The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by CHEA, has granted accreditation to the Counseling program in the School of Counseling at Divine Mercy University.

STERLING, VA, September 06, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ — The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), has granted accreditation to the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program in the School of Counseling at Divine Mercy University. “This is a major milestone for the online program and reinforces DMU’s position as a leader in online education. CACREP accreditation affirms the excellence of our program, faculty, students, and internship site supervisors in meeting their stringent requirements. This achievement is an official recognition of the success of our students, faculty, and program and our dedication to the program over the past 7 years. The CACREP accreditation is valid through October 31, 2031 with annual reports on the student learning outcomes. This also opens the doors in more states for the CMHC program to operate,” said Divine Mercy University (DMU) President, Fr. Charles Sikorsky, LC, JD, JCL.

President, Fr. Charles Sikorsky, LC, JD, JCL expressed his thanks and congratulations to Harvey Payne, Psy.D., VP Academic Affairs for Digital Learning and associate professor of counseling, Program Director, Fredericka Vyvlecka, Ph.D., Associate Program Director/Professor Jessie Tappel LPC, ACS, faculty, staff, and students in DMU’s counseling program. “This has been a long journey and I’m so proud of everyone who helped make this possible and grateful to our students who trusted our abilities in developing a program that would exemplify a Catholic Christian approach to counseling and meet CACREP standards. I want to thank everyone who has helped in the accreditation process and most importantly, being wonderful role models for the counseling profession,” said Program Director, Fredericka Vyvlecka, Ph.D.

Harvey Payne, Psy.D. added, “From the first conference in developing the CMHC program back in 2015, we had a dedicated group of board members, administration, consultants, faculty, and curriculum design team focused on creating a program that would be transformative in the lives of the students and thus their clients. Our goals are to facilitate our students own flourishing through the acquisition of the relationships, dispositions, skills, and knowledges required to be professional counselors that they will be equipped to support clients in their healing journey towards truth, goodness, and beauty and to become accredited by CACREP which we knew would enhance our program through their rigorous review. We are so thankful for not only those who have been with us from the beginning, but all those who have joined us including our growing numbers of mission fit students, faculty, and practicum and internship site supervisor.”

The mission of the School of Counseling is to develop and maintain a world-wide educational community offering master’s level degree programs in professional counseling in support of the DMU’s integrative mission, that is inclusive of a culture of feedback wherein student voices are heard and respected. This program is designed to prepare professionals for practice who will have the presence, knowledge, and skills to address a wide variety of circumstances within the context of the specialization of Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

DMU provides scholarship opportunities for applicants who are accepted and admitted to DMU degree programs. For more information and questions about the Master of Science in Counseling with a concentration in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) from Divine Mercy University, contact Dr. Fredericka Vyvlecka at

Learn more about DMU’s established Master of Science in Counseling through the School of Counseling (SOC).


Divine Mercy University (DMU) is a Catholic graduate institution of higher education offering degree programs in psychology and counseling, founded in 1999 as the Institute for the Psychological Sciences. The university is dedicated to the scientific study of psychology with a Catholic understanding of the human person, marriage, and the family. The university offers Master of Science (M.S.) degrees in Psychology and Counseling, a Doctoral (Psy.D.) degree in Clinical Psychology and a certificate in Spiritual Direction. For more information, visit

Divine Mercy University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award masters and doctorate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Divine Mercy University.

The IPS doctoral program in clinical psychology (Psy.D.) is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association (APA). *Questions related to the program’s accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation: Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation American Psychological Association 750 1st Street NE, Washington, DC 20002 Phone (202)-336-5979 / Email: / Web:

For the original version of this press release, please visit here