Counselor (Ben Kohls) talking to two people

Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program


As the Director of the CMHC Program at Bethany Lutheran College, let me be the first to welcome you! I am excited that you are considering Bethany’s counseling program for your education and training. The program has been designed to meet the highest standards in counselor preparation through interactive online courses, three unique on-campus residencies, and clinical experiences at an internship site in your community. You will be equipped through Bethany’s CMHC program to be an in-demand professional counselor that can serve the people in your community with integrity and competence. 

We created this program to meet the real need in our communities to offer ethical, faith-informed, and professional counseling services to those struggling with mental health concerns. I hope that you will join us and be a part of responding to this deep need.

Smiling photo of Ben Kohls

Blessings on your journey,
Ben Kohls, PhD, LPCC (MN), LPC-MH (SD), NCC, ACS, BC-TMH

CMHC Program Mission Statement

The counselor education program exists to prepare students—through a Christian worldview that applies biblical truth and rigorous scholarship within the field of counseling—to be ethical, influential, and highly competent professional counselors who serve their communities, churches, and future clients.

Learn more about the missions, vision, and values of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program by clicking below.

Program Overview

Students are prepared to be personal and confident counselors through courses that include: Counseling Skills and Strategies, Counseling Theories, Crisis Intervention, and Trauma-Informed Counseling Strategies. Additional courses in Developmental Psychology, Research and Evaluation, and Career Development will lay a solid foundation for you as a counselor-in-training.

Targeted courses to enhance your preparation as a clinical mental health counselor include Psychopathology, Clinical Intervention and Treatment Planning, Group Counseling, Foundations of Addictions and Dual-Diagnosis Counseling, and Family and Couple Counseling. Students will also have access to courses targeting special interests through elective options.

As you progress through the online counseling program, you will participate in three on-campus residencies. Residencies One and Two are focused on supporting your counseling skill development and Residency Three is an opportunity for you to share your capstone project in a research forum of peers and other professionals prior to graduation.

Need more information?

Click below to receive more details about the CMHC Program at Bethany.

Photo of Katrina Buelow

“My excitement to become a Christian counselor was multiplied when I heard that I could get my master’s from Bethany. This program is exactly what I was looking for, and I’m confident that I’ll be getting the education, experience, and attention I want and need.

Katrina Brands (’21)


Career Opportunities

Prepare for a career as a professional counselor and serve in a variety of settings. Of the many career pathways for graduates, the following are most common:

  • licensed counselor in community mental health organizations
  • outpatient care centers
  • residential mental health and substance abuse facilities
  • psychiatric hospitals
  • private counseling practices

State Licensure Disclosure

Graduates of the CMHC Program are eligible to seek national certification and state licensure in many states, including Minnesota.

Students should consult the licensing laws and rules for Professional Counselors in their home state before enrolling in this program.

Both the American Counseling Association and the National Board for Certified Counselors provide general information on state licensing requirements. After reviewing the information on these websites, go directly to the Licensing Board website operated by your home state. 

The faculty will review the state licensing requirements in the student’s home state with the student during the application interview. This will facilitate the creation of a plan of study that will meet the requirements for licensing in the student’s home state. Currently, graduates are not eligible for licensure in California, Missouri, Kentucky, and New Hampshire.

60 Credit Hours
for a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
3 on-campus residencies
and asynchronous, online courses for a flexible, yet personal educational experience
2- or 3-year program of study options
to fit your lifestyle and career goals
Clinical internship
in your home community
An undergraduate degree in any field
is accepted for admission into the program
Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

Bethany is here to help.

Starting a graduate program, or even taking a graduate-level class, is a big decision.
Get more information about the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program by filling out our online form.

Contact for more information

Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program Faculty