Master of Arts 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 mission of the Department of Counseling and Pastoral Care is to equip students to serve diverse communities by facilitating healing and growth through reflectively integrating Christian values, principles and resources with pastoral or professional counseling competencies and practices.

Cacrep_cm_CMYKThe 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.
  • 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.

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.

Methods of Instruction

Asbury Theological Seminary offers a variety of options for course delivery. The section code designations can assist in determining the delivery modality for the courses.

  • Bilingual (BL): Bilingual courses are taught in Spanish and utilize English texts as resources.
  • Face to Face (W): Courses offered on a weekly basis in a classroom setting only on our Wilmore campus.
  • Hybrid (W, OL, M, TB, T, C): Semester-long courses with both online and in-person requirements.
  • Independent Study (I): An independently arranged research course in a subject area or topic not covered by a course currently listed in the academic catalog.
  • Independent Course (I): An independent arrangement of a course currently listed in the academic catalog and completed outside of the classroom, as contracted between professor and student. Independent courses are registered with the catalog course number and are graded per the catalog course description.
  • Intensive (W, OL, M, TB, T, C): Course may meet once or twice a semester for multiple days. The majority of the learning will take place during the required in-person portion of this class.
  • Online (X): Courses offered completely online with no specific synchronous meeting requirement.
  • Synchronous (SR or SN): Courses offered online with regular weekly meetings at a set time. Some courses are cross-listed with an in-person section.
  • Travel Courses (TR or TRX): Courses that include face-to-face instruction at a location other than the approved campus and extensions. Some travel courses may include a domestic or overseas cultural immersion or attendance at a significant conference related to course content.

Matriculation Requirements

  1. Completion of 75 credit hours, as outlined in the Academic Catalog, including all required courses;
  2. Attainment of a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00/4.00;
  3. Completion of a minimum of 12 credit hours on Asbury Theological Seminary’s physical campus or extensions with at least 6 of the 12 credit hours completed on the Kentucky campus to satisfy residency requirements;
  4. Fulfillment of all degree requirements in not more than seven calendar years from the first term of enrollment; and
  5. Completion of the online graduation application by last day of add/drop period (Summer add/drop deadline for December/January graduation and January add/drop deadline for May/August graduation).
  6. Successfully pass Professional Development Meeting Two.

Vital Statistics

Number of Graduates in Past Year 22
CACREP Degree Completion Rate*

* CACREP defines completion rate as graduates who finish their degrees within the published time frames. Degrees completed outside a 3-year time frame are not included in the CACREP completion rate.

Licensure Pass Rate 100%
Job Placement Rate 100%
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 CO/MF600 Family Systems Theory
3 CO601 Counseling Theories and Techniques –AUG
3 CO610 Ethical and Legal Issues in Counseling [PRQ: CO600 or CO601] – JAN
3 CO/MF618 Counseling Children [PRQ: CO600 or CO601, CO720 or PC520, CO655]
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 (9 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 is committed to providing you with a quality theological education and practical skills for a lifetime. We offer more than 400 scholarships annually to help you graduate with minimal debt.

Cost of Attendance


Total Credits


Master of Arts

75 credits

$712/credit hour



Academic Year 2022-2023 All Campuses Fall/Spring All Campuses Summer
Technology Fee $225 per semester $110 per semester
Graduation Fee $200 one-time fee $200 one-time fee
Student Services Fee $160 per semester $80 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), the Asbury Financial Aid Application, and who have been admitted by the Admissions Office by March 1.

Recipients of scholarships must represent strong promise for Christian ministry and demonstrate a financial need.

Some of the 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