How to Become a Biblical Counselor

How to Become a Biblical Counselor

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Biblical counselor

A biblical counselor helps people overcome problems, challenges and issues in their lives by focusing on principles from the Bible. Biblical counselors help people deal with problems, such as infidelity, depression, anxiety and abuse, but provide diagnosis and treatment based on the Bible, rather than on psychotherapy techniques. Although there are no state-licensed requirements for biblical counselors, an advanced degree will provide you with the knowledge, skills and experience to be an effective Christian counselor. Use these tips to learn how to become a biblical counselor.


Get a high school degree. A high school degree or equivalent is required for all biblical counselor certification or degree programs.

Obtain a bachelor’s degree in Christian counseling. Several accredited colleges offer bachelor degree programs in Christian counseling. The requirements for a Christian counseling bachelor’s degree are similar to those for a standard counseling degree, but include faith-based classes. Most colleges offer both online and traditional bachelor’s degree programs.
Complete core classes in psychology, psychotherapy and theology. Psychology courses focus on mental issues and typically include classes like general psychology, theology and psychology, and social psychology. Psychotherapy courses focus on applying psychological theories to behaviors and processes, and may include counseling theory and practice, assessment and diagnosis, ethics for the Christian counselor, marriage and family counseling, crisis counseling, cross-cultural counseling and group counseling. Theology classes help students apply Biblical concepts to psychology and psychotherapy practices. Classes may include old testament, new testament, Christian counseling, and emotions through a biblical perspective.
Take upper-level classes focused on Biblical counseling. Building upon the foundation established through the core classes, the upper-level courses focus on specific counseling skills, practices and issues. Courses may include children and adolescents, adult development, death and dying, substance abuse, human sexuality, marriage and family relationships.

Earn a master’s of divinity degree in Biblical counseling. Master’s of divinity degrees in Biblical counseling are offered through accredited universities, theological colleges or seminaries. Most master’s of divinity programs prepare biblical counseling students for certification through national certification associations.
Complete a core curriculum. Master’s of divinity degrees in Biblical counseling include core courses that focus on both theology and psychology. Examples of core classes include: biblical basis for counseling, counseling theology, fundamentals of biblical counseling, comparative analysis of humanistic psychology and biblical theology, self-awareness through the Bible, and topics in biblical counseling.
Complete a supervised practicum. Most master’s of divinity programs require biblical counseling students to complete a minimum of 50 hours of supervised counseling work. Programs typically offer several types of practicum placement opportunities, ranging from church-based work to non-profit agencies.

Get certified as a Biblical counselor. Several associations, such as the National Christian Counselors Association (NCCA), Association of Biblical Counselors (ABC), American Association of Christian Therapists (AACT), International Association of Christian Counseling Professionals (IACCP), International Christian Counselors Alliance (ICCA) and the Board of Christian Professional and Pastoral Counselors (BCPPC), offer certification for biblical counselors. Most associations do not require a bachelor’s or master’s degree for certification, but coursework is required for non-degree applicants.
Complete training course requirements. Class requirements vary by association, but usually include a core curriculum of psychology, theology and biblical counseling. Applicants with advanced degrees may not have to complete any training courses to meet certification requirements.
Complete supervised counseling observation hours. Supervised counseling hours vary by association. Some require a minimum of 10 hours, while others require 50 hours or more. Applicants with advanced degrees may not have to complete supervised counseling if a practicum was required for the degree program.
Read a selection of books and articles from the association’s approved reading list. Reading requirements vary by association, and can range from 500 pages to more than 1,000 pages.
Pass the association’s required exams. Exams are typically in essay form, and can range from open-book or take-home exams to in-class timed exams.
Submit the application materials required by the association. Most associations require an application fee at the time of submission.


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Joy Chinonyerem

Joy Chinonyerem is an ardent follower of Christ who believes in Living the Christian Life according to the tenets set by Christ himself. She is passionate about Walking by Faith, as commanded by the scriptures and uses her blog, Walking By Faith Blog, to minister the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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