Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions that we commonly receive, so we hope the answers below are helpful. If you are still uncertain of anything, reach out to us through our contact form and we will be happy to answer any question you have.


Who is a biblical counselor?
  • A believer in Jesus Christ who has a good practical working knowledge of the Word and is committed to doctrinal soundness and a life that reflects the Gospel.
  • This person also believes that God equips believers through his Word and the ministry of the Holy Spirit to help others with the issues of life.
How is biblical counseling different from secular counseling?
  • Secular psychotherapy is needs-based. The needs for self-esteem, love and acceptance, and significance tend to dominate. If these needs are met, it is believed, people will be happy, kind, and moral; if these needs are unmet, people will be miserable, hateful, and immoral. Biblical counseling teaches that true satisfaction and happiness can only be found in a relationship with God and a pursuit of godliness.
  • Secular psychology is based on the theories and subsequent teachings of psychoanalysts. These include Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, and Carl Rogers and more recently ideas of post-modernism. In stark contrast, Biblical counseling is based on the revealed Word of God and subsequently on God’s theories and teachings for humankind.
  • Secular psychology promotes mankind as the highest standard of truth and morality and rejects faith, the supernatural, and the Bible. Biblical counseling sees God as the highest standard of truth and morality and that Scripture is sufficient to address the impact on humankind due to fallen human conditions (Genesis 3) as well as equip the child of God for every good work (2 Timothy 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:4).
  • Secular psychology is based on the ideas that man is basically good and that the answer to his problems lies within himself. The Bible states that humans are much worse than they think, but also loved so much more than they can imagine. Humans are “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1), and the unregenerate heart is “deceitful and beyond all cure” (Jeremiah 17:9). Therefore, the biblical counselor takes a drastically different approach: rather than seeking solutions to spiritual problems within one’s own mind, he seeks to confront sin, obtain wisdom from above (James 3:17), and apply the Word of God to the situation.
How is biblical counseling different from Christian counseling?
  • In general, what is usually called “Christian counseling” is different from “biblical counseling” in that Christian counseling often uses secular psychology while viewing the client and their situation from a Christian worldview. Depending on the counselor, they may or may not use the Bible or even pray in the sessions. This is not to say that a Christian counselor is not also a biblical counselor, but often, Christian counselors are Christians who integrate secular psychology into their counseling. Biblical counselors counsel from Biblical theories and principles.
  • Biblical counseling is committed to letting God speak for Himself through His Word. Biblical counseling seeks to minister the love of the true and living God, a love that deals with sin and produces obedience.


What is the purpose of the Association of Biblical Counselors?
ABC exists to enlist, equip, enrich, and encourage all believers everywhere to live and counsel the Word, applying the Gospel to the whole experience of life.

  • ABC seeks to ENLIST believers with a heart to grow in their knowledge of Scripture as it practically applies to the myriad of issues related to counseling.
  • ABC seeks to EQUIP the church and community by providing training and certification in the work of biblical counseling and discipleship.
  • ABC seeks to 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.
  • ABC seeks to ENCOURAGE followers of Jesus Christ to know, cherish, and honor Him as they minister His Word to one another while supporting each other. We have a fellowship of believers committed to life transformation through the Living Word.
Who should consider becoming a biblical counselor?
  • Anyone interested in better understanding themselves and others.
  • Licensed and professional counselors who are committed to Biblical counseling and seeking a deeper specialization in applying the Bible in your practice.
  • Pastors, elders, and leaders in ministry who are interested in providing Biblical counsel.
  • Growth-group and small-group leaders, lay counselors, and mature believers in churches.
  • All believers who are committed to sound counsel from the Word in their own lives and as they minister to others.
  • Pastors and elders seeking to connect your theological understanding in your role as shepherd and counselor.
What are the benefits of ABC membership?
  • Biblical counseling resources and a comprehensive tiered certification program for lay counselors, pastors, and professional therapists.
  • Members will receive special discounts and have access to hundreds of downloadable counseling resources, past Called to Counsel conference video and more. Individuals at this level may or may not adhere to the views of biblical counseling but will have an interest in learning how to apply the Bible more effectively to every issue of life
What is required to maintain an active membership?
  • ABC membership is valid for 12-months and must be renewed by the renewal date each year to remain active. The renewal can be completed online and requires payment of membership dues.
  • Membership dues are $99 per year. These dues help support your membership benefits and the work of the Association of Biblical Counselors as a whole, including the development of biblical counseling resources and providing support to churches, people, and ministries around the world.


What is the value of an ABC certification of the Equipped to Counsel (ETC) curriculum training?
  • Third party credentialing of a working Biblical counseling training curriculum.
  • Recognized certification by a respected association
  • Provides intentional process for those who want to mature in Biblical counseling
  • Community of committed Biblical counselors
What is the certification process?
  • The certification is a staged training process that covers three levels of a person’s journey towards maturing in Biblical counseling. There are three levels: ABC1, ABC2 and ABC3 you can find more information here
  • You can either enroll in our self-paced online training or through an approved ABC training center. You can find more information on training centers at
How long does the certification process take?
  • Level 1 typically takes about 9 months, but students are allotted 1 year to complete. Level 2 students are allotted 2 years to complete the program. Students needing additional time can file for an extension with ABC, which will likely include an extension fee to continue certification.
  • For a full list of certifications details and costs please visit our certification page.
What is the cost of ABC biblical counseling certifications and membership?
  • Membership: $99 annually
  • For a full list certifications options and costs please visit our certification page.
What is required to keep my certification active each year?
  • Maintain your status as an active member of ABC in good standing
  • Complete the necessary biblical counseling CEUs each year and submit the appropriate paperwork to ABC. Continuing Education
How do I request my initial or replacement certificate?
Please fill out at the Certification Request Form. ABC will contact you as your request is processed.