About Our Program
Focus on Relationships and Ethics
We strive to achieve the highest standards of professional excellence in providing psychologically and spiritually grounded training for counselors. We seek to create a community atmosphere within the program, a community bold with creative ideas and open with honesty, partnering in the inner work counselor training requires. We are committed to creating an educational environment that values relationships and promotes growth and maturity in individuals, churches, and communities.
Our dynamic faculty members are dedicated to mentoring students. Whether it be collaborating on research endeavors, reading groups, conference presentations and attendance or clinical supervision, faculty members are committed to preparing students to be strong clinicians. Each student will be paired with an advisor and in addition to regular meetings each semester, each student receives continuous feedback regarding strengths and growing edges. Additionally, all faculty members maintain a clinical practice, which contributes to an active and engaging conversation about the work of counseling.
Our students learn about the ethical standards of the counseling profession and the American Counseling Association (ACA). Mentors encourage and guide students in the formation of their professional counselor identity, nurturing innate gifts and strengths, while cultivating new skills and the capacity to hold the complexities of the human experience. Ethics workshops are offered during the continuing education series each spring.
Program / Student Outcomes
Approximately 40 full-time and part-time students are enrolled in the program. We also accommodate our students who are working professionals and need to extend their coursework/training.
Since 1995, program graduates seeking counseling positions have been very successful in doing so and are highly sought after by local employers. Of the 12 students who graduated in April 2014, 10 pursued immediate employment and all 10 found jobs within six months.
19 students were admitted for the 2013-2014 cohort and 18 of these students graduated (spring 2015) or will graduate in the expected time period (spring 2016). Our full time students complete the program in two years, including a summer session, and our part-time students complete the program in three years.
Upon graduation, a majority of our alumni pursue licensure and register for the 36oo hour (including 2000 direct hours) residency required by the Virginia Board of Counseling. Following completion of residency hours, residents must be approved by the Board to sit for the NCMHCE licensing exam. As reported by NBCC, of the 52 alumni (since 2009) who took the exam, 77%* passed (this is an overall average and may not account for those who applied to retake the exam). The national pass rate averages between 62% and 68%.
Adult community members are welcome to visit our “Expressives” room Mondays 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. The room, designed for expressive and creative work that facilitate self growth and self reflection, is equipped with paints, pastels, sand tray, etc.