Jun 12, 2024  
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog Archived Catalog

Pastoral Clinical Mental Health Counseling Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS)

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Master of Science and Graduate Certificate Programs in Pastoral Clinical Mental Health Counseling


The Department of Pastoral Clinical Mental Health Counseling offers a 60-credit Master of Science degree in Pastoral Clinical Mental Health Counseling as well as certificate programs for advanced study (CAS) and in the category of Certified Pastoral Care Specialist (CPCP). The programs stand on a solid foundation that respects the dignity of each person and stresses a developmental understanding of individuals and groups.  The aim of each is to prepare students to meet the unique mental and spiritual demands of a culturally diverse world in an ecumenical and collegial setting.


The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), has granted accreditation to Neumann University’s Master of Science in Pastoral Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree program, under the standards in Mental Health Counseling, 1001 N. Fairfax Street, Suite 510, Alexandria, VA 22314; Telephone: 703-535-5990; Fax: 703-739-6209; or, cacrep@cacrep.org. The Pastoral Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program is also approved to be a provider of Contact hours by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC), 3 Terrace Way, Greensboro, NC 27403; Telephone: 336-547-0607, Fax: 336- 547-0017; or, www.nbcc.org.

Admission Requirements

Applicants with a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited, degree-granting institution are eligible for entrance to the Master of Science in Pastoral Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program, subject to the approval of the program director.

Applications should submit the following: 

  • A completed Graduate Student Application, in print or online through www.neumann.edu.
  • Official transcripts from all institutions attended.
  • An application essay not to exceed three pages describing your interest in becoming a counselor and specifically a pastoral counselor upon completion.  
  • Three official letters of recommendation from persons with whom you are familiar and who can speak to your academic suitability for graduate studies, your personal maturity, and your potential for graduate work. 

Once admission materials have been received and processed through the Office of Admissions, the graduate program director will arrange for an interview, if appropriate, following a review of all candidate credentials.    

Limitation on Transfer Credit

Because of the ever-evolving and pre-paradigmatic nature of the foundation on which Pastoral Clinical Mental Health Counseling rests, the program has set a limit of seven years for the acceptance of transfer credit for which a minimum grade of “B” has been earned from any regionally accredited, degreegranting institution to Neumann University. This time limitation applies to all required courses.  Exceptions to this policy can only be made with the written approval of both the Dean of the Division of Education and Human Services and the Director of Pastoral and Theological Studies.

Non-Matriculated Students

A maximum of nine credits earned over no more than three semesters may be taken as a non-matriculated student. To transfer non-matriculated credits to a degree or certificate program, a student must receive permission from the director of the program.

Course Schedule

Pastoral Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Spiritual Formation and Direction courses meet on weekdays in the late afternoon and into the evening.

Progression/Retention/Graduation Requirements

For the Master of Science in Pastoral Clinical Mental Health Counseling, continued progress requires that the student maintain both a “B” average as outlined in student handbook and a satisfactory rating in all characteristics judged necessary for the profession. Students in practicum and internship courses must demonstrate competence in technical performance and professional attitude in the clinical setting. All degree requirements for the program must be completed in no less than two years and not more than five years. Students who wish an exemption to this time frame must submit a written request to the coordinator of the program. Graduation from the program is contingent upon: (1) submitting a signed Application for Graduation form to the Registrar on or before the date specified in the Academic Calendar, (2) completion of the program with at least a cumulative 3.00 GPA, with no more than two grades of “C,” and (3) successful completion of a final seminar paper in which the student integrates the practice of pastoral counseling or spiritual direction, using both theological and psychological resources.

Professional Membership and Liability Insurance

Students are required to carry student liability insurance throughout their clinical sequence (i.e., practicum through internship).  Proof of insurance is kept on file in the clinical files in the department office. Information on purchasing insurance may be obtained from the clinical coordinator or program secretary.

Certificate of Advanced Study in Pastoral Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CAS)

The Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) is designed for students who are seeking professional enrichment or who wish to integrate pastoral identity into a previous master’s degree in the mental health field. The certificate is not a substitute for a master’s degree, nor is it intended to be the sole mechanism for entrance into the pastoral counseling profession. In consultation with a faculty advisor, the CAS student designs an individualized learning contract covering 18 graduate credits.

The student who successfully completes these 18 credits in fulfillment of the individualized learning contract is awarded the Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS). Upon completion of the CAS, students may elect to transfer their credits towards the Master’s Degree Program in Pastoral Clinical Mental Health Counseling, upon the recommendation of the faculty.

Certificate of Advanced Study in Pastoral Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program Learning Outcomes

At the completion of the CAS program in Pastoral Clinical Mental Health Counseling, the student will:

  • Demonstrate a fundamental understanding of the relationship between spirituality and psychology, both in theory and clinical practice.
  • Demonstrate a beginning knowledge of the spectrum of psychological theories and clinical modalities.
  • Understand the differences among spiritual leadership, pastoral counseling, and spiritual formation and direction.
  • Understand the various paths for further professional development in the pastoral counseling field and have sufficient information to pursue them, if so desired.

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