Marriage Counseling Specialization

Counselor Specializations Seal - MarriageBW-01

Reading Requirements

To receive specialization in marriage counseling a member must complete 1000 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: Please track your reading. You will be required to report the books you have read along with the page numbers for each. See our FAQs at the bottom of the page for more information.

Training Requirements

To receive the specialization in marriage counseling a member must complete 15 hours of training from the following required 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: 100% of this training must be provided through an ACBC Certified Training Center by a Certified Counselor who has received the Marriage Counseling Specialization. See the FAQs at the bottom of this 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

Email the following info in order to receive access to the exams:

  • 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 names of the lectures along with the instructor for each of these lectures. Please note that 100% of the training must be provided by an ACBC Certified Member who has earned the Counseling Specialization.
  • 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.
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.

Frequently Asked Questions

When and where can I obtain this specialization?

ACBC Counseling Specializations are offered exclusively through one of our Certified Training Centers. Training and instructions for the Marriage Counseling Specialization must be taught by an ACBC Certified Counselor who has earned the Marriage Counseling Specialization and offers this training through a Certified Training Center.  For a list of Certified Training Centers who have counselors who are specialized visit our map and look for the gold icons.

What are the next steps for me to take action?

Step 1 – 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.

NOTE: If you have questions as to whether a Certified Training Center or Certified Counselor meets these requirements please contact the Director of Training Center Certification.

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. The specialization will be denoted in document form as well.

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.

Training Centers that have specialized counselors on staff are denoted on our map with a gold icon. If you have questions as to whether a Certified Training Center or Certified Counselor meets these requirements please contact the Director of Training Center Certification at

Are these optional?

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