Policies and Procedures

Individual Membership Procedures

  • The applicant must complete the Basic Training Course which covers the topic requirements by ACBC. This training is to take place at a ACBC approved training center.
  • The applicant must complete a minimum of 10 hours of counseling observation of a ACBC certified counselor. This can be done in person or by purchasing one of the two video sets available. A list of ACBC certified counselors are available in the Application Packet on the web page or contact the ACBC office to learn more about the videos.
  • The applicant may have received training in biblical counseling at a training center that is not ACBC certified. If the applicant believes that the training he received meets or exceeds ACBC’s minimum training requirements, then the applicant may write a letter of appeal asking that it be accepted. The applicant should provide names of instructors, date and place of training, course topics, reading requirements, case observations and other appropriate information.
Exams and Application
  • The applicant is to obtain the most current version of the Application Packet from the website at
  • The applicant is to provide evaluation forms and a stamped envelope addressed to the ACBC office to a pastor/elder and colleague/coworker.
  • The applicant is to complete the Application, Observation Log and the remainder of the Application Packet and mail them to the ACBC office with the current application fee. See the Application Checklist to confirm that all of the requirements have been met and submitted.
  • The applicant is to see that a letter is sent from his church, on church letterhead, indicating that he is a member in good standing.
  • The applicant is to see that a letter is sent from the official board of his counseling ministry indicating that his ministry is being conducted under its oversight.
  • If the applicant is an ordained pastor, he should send a copy of his ordination certificate.
  • This Application Packet should be sent to the ACBC office the same day the exams are emailed.
  • The applicant is to complete both the ACBC Theology Exam and Counselors Exam. He should email his exams together in two Word documents to
  • Both exams are open book, essay form. It is anticipated that they will make the applicant study. Please refer to the current FAQ for formatting procedures.
  • It is wise to complete the theology exam first. Good theology leads to good counseling. On the theology exam, the grader will be noting the applicant’s understanding of theological truth and his ability to communicate it clearly.
  • On the counselor’s exam, the grader will be observing how the applicant applies the Scriptures to a variety of counseling issues.
  • Your exams are graded on a pass or rewrite basis. If the applicant will need to submit a rewrite our graders will give input to help deepen his understanding of the topic. They will be available for further discussion, when necessary. The applicant will be given as many tries as needed, as long as there is evidence that he are working hard to continue learning and understanding.
  • Exams requiring significant revisions have the potential to postpone the certification process until further study can be demonstrated. This is at the discretion of the ACBC office.
  • After both exams have been completed satisfactorily, the applicant will be cleared to begin the supervision phase.
Supervised Counseling
  • The applicant is responsible to select and contact a ACBC Fellow to act as his counseling supervisor. The ACBC office will email the applicant a list of Fellows.
  • Prior to beginning the supervised counseling, the applicant is to email the ACBC office identifying who will be conducting his supervision.
  • The applicant has one year to complete the supervision phase. The one year begins from the date he is informed by the ACBC office that he is cleared to pursue supervised counseling. Should the applicant need more than one year to complete supervision, he should submit to his supervisor and the ACBC office a written request detailing the reasons for the extension, accompanied by the current extension fee. This request should be received prior to the conclusion of that year. Only one extension will be granted. If the supervisor and the ACBC office concur the request will be granted. The applicant will be informed when his request is granted and what steps are needed to complete the certification process.
  • After each counseling case, the applicant is to complete a ACBC Case Report Form. The supervisor must have time to read and evaluate these reports before discussing the session with the applicant.
  • The supervision is usually accomplished by phone in combination with email, mail, or fax. A few people live near a Fellow and can meet with them in person. The details are to be worked out between the applicant and the supervisor. The supervisor is a counseling coach and will provide observation, exhortation, admonition, and encouragement where appropriate.
  • The supervisor is expected to listen to a minimum of 5 recordings of the applicant’s counseling sessions.
  • The applicant must satisfactorily complete a minimum of 50 hours of supervised counseling in order to be granted certification. At least 10 of these hours must be with the same counselee. 
Continuing Membership
  • After the applicant has completed all the membership requirements he will be sent a Member’s Covenant to sign and return with the current annual dues.
  • The applicant will then be added to the membership list and sent a certificate suitable for framing.
  • Each member shall renew his membership by annually signing the Member’s Covenant and paying his dues.
  • The membership year ends December 31st. The current late-payment fee shall be charged for all dues received after January 31st. If dues and late charges are not paid by March 15th, membership shall be suspended until payment is made.
  • After one year of non-payment of dues, members shall be removed from the roll of membership. Consideration will be given to hardship cases.
  • The Executive Committee will handle reinstatement of former members on a case-by-case basis.
Procedures for Supervision

The applicant will…

  • Arrange, schedule and conduct his own counseling sessions on a regular basis.
  • Send his supervisor the following:
  • A copy of the PDI forms for all cases to be supervised.
  • A copy of the case report form (available on the ACBC website) for each session.
  • Five recorded sessions, the timing of which is determined by the supervisor
  • All of the above become the supervisor’s property.

 The supervisor will…

  • Begin supervision only after receiving a letter to the applicant from the ACBC office stating the applicant is cleared to pursue supervised counseling.
  • Assess each PDI and case report form prior to the scheduled supervising session with the applicant.
  • Schedule regular meetings with the applicant to review cases (weekly or every other week). Applicants seem to benefit the most if no more than 3 to 5 counseling sessions are discussed at each appointment.
  • Listen to the 5 audio recordings and discuss observations with the applicant.


  • The ACBC Board of Trustees has approved Fellows charging up to $650 for the time spent in preparing for and conducting supervision.
  • The fee and payment structure shall be arranged between the supervisor and the applicant.

Basic Sequence of Supervision Process

  • The Applicant will receive written notice from the ACBC office stating that he is cleared to pursue supervised counseling. The applicant should forward that email to his supervisor. Supervised counseling done before receiving written clearance for supervision will not count toward certification!
  • The applicant solicits and obtains agreement from a Fellow for supervision and notifies the ACBC office in writing

Supervision begins

  • At the end of 15 and 30 hours the supervisor will give the applicant a progress report, encouraging him to continue or to acquire further training before proceeding.
  • During the 50 hours of supervision at least two cases must be followed through to completion.
  • Supervision must be completed in one year. This year begins when the applicant informed by the ACBC office that he is cleared to pursue supervised counseling.
  • Upon successful completion of supervision, the supervising Fellow will send a written recommendation to the ACBC office for membership along with the supervision log.
  • In cases where an applicant changes supervisors and wishes to transfer credit hours, the two supervisors involved shall consult prior to transfer.
  • In situations where a supervisor is no longer able to continue supervision, either the supervisor or the applicant may request that the ACBC office review and recommend a procedure for completing the 50 hours requirement.
  • A Supervisor, at his discretion, for demonstrable reasons and with prior written approval of the Executive Director, may make exceptions to the above procedures.
Institutional Certification Procedures


  • A training center, to be certified by ACBC, must be organized in accordance with, and subscribe to, the principles and practices contained in the Statement of Faith, the Constitution and Bylaws and the Standards of Conduct of ACBC.
  • A center must demonstrate its responsibility to, and working relationship with, a duly recognized church, group of churches, and/or denomination subscribing to the Christian values, the Statement of Faith and Standards of Conduct of ACBC.
  • A center, to qualify for certification, must offer training as well as counseling. Training may be targeted to laymen, so long as the program is substantive in nature.
  • Centers applying for certification must have a two-year record of full operation in accordance with the requirements outlined above.


  • Secure from the ACBC office and complete the ACBC Training Center Application Form.


Training Center Evaluation

  • The Director of Training Center Certification will review your Application, gather extensive data, conduct phone interviews with pertinent parties, and present a report on your center to the ACBC Training Center Committee.
  • If the ACBC Training Center Committee recommends the center for certification, it will be reviewed by the ACBC Board at their next meeting (Quarterly Meeting or Annual Meeting in October). If not, the Director of Training Center Certification will communicate with the center regarding the matters in question.
  • If deemed necessary by the ACBC Training Center Committee or the ACBC Board, the Director of Training Center Certification and/or other appointed person(s) will visit the applying center for evaluation.
  • All expenses, including transportation, meals and motel for the review team and an appropriate fee for the team’s time shall be the responsibility of the applying center.
  • Centers certified by the ACBC Board are immediately regarded as ACBC Certified Training Centers.

Final Evaluation

  • Certification is granted upon a 2/3 vote of the Board of Trustees at their Quarterly or Annual Meeting and upon receipt of the application dues from the center.

Continuing certification

  • Once certified by ACBC the center Director is responsible to submit an Annual Questionnaire prior to the ACBC Annual Conference in October.

Fees and Dues

  • The Executive Director sets all fees and dues in concurrence with the Executive Committee.


  • A processing fee shall accompany each application for individual certification in this Association.
  • A $500 application fee shall accompany each application for institutional membership in this Association.


  • Annual dues for Members Level 1 & 2 and Fellows shall accompany the signed Membership Covenant Annually.