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Marriage Specialization

This specialization will ground the counselor in a solid theology of marriage and family so they can effectively address problems that arise in the home.


Education Phase

Engage in high-quality, vetted, and focused training. Learn More

Examination Phase

Demonstrate your mastery of the subject matter. Learn More

The reading exposed me to helpful resources I later used as references for homework assignments and the case studies provided me with useful content that I still use as a foundation in my counseling today.

Education Phase

The first phase of specialization training has ACBC Certified Counselors engage in quality instruction offered through one of our Certified Training Centers as well as complete reading from a pre-approved book list.


Core Training Requirements

To receive the specialization in marriage counseling a certified member must first complete a minimum of 15 hours of instruction covering the following approved topics.

  • The Nature and Purpose of Marriage

    This topic will highlight the covenantal nature of marriage and provide the biblical foundations underlying a complementarian perspective.

  • The Role of the Husband

    This topic will exegete critical roles as present in passages such as Ephesians 5 and 1 Peter 3:7 and show the importance of husbands living with their wives in a servant-hearted and understanding way.

  • The Role of the Wife

    This topic will explain critical roles of wives and godly women from Titus 2.

     

  • Dynamics of Marriage Counseling

    This topic will identify causes of sinful patterns which impact the marriage and explore biblical techniques and methods when counseling couples.

  • Serving Your Spouse in Marriage

    This topic will demonstrate marriage as a tool of sanctification and identify God as the source of peace, hope, and joy instead of one’s spouse.

  • Pre-Marital Counseling

    This topic will teach the importance of personal character and integrity in a future spouse and identify facets of God-honoring courtship as opposed to casual dating.

  • Divorce and Remarriage

    This topic will discuss biblical passages dealing with divorce and remarriage.

  • Enjoy Intimacy in Marriage

    This topic will establish the “giving principle” regarding sex as well as describe how unity and peace is reinforced in sexual intimacy.

  • Dealing with Sexual Issues in Marriage

    This topic will describe the dangers of weaponizing sex against a spouse as well as explore the reality of medical issues and ability to participate in sexual intercourse.

  • Communication in Marriage

    The topic will articulate the various motivations behind arguments and provide a biblical warning against speculations, assumptions, and interpretations given about one’s spouse’s motives.

  • Conflict Resolution in Marriage

    This topic will explore the critical nature of forgiveness, repentance, and reconciliation and the practical implications of all three within marital conflict.

  • Issues of Domestic Abuse

    This topic will provide guidelines regarding the reporting of domestic abuse as well as demonstrate the importance of immediate and long-term care for the abused.

  • Parenting Pressures in Marriage

    This topic will explore the priority of addressing heart issues with your children and explain the purposes of discipline and training.

  • Family Worship

    This topic will describe the history and practical application of the “family altar” and show children how to seek and please God.

  • Ministry to Blended Families

    This topic will define and describe appropriate relationships between sets of parents and asses how counselors work within the complexity of relationships in a way that honors biological and step-parents.

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 DoDave Harvey
 God, Marriage, and FamilyAndreas Kostenberger
The Exemplary HusbandStuart Scott
The Excellent WifeMartha Peace
Peacemaking for FamiliesKen Sande
Solving Marriage ProblemsJay Adams
Sex, Romance, and the Glory of GodC.J. Mahaney
Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage: Critical Questions and AnswersJim Newheiser
This Momentary MarriageJohn Piper

Examination Phase

The second phase of specialization training will provide an opportunity for ACBC Certified Counselors to demonstrate their understanding of subject matter through an objective question exam and a written exam that contains case studies.

In order to be cleared for the Examination Phase, you will need to complete and submit the Application for Specialization Exam Access.


Multiple Choice Exam

  • This online exam contains questions from the reading and training and provides students the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of the material they have learned. The Multiple Choice is closed note/book/Bible. 
  • Once you successfully complete the Multiple Choice Exam, you will be granted access to the Written Exam.

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. 
  • There is a $50 fee associated with the Written Exam.

MARRIAGE COUNSELING EXAM STUDY GUIDE

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who can take advantage of this training?

    Anyone who desires to grow in the knowledge and skill in this area of counseling will benefit from earning the Marriage Counseling Specialization.

    However, for any component of the training to count towards earning the Marriage Counseling Specialization, the trainee must first be a certified member of ACBC. Once you successfully pass the exam portion, your profile on our “Find a Counselor” map will be updated to reflect that you have earned that specialization.

  • When and where can I obtain this specialization?

    ACBC Counseling Specializations are offered exclusively through our Certified Training Centers (CTCs). 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.

    These trainings are offered by our CTCs throughout the year both online and in-person.

  • How long do I have to complete this training?

    Certified members who desire to earn the Marriage Counseling Specialization have one (1) year from beginning the training to the successful passing of the written exams.

  • Is there any cost associated with earning a specialization?

    In addition to any fees associated with the Certified Training Center offering the specialization training, there is a one-time non-refundable feel of $50.00 associated with the specialization exam.

  • Are these optional for ACBC certified counselors?

    Yes, the Marriage Counseling Specialization is an optional advanced training opportunity for our certified members. In order for this specialization to count towards CEUs, it must be approved and valued by ACBC and appear on our event map.