Our Practical Theology Counseling courses prepare students to be adept in counseling others from a Christian and God-centered perspective. Review our list for course details and schedule availability.
PTC 151 Dynamics of Biblical Change
- To build a firsthand understanding of the progressive sanctification process
- To enable students to connect biblical truth to the case study realities and details of lives lived
Topics covered include the nature of idolatry and faith; the relationship between motive and action; the way Christ’s past, present, and future grace intersects with and affects how people live their daily lives; and the interplay of suffering and other situational factors with a person’s actions and reactions.
PTC 178 Helping Relationships
- To help students develop a functional biblical counseling worldview
- To help students understand the importance of heart change as a methodological goal
- To develop an understanding of the role of Scripture in biblical counseling
- To highlight and practice the critical skills for effectiveness in biblical counseling
Topics covered include how to build a counseling relationship, how to gather and interpret data, how to function as an agent of repentance, and how to guide and assist others as they seek to apply change to their daily lives.
PTC 222 Counseling and Physiology
- To equip with a nuanced and practical biblical anthropology that will help distinguish between spiritual and physical issues in the lives of those being counseled
- To deepen understanding of a select group of acute and chronic problems having physiological manifestations, particularly those that affect intellect and mood
- To develop biblical strategies for pursuing counselees with such problems
- To sharpen abilities to critique the reigning presuppositions of biological psychiatry that serve to undermine Scripture’s authority in the counseling process
Topics covered include biblical anthropology and its counseling implications on neuropsychology, psychopharmacology, dementia, traumatic brain injury, psychiatry, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic attacks and hallucinations, attention deficit disorder, addiction, homosexuality, and autism.
PTC 243 Theology and Secular Psychology
- To teach students how to understand psychologists’ observations, theories, and practices, and how to engage them critically, humbly, and lovingly
- To reinterpret through a redemptive gaze the things that psychologists see most clearly and care about most deeply
- To understand where biblical counseling fits in our cultural context, both within the evangelical church and the surrounding mental health system
Topics covered include the skills of reinterpretation and redemptive interaction; historical overview of the biblical counseling and evangelical psychotherapy movements; the lay of the land in contemporary counseling; assessment of motivation theories and self-esteem theory; and primary source readings from a half dozen representative psychologists, ranging from high culture to self-help.
PTC 251 Marriage Counseling
- To help students develop a rich, biblical-theological view of marriage and relationships that challenges popular goals for marriage/relationship counseling and provides powerful hope and direction
- To provide students with conceptual and methodological tools for marriage counseling that are rooted in a biblical worldview of marriage and that recognize the unique challenges of marriage counseling
- To interact with prevailing secular models of marriage counseling within a biblical worldview
- To begin to develop the ability to offer relational skills within a larger context of personal/individual heart change
- To consider current marriage problem areas impacting the church
Topics covered include a biblical theological review of marriage and relationships; and an introduction to systems theory, gender differences, communication, and conflict. Counseling videos will be used to help the student gain a sense of the counseling process.
PTC 261 Human Personality
- To deepen students’ understanding of biblical doctrine as it applies to the person
- To examine what doctrines are especially important to apply in this generation
- To understand how to apply biblical doctrine in personal ministry
- To enable students to uncover the implicit theology in other models of personal ministry and dialogue effectively about these issues
Topics covered include a review of systematic theological categories with a commitment to developing multiple applications, an examination of both Christian and non-Christian counseling case studies with an eye to enrich them with our theological work, and the practical application of a biblical-theological approach to the study of people.
PTC 303 Counseling Problems and Procedures
- To identify the essential features of biblical counseling
- To identify current counseling issues that are apparent in the church
- To appreciate Scripture’s depth as it addresses common problems, such as suffering, anger, and anxiety
- To prepare students to move toward people with any type of struggle in a way that is helpful and Christ-centered
Topics covered include abuse, guilt and legalism, fear, anger, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anorexia and bulimia, and addictions.
PTC 358 Counseling Children and Adolescents
- To develop counseling methods for understanding and communicating with children and adolescents
- To enhance students’ understanding of the dynamics of family functioning that underscore behavioral problems of children and adolescents
- To understand the present legal issues surrounding the counseling of children and adolescents
- To develop biblical models of parenting that students can use in counseling parents to be more effective in training and disciplining their children
- To develop an understanding of the effects of divorce on children and the issues in counseling with step and blended families
This course will focus on counseling with children and adolescents. It will provide students with a broader focus on evaluating children’s behavioral and emotional issues within the context of family functioning. The course will give special attention to counseling methods and relevant legal issues.
PTC 372a & b Counseling Observation
- To see the application of a biblical model of counseling
- To learn how to manage a counseling hour
- To understand how ministry is done in the context of a relationship
- To provide direction in counseling
Students will observe recorded counseling sessions and meet with the instructor to discuss them. Instead of addressing predetermined topics, the class will discuss topics that arise out of the counseling case.
Limitations: Limited enrollment. Preference given to MDiv (Counseling) and MAC students.
PTC 433 Essential Qualities of a Biblical Counselor
- To help students identify their strengths and weaknesses as counselors with regard to both heart issues and skills
- To help students develop strategies for growth in these areas
- To provide practical opportunities by which to make these evaluations and develop skills that contribute to effective counseling
Character qualities covered include love, humility, faithfulness, and spiritual maturity. Skills are coordinated with those covered in Methods of Biblical Change.
PTC 523 Counseling in the Local Church
- To broaden students’ understanding of counseling to include all relationships
- To build a thoroughly biblical understanding of the local church as a ministering community where everyone plays a part
- To help students find their place of ministry within the context of the local church and help others do the same
- To see the importance of both public and private ministry of the Word and how they interrelate
- To examine present ministry opportunities
Topics covered include a biblical foundation for private ministry of the Word; the role of community and relationships in the process of sanctification; developing a practical ecclesiology; and developing an eye for ministry opportunities such as conflict resolution, evangelism, and church discipline.