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Master of Arts in Counseling: Clinical Mental Health

Cultivate Life-Changing Transformation
With the Townsend Institute’s M.A. in Counseling: Clinical Mental Health Program

Bring healing, hope, and restoration.

Acquire the skills to engage with a person struggling with issues such as depression, anxiety, relational problems, or addictions on a deeply attuned level. Our CACREP-accredited program will empower you to help people move beyond coping to restoration. Gain competency in over 20 skills that use the transformative power of relationship, emotions, and cognitions to create profound and lasting change.


Accessible: Online Classes


Affordable: $695 Cost Per Unit

CACREP Accredited

Accredited: CACREP Accredited


Accelerated: 24 - 36 Months

Start in March or August

  • “Crack the code” for how deep and lasting change takes place
  • Learn counseling skills integrated with biblical principles
  • Personally learn from Dr. John Townsend
  • Engage with world-class Christian thought leaders

Apply Now

Get Started Today

Our dedicated admissions counselors are here to help.

God transformed me through the Townsend Institute’s counseling program.

Anthony Johnson
M.A. Counseling, 2019

Read Anthony's Story »

Female student on her computer

Join us LIVE!

Experience a new kind of relational education. Join us online LIVE and hear from our faculty, academic advisors, current students, and alumni about their experience in the Townsend Institute.

  • Ask Dr. John Townsend your questions about the Institute and our offerings
  • Learn how our counseling and leadership programs can advance your career
  • Connect with other prospective students exploring our programs
  • Become eligible for scholarships and other prizes by participating in our info session

Founded by best-selling author and leading Christian thought leader Dr. John Townsend, the Townsend Institute at Concordia University Irvine brings together Christians from all across the country and across all walks of life. For years, Dr. Townsend, along with the Institute’s Fellows and faculty, have been transforming lives. Now you too have the opportunity to learn from master practitioners with decades of real world experience.

To earn your Master’s in Counseling: Clinical Mental Health degree, you’ll be taking 60 units of classes and select which 6 units of electives are the best fit for you. For each 7-week course, you’ll be supported through virtual classroom sessions with your professors and classmates, and through experientially-focused assignments that connect you with fellow students.

Learning activities will involve approximately 13 to 16 hours of the student's time investment each week. It is recommended that students working full time take only one course at a time.

This program can lead to licensure in most states. It is the sole responsibility of the student, not the program, to obtain information regarding prerequisites for licensure as outlined by their particular state board of counseling. To obtain your state’s web address, view State Licensure Boards.

Core Courses

  • COUN 600: Personal Development Skills Process Group *(3 units)
  • COUN 601: Human Growth and Development * (3 units)
  • COUN 602: Theories of Counseling * (3 units)
  • COUN 603: Clinical Psychopathology and Diagnosis * (3 units)
  • COUN 604 : Theory and Practice of Groups * (3 units)
  • COUN 605: Legal, Ethical and Professional Issues * (3 units)
  • COUN 607: Social and Cultural Foundations * (3 units)
  • COUN 609: Theory and Practice of Assessment * (3 units)
  • COUN 610: Townsend Model Theory and Application (3 units)
  • COUN 611: Foundations of Crisis and Trauma Counseling * (3 units)
  • COUN 612: Career and Lifestyle Development * (3 units)
  • COUN 613: Foundations of Addiction Counseling * (3 units)
  • COUN 614: Methods and Practice of Research and Evaluation * (3 units)
  • COUN 633: Counseling Skills and Techniques * (3 units)

Clinical Mental Health Emphasis

  • COUN 606: Foundations and Contextual Dimensions of Mental Health Counseling * (3 units)
  • COUN 640: Supervised Practicum * (3 units)
  • COUN 641: Supervised Internship I * (3 units)
  • COUN 642: Supervised Internship II * (3 units)

Choose at least 6 units from the following courses:

  • COUN 608: Models and Application of Integration (3 units)
  • COUN 621: Psychopharmacology* (3 units)
  • COUN 622: Foundations of Spiritual Formation and Direction (3 units)
  • COUN 623: Foundations of Marriage and Family Therapy (3 units)
  • COUN 624: Level I Clinical Training: Gottman Method Couples Therapy (3 units)
  • COUN 625: Level II Clinical Training: Gottman Method Couples Therapy (3 units)
  • COUN 626: Foundations of Play Therapy (3 units)
  • COUN 627: Human Sexuality* (3 units)
  • COUN 643: Supervised Internship III (3 units)
  • EXCC 612: Executive Coaching and Character Development (3 units)
  • EXCC 613: Developing the Executive Coaching Relationship (3 units)
  • EXCC 617: Advanced Consultation Skills (3 units)

*These 17 courses must be completed as a part of California LPCC Licensure.

For course descriptions, please see the Academic Catalog.

The Townsend Institute takes a different approach to academics. We know it’s the time you spend with people who have legitimate on-the-ground experiences and have accomplished their goals that has the greatest impact. That’s why we provide students with the opportunity to personally learn from Dr. John Townsend, our Institute Fellows and faculty. Together, they cultivate a relational learning experience, addressing the head and the heart through science and data.

We believe there is great value in frequent, real-time interaction with fellow students and your instructors. Our graduate programs launch with a 4-Day Residency where you will meet Dr. Townsend personally as he and our Townsend Institute Fellows conduct a series of trainings. You will also go through 8 process-focused growth groups – you will not leave the same person.

To learn more about the Institute’s 4-day Residency, attend a Townsend LIVE info session.

The Townsend Institute is housed within Concordia University Irvine, a private, Lutheran university. Located in Southern California, Concordia serves over 4,000 students annually, on campus and online. Centered by a Christian worldview, and guided by the Great Commission, Concordia is home to a thoughtful and caring community of learners.

Through our CACREP-accredited program, you will gain marketable skills that can offer a professional advantage in your vocation. Students will acquire the skills to engage with a person struggling with issues like depression, anxiety, relational problems, or addictions on a deeply attuned level. You will also be trained to connect with the internal workings of a person’s brain and heart - where the root issues lie - such as isolation, lack of boundaries, shame, and feeling as if they have no voice.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis but we encourage you to have all documentation in two weeks prior to the start of each term. If you have any questions about the admissions process or need any assistance, please don't hesitate to connect with us.

Application Requirements

  • An application with nonrefundable application fee of $50
  • Student Success Fee: $50
  • One official transcript from a regionally accredited college or university that shows your confirmed bachelor’s degree. Official college transcripts must be sent in a sealed envelope.
  • Must have earned a cumulative GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale
  • Written essay (2 pages, 500 words) addressing the following items:
    • Personal, professional, and educational goals
    • In your experience, what is the best way that a person grows or changes?
    • What parts of your personality do you feel are conducive to your potential success in forming effective counseling relationships?
    • What is your capacity as a counselor to treat all those in need and show respect for cultural differences?
    • What interested you in applying to the Townsend Institute as opposed to other programs?
  • Minimum of 2 professional references required.
    • References need to have overseen the applicant in a professional capacity. Peers/colleagues/friends/family are not accepted. 
  • A current professional resume
  • Interview with program faculty

Apply Now

Concordia campus from French Hill Dr. Townsend and students in front of Grimm Hall

Start your application today.

Take your next step toward creating the career, and the life, you’ve been waiting for.

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