WHAT IS THE CERTIFICATION PATHWAY?
ABC exists to enlist, equip, enrich and encourage people everywhere to live and counsel the Word, applying the Gospel to the whole experience of life.
- ENLIST believers with a heart to grow in their knowledge of Scripture as it practically applies to the myriad of issues related to counseling.
- EQUIP the church and community by providing training and certification in the work of biblical counseling and discipleship.
- ENRICH members by offering ongoing resources with a robust biblical worldview of people and their problems while promoting Scripture as the supreme source wherein healing truth may be found.
- ENCOURAGE followers of Jesus Christ to know, cherish, and honor Him as they minister His Word to one another while supporting each other.
ABC’s hope is to raise up biblical counselors across the world. We believe this should first happen in the local church, but we also support the need for professional counseling centers. Our pathway and methodology is designed to equip a Pastor or ministry leader to connect their theological understanding within their role as shepherd and counselor, or for a professional seeking a deeper specialization in applying the Bible within their practice. ABC has created specific resources to meet each of these unique positions.
The Association of Biblical Counselors strives to accomplish this by partnering with churches and providing resources for equipping the saints for the work of counseling ministry. We desire to encourage followers of Jesus Christ to know, cherish, and honor Him as they minister His Word to one another. This is why we have designed a three-level pathway for certification. The ABC certification process allows churches to train, evaluate, and mobilize men and women who understand and offer a Christ-exalting, Scripture-based form of one-another ministry in the body of Christ.
ABC offers three different levels for certifying biblical counselors. Our process consists of training, reading, writing, exams, collaboration and supervision. A student can receive training through our online process or through one of our U.S. or Canadian training centers.
Level 1 – Develop a biblical philosophy in the work of counseling and discipleship, gain an understanding of biblical counseling and acquire a basic understanding of the general and specific methods.
Level 2 – Gain a deeper understanding of theology and dependency on the Holy Spirit. Develop practical and advanced skills in biblical counseling as you minister to others in your apprenticeship.
Level 3 Specializations – Coming soon we will offer in-depth certifications such as; Marriage & Family, Addictions and Domestic Abuse.
Advanced Degree Certification – Granted to individuals with advanced training that have already received a Masters or Doctorate from an ABC approved seminary or Bible Institution.
ABC Level 1 Certification (ABC1) – KNOWLEDGE
The ABC1 credential is awarded to those who have completed all the training requirements of Level 1 certification in such a manner that is satisfactory to the standards set forth by ABC.
- Develop a biblical philosophy of the Christian life that includes active involvement in a community of believers.
- Develop a biblical philosophy of counseling that emphasizes the call of all believers to take part in the work of counseling and discipleship.
- Understand the basic meaning of biblical counseling.
- Acquire a basic understanding of the general and specific methods of biblical counseling.
- Cover various counseling related issues that include depression, anger, anxiety, addiction, and sexuality.
- Develop a genuine love for others, and an active, daily prayer life.
- Reading: Equipped to Counsel book and selected Journal of Biblical Counseling articles.
- Assignments: two exams, four writing assignments, and a mini-practicum experience of 10-sessions with accompanying counseling journals.
- Videos: two video series, about 10-hours each, with a writing assignment.
- Estimated 7+ hours a week. Time frame: One-year completion after enrollment.
ABC Level 2 Certification (ABC2) – EXPERIENCE
The ABC2 credential is granted when individuals complete the requirements of Level 2 certification. This phase of certification is highly experiential and requires a minimum number of face-¬to‐face counseling hours and oversight by an approved ABC Training Leader. Counselors-¬In-¬Training (CIT) will need to find an approved Training Leader who can actively observe their counseling ministry with others as well as model biblical counseling ministry.
- Develop basic practical skills in the personal ministry of God’s word with people. These basic skills include careful listening, helping people open up, conveying compassion, grace, and mercy, and guiding constructive ministry conversations.
- Develop more advanced skills in the personal ministry of God’s word with people. These more advanced skills include responding patiently to difficult ministry conversations, discerning counseling problems from within a biblical worldview, helping people understand and apply the gospel of Jesus Christ in daily life, and more.
- Grow in Christian maturity as a minister of the gospel. That is, learn to be humble, repentant, and dependent upon the Holy Spirit in heart and life while ministering to others.
- Broaden your general knowledge of Scripture as it relates to life and struggles while also broadening strategic and careful application of the Scripture to specific people and their situations.
- Learn how to depend on the Holy Spirit during the process of change.
- Reading: Biblical Counseling Basics: Roots, Beliefs, and Future
- Exams: Counseling and Theology Exam
- Supervision: 100 hours of counseling divided into 20 hours observing, 20 hours being observed, 60 hours of solo counseling. Process will include regular case study review, counseling journals, and assessments.
- Continuing Education: 12 hours of reading or training in the area of biblical counseling.
- Estimated 7+ hours a week. Time frame: Two-year completion after enrollment.
ABC Level 3 Certification (ABC3) – SPECIALIZED
The ABC3 is where you will gain specialized training in a particular areas. This is coming soon.