Are you interested in developing or improving your counseling skills? Are you interested in learning how to accurately handle and apply the Word of God as you provide counsel? In addition to graduate degrees in Biblical Counseling, Southwestern Seminary also offers training that leads to Certification in Biblical Counseling. Since 2007, we have offered our Certification in Biblical Counseling training to a diverse group including laypeople, pastors and other church leaders.

Our certification program consists of a total of 7 weekends (Friday evening and Saturday) of training that are typically completed in a 12-month period. The seven weekends are divided into 3 Phases. One can begin in the Fall or Spring. Phase 1 consists of three weekends of training. Upon completion of Phase 1, students will move to Phase 2 (also three weekends). Upon completion of Phase 2, students will then attend Phase 3 (one weekend). In addition to attending the seven weekends, students will read two books as well as complete an open book, take home exam before the final weekend of training. Those who complete the requirements will need to indicate agreement with the Document of Faith and Practice and the Document of Counseling Methodology before receiving their certification.

The classes will be held at the Riley Center on the campus of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Hotel rooms are available at the conference center for those who desire them. For more information about lodging, please view the Riley Center website.

For more details about the topics covered in the training seminars see below:

Fall 2017 Training Seminar Schedule
Phase 1 Training:     8/11-12, 9/29-30, and 10/27-28
Phase 2 Training:    8/11-12, 9/29-30, and 10/27-28
Phase 3 Training:    8/11-12
Advanced Training: 8/11-12


Please contact Dr. John Babler at if you have questions about the Certification Program.

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Membership 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.
Advanced Training Opportunities:

After achieving our Certification in Biblical Counseling, opportunities for advanced training and certification are provided. For more information click here.


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

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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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Please contact Dr. John Babler at if you have questions about the Certification Program.