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LR’s graduate programs in Counseling are designed to prepare individuals for licensure as professional counselors in agencies and/or school settings. Students may select either the MA in School Counseling or the MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. In both, a primary emphasis is placed on the development of strong clinical skills and applications. In addition, LR offers a 24-hour graduate certificate in Counseling from a Christian Perspective. The programs are designed for the working professional in mind, with online, evening, hybrid, and week-end course offerings.

Students have the opportunity to take courses on each of LR’s campuses, in Hickory, Asheville, or Columbia. The curriculum at all sites is identical and students have the opportunity to interact with the LR faculty at all locations. Upon receiving the Master of Arts degree in counseling, students will meet course work requirements for eligibility to take the examination to become a National Board Certified Counselor (NCC) and Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the state of North Carolina and South Carolina. Students satisfactorily completing the School Counseling program requirements and receiving a passing score on the PRAXIS specialty examination will be eligible for licensure as a school counselor in North Carolina.

LR’s Counseling programs are designed to provide a challenging, yet supportive environment that promotes professional orientation, development of a counseling identity, practice, commitment to inquiry, and self-awareness. The program is designed to help students realize their potential as practicing counselors and administrators, engage in professional relationships, and develop a set of meaningful professional values. To this end, the program reflects current knowledge from lay and professional groups concerning current and projected counseling and human development needs of a pluralistic society. Cultural considerations are emphasized so that the experiences provided will be rewarding and useful in today's ever-changing society.

The programs are grounded upon the model that effective counselors must be more than technicians. Rather, they must be professionals who are aware of their personal values, beliefs, and biases, as well as possess vast knowledge and skills related to the profession of counseling to function in cultural diverse settings. They must be able to analyze, synthesize, and apply their knowledge and skills, utilize research for professional judgments, and assess the effectiveness of their work in order to function as competent, ethical, reflective, practitioner-scientists. LR’s program acknowledges a commitment both to the students who will pursue preparation as professional counselors and to the larger public served by our graduates, for whom we all share a responsibility. It is due to this commitment that the faculty holds high standards in the process of training professional counselors. As a result, we expect our students to develop a commitment of service to others, and to the pursuit of excellence in the counseling profession.

The Counseling faculty have a wide range of experiences in agencies, private practices, and/or schools. They are dedicated to the recruitment, retention, education, and training of diverse counseling professionals. Counseling faculty serve as accessible mentors to select, encourage, and retain students in the counselor education specialties who exhibit the potential to become qualified counselors and administrators. In order to prepare competent practitioners, the faculty, through a program of planned educational experiences, attempts to assist students in becoming knowledgeable, ethical, collegial and self-actualizing agents of change. These efforts include assistance in the development of the student’s professional portfolio for use in program assessment as well as for licensure and future employment.

Counseling Accreditation


Lenoir-Rhyne’s 61-hour program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (available on the Hickory, Asheville, and Columbia campuses) offers students a rich and diverse learning experience that prepares them for professional opportunities in a wide array of professional counseling settings. Classes focus on counseling theory, psychological testing and appraisal, ethical and professional development, techniques of counseling, diversity, career counseling, addictions, diagnosis and treatment, consultation and crisis intervention, family counseling, and research methodologies. Significant effort focuses on integration classroom with professional practicum opportunities outside of class. The program prepares students for a wide array of specialized counseling areas, in areas such as military service members and families, victims of violence, children, families and couples, substance abuse, or in church settings.

LR’s 61-hour Counselor Education Program (available on the Hickory and Asheville campuses) integrates theory and practice to prepare students for careers in school settings. Coursework includes school counseling techniques, child development, psychological testing and appraisal, diagnosis and treatment, ethical and professional practice, diversity, consultation and crisis intervention, and research methodologies. All students also complete a substantial internship component to furnish direct, hands-on practical experience.

In both programs, LR sustains longstanding clinical community partnerships to furnish our students vibrant practicum experiences, including (but not limited to):

  • Public schools providing specialized experiences with children
  • Residential care and assisted living facility providing specialized opportunities in counseling across the life span
  • Rape Crisis Centers providing opportunities for group counseling with individuals recovering from the trauma of violence.
  • Various unique clinical community sites



Counseling Program Outcomes 2016-2017

Program Contact

Dr. Neal Gray

Associate Professor of Counseling, Chair of the School of Counseling and Human Services
Hickory Campus