Can I become certified if my church has a female pastor?
The local church is indispensable in the ministry of counseling. We believe our counselors must pursue the closest possible connection to their church for accountability and ecclesiastical authority. In light of the importance of ecclesiastical oversight, we require our counselors to serve under biblically qualified leadership in their church. At ACBC, we hold a complementarian view, recognizing that while women may serve the church in a myriad of ways, the Bible requires that an elder/pastor be a man meeting specific qualifications (1 Timothy 2:11-15; 1 Corinthians 11:1-3; 1 Timothy 3:2-7; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-3). Because of these beliefs, both of which are reflected in our Standards of Doctrine, Standards of Conduct, and Constitution and Bylaws, we cannot certify an individual who has joined fellowship with a church that has a female given the role or title of elder/pastor, regardless of their oversight responsibilities.