Marriage Counseling Specialization

Counselor Specializations Seal - MarriageBW-01

Core Training Requirements

To receive the specialization in marriage counseling a certified member must complete 15 hours of training from the following required core areas.

The Nature and Purpose of Marriage
Divorce and Remarriage
Communication in Marriage
Conflict Resolution in Marriage
Enjoying Intimacy in Marriage
Dealing with Sexual Issues in Marriage
Ministry to Blended Families
Parenting Issues in Marriage

Family Finances
Interaction with Extended Family
The Role of the Husband
The Role of the Wife
Serving Your Spouse in Marriage
Dynamics of Marriage Counseling
Family Worship
Premarriage Counseling

NOTE: The entirety of the core training must be provided through an ACBC Certified Training Center and taught by an ACBC Certified Counselor. Of that core training, 67% of it must be taught by a member who has received the Marriage Counseling Specialization. See the FAQs at the bottom of this page for more information.

Reading Requirements

To receive specialization in marriage counseling a member must complete 700 pages of reading from the following approved books:

When Sinners Say I Do, Dave Harvey
God, Marriage, and Family, Andreas Kostenberger
The Exemplary Husband, Stuart Scott
The Excellent Wife, Martha Peace
Peacemaking for Families, Ken Sande
Solving Marriage Problems, Jay Adams
Sex, Romance, and the Glory of God, C.J. Mahaney
Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage: Critical Questions and Answers, Jim Newheiser
This Momentary Marriage, John Piper


NOTE: It is strongly suggested that reading be completed alongside or soon after training. Applicants will be required to report the books they have read along with the page numbers for each. See our FAQs at the bottom of the page for more information.


Once all reading and training requirements have been met according to the standards outlined above, members will enter into the examination phase.

Step 1

Complete the Application for Counseling Specialization Exam Access. This information will include the following:

  • Your name and the date of initial ACBC certification.
  • The name of the ACBC Certified Training Center where you received your instruction for the Counseling Specialization.
  • The date of the instruction and training
  • The names of the lectures along with the instructor for each of these lectures.
  • List the books you have read along with the number of pages read for each book from the Specialization Reading Requirement.
Step 2
  • Take the Online Exam. This exam contains questions from the reading and training and provides students the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of the material they have learned.
    • The Online Exam is closed note/book/Bible
    • Once you successfully complete the Online Exam, you will be granted access to the Written Exam
Step 3
  • Take the Written Exam. This exam is comprised up of in-depth case studies challenging the student in areas including content and methodology.
    • The Written Exam is closed note/book
    • You may use your Bible
    • Submit this portion in a Word document format
    • There is a $50.00 fee associated with the Written Exam

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can take advantage of this training?

For any component of the training outlined below to count towards earning the Marriage Counseling Specialization, the trainee must first be a certified member of ACBC.

When and where can I obtain this specialization?

ACBC Counseling Specializations are offered exclusively through our Certified Training Centers. Training and instructions for the Marriage Counseling Specialization must be taught by an ACBC Certified Counselor who offers this training through a Certified Training Center. For the most up-to-date listing of approved training events, see our master calendar here.

NOTE:  The entirety of the required core training must be provided by an ACBC Certified Member and at least 67% of that training must be provided by a member who holds the Marriage Counseling Specialization.

What are the next steps for me to take action?

Visit or contact one of our Certified Training Centers who have Certified Counselors on staff who are authorized to offer training leading to the Marriage Counseling Specialization. If you have questions as to whether a Certified Training Center or Certified Counselor meets these requirements please email us at

How long do I have to complete this training?

Certified members pursuing this specialization have one year to complete the entire process from beginning to end.

What happens/what do I get when I obtain this specialization?

This specialization is further training in a specific area for ACBC members. In order to show that a member has advanced training, the specialization will be added to the online directory listing of every ACBC Member who satisfactorily completes all elements of the specialization.

Are there online options for training?

Any online training options will be at the discretion and determination of various ACBC Certified Training Centers. There will be some training centers that offer online opportunities and others will only offer regional training. This is based on the training decisions of each individual center.

Are these optional?

At the present, these are optional for ACBC certified members. In the future, they will be a part of a Continuing Education Program for ACBC members.