Posted: 9th December, 2009

What career options are open for Christian counselors and psychologists that have left secular employment?

The church is in desperate need of men and women who know how to use the Bible to counsel. Unfortunately, even evangelical churches are filled with secularists and integrationists doing the counseling ministry. Very few people even realize that there is a truly biblical counseling alternative. Pastors, out of the frustration of their lack of biblical counseling knowledge and out of fear of the problems that are brought to them by their members, refer their members to secular counseling centers. When pastors do find a Christian counseling center to refer their members to, such centers are often Christian in name only. Apart from a stylized prayer opening a counseling session, there is often little else that we might call “Christian,” let alone “biblical.”

The need for truly biblical counseling in the church is enormous. Once trained in biblical counseling, Christian men and women coming out of secular psychology will find a huge opportunity awaiting them in the church to use their gifts and talents. Secular employment is not your only option. However, to be used in the lives of God’s people, you must know the teaching of the Bible. As my mentor, Dr. Jay Adams, said to me thirty-five years ago, “If you want to be able to say, ‘Thus says the Lord,’ you had better know what the Lord says.”

Let me list three places in the United States where you can learn biblical counseling:

1. The Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF) in Laverock, Pennsylvania; started by Dr. J. E. Adams, the founder of Nouthetic Counseling; also the Institute for Nouthetic Studies.

2. The Masters College and Seminary, Los Angeles, California; President Dr. John MacArthur.

3. The Counseling Institute of the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Director Dr. George Scipione.

Perhaps the most challenging calling for men who believe that their commitment to Jesus Christ would be compromised by remaining in a secular counseling setting, is to consider the pastoral ministry. As a pastor, one must do biblical counseling.

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Question of the Month

Can a Christian work as a psychologist? Should Christians integrate psychological and biblical methods?