CMHC Program Overview

The CMHC Program is a two year, 60 credit hour program leading to a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. It is designed to give students a foundation to provide mental health services in a variety of settings, including community mental health centers, drug and alcohol rehabilitation agencies, and pastoral settings. Professors who respect and integrate Christian values across the curriculum teach students how to combine the best therapeutic methods with a Catholic understanding of the human person. The Program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). In addition, the curriculum is approved by the State of Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board. Graduates of the program, therefore, meet the educational requirements for counselor licensure in Ohio. The Program also allows students to customize their program of study to meet licensure requirements in all other states.

Program Requirements

The course of study consists of a minimum of 60 semester hours of classroom and experiential work, including a one-semester practicum and a two-semester internship. All students take at least one course specifically focused on Catholic influences in professional counseling. Students complete 48 hours of General Requirement Courses, as well as 12 credits of advanced topics elective courses, within which they have the option to complete concentrations in Christian counseling and crisis and trauma counseling.

The practicum involves providing approximately 8 hours per week of supervised professional counseling services for a total of 100 hours. The internship consists of 600 hours of professional counseling services spread over two semesters with an aim of 240 hours of direct service to clients. Practicum and internship also involve weekly group and individual supervision by program faculty and site supervisors.

See the course requirements and course descriptions in the Academic Catalog.

Teaching From a Catholic Worldview

The faculty in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program have crafted a position statement on their view of teaching professional counseling from within a Catholic worldview. This statement encapsulates the program’s shared teaching philosophy and describes the teaching approaches and educational experiences students can expect to experience while in the program.

Program Mission

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program aligns itself with the mission of Franciscan University of Steubenville by training students to embody Franciscan values and charisms as helping professionals. In particular, the CMHC Program’s mission is to educate professional counselors who can be instruments of healing for those in need of mental, emotional, relational, and spiritual renewal. The Program is grounded in a philosophical anthropology informed by a Catholic understanding of the human person. With a commitment to Christian and human values, the most important of which is a value on the dignity and worth of the person, and with a dedication to training professional counselors in contemporary practices informed by research, the program aims to:

  • help students reflect on how a well-formed vision of the human person affects clinical counseling practices
  • provide a strong background of experiential training in clinical mental health counseling skills required of entry-level practitioners
  • advance students’ comprehension of counseling theories, models, and treatment methods
  • develop research and testing skills needed by mental health counselors
  • foster multicultural competence
  • develop in students ethical decision-making skills
  • promote an understanding of the physical, intellectual, social, emotional, and spiritual aspects of human development and behavior needed to competently facilitate human growth

Graduates from this program will receive the academic and experiential foundations that will enable them to specialize in a variety of counselor roles, such as community mental health counselors, pastoral counselors, drug and alcohol counselors, college counselors, and relationship counselors. The program has the goal of providing educational foundations that enable its graduates to enter professionally satisfying careers, serve others to the best of their abilities, and develop a capacity for intellectual, professional, and personal growth.

Our Concentrations

The CMHC Program offers students an opportunity to pursue specialized areas study while in the program. Each concentration includes one required course and two electives. Students can complete two concentrations within the 60 hour program.:

  • Christian Counseling Concentration: 9 credits of coursework, including Psychological and Spiritual Integration; Human Sexuality and Christian Marriage and Family; and Pastoral Counseling
  • Crisis and Trauma Counseling Concentration: 9 credits of coursework, including Introduction to Addictions Counseling; Crisis and Trauma Counseling; and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Program Outcomes

Determining the success of the CMHC Program begins with articulation of the objectives of the training program. At Franciscan University, the objectives of the CMHC Program are to help suitable and committed individuals develop the following:

  1. An understanding of human nature based on a Christian philosophical perspective, thus reflecting a holistic, developmental, relational and valuing perspective on the Person, as well as a respect for self-determination and human limitation.
  2. Professional Identity as a Clinical Mental Health Counselor, including a comprehension of Counselor roles in mental health, professional ethics and legal issues, self-care, models of treatment and supervision, and relationship to the profession, as well as understanding the impact of crisis, trauma, and substance abuse on mental health.
  3. Understanding of and ability to apply: educational, advocacy, consultative, preventive and interventive strategies to fostering mental health and wellness at individual, family and larger-system levels as appropriate.
  4. Integration of diversity awareness into response to client needs at individual, family and larger-system levels.
  5. Understanding of and ability to apply appropriate, culturally–informed individual and systemic assessment strategies to all relevant dimensions of the initial evaluation process, case conceptualization, treatment planning, and re-evaluation, including risk assessment and assessment for co-occurring disorders.
  6. Understanding of and ability to apply relevant research findings and strategies to program-evaluation as well as selection, evaluation and enhancement of treatment strategies.
  7. Understanding of and ability to apply current diagnostic principles, informed by comprehension of the impact of multicultural variables, co-occurring disorders, and crisis/trauma on the diagnostic process.


And to offer:

  1. A program of studies that covers the common core curriculum outlined by CACREP and that prepares students for licensure in Ohio and most states.
  2. A concentration in Christian counseling for students desiring to learn more about applying professional skills in a Christian Counseling setting.


Program Evaluation

The CMHC Program’s Comprehensive Evaluation Plan outlines the mission of the Program and its philosophy of assessment, as well as the processes and measures used for evaluation. The most recent program evaluation outcomes and action items are found in the assessment plan.

See the following link for CACREP Vital Statistics data on Graduation Rates, Completion Rates, and Employment Data:

Student Outcomes Data

Program Admissions

How to Apply for Admissions

Gaining admission to the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is simple, and we are ready to help you navigate the process. Here are the things we need:

  • Application
  • Official Bachelor Transcript and Official Transcripts with Relevant Transfer Credit
  • Three Letters of Recommendation, using this form
  • Resume

Email them to [email protected]

Or mail them to:

Graduate Admissions
1235 University Blvd.
Steubenville, Ohio 43952

Associated Costs

The costs associated with Clinical Mental Health Counseling program include:

  • $700 per credit hour

Contact Us

If you have any questions or need help please contact Graduate Admissions at [email protected] or (740) 284-5239

Accelerated BA/MA Degree Option

The accelerated BA/MA Degree Option allows qualifying students to complete a bachelor degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling within 5 years of full-time study (including a summer semester after year 4). Admission to the CMHC Program through the BA/MA accelerated track is available to undergraduate psychology students at Franciscan University who have a 3.3 GPA and meet all admissions criteria. Students generally apply in the second semester of their junior year, though they are advised to plan for the accelerated option starting in their freshman year.

Academic Catalog

View the CMHC Program in the Graduate Catalog

Inquire For More Information
Alumni Profiles
Counseling Accreditation

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Students in their last semester of coursework are eligible to sit for the National Counselor Exam (NCE), which is administered by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC).

CMHC Blogs
Ethically Formed. Prepared to Serve. Trained to Lead.
Department Faculty
Dr. jungers

Dr. Christin Jungers


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Dr. Kissinger

Dr. Donald Kissinger

Associate Professor
Department Chair

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Dr. Milburn

Dr. Milo Milburn


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Dr. Workman

Dr. Thomas Workman

Assistant Professor

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