KANSAS CITY, Mo—The Center for Biblical Counseling (CBC) at Midwestern Seminary has announced a new online opportunity for biblical counseling training through its For the Church Institute platform.
Beginning in May of 2023, students can gain access to 30 hours of lessons, quizzes, readings, and other trainings at a reduced price. This opportunity meets the requirements for the training portion of Phase 1 of certification with the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC) and earn continuing education units (CEUs) at Spurgeon College.
“I am very excited to announce this new opportunity to further equip the church in Biblical counseling through our Center for Biblical Counseling,” said President Jason Allen. “We have a strategic partnership with ACBC, and I am thankful for everyone’s hard work to make this new program possible.”
Midwestern Seminary’s new program marks one of the first online trainings specifically designed for ACBC certification.
Dale Johnson, who serves as associate professor of biblical counseling at Midwestern Seminary and executive director of ACBC, spoke to the importance of biblical counseling and this new online program at the seminary.
He said, “When you take a moment to think about it, everyone gives counsel. Some counsel may be good, and some may be bad, but everyone gives counsel. We offer it in our gestures, by our attention, in our attitudes, through our behaviors, and with our words.”
“This training will help pastors, ministry leaders, and church members grow in their awareness of the way in which they already offer counsel and train them to minister the Scriptures to the problems people face in a way that is faithful to the Scripture and magnifies the name of Jesus.”
ACBC offers biblical counseling certification through three phases of training.
Phase 1 of certification includes training material on the basics of biblical counseling, observation with ACBC certified members, and required reading in the field of biblical counseling.
Phase 2 requires prospective counselees to demonstrate their knowledge of theology and counseling through two exams. Additionally, each candidate must submit character evaluations from a pastor/elder, colleague, and church member.
Phase 3 includes 50 sessions of supervised biblical counseling. The supervision can be completed remotely, but ACBC requires a completed case report for each qualifying session. Upon successful completion of each stage and supervisor approval, the candidate is then recommended for membership in ACBC.
Midwestern Seminary’s biblical counseling programs are designed to equip pastors and ministry leaders with the pastoral care and biblical discipleship skills needed for a fruitful and God-honoring ministry.
Each program offers significant training in the principles and methods of biblical counseling, preparing students for service in the local church, biblical counseling centers, or wider ministry settings. The CBC’s goal is to equip ministers and laypersons to minister biblically within their local churches and communities, helping make the church the first-place people go for help, rather than a last resort.
This program represents the seminary’s continued efforts to equip the next generation of leaders for the church.
Johnson said, “The name ‘biblical counseling’ points to the truth that, at its core, biblical counseling has no grounding without the Scripture and no authority outside of the Church of Jesus Christ. God has given His Church the responsibility and calling to minister the Scripture so the broken can be healed and the lost saved.”
“To do the personal ministry work of biblical counseling is to do the mission and ministry of the church, which is the calling of every Christian. That is why biblical counseling is so important.”
In summary, Midwestern Seminary Provost Jason Duesing said, “This training program is something we have long hoped the Center for Biblical Counseling could provide to members of local churches as an extension of our academic ministry. I am thankful for the high quality and accessible format produced by the CBC and look forward to seeing it bless, encourage, and equip many.”
To learn more about the new certificate program and the Center for Biblical Counseling, click here.