Four-Tier Certification in Biblical Counseling

The Walsh Counseling Center at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary offers comprehensive Biblical Counseling certification that will provide recognition of training as well as support and networking opportunities for active certificate holders. The certification is not a form of counseling licensure, but represents our belief as professors and practitioners of Biblical Counseling that participants have had adequate training to be able to counsel effectively utilizing Scripture. Certification provides credible evidence that one has received training for Biblical Counseling in a formal setting and would be recognized as a valid credential by churches committed to the sufficiency of Scripture in the arena of counseling.

Benefits
  • SWBTS Network of Biblical Counselors.  Active members will be included in an on-line counselor database in order to build a network of Biblical Counselors for Southern Baptist and other churches.
  • Counseling Support. Access to faculty and doctoral students for assistance with difficult counseling cases.
  • Resources. Access to the growing collection of Biblical Counseling materials and resources located at the Walsh Counseling Center.
  • Training. Ongoing training through regular email newsletters, counseling news and issues updates, counseling helps, as well as a variety of advanced seminars and workshops.

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Four-Tier Certification System

Tier 1: Certification in Biblical Counseling

  1. Successful completion of the Basic Training. Each section is made up of three weekends. Sections must be completed sequentially. For example, an applicant must complete Section 1 training before moving on to Section 2 training. Please follow the links below to register:
    • Fall 2015 Training Schedule
      Section 1: August 28-29, September 11-12, October 16-17
      Section 2: August 28-29, September 11-12, October 16-17
      Section 3: August 14-15

      To reserve overnight accommodations, please contact the Riley Center at 817.921.8800 or guests@swbts.edu.
  2. Agreement with both the Document of Faith and Practice and the Document of Counseling Methodology.

    For your convenience, the requirements listed above for Tier 1 Certification in Biblical Counseling have been condensed into a comprehensive checklist. You may download this checklist here.

Tier 2: Advanced Certification in Biblical Counseling*

  1. In addition to maintaining active Tier 1 Certification for at least two (2) years, applicants must accrue 400 documented hours of counseling experience.
  2. Completion of two (2) advanced training seminars offered or approved by the Director of the Walsh Counseling Center.

    The Fall 2015 Advanced Training Seminar for Tier 2 is offered August 14-15. You may register for this seminar on-line under the heading Tier 2 Advanced.

    Fall 2015 Advanced Seminar Topic: Counseling Children and Teenagers


  3. Continued agreement with both the Document of Faith and Practice and the Document of counseling methodology.

    For your convenience, the requirements listed above for Tier 2 Advanced Certification have been condensed into a comprehensive checklist. You may download this checklist here.

*Advanced Certification will be awarded automatically to Southwestern Seminary graduates having earned the MACE or M.Div. degree with a concentration in Biblical Counseling.

Tier 3: Master Certification in Biblical Counseling*

  1. In addition to maintaining active Tier 2 Certification for at least two (2) years, applicants must accrue an additional 400 documented hours of counseling experience.
  2. Completion of three (3) additional (5 total) advanced level training seminars offered or approved by the Director of the Walsh Counseling Center.

    The Fall 2015 Advanced Training Seminar for Tier 3 is offered August 14-15. You may register for this seminar on-line under the heading Tier 3 Master.

    Fall 2015 Advanced Seminar Topic: Counseling Children and Teenagers
     
  3. Continued agreement with both the Document of Faith and Practice and the Document of counseling methodology.

    For your convenience, the requirements listed above for Tier 3 Master Certification have been condensed into a comprehensive checklist. You may download this checklist here.

*Master Certification will be awarded automatically to Southwestern Seminary graduates having earned the MABC degree.

**Master Certification holders may be authorized to offer Tier 1: Certification in Biblical Counseling training in a local church or another satellite location under the oversight and approval of The Walsh Counseling Center.

Tier 4: Instructor Certification in Biblical Counseling*

  1. In addition to maintaining active Tier 3 Certification for at least three (3) years, application must accrue an additional 600 documented hours of counseling experience.
  2. Successful completion of a personalized Instructor Certification training program under the direction of Southwestern Seminary Biblical Counseling faculty.
  3. Continued agreement with both the Document of Faith and Practice and the Document of counseling methodology.

    For your convenience, the requirements listed above for Tier 4 Instructor Certification have been condensed into a comprehensive checklist. You may download this checklist here.

*Instructor Certification will be awarded to Southwestern Seminary graduates having earned a Ph.D. in Biblical Counseling.

**Instructor Certification holders may be authorized to offer Tier 1: Certification in Biblical Counseling and Tier 2: Advanced Biblical Counseling training in a local church or another satellite location under the oversight and approval of The Walsh Counseling Center.

Certification Renewal

Certification will be granted upon the successful completion of the requirements for a particular tier. Initial certification is valid for one year.

Certification is valid for one year. Certification may be renewed by:
 

  1. Payment of the $50.00 annual membership fee
  2. Successful completion of continuing education as set forth by the faculty
  3. Continued agreement with both the Document of Faith and Practice and the Document of counseling methodology
Instructors

Dr. John Babler picture

Dr. John Babler

Dr. Babler graduated with his Ph.D. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1995. He currently holds the Warren C. Hultgren Chair of Ministerial Counseling and teaches at Southwestern as a Professor of Counseling. He is the co-author of Counseling by the Book: Revised and Expanded Edition and Biblical Crisis Counseling: Not If, But When.

More information on John Babler

Dr. Frank Catanzaro

Dr. Catanzaro graduated with his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in 1994. He currently teaches at Southwestern as a Professor of Counseling and Adult Education as well as the Associate Dean of the Doctor of Educational Ministry Degree Program. 

More information on Frank Catanzero

Dr. John Babler picture

Dr. Dale Johnson

Dr. Johnson graduated with his Ph.D. in Biblical Counseling from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2014. He has been a part of the Biblical Counseling department in the Terry School of Church and Family Ministries full-time at Southwestern since the fall semester of 2014. He recently presented a paper at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society entitled “Hubmaier and Conversion Therapy: A Case for Religious Liberty in Counseling.”

More information on Dale Johnson

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For more information, contact the Walsh Counseling Center at 817.923.1921 x6315 or e-mail Samuel Stephens at sstephens@swbts.edu.

Established 1908 Fort Worth, Texas