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History

Pursuing Excellence in Biblical Counseling Since 1976

How ACBC Began 

The Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC) was founded in 1976. In the previous decade Jay Adams had created the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF) as a center for the training of biblical counselors. As his model of biblical counseling developed it became clear that the biblical counseling movement needed more than training. It needed certification. 

Certification is necessary because biblical counseling is a private ministry of the Word of God. In a public ministry of the Word, like preaching, one can evaluate the faithfulness of a minister publicly. Counseling happens in a private, one-on-one setting, and cannot be publicly evaluated in the same way. Certification is necessary to evaluate a counselor’s faithfulness to the Bible. 

Recognizing this crucial need, Jay Adams and the board of CCEF created an independent certifying organization to do this work. Originally named the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors (NANC), our association began using a three-part process of evaluation including training in the fundamentals of biblical counseling, testing in counseling and theology, and supervision to demonstrate counseling skill. This three-part certification process is still in use today. 

Since 1976 we have grown from a handful of certified counselors to membership in the thousands, making ACBC the oldest and largest biblical counseling certifying organization in the world.