May we call ourselves “counselors”?
<p> This question is often asked: "May a church biblical counseling ministry use the terms "counseling" and "counselor" if its biblical counselors are not licensed professional counselors?" Licensed Professional Counselor laws vary from state to state; however, the general answer to that question is "yes."<br /> <!–break–></p> <p> For example, in Texas the Licensed Professional Counselor Act, which prohibits the use of the terms "couseling" and "counselor" by unlicensed persons engaged in counseling, does not apply to counseling done by a clergyman, or person of similar status, who is a member in good standing of and accountable to a church legally recognized under the Internal RevenueCode, §501(c)(3) and other individuals participating with them in pastoral counseling if: (i) the counseling activities are within the scope of the performance of their regular or specialized ministerial duties and are performed under the auspices of sponsorship of the legally recognized church, or an integrated auxiliary of a church as defined in Federal Tax Regulations, 26 Code of Federal Regulations, §1.6033-2(g)(5)(I) (1982); (ii) the individual providing the service remains accountable to the established authority of that church or integrated auxiliary; and (iii) the person does not use the title of or hold himself or herself out as a professional counselor.<br /> <br /> The foregoing should not be relied on as legal advice. Please consult an attorney of your choice, who is licensed to practice in the appropriate state.</p>
Posted on February 24, 2013