and practice as you train to become a professional counselor. Within the degree, you’ll understand and integrate a biblical and theological understanding with historical and contemporary theories in order to meet the professional standards of accrediting agencies.



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 following programs in the Counseling Department at Asbury Theological Seminary: M.A. in Mental Health Counseling.



What to expect from the degree

As you complete your degree, you’ll

  1. Master clinical skills in individual and group settings at an accomplished level, including an ability to articulate the theoretical foundations upon which these skills are built.
  2. Practice professional behavior that maintains appropriate boundaries, conforms to ethical standards and reflects respect and sensitivity for persons from diverse backgrounds.
  3. Integrate theology and theory, grounded in a biblically mature understanding of God and persons that will inform your role as a professionally licensed counselor.

*Refer to the Academic Catalog for the exact wording of Program Learning Outcomes.

Advanced Standing

Save time and money with our advanced standing program. Here’s how it works.

If you received a religion major or minor from an accredited college or university, you can receive a maximum of 12 credits toward a Master of Arts degree.

*Transcripts evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Admissions Requirements

  • Application (online at
  • $50 non-refundable Application Fee
  • Accredited baccalaureate degree
  • All Counseling programs require a cumulative GPA of 3.0/4.0
  • Official transcripts from all schools where classes were taken for more than one semester
  • Personal history essay (300 words for each)
  1. Share your life story, including at what point you began your relationship with Jesus Christ. Talk about your growth since that time and what brings you to apply to Seminary at this season in your life. Include your thoughts on how you would like to see your faith grow during your time in Seminary.
  2. What draws you to your desired major/area of study? What is your intended outcome upon degree completion? Why is that career or ministry choice meaningful to you?
  3. Discuss a local, national, and/or international issue and why you are passionate about it.
  4. Counselors of faith have at least two sources of information that they can draw upon to counsel others. Imagine a continuum where #1 represents the position of “using Bible only” and #5 represents the position of “psychological studies only.” Where would you currently place yourself on this continuum?
  5. Describe how relating to persons who are different from you (race, gender, age, economic, sexual orientation) has impacted you.
  6. Discuss your career goals and how this degree helps you to move toward them.
  • Four references completed on the Admissions Office form at, including at least one pastoral reference, at least one reference from a professor or academic administrator, and at least one reference from a counseling/mental health professional. References from family members are excluded.
  • For applicants whose primary language is not English, a TOEFL score of 550 (79 internet-based) or an IELTS score of 7.
  • Background Check 
  • A personal interview may be required upon request by the Admissions Committee

Application Process

When all your transcripts have been received, and you have a satisfactory GPA, you will be invited to contact the counseling office to set up the Counseling Tests and Inventories. These tests provide information about your social, emotional, and psychological functioning. The information is reviewed by professors in the area of Counseling and Pastoral Care for admissions purposes only. Your test results will be maintained in a secure file and will not be used for any other purposes.

The admission requirements and Counseling Tests and Inventories must be complete by March 1st (Wilmore, KY) and April 1st (Orlando, FL) for summer applicants. For spring applicants, the admission requirements and Counseling Tests and Inventories must be complete by October 1st (Wilmore, KY) and November 1st (Orlando, FL).

Following the completion of the admissions requirements and the Counseling Tests and Inventories, you will be invited to attend a group interview, in which all counseling applicants will be in attendance. The interview is usually held two to three weeks following the deadline for admissions requirements and Counseling Tests and Inventories.

Once the group interview has been completed, the counseling faculty will communicate their recommendation to the Admissions Office for further processing. The Admissions Office will then notify you of the Admissions Committee’s decision regarding your application.

Vital Statistics

Number of Graduates in Past Year


Degree Completion Rate


Licensure Pass Rate


Job Placement Rate


Complete your degree on campus or online.

Study online. Complete your degree without leaving home by taking a portion of your classes online and completing the remaining through on-campus intensives.

Study on campus. Complete your degree in one of our three locations—Kentucky, Florida or Memphis. Choose to work through your degree in either a residential or urban ministry format or cohort model.

Stay on mission. However you choose to pursue your degree, you’ll develop the biblical and theological understanding essential for a vibrant, contemporary ministry rooted in the Wesleyan tradition.

The M.A. in Mental Health Counseling program is offered at the following locations:

Kentucky (Wilmore)

Download Printable Copy

Hrs Course ID Course Name
3 MS501 Missional Formation (must be taken in initial 21 hrs at ATS)
3 BT501 Biblical Narrative
3 CO526/TH501 Counseling and Christian Beliefs -or- Basic Christian Doctrine
3 CO601 Counseling Theories and Techniques (AUGUST Intensive)
3 CO610 Ethical and Legal Issues in Counseling [PRQ: CO600 or CO601] – JAN
3 CO624 Community Counseling [PRQ: CO600 or CO601]
3 CO655 The Counseling Relationship: Process and Skills [PRQ or Concurrently: CO600 or CO601]
3 CO715 Assessment Inventories in Counseling [PRQ: CO600 or CO601 & CO720]
3 CO720 Psychopathology: Theory and Assessments [PRQ or Concurrently: CO600 or CO601]
3 CO730 Advanced Issues in Cross-cultural Counseling [PRQ: CO600 or CO601]
0 CO410 Gate Three: MAMH
3 CO622 Theories of Personality Development Across the Life Span [PRQ: CO600 or CO601 and CO720]
3 CO625 Recognizing and Treating Addictive Disorders [PRQ: CO600, CO601, PC510, or PC515]
3 CO660 Crisis Counseling: Theory and Application [PRQ or Concurrently: CO600 or CO601]
3 CO675 Group Counseling [PRQ: CO600 or CO601]
3 CO680 Career Counseling [PRQ: CO600 or CO601]
3 CO700 Counseling Practicum [PRQ: Gate 2]
3 CO705 Counseling Internship—One [PRQ: CO600 or 601, CO610, & CO655, CO700, & CO720]
3 CO706 Counseling Internship—Two (PRQ: CO705)
3 CO725 Research Seminar: Theory and Design
3 NT(IBS)510/511 NT(IBS)510 Matthew -or- NT(IBS)511 Mark
3 TH601 Theology of John Wesley

* Notes:
The MA in Mental Health Counseling has 60 hours of counseling course work (12 of these hours are counseling electives). In addition, there are 15 hours of seminary core classes.

Students who pursue licensure in Florida must take CO611 Dynamics of Human Sexuality.

CO705 and CO706 each require minimum of 300 hours. Students who pursue LPC licensure in Florida need 500 hours per practicum to meet Florida LPC requirements (1000 hours total).


Asbury Seminary awards more than 400 scholarships annually because we want you to graduate with minimal debt. We offer too many scholarships to list conclusively. For more information, email

To apply for financial aid:

  1. Complete your online application.
  2. Fill out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  3. Once you’re admitted to the Seminary, you will receive an Asbury Seminary Financial Aid form.
  4. After completing this, the Financial Aid office will contact you with any scholarship offers.

Cost of Attendance: 2017-2018

Degree Total Credits Cost
Master of Arts  60 credits $635/credit hour
Total   $38,100
Academic Year 2017-2018 All Campuses Fall/Spring All Campuses Summer
Technology Fee $110 per semester $50 per semester
Graduation Fee $100 one-time fee $100 one-time fee
Student Services Fee $110 per semester $50 per semester


Institutional scholarships are available through Asbury Theological Seminary. Scholarships are highly competitive and priority consideration is given to those who have completed their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and who have been admitted by the Admissions Office by March 1.

Specific scholarships will be offered in the form of an invitation to those who meet the eligibility requirements.  

Dr. J. Ellsworth Kalas Pastoral Scholarships

The Dr. J. Ellsworth Kalas Pastoral Scholarship is a $12,000 annual award given to those pursuing a theological degree. Scholarships are awarded based on financial need.

Criteria includes:

  • Commitment to begin active ministry through local church ministry, church planting or mission work following graduation
  • Demonstration of financial need
  • Maintain full-time student status (21 hours annually)

Here’s how to apply:

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Complete the Presidential Scholarship Application, which includes a 500-word essay on the way your intended vocational goal and this scholarship will better enable you to accomplish God’s call on your life.

Presidential Scholarship

Recipients of this scholarship exhibit both outstanding academic and leadership skills. This scholarship covers up to 100% of tuition.

Criteria includes:

  • Undergraduate cumulative 3.75 GPA
  • Maintain full-time student status (21 hours annually) & a 3.75 GPA
  • Demonstrate leadership skills through involvement in a local worship community
  • Participate in a minimum of four Christian service activities annually
  • Commit to begin active ministry following graduation

Here’s how to apply:

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Complete the Presidential Scholarship Application, which includes a 500-word essay on how you anticipate a Seminary education will equip you for future leadership.

Johnson International Scholarship

The Johnson International Scholarship is a need-based scholarship, covering up to 100% of tuition. The scholarship is available to non-U.S. residents who plan to assume leadership roles within their home country after graduation.

Criteria includes:

  • Undergraduate cumulative GPA of 2.75 and regular service in a local congregation, campus ministry, mission outreach or social service OR a 2.5 undergraduate cumulative GPA and notable leadership in a local congregation, campus ministry, mission outreach or social service
  • Maintain a 2.75 GPA
  • Demonstrate faithful involvement in a local worship community, as well as the Seminary community
  • Complete an Asbury Seminary-approved financial planning seminar or workshop during the first term of study to re-qualify for subsequent terms
  • Commit to enter into active ministry in his/her homeland following completion of academic work

To be eligible for additional scholarship, complete the International Student Questionnaire Form. This form will be made available to you once the admissions process has started.

Special Scholarships

These scholarships do not require an invitation and are generated from either Endowed or Restricted funds. Recipients of Special Scholarships must represent strong promise for Christian ministry and demonstrate a financial need. You must complete The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be eligible to receive these scholarships.

Some of the special scholarships include:

  • Mary Whetstone and Walter J. Knabe Scholarship – average award $10,700
  • Windgate Scholarship – average award $10,000
  • J.C. McPheeters Scholarship – average award $7,000
  • Timothy C. Tennent Church Planting and Cross-Cultural Missionary Service Scholarship – average award $4,500
  • Leo H. Naughton Scholarship – average award $3,200
  • Asbury Deans Scholarship – average award $1,500
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