ACBC provides opportunities for certified members to grow both in knowledge and skill as they apply the Scriptures to the problems people face.
Since its founding, the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors has set standards for excellence in biblical counseling. As ACBC has grown over the last forty years, this calling and purpose remains at the core of what certification represents to counselors and counselees worldwide.
As ACBC moves into the future, it is vital to uphold the integrity of both the certification process as well as the overall quality, competency, and doctrinal standards of our certified members. During the 2021 Annual Conference, certified members voted to approve the addition of continuing education as an ongoing requirement for maintaining membership.
In addition to current renewal components, members in good standing will be required to complete the minimum amount of CEUs on a two-year basis in order to maintain their certified status. These units can be earned through ACBC approved avenues and range from conference attendance to approved reading.
If you would like to review the approved CEU reading list, you can access that list below. Please note that a book’s inclusion does not necessarily suggest an endorsement from ACBC. This list is updated regularly.
Continuing Education provides opportunities to develop a more engaged, more knowledgeable, and more articulate membership, encourages active reinvestment in existing quality advanced training that is offered through Certified Training Centers as well as several self-reporting opportunities, and communicates the high level of commitment ACBC has for ongoing theological and practical ministerial preparation.
Other reasons include:
There are two avenues for members to earn CEUs:
The first avenue is through the attendance and successful completion of approved training course and events offered through either a Certified Training Center or through an ACBC conference or event. These opportunities are available in-person or virtually, through either online scheduled or on-demand options, and can be found at any time on our training map. Essentially, the process would include:
The second avenue for earning CEUs is through several low-cost self-reporting options where members can submit verification on their own directly to ACBC through their CEU Portal. Members will have the ability to provide documentation, complete logs, upload transcripts, and submit other verification methods that provide proof of successful completion. At this point, ACBC staff members will review submitted materials and credit CEUs to the member’s account. A full list of different self-reporting options can be found below under the section entitled “Determining Values.”
Please note, if a CEU opportunity does not appear either on our training map or is not available as a self-reporting option found in your CEU Portal, then it does not count towards earning CEUs.
CEUs, which stands for Continuing Education Units, represent ACBC approved training courses, events, and self-reporting opportunities that promote the development of counseling skills and continued growth in biblical knowledge. CEUs are expressed in numerical values that will be associated with the member’s account.
All certified counselors are required to earn 20 CEUs during a two-year earning window in order to maintain their membership with ACBC.
Unit values offered through Certified Training Center events and courses will vary depending on instructional hours, financial investment, and assignment work-load; however, once these events and courses are approved and posted on the training map, the unit value for that particular event will be displayed.
There are other specific events or self-reporting options that do have more fixed value associated with them that makes assessment more straightforward. The most common examples have been provided below as a frame of reference:
CEUs must be earned during a specific time frame that begins on January 1 following the year a member becomes certified. Before this, new members will not have access to their CEU Portal. This earning window is a two-calendar-year period that members have in which to earn the required 20 CEUs needed to maintain membership. All CEUs must be earned during the earning window in which the member is currently enrolled.
After the earning window expires, a new earning window will open and the CEU counter will be reset. Please note that a new earning window will only open once a member successfully completes all of the requirements for the annual renewal process.
Particular earning windows, along with everything else associated with tracking CEUs, can be accessed through the CEU Portal found in the member’s account.
Certified Members can keep track of their progress at any time, including how many CEUs have been earned to date and their specific deadline in earning the required number (20 CEUs) within their two-year earning window.
Please note that while the CEU counter may surpass the required 20 CEUs, any units earned beyond that number cannot be “banked” or “rolled over” from one earning window to the next and instead will be reset to zero at the beginning of the next earning window. This is to ensure that members are pursuing quality training and educational opportunities year after year.
Once approved by ACBC, members will be able view their completed CEUs through the CEU Portal found within their membership account. You can learn more about how the CEU Portal works here.
Beginning during the renewal period for 2024, the CEU requirement will become an additional component of the renewal checklist and will apply for members whose CEU earning window ends on December 31, 2023. For those members whose earning window does not end this year, verification of CEU completion will not be required until the following annual renewal period.
Generally, extensions and exemptions are not available for the CEU requirement.
In rare and extreme cases where members may be providentially prevented from completing their 20 CEUs within the earning window, ACBC may provide either an extension or a one-time waiver. However, ACBC reserves the right to deny any request for an extension or waiver to the CEU requirement.
In cases when the required CEUs have not been completed by the end of the earning period in time for renewals, members will be able to take advantage of the grace period ending in mid-March to complete all elements of the renewal process. If CEUs are not completed by that point, the membership status will become expired and the former member would need to complete the reinstatement process if he or she wishes to have their certification reinstated.
It is also important to note that standard annual dues do not include additional costs that may be associated with earning CEUs.The additional cost of CEUs depends upon the venue offering the approved course or event.