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Certification

For nearly 40 years, we've been training and certifying biblical counselors. Our process is made up of three phases: learning, exams and application, and supervision. Visit each category for a detailed account of what the process looks like.

PHASE 1: LEARNING

Helping others to live a transformed life begins with a Gospel-centered, biblical approach, so the first phase includes a training course, counseling observations, and outside reading.

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PHASE 2: EXAMS & APPLICATION

In this phase you will be completing your Theological and Counselor exams.

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PHASE 3: SUPERVISION

Life isn’t lived in a classroom. During this phase, you will complete 50 sessions of supervised counseling with an ACBC Fellow.

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How to Become ACBC Certified

Benefits of Certification

Begin your path to certification today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What Will the Biblical Counseling Certification and Membership Cost?
Basic Training Course: varies, depending on where you complete it
Application Fee: $100
Observation DVDs: $168
Supervision Fee: $500
Books & Resources: $85 (minimum)
Membership Dues: $100 (annual)

 

Question: How Long Will the Certification Program Take?
Time varies, depending on how much time you have and how much training you’ve had. Many people complete the certification process within a year after completing the Basic Training Course.

 

Question: What Are the Membership Levels?
After you complete the certification process, you will become a certified biblical counselor and can renew your membership annually.
Level 1
Level 2 – Ordained ministers
Fellows – Level 2 who have completed and passed Fellow applications, exam process, and supervision. For more information on becoming a Fellow, click here.

 

Question: “I have prior education/experience in biblical counseling. Is there a fast track to certification for me?”

We are thrilled to have people pursue certification who have prior education and experience in counseling, as well as those with no prior education and experience. However, our certification standards require that each applicant must complete all three phases of the ACBC Certification process. Additionally, the Basic Training Course required for ACBC certification must be completed through an ACBC Certified Training Center or other ACBC Certified Training source.

 

Question: Can I become certified with ACBC if I am on the Public Sex Offender Registry or currently incarcerated?

ACBC recognizes that the Lord can use men and women who have repented from past sin and who are walking in faithfulness in a local church for great kingdom work in discipleship and counseling, and we encourage these individuals to receive training and education in the area of biblical counseling. However, ACBC is not able to officially certify anyone who is currently on the Public Sex Offender Registry or currently incarcerated.

 

Question: 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 guiding documents (see here and here), 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.

About ACBC

For nearly 40 years, the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (formerly known as NANC) has been certifying biblical counselors to ensure doctrinal integrity and to promote excellence in biblical counseling.
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