College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Program Also Offered Online ›

People in this world are emotionally hurting. Fortunately, there are those who feel called to help them. At Northwest University, we can transform your desire to help others into a meaningful and effective career.

Our graduate counseling programs are rigorous and comprehensive. They combine lecture, discussion, research, and internships with a multicultural focus, uniquely preparing you to serve individuals with widely different backgrounds and needs. You’ll learn from skilled practitioners who have deep academic and real-world experience.

While demanding, the counseling programs at Northwest University are designed for flexibility, meeting at night and on weekends. So contact us for more information. Much like you, we’re here to help.

Frequently Asked Questions

Hear Directly From Students

Why Choose Our Counseling Program?

Licensable Degrees for the State of Washington

Our graduate counseling programs meet the requirements for licensure in Washington State. Graduate knowing that you can become a fully licensed counselor. Good news: Jobs in counseling are projected to grow by 22% over the next several years, (source).

Highest Institutional Accreditation Possible

Our regionally accredited university represents the gold standard. You’ll strengthen your professional credibility and graduate knowing that your degree is widely recognized and deeply respected.

Learn to Treat the Whole Person

We teach you how to engage your clientele from a holistic approach: biologically, psychologically, spiritually, and culturally. The result is even greater effectiveness as a counselor.

Unique Multicultural Focus

Our programs are presented in the context of a multicultural and globalizing world. You will learn how to apply the latest counseling methods to a wide variety of clients.

Local and Global Immersion Experiences

You will deepen your skills and understanding by participating in local or international immersion experiences. These experiences will not only equip you for your career, but they have also proven to be life-changing.

Integrate Faith with Learning

Our programs are taught within the framework of a Christian worldview. Students are challenged to incorporate their understanding of faith with academic theory and applied skills.

Distinguished Faculty

Our professors draw from their academic studies and real-world professional experiences to provide students with the tools and skills they’ll need to be successful in counseling.

Learn Within a Diverse Cohort

Learn with other students who share your interests and your goals. It’s a supportive environment of peers who will encourage you, challenge you, and become a fundamental part of your professional network once you graduate.

On Campus or Online

Choose between on-campus evening/weekend classes in Kirkland, Washington, or the Online Master's of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

He Came for a Career.
He Left with a Purpose.

After 12 years in project management, Justin Monuteaux began to ask if there was more to life. That single question led him to the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at Northwest University. Now, he has a growing counseling practice that helps struggling couples to rebuild their marriages. “Today my work has real meaning. I love what I do. It’s amazing to watch couples come in with little hope and leave with a stronger marriage than they’ve ever had before.”

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program students will achieve competence in the following areas:

Professional Counseling Orientation and Ethical Practice

  • Develop comprehensive understanding of the identity of the professional counselor including history, roles, advocacy, credentialing, and ethical practice in a variety of private, interorganizational, and interdisciplinary settings.

Sociocultural Diversity and Social Justice

  • Demonstrate culturally competent socially aware counseling skills through the integration of scholarly research, application of multicultural counseling theories, and the examination of the concepts of social justice and privilege.

Scientific Foundations

  • Integrate knowledge of biological, cognitive, emotional, personality, and social development across the lifespan into the diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of mental health issues.

Counseling Theories, Skills, and Helping Relationships

  • Incorporate knowledge of counseling skills, case conceptualization, suicide prevention, and treatment planning into counseling practice in both in-person and technology assisted settings for general populations and those in crisis.
  • Integrate theories and research of career development, assessment, and planning into the practice of career guidance for diverse people groups in a wide range of vocational fields.
  • Apply group counseling theory in the creation, recruitment, and facilitation of culturally relevant groups.
  • Utilize differential diagnostic processes and systems.

Assessment and Testing

  • Apply basic statistical concepts, principles of test design and selection, interpretation of psychological reports, and demonstrate ability to select appropriate assessments relevant to education, employment, and personal situations.

Research and Program Evaluation

  • Evaluate counseling interventions and counselor education programs and develop outcome measures by utilizing knowledge of the principles of statistics, research methods and design, and current models of evidence-based practices.

Course Format

While classes are scheduled on Tuesday and Thursday evenings (6pm–10pm) and on some weekends, this program is academically rigorous and requires considerable time outside the classroom devoted to assignments. Each applicant should carefully consider if he or she can successfully complete this program with his or her lifestyle and commitments. 

Special Courses

Periodically, the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences offers students the opportunity to register for courses that do not meet in a traditional classroom format. Special topics may be offered in a variety of formats to enrich the curriculum. Other times, a student may desire to work with a faculty member through an independent or directed study in a specific discipline. In all cases, the professor will ensure the proper quantity and quality of work. The Director must approve the registration schedule, including special courses. Ultimately, the student is responsible to ensure that special courses satisfy degree requirements.

View Courses

View program details and course descriptions.

Go to the Catalog

Next Steps

Ready to get started? Begin the admission process now by completing our online application form. Or fill out the Request Info form, and a member of our Admissions team will contact you soon.

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