Constitution and Bylaws
The name of this corporation shall be the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Inc. (referred to throughout this document as “Association”).
Article II. Purposes
This Association shall be organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific and educational purposes within the classification of legal charities; and no part of the net earnings shall inure to the benefit of any private stockholder or individual; and no substantial part of the activities of such Association, or any receipt of its funds, shall be utilized for any other purpose except those purposes mentioned above. In order to provide suitable locations for the conduct of activities of this Association, the Association shall have the power to build, rent, maintain or lease appropriate facilities; and to conduct its activities in one or more offices; and to hold, purchase, mortgage, sell, or convey real and personal property of any kind in connection with its activities in any state, territory or colony of the United States and in any foreign country or place.
The particular purpose of this Association is to encourage, acknowledge and standardize counseling and counselor training done by Christian clergymen and laymen who are committed to the Scriptures as the only authoritative rule of faith and practice. This purpose will be accomplished by:
- setting standards for the training and practical preparation of biblical counselors;
- providing certification for clergymen and laymen engaging in the practice of biblical counseling;
- providing certification for training and counseling centers;
- developing relationships with theological schools and other educational institutions and agencies for the training of biblical counselors;
- promoting research into the biblical principles of counseling and their remedial and preventive application to life;
- providing opportunities for fellowship among clergymen and laymen who are interested in biblical counseling;
- fostering training in biblical counseling.
Article III. Membership
Individual membership in this Association shall be open to those who subscribe to the Scriptures as the only authoritative standard for their counseling and who adhere to the Statement of Faith and the Standards of Conduct of this Association.
There shall be four classes of individual membership in this organization:
- Member – Level 1
- Member – Level 2
- Member of the Academy
The requirements for individual membership are stated in the Bylaws of this Association (Article II).
Institutional membership in this Association shall be granted to those counseling centers and ministries that meet the requirements stated in the Bylaws of this Association (Article IV).
Article IV. Trustees
The business of this Association shall be conducted by a Board of Trustees, whose function shall be consonant with the Bylaws of this Association (Article V).
Article V. Amendments
Amendments to the Constitution or Bylaws of this Association shall be made according to the provision of the Bylaws of this Association.
Article I. Meetings
The membership of this Association shall meet annually at a place and time to be determined by the Board of Trustees. Special meetings may be called by the Board of Trustees, provided at least thirty (30) days written notice is given.
Article II. Membership
Section A. Member – Level 1
This category shall include individuals who have demonstrated competence in biblical counseling and who meet the following requirements:
- satisfactory completion of a course of study at a Christian church, training center or educational agency certified by this Association. This course of study must include orientation to biblical counseling, counseling case studies, marriage and family counseling, observation of counseling, and critical reflection on various theories of counseling and models of integration;
- satisfactory completion of the Theology Exam
- satisfactory completion of the Counseling Exam
- satisfactorily completion of at least fifty (50) counseling sessions, with a total of 50 hours, during a one-year period, under the supervision of a Fellow or a Member of the Academy. At least ten (10) sessions, in a minimum of ten (10) hours, of this practice must be with the same counselee. Please note, that at least five (5) counseling sessions must be audio recorded or personally attended by the Fellow.
- continuing membership in good standing in a Christian church and the oversight of a local church or presbytery;
- a letter of certification from a representative of a Christian church or agency indicating a continuing satisfactory ministry in which counseling skills are utilized.
- satisfactory completion and regular renewal of a background check provided through ACBC, which accesses the National Sex Offender Registry and National Criminal Records Database.*
*International situations handled on a case by case basis.
Section B. Member – Level 2
This category shall include ordained men who have demonstrated competence in biblical counseling and who meet the following requirements:
- have and continue to meet all the qualifications for Level 1;
- have a theological degree;
- hold ordination to the pastoral office by a Christian church.
Section C. Fellow
This category shall include ordained men who demonstrate a unique ability to counsel, who serve as supervisors of counselors in training, and who provide leadership in applying biblical counseling principles to life. They must meet the following requirements:
- Level 2 membership for at least two years, while continuing to meet those qualifications;
- a post-baccalaureate degree in counseling, Bible, theology, or related field.
- letters of recommendation from at least two Fellows, one of whom must be a member of the Board of Trustees;
- supervision of two individuals into ACBC membership under the oversight of a Fellow or member of the Academy.
- a letter stating the completion of at least five hundred (500) hours of counseling since becoming ACBC certified;
- candidates for Fellow must submit to a thorough review of their theology and practice by the ACBC board of trustees. This review will occur in three segments.
- First, a committee of the board will review a representative sample of the candidate’s teaching.*
- Second, the candidate must research and write an original publication- quality article that reflects their theology and practice, and which advances the knowledge of the biblical counseling movement in 6,000-9,000 words.
- Third, candidates must be interviewed by the Board of Trustees.
- approval by a two thirds (2/3) vote of the Board of Trustees.
*Fellow Candidate Subcommittee Review Process
i. All members of the committee will review the application packet to ensure its accuracy & completion.
ii. All members of the committee will review the candidate’s recommendations.
iii. All members of the committee will read the candidate’s essay.
iv. Two members of the committee will review at least six samples of the candidates teaching through articles, books, lectures, seminars, sermons etc.
v. By simple majority the committee makes determination regarding a recommendation to the board for the Board Interview.
vi. Adopted by consensus to recommend to the Board.
Section D. Member of the Academy
The Academy of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors shall include ordained men who have demonstrated and sustained a high degree of competence in biblical counseling; have continuing fellowship in a Christian church; have been involved in teaching and/or training college students, seminarians or pastors for a counseling ministry; have met all the formal requirements for membership at the Fellow level; and have made a significant contribution to the development of biblical counseling. In order to be considered for membership in the Academy, an individual must be nominated by not less than five (5) members of this Association; nominations must be made to the Executive Committee, along with testimony to the outstanding contributions of the nominee to the development of biblical counseling. The candidate for the Academy must then be approved by a 3/4 vote of the Board of Trustees.
Article III. Exceptional Membership
Individuals desiring membership in this Association who lack certain of the formal requirements but have demonstrated unique and obvious counseling and counseling-training ability, and have continuing membership in good standing in a Christian church, shall be considered for membership by the Executive Committee and upon approval of that committee shall be recommended for acceptance to the Board of Trustees Acceptance to membership shall then be granted only upon a three-fourths (3/4) majority vote of the Board of Trustees.
Article IV. Institutional Membership
This category shall include those church-related schools, counseling centers and agencies providing biblical counseling services and training for counselors that meet the following requirements:
- all counselors and trainers on staff shall be in agreement with the purposes and principles of this Association;
- all counseling shall be conducted under the supervision of a Fellow or Member of the Academy of this Association;
- all training programs shall be conducted under the supervision of a Fellow or a member of the Academy of this Association;
- training programs designed to meet at least the requirements for individual membership in this Association shall be provided;
- the supervising Fellow or Member of the Academy shall provide an annual report to the Board of Trustees. In addition, the Board may request an oral report and/or the opportunity to question this supervisor about the program.
Article V. Board of Trustees
Section A. Membership
There shall be as many members of the Board of Trustees elected, each for a three year term, as deemed necessary by the Board of Trustees to conduct its business. Members shall be Fellows or Members of the Academy.
Section B. Officers
The officers of the Board of Trustees shall be president, vice president, secretary and treasurer. All officers shall be elected by majority vote of the Board of Trustees, from among the membership of the Board of Trustees. These officers shall constitute the Executive Committee. The Executive Director of ACBC shall be an ex officio member of the Executive Committee.
Section C. Duties of Officers
- The president shall be the chief executive officer of the Board of Trustees and shall perform such duties as are customary for presiding officers.
- The vice president shall assist the Executive Director in preparing for the annual conference of this Association and, in the absence of the president, shall assume his duties.
- The secretary shall keep minutes of all meetings of this Association and of the Board of Trustees and shall prepare summary records of all actions taken
- The treasurer shall oversee the accounting of all funds, and shall receive and disburse monies in accordance with budgets approved by the Board of Trustees of this Association. The Executive Director with the approval of the Executive Committee may appoint an assistant to the treasurer to keep an accounting of all funds, and receive and disburse monies in accordance with the budget approved by the Board of Trustees of this Association. A certified public accountant’s review of ACBC’s receipts and expenditures shall be submitted to the annual meeting of the Board of Trustees of ACBC.
- A summary financial report shall be submitted to the annual meeting of this Association.
- The Executive Director shall be appointed by the Board of Trustees and shall act as the chief operating officer for the Board of Trustees. He shall carry out the business and policies of the Association and shall keep an accurate roll of the members. There shall be no specific term of office. Employment arrangements shall be reviewed at the annual Board of Trustees’ meeting. It shall take a majority vote of the entire Board of Trustees to remove the Executive Director from office.
Section D. Duties of the Board of Trustees
- Determine the purposes and policies of this Association.
- Prepare and submit reports appropriate to inform the membership.
- Facilitate the annual meeting of the Association.
- Approve procedures for membership
- Seek to expand the Association’s ministry through its advocacy, recruiting efforts and financial support.
- Secure an Executive Director to implement the purposes and policies of this Association.
- Appoint temporary committees, as needed, to implement the purposes of the Association.
Section E. Meetings
The Board of Trustees shall meet annually at the time of the annual meeting of this Association.
Article VI. Finances
The fiscal year of this Association shall begin on the first day of January of each year and shall end on the last day of December.
Processing fees for membership and annual dues for members of this Association shall be determined by the Executive Director with the concurrence of the Executive Committee and published in the Statement of Policy and Procedures.
Article VII. Amendments
Proposed amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws may be initiated by the Board of Trustees or may be presented to the Board of Trustees in writing by petition of ten (10) members of this Association.
Proposed amendments shall be presented to the members at any regular or special meeting of this Association and adopted upon approval by two-thirds (2/3) of those voting.