Master of Science in Counseling, Catholic Anthropology Concentration

Earn a Master of Science in Counseling with a concentration in Catholic anthropology through our online/blended program. Nurture authentic human flourishing and the healing of minds, hearts, and souls.

Tailor your master's degree with this concentration to counsel people effectively in accord with the truths of the Catholic faith regarding the human person: the pathway to genuine human flourishing and happiness; the complementarity of man and woman; the integrated unity of body, mind, and spirit; the human person’s destiny and ultimate meaning. With a unique focus on the Church’s traditional practices of cura animarum (the healing of souls), you will not only learn about the truths of Catholic anthropology but also how to employ them within a counseling setting for the great benefit of your clients.

Take the First Step

Get in touch with any questions or submit a simple application for admission.
After acceptance to the university as a candidate for graduate studies, we will assist you every step of the way toward acceptance into your academic program so you can enroll and begin your classes!

At a Glance

Of households had at least one family member visit a mental health professional this year

Program Length

As little as 20 months


  • Online, with an on-site residency

Tuition per Credit


Is This the Degree For Me?

Who It’s For

  • Compassionate individuals looking to serve the Church through the healing of minds, hearts, and souls
  • Professionals seeking to gain the knowledge necessary to help to counsel people effectively in accord with the deep truths of the Catholic Church about the human person

Career Paths

  • Counselor

What You’ll Learn

Focused on the best strategies for helping those in need of healing, our program gives you the skills and hands-on field experience you need to become a professional counselor and/or provide integrative mental health services. This concentration completes a degree specialization in Clinical Mental Health or School CounselingIf you reside in or would like to be licensed in a particular state, please contact our admission representatives to discuss how our program can meet licensure requirements in your state.

You will also be prepared to:

  • Offer a caring environment in accord with the Church's magisterial teaching
  • Integrate Christian, Catholic, and Benedictine values with professional ethics
  • Communicate effectively and build relationships with patients
  • Apply critical thinking, analysis, and strong decision-making to various challenges
  • Demonstrate leadership in your profession and community
  • Exhibit the ability for self-understanding, growth, and personal enrichment
  • Demonstrate competent skills in screening, assessment, and treatment planning

Program Details

Program Information

Please visit our catalog for admission requirements and a full list of our courses.

Your first step is to get in touch with any questions or submit the simple application for admission. After acceptance to the University as a candidate for graduate studies, we will assist you every step of the way toward acceptance into your academic program so you can enroll and begin your classes!

The Human Person: Created, Fallen, and Redeemed

Explore the classical, Christian vision of full human flourishing. This course proceeds from the perspective of natural law and thus sees human persons as a unity of body, soul, rational intellect, will, and passions who are created to find happiness in freedom through virtue and called by God to particular vocations. It also examines related dimensions of emotions and experience. Students will learn the dynamics of this integrative, holistic, and transformative vision in its biblical, theological, and philosophical grounding, as well as its embedding in biological, psychological, and socio-cultural contexts.

Holistic Flourishing and Integration

Engage in the Christian vision of the human flourishing in terms of its conviction that the human person is an integrated unity designed to live in mutually enriching relationships with God and other persons in true freedom and happiness. Particular diagnoses, such as depression and anxiety, are considered from psychological, theological, and philosophical perspectives with a view towards the proper understanding of Catholic anthropology and its successful integration into clinical practice for the sake of client growth, healing, and flourishing.

Vocation and Virtue as Man and Woman

Reflect upon the nature and discernment of particular vocational states in life, asking what it means to receive and thrive in a call to be single, married, ordained, or consecrated. This course makes note of the comprehensive union of male and female in marriage as a natural and sacramental institution divinely ordained for the good of children, adults, families, and societies from the perspective of Catholic teaching as shaped by classical, legal, philosophical, biblical, and theological sources. The course involves the analysis of issues pertinent to clinical practice such as disorders and difficulties related to singleness, romance, marriage, and family.

Human Flourishing in Life and Implications for Clinical Practice

Encounter models for the integration of the Christian vision of the human person into life in general and counseling praxis in particular. Drawing on the theological, philosophical, and psychological foundations of Catholic anthropology, the course examines the human, religious, and spiritual resources necessary for the mature discernment of vocation, the free exercise of virtue, the operation of reason, the cultivation of healthy relationships, the process of personal growth, the avenues of healing, and, ultimately, growth in faith, hope, and love.

Caring for the Human Person: Towards an Integrated Practice

Examine the emotional, passional, rational, sensory-perceptual, and cognitive dimensions of the human person. This course involves deep exploration of the integration of the theological, philosophical, and psychological grounding of the Catholic vision of the human person into aspects of clinical practice such as psychological evaluations and assessments, case conceptualization, and ongoing counseling of clients.

If you are serving or have served our country, we sincerely thank you. Our military services office is here to work closely with active duty, retired, reserve, and eligible family members qualified for military benefits. Learn how we can help you with the application process and review the benefits you have earned.

For a full list of fees, visit our Tuition and Fees page.

The University of Mary is committed to putting your educational goals within reach. Learn what scholarships you qualify for.

The following will be needed when you have applied for admission so we can get you accepted into the graduate program. The preferred application date for the fall semester is March 1 with the final application deadline of July 1.

  • Official transcripts showing a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. Preference is given to candidates with a degree in Psychology, Education, Social Work, Criminal Justice, or a closely related human service field.
  • When submitting your official transcripts:
    • You can request transcripts at most schools by going to the National Student Clearinghouse or by contacting the registrar’s office.
    • Have your transcripts sent to:
      Office of Admissions
      University of Mary
      7500 University Drive
      Bismarck, ND 58504
    • Or request to send electronic transcripts to
    • Graduated from the University of Mary before? Then we’ll get your Mary transcript for you!
  • Application/enrollment fee - This will be collected at the time you fill out the online application.
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Two references (include contact information as part of the application)
  • Two to four-page statement of purpose indicating why you are applying to the University of Mary’s graduate counseling program; why you would like to become a counselor; how the Benedictine values will shape your education and future work; and what you could contribute to our program. 

Selected candidates will interview with the counseling program faculty. After all admissions materials have been submitted and an interview has been conducted, an admissions decision will be made. Students who do not meet one or more of the above requirements may be considered for admission, upon careful review of their transcripts, professional/work experiences, and in-person interview. If offered admission, background checks will be required prior to beginning the program.

Get Started Today

Apply Online