Clinical Mental Health Counseling (M.S.)

Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

The Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is designed to meet the needs of college graduates who desire training in counseling-psychotherapy and wish to provide such services to individuals, couples, groups, and families. Freed-Hardeman University's interdisciplinary M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program integrates elements of the core mental health professions with principles of the Christian faith to produce graduates ready for the clinical practice of professional counseling.

The Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling requires that students satisfactorily complete 60 semester hours of course work and pass a comprehensive exam. Included in the 60 hours are a practicum and an internship, in which students complete counseling and counseling-related activities.  These experiences take place in appropriate counseling settings under the supervision of well-trained counselor supervisors.  For further information, please contact our Office of Graduate Studies office at 1-800-FHU-FHU1, ext. 6101 or 731-989-6101.

Career Opportunities. A master's degree in clinical mental health counseling (with additional graduate work and licensure where required) may lead to employment in a variety of settings, such as community agencies, children and family services agencies, churches, counseling clinics, business-employee assistance programs, and private practice. Further study at the doctoral level may prepare students for faculty positions at various schools, colleges, and universities.

Note: Students will be required to carry liability insurance once accepted into the program. Coverage is offered through a number of insurance agencies; however, joining the American Counseling Association as a student member will give access to the ACA student insurance.


Program Advisor

James Dalton, M.S., Ph.D
Director, CMHC


Admissions Contact

Sara Wood
Director of Graduate Admissions



Required Courses

COU 000 Orientation to Graduate Studies in Counseling 0 hours
COU 500 Counseling Foundations 3
COU 501 Clinical Intervention I 3
COU 502 Clinical Intervention II 3
COU 505 Life-Cycle Development 3
COU 510 Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy 3
COU 514 Psychopathology I (Abnormal Behavior) 3
COU 515 Psychopathology II 3
COU 520 Assessment I 3
COU 525 Marriage and Family Counseling 3
COU 530 Group Counseling 3
COU 535 Ethical Issues in Counseling 3
COU 540 Research Methods in Counseling 3
COU 545 Practicum I 3
COU 550 Career Counseling 3
COU 560 Counseling Diverse Populations 3
COU 565 Addictions Counseling 3
COU 599B Diagnosis and Treatment Planning 3
COU 605 Internship I 6
57 hours
Choice of ONE Elective from the following: 3
COU 521 Assessment II OR (3)
COU 555 Theories of Personality OR (3)
COU 570 Crisis Counseling OR (3)
COU 575 Agency Counseling OR (3)
COU 585 Psychopharmacology for Counselors OR (3)
COU 590 Counseling and the Law (3)
60 hours

Graduate Certificate Program

The College of Biblical Studies and the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Masters of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program offers a Graduate Certificate in Counseling for Church Leaders. Ministers, associate ministers, youth ministers, family life ministers and/or elders who have interest or duties in counseling are encouraged to enroll in this certificate program. The interdisciplinary design of the certificate is reflected in a combination of graduate Bible and counseling courses. Students will gain an understanding of basic counseling skills, using scripture in counseling and specific areas of counseling that church leaders are often called upon to perform. The certificate program will give students an opportunity to strengthen and refine their skills whether for members inside the congregation or as an outreach for those in need. Students who successfully complete the Graduate Certificate in Counseling for Church Leaders will be better prepared to meet individual and family needs of those seeking help and support within a church context. This certificate can be taken for audit or graduate credit.

Those students completing a Graduate Certificate (for credit) will be presented an official certificate when the program of study is completed.


Required Courses

COU535 Ethical Issues in Counseling 3 hours
BIB 535 Family Ministry OR 3
COU 599D Premarital Counseling (3)
BIB 536 Ministerial Counseling OR 3
COU 599F Counseling for Church Leaders (3)
BIB 545 Leadership in the Church 3
COU 565 Addictions Counseling OR 3
COU 570 Crisis Counseling (3)
COU 599E Grief Counseling 3
18 hours


National Certification and State Licensure

Freed-Hardeman University has designed the Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with National Certification and State Licensing Requirements as its model.


  • Completion of an eligible Master's degree or higher in counseling. This achievement is documented with a sealed, official transcript showing degree conferral.

  • Graduate-level credit of two semester hours or greater in eight content areas and at least six semester hours of field experience.

    Content Area Requirements: FHU Equivalent:
    Human Growth and Development           COU 505 Life-Cycle Development
    Social and Cultural Foundations   COU 560 Counseling Diverse Populations
    Helping Relationships   COU 510 Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy
    Group Work   COU 530 Group Counseling
    Career and Lifestyle Development   COU 550 Career Counseling
    Appraisal   COU 520 Assessment I
    Research and Program Evaluation   COU 540 Research Methods and Counseling
    Professional Orientation to Counseling   COU 500 Counseling Foundations
    Field Experience (in a counseling   COU 545 Practicum I; COU 600 Practicum II;
    setting) (Minimum of 6 credit hours)    COU 605 Internship
  • Passing score on the National Counselor Exam (NCE)

  • Documentation of post-graduate counseling experience and supervision: 3,000 hours with a minimum of 100 hours of counseling supervision - both over a 24-month post-master's period. Supervisors must hold a master's degree or higher in a mental health field.


  1. Prior to submitting an application, each of the following qualifications must be met by a candidate for professional counselor with Mental Health Services Provider designation:

    1. Be at least 18 years of age.

    2. Must provide evidence that he is highly regarded in moral character and professional ethics (Rule 0450-1-.05).

    3. Meet the following educational requirements prior to the date of application:

      1. Sixty (60) graduate semester hours, based upon a program of studies with a major in counseling, completed from an institution accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the Counsel for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, or a comparable accrediting body;

      2. The graduate coursework should include, but is not limited to, the following core areas (one course may satisfy study in more than one of the study areas):

        • Theories of human behavior, learning and personality

        • Abnormal behavior and psychopathology

        • Theories of counseling and psychotherapy

        • Evaluation and appraisal procedures

        • Group dynamics, theories and techniques

        • Counseling techniques

        • Ethics

        • Research

        • Use of the DSM

        • Treatment and treatment planning

        • Clinical practicum or internship (pursuant to T.C.A. 63-22-104)

    4. Complete 3000 hours of post-masters professional experience, including 150 hours of supervised experience obtained pursuant to Rule 0450-1-.10(5);

      • One thousand five hundred (1,500) of the three thousand (3,000) hours of supervised post-masters professional experience shall be face-to-face client contact hours;

      • One thousand five hundred (1,500) of the three thousand (3,000) hours of supervised post-masters professional experience shall be clinically-related activities;

    5. Pass the examination pursuant to Rule 0450-01-.08.

  2. For the purpose of mental health service provider designation pursuant to T.C.A. 63-22-150, "has completed a minimum of nine (9) graduate semester hours of coursework specifically related to diagnosis, treatment, appraisal, and assessment of mental disorders" will be interpreted to mean passing nine (9) semester hours, either during the course of a graduate degree or as post-graduate work, in courses which include diagnosis, treatment and treatment planning, appraisal, and assessment of mental disorders, psychopathology, and the use of the DSM, were the entire focus of the course or comprised a substantial portion of the course work.