To prepare students for their ministry in counseling, we offer a rich set of educational modules. Review the list below to understand current topics, purpose, and course availability. 

Counseling Concentration
PC 1 Biblical Models of People and Change
This module is divided into the following segments:

Dynamics of Biblical Change

  • To equip students to teach a biblical model of counseling in their churches
  • To build a firsthand understanding of the progressive sanctification process
  • To enable students to connect biblical truth with 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 situational factors with a person’s actions and reactions. 

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 be able 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.

Summer module, three hours. Faculty.

PC 2 Methods of Biblical Change and Interacting with Psychology

This module is divided into the following segments:
Methods of Biblical Change

  • To equip students to teach counseling methods in their churches
  • 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 of 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 daily life.

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 within our cultural context, both in 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 the 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.

Summer module, three hours. Faculty.

PC 3 Family Counseling, Public Ministry of the Word, and Lay Ministry 

This module is divided into the following segments:

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, conflict, divorce counseling, spouse abuse, and step-families. Counseling videos will be used to help the student gain a sense of the counseling process. 

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 places 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.

Summer module, three hours. Faculty.

PC 4 Counseling Problems
This module is divided into the following segments: 

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 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. 

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 for neuropsychology, psychopharmacology, dementia, traumatic brain injury, psychiatry, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic attacks and hallucinations, attention deficit disorder, addiction, homosexuality, and autism.

Summer module, three hours. Faculty.

PC 7 Biblical Peacemaking in the Church and Home

  • To study conflict and how church leaders and biblical counselors can address and resolve conflict in the church and home (marital, parent-child, or in-law conflict)

Topics include gaining a biblical understanding of relational conflict, a working grasp of key Scripture passages dealing with relational conflict and a biblically-based model for how to address conflict in various interpersonal relationships (e.g., church, marriage, family, in-laws, and roommates); coaching and mediating counselees and congregants who face relational conflict; and helping to prepare church congregants to prevent and resolve relational conflict when it arises.

Summer module, three hours. Dr. Jones.

PC 8 Grief and Trauma

  • To explore the pastoral counseling process of helping people mourn losses that are common to normal human experience, as well as the psychological impact of traumatic experiences that are outside the range of normal human experience
  • To explore counseling strategies for assisting people through the process of grieving from loss, along with strategies for preventing, assessing, and understanding post-traumatic stress reactions to various kinds of trauma and catastrophe

Topics include identifying the multiple factors (biological, cultural, historical, generational, spiritual, and familial) that influence the grief and mourning process for individuals; assessing the difference between traumatic and normal grief and applying the necessary skills in helping counselees progress in the mourning process; exposure to the criteria for Disorders of Extreme Distress and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to understand a counselee’s world; understanding the chemical reaction of the human body when under significant stress, trauma and grief; and becoming aware of the distress of persons who are considering suicide and developing skills to assess suicidal persons.

Summer module, three hours. Mr. Smith.

PC 9 Marriage Counseling Methods and Issues

  • To grasp more fully what God’s Word says about marriage, singleness, divorce, remarriage, and in-law relationships
  • To help students know more clearly and carry out more faithfully God’s will for them in the specific family role(s) they have as a husband, wife, single person, parent, son, daughter, ex-spouse, etc.
  • To understand how a biblical approach to marital and premarital counseling differs from other approaches and gain greater confidence in the superior wisdom and power of God and His Word for your ministry
  • To minister more effectively to friends and family members in their specific God-given family situations to help them follow Christ and help Christ’s church build stronger marriages and families.

Topics: The course presents a Biblical understanding of a wide range of common marriage problems along with a basic marriage counseling model and various counseling methods for individuals and couples who face these problems. Marriage-related issues such as singleness, premarital training, and divorce and remarriage will also be addressed, and the course will explore ways to carry out all of these ministries in the context of the local church.

Summer module, three hours. Dr. Jones.

PC 10 Depression and Anxiety

  • To survey and evaluate current views on the causes and treatments for depression and anxiety
  • To build a model for counseling depressed and anxious counselees from a biblical anthropology

Summer module, three hours. Dr. Forrey.

PC 11 Equipping Church Counselors

  • To provide an in-depth study of the theoretical foundations and practical implementation of a biblical counseling ministry within the local church

Topics include a biblical counseling vision for the church; roles of members and leaders in counseling ministries; strategies and methods to recruit, equip, and oversee designated counselors; using counseling as an outreach ministry; and counseling in relation to other ministries such as small groups, preaching, and restorative church discipline.

Summer module, three hours. Dr. Jones.

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