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CACREP — Evangel counseling programs receive national accreditation

Published on Aug 12, 2019 by Paul K. Logsdon


Dr. Christine Arnzen // PHOTO BY: Hannah Arnzen Photography

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Evangel University has earned another program-specific national accreditation, which will significantly benefit students in its graduate counseling programs.

The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, commonly called CACREP [pronounced KA-Crep], is a specialized accrediting body recognized in all 50 states. The Council provides recognition that Evangel’s programs have been evaluated and meet standards set by the profession.

During their multi-year evaluation process, third-party professionals had the opportunity to examine and assess the quality of the curriculum, facilities, faculty and students at Evangel.

CACREP then granted accreditation to Evangel for the maximum eight-year period, for the University’s master’s degree programs in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and in School Counseling.

Notification of the accreditation approval was received in July 2019.

Student assurance of quality

This is a true game-changer, according to Dr. Christine Arnzen, coordinator of the graduate counseling programs.

“An overwhelming majority of our students choose Evangel’s counseling programs because we integrate Christian faith into the curriculum. However, more and more prospective students make educational decisions based on specialized accreditation such as CACREP,” she said.

“While Evangel University has offered quality counseling-related programs in the past, CACREP means that our programs are now nationally recognized and are accountable to meet specific standards in counselor education.”

According to the CACREP website, “The student, as a consumer, can be assured that appropriate knowledge and skill areas are included and that the programs are stable, professionally and financially.”

Arnzen emphasized that this has positive implications for our students, for state licensure, certification and job opportunities.

“For instance, all states have educational requirements for licensure, and applicants must provide evidence that their graduate program met requirements by submitting syllabi, program plans and field experience documentation. The educational review can be time consuming,” she said.

“Having a CACREP accredited degree makes this process easier, because most states recognize it as the standard for training counselors. Some states reduce the number of post-degree supervised clinical hours if the person graduated from a CACREP accredited program.

“In addition,” she concluded, “in order to work for certain agencies — such as the Veteran’s Administration — a person must have a CACREP accredited degree.”

Program information

At Evangel, the graduate counseling programs come under the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences.

“Our mission is to train students to integrate the Christian faith while providing holistic and ethical counseling services to diverse individuals and groups across the lifespan,” said Arnzen. There are two degrees available for students interested in counseling careers.

Dr. Grant Jones (bottom left) coordinates an annual two-week trip to Africa for immersion training in faith-based cross-cultural counseling.


• Clinical Mental Health: The 60-semester hour Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program prepares students for counseling positions in various community agencies, such as community mental health centers, private counseling agencies, substance abuse treatment centers, medical facilities and correctional facilities. The degree provides the opportunity to counsel a broad range of clientele.

This degree meets Missouri course work specifications for state licensure as a professional counselor. Students need to work closely with their respective advisors to determine any additional requirements or course needs relating to state licensure requirements in states where they plan to practice.

• School Counseling: The 60-semester hour Master of Science in School Counseling program prepares graduates to be effective school counselors who serve students and families in public and private school communities.

Because the program adheres to course and training requirements set forth by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), graduates are eligible to apply for Missouri certification. It is the student’s responsibility to apply for certification from the DESE.

About Evangel

Evangel University, with the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary (AGTS), is a comprehensive Christian university committed to excellence in educating and equipping students to serve the church and society globally.

Evangel and AGTS serve more than 2,100 students from all 50 states and numerous foreign countries, offering 70 undergraduate majors and 19 master’s and doctoral degrees.