Online Counseling Certificate

Move beyond coping to restoration. Discover how to map the internal wiring of a person’s mind and heart, to address struggles like isolation, lack of boundaries, shame, and feeling as though they have no voice. Acquire the skills to engage with individuals who are struggling with issues like depression, anxiety, relational roadblocks, or addictions, being deeply attuned to their needs. Guided by Dr. John Townsend, the Institute Fellows, and our hand-picked faculty, students will gain competency in over 20 skills that use the transformative power of relationship, emotions, and cognitions to create profound and lasting change. CUI’s graduate certificate program will offer you marketable skill sets that can give you a professional advantage in your current or future job or ministry.

Dr. John Townsend is a New York Times best-selling author, leadership consultant, psychologist and relationship expert. For more than twenty years Dr. Townsend has engaged with leaders, organizations and individuals offering life-changing solutions to common challenges. He brings this depth of experience to the courses offered in the Townsend Institute's Counseling Certificate program.

Cultivate life-changing transformation.

The Townsend Institute counseling certification at Concordia invites you to study directly with Dr. John Townsend and master clinicians who have decades of experience, and know how to bring healing, hope, and restoration - a life that flourishes! The Townsend Institute has earned a reputation for its relational approach to begin with character growth as a building block for positive change.

Through the Townsend Institute’s online Counseling Certificate program you will:

  • Understand how treatment goes beyond symptom removal to reshaping the individual, couple, or family, in profound and lasting ways that are transformative.
  • Access the transforming power of relationship, emotions and cognitions by creating experiences that build new character structure.
  • Discover the therapeutic skills that “crack the code” for growth and healing in clients.
  • Gain diagnostic skills to determine which therapeutic approach will be most effective based on a person’s internal character structure.
  • Apply the latest neurological research on the healing process through a biblical lens.
  • Master treatment modalities such as depth psychology, family systems, cognitive behavioral therapy, attachment therapy, psychopharmacology, and positive psychology.
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Personally learn from Dr. John Townsend

  • Begin with a 4-day Kick-off Conference with your community of fellow students, faculty, and Institute Fellows. Dr. Townsend will conduct a series of trainings to jump-start your Certificate program.
  • Connect with your cohort in a guided-process group experience to earn your first three credits, where you will learn to unpack key moments in your life story and grow your character.
  • Join a virtual classroom once a month where Dr. Townsend and Fellows of the Institute personally instruct your cohort with time allotted for interaction and Q&A.
  • Engage with Dr. Townsend’s exclusive training videos and podcasts created for each course.
  • Gain access to white papers written by Dr. Townsend for topic areas that draw on his decades of experience in leadership development and consulting.
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The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.

- Proverbs 20:5

Receive a Certificate in Counseling

You can choose to earn Professional Certification or Advanced Certification for Counseling and begin in the Fall and Spring semesters. The entire program is 30 weeks for a Professional Certificate (12 credits) or 11 months for an Advanced Certificate (18 credits). Students will take one 7-week course at a time. Learning activities will involve approximately 13 to 16 hours of your time invested each week.

Term Start Date
Spring February 26, 2018

Info Nights

Join Dr. John Townsend on our beautiful Irvine campus and learn about the counseling and leadership programs while you experience the Concordia difference! You will be able to hear first hand the uniqueness of John's approach to leadership and counseling and the learning process. You will also see first-hand what class sessions, classrooms, instructors and Institute Fellows are all about; as well as meet fellow students. Learn more about the Admissions process and Financial Aid. Parking is free and there is no cost to attend this exciting event. RSVP today!

This informational meeting will also be streamed live. We are set up to answer any questions you might have that evening. Join us by clicking the "View Live Stream" button.

View Live Stream

Please register so we can adequately prepare for your participation.

For problems or help registering for this event, please contact Sarah Martini at or call 714-795-0124.



Info Night

Tuesday 6:00pm - 7:30pm (PST)

Grimm Hall North, Conference Center
1530 Concordia West, Irvine, CA 92612

The April 10th Information Session will be Live Streamed only. We will not host an In-Person session for the April event.

Register Now for Live Stream

Transformation through relational education

You won’t have to do these courses alone. Every other week you will meet with your professor and classmates in a virtual classroom. You’ll also participate in monthly virtual classrooms with Dr. Townsend and the Institute Fellows. Our learning activities will engage you both intellectually and personally. Our program goes beyond simply giving you knowledge and skills - you are immersed in an experiential growth program with your classmates that develops your strengths and supports your personal health.

  • Certificate Courses
  • 12 Units
  • COUN 600 Personal Development Skills Process Group
  • 3
Feb. 27 – March 19 including Kick-off Conference on campus, March 5-8
  • COUN 601 Human Growth and Development
  • 3
March 13 – April 30
  • COUN 602 Theory and Techniques of Counseling
  • 3
May 8 – June 25
  • COUN 603 Clinical Psychopathology and Diagnosis
  • 3
June 26 – August 13
  • Advanced Counseling Certificate
  • 18 Units
  • COUN 600 Personal Development Skills Process Group
  • 3
Feb. 27 – March 19 including Kick-off Conference on campus, March 5-8
  • COUN 601 Human Growth and Development
  • 3
March 13 – April 30
  • COUN 602 Theory and Techniques of Counseling
  • 3
May 8 – June 25
  • COUN 603 Clinical Psychopathology and Diagnosis
  • 3
June 26 – August 13
  • COUN 610 Advanced Skills of Mental Health Counseling
  • 3
August 21–October 8
  • Any additional counseling course
  • 3
October 16–December 10


A deep bench of experience

When you make a choice to invest in your future by continuing your education, you want to be sure your time is well spent. That’s where the Townsend Institute at Concordia University Irvine offers a distinct advantage. In addition to top-tier Faculty, Dr. Townsend has assembled a world-class team of influencers, the Institute Fellows - author-teachers and practitioners with broad platforms who are widely recognized. John offers his students personal access to NYT bestselling authors and thought leaders, the heads of great organizations, leaders of leaders, and top researchers and clinicians. You will connect to these influencers and practitioners in the monthly virtual symposia.

Meet our Fellows Meet the Faculty

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fees are listed here for your convenience, but are subject to change without notice.

Tuition/Fee Cost
Application Fee $50
Graduation Fee $184
Tuition $520/unit

Apply now.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, but we encourage you to have all documentation in early because there are a limited number of spaces available. If you have any questions about the admissions process or need any assistance, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Application Requirements

  • An application with nonrefundable application fee of $50
  • One official transcript from a regionally accredited college or university that shows your confirmed bachelor’s degree. Official college transcripts must be sent in a sealed envelope.
  • Must have earned a cumulative GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale.
  • Written essay (2 pages, 500 words) addressing the following items:
    • Personal, professional, and educational goals
    • In your experience, what is the best way that a person grows or changes?
    • What interested you in applying to the Townsend Institute as opposed to other programs?
  • Minimum of 1 professional reference required. Personal reference optional.
  • A current professional resume

Get Started Today.

Have questions about the Townsend Institute’s online certification for Counseling? Not sure how to get started? Fill out the form below, and one of our admissions counselors will get in touch with you.