The previously announced Center for Biblical Counseling at Midwestern Seminary officially launched on March 10. The Center aims to “to provide students with opportunities to obtain and practically employ the skills necessary for soul care within the local church,” according to MBTS President Jason Allen.
“Establishing this new outpost is a significant undertaking in the life of our institution. The Center, capably led by Dr. Dale Johnson, puts service in and through the local church squarely in the focus of all our efforts to train and equip the next generation of counselors. Further, Dr. Johnson brings a wealth of expertise and experience to the table, coupled with a compelling vision for the Center’s activities in years to come.”
Johnson, who serves as the Center’s director, pointed to numerous opportunities afforded by the Center as the core of what makes Midwestern Seminary and Spurgeon College’s program offerings unique.
“In addition to the strong curriculum base in the seminary’s biblical counseling programs, the Center provides opportunities for hands-on training and observation practicums which will allow students to be supervised and mentored as part of their formal training process,” Johnson said. “There is also a scholarly component of the Center’s planned activities which offers students a publication platform for posting quality, peer-reviewed academic work and a forthcoming lecture series on topics broadly related to pastoral theology, secular views of mental health, and counseling ministry in the local church.”
Johnson added a major focal point of the Center’s programming will be its partnership with local churches through internships and via resources provided by the Center to counselors already in local church settings.
“In addition to formal supervision by our faculty, we also seek to provide opportunities for our students to counsel within the context of the local church, the preferred and natural context for this ministry. Churches wishing to partner with the Center can join as ‘Counseling Intern Partners’ and students will be assigned on an as-needed basis for further training in a practical setting.”
Biblical counseling certification now available through Midwestern
The formal launch of the Center coincides with the announcement of the CBC as a certified training center for the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC), a partnership which provides opportunities for certification for Midwestern’s biblical counseling students.
The Association of Certified Biblical Counselors is a biblical counseling certification organization internationally recognized for quality standards of doctrine, standards of biblical counseling conduct, and standards of counseling training. ACBC currently certifies 75 additional training centers within the United States and two others abroad.
The partnership between the two organizations is the culmination of a nearly two-year process, Johnson noted, and included a thorough vetting of Midwestern’s curriculum to ensure its content and strategy aligned with the Association’s standards and values. “This is a culmination of a wonderful vision put forward by Dr. Allen and Dr. Jason Duesing over two years ago. Over the last year and a half, our counseling faculty has been involved with the building of curriculum and vetting. Now, the CBC provides students a unique opportunity to pursue biblical training and credentials.”
Through the joint effort, Midwestern students pursuing biblical counseling degrees now have the opportunity to become ACBC-certified counselors while completing their degrees. Johnson added the seminary’s Master of Arts degree in biblical counseling fulfills all requirements for ACBC certification. Johnson also foresees the benefits of the new certification extending beyond the classroom: “The Center will benefit the student body, and by extension, the churches where those students are members. In addition, as students graduate from our counseling programs, we will see impact upon local church ministries in offering counseling and care led by our students.”
Midwestern Seminary and Spurgeon College offers degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. Classes are available on campus in Kansas City, Mo., or via Midwestern’s Online Studies Department.
To learn more about or become involved with the Center for Biblical Counseling or studying in one of the counseling degree programs at Midwestern Seminary or Spurgeon College, visit cbc.mbts.edu.