How Do I Become a Christian Counselor?
Are you a Christian who wants to help fellow Christians in times of crisis? A Christian counselor is an individual with Christian values who works as a licensed counseling professional. Consider a degree program in Christian counseling, counseling or psychology before seeking credentials as a counselor. Schools offering Pastoral Counseling degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
What Should I Study to Become a Christian Counselor?
Many Christian colleges and theological schools offer Christian counseling bachelor's and master's degrees. These programs blend psychology and counseling theories with Christian morals. You'll learn how Bible passages can be used to council familial issues, depression, stress, regret and addiction.
Another option you can choose, is the path to becoming a licensed professional counselor (LPC). Many universities offer degree programs in counseling. In most types of counseling programs, you will look at case studies, which will help you to learn counseling techniques, conflict management and assessment. Master's and doctorate (Ph.D. or Psy.D.) degrees include a clinical to gain experience with patients.
If you have a degree in counseling and want to learn more about counseling to the Christian faith, you may consider a certificate program in Christian counseling. Certificate programs study the basics of family counseling, rehabilitation counseling and the use of scripture in counseling.
What Licensing Requirements Must I Meet?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that a master's degree is usually the lowest acceptable degree to become a LPC (www.bls.gov). Beyond this, requirements vary by state and counseling area. For example, all 50 states require marriage and family therapists to have state credentials, but licensing requirements for other types of counselors may not be mandatory. Some work environments, like working in a church, do not require a counseling license. You'll likely need to complete clinical experience and sit for a state-approved exam to earn a license.
Are There Any Other Requirements?
The National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) provides national counseling certification, which is voluntary, but can help you to prove your counseling skills (www.nbcc.org). The National Counselor Examination (NCE) can complement or sometimes replace state credentialing. To sit for the exam, you must have completed a master's program in counseling and 3,000 hours of clinical time. The NBCC also offers specific certification in mental health and addictions counseling, but you must first pass the NCE to earn these certifications.
The National Certification program is offered through the Association for Addiction Professionals (www.naadac.org). Through this program you can earn certification as a Master Addiction Counselor, Nicotine Dependence Specialist or a Certified Addiction Counselor. Earning these certifications requires meeting clinical experience and degree requirements.
To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below: