The certificate in biblical counseling at Southwestern Seminary furthers the mission of the Terry School of Educational Ministries to equip Great Commission ministers to biblically counsel with excellence. The certificate program provides an introduction to biblical counseling for both pastors and church members. Participants will learn biblical and theological bases for counseling with an emphasis on practical skills for a variety of ministry contexts. Our aim is to glorify God by helping people to change through the gospel, thereby strengthening the church.
The certificate in biblical counseling is offered over two semesters at the adult education level. Students will complete 3 weekends for Part 1 training and an additional 3 weekends for Part 2 training, 6 weekends total over 2 semesters. Each training weekend will be scheduled on a Saturday from 8:30a.m. to 5:30p.m. CST.
Students may begin Part 1 in either the fall or spring semester and take Part 2 in the following semester.
Students may complete the certificate in biblical counseling online. Students participating virtually must attend each session live.
Part 1: CNSLN 1003 Introduction to Biblical Counseling (first semester)
Training is held from 8:30a.m. to 5:30p.m. each Saturday.
Part 2: CNSLN 1013 Practical Applications for Biblical Counseling (second semester)
Training is held from 8:30a.m. to 5:30p.m. each Saturday.
The certificate in biblical counseling costs $300 per semester, totaling $600. Additional costs include the standard application fee and background check fee for new incoming students. Graduation fees may also apply.
Those interested in the certificate in biblical counseling may begin the application process at www.swbts.edu/applynow. Applicants will need to select the “Adult Education” application and supply the requested information.
Application requirements include a background check and a church endorsement.
For specific inquiries regarding the application process, please contact the Office of Admissions at 817-921-8500 or Admissions@sbwts.edu.
The biblical counseling certificate serves as a formal academic credential in the area of biblical counseling and prepares students for additional training in biblical counseling. Participants in the biblical counseling certificate program serve in a variety of contexts, including the local church, parachurch ministries, and non-profit organizations. Whether someone serves formally or informally, such as pastors, Bible teachers or small group leaders, the biblical counseling certificate provides basic knowledge and skills to strengthen ministry skills in helping people with various struggles.
Each semester students will read one book, complete a reading response for the book, and take a final exam. Upon successfully passing the final exam in the second semester, students will receive the certificate in biblical counseling.
The certificate in biblical counseling covers a broad scope of issues. Specific counseling topics include heart change, marriage and family counseling, counseling men, women, and children, abuse, addictions and substance abuse, grief and crisis counseling, counseling in the church, cultural issues, legal issues, ethical issues, medications, depression, and more.
No, the biblical counseling certificate will not transfer to a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Southwestern offers further training in biblical counseling at the master’s level through the Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling.
The training cost totals $600 for both semesters. The book costs each semester will be around $20, or $40 total. Other fees include the application fee and background check fee.
Yes, Southwestern Seminary functions as a Certified Training Center (CTC) with ACBC. The certificate in biblical counseling at Southwestern satisfies the Phase 1 Fundamentals Training Course required for the ACBC certification process. Additionally, students will receive the necessary training to complete the Phase 2 Theology and Counseling Exams required by ACBC. The certificate in biblical counseling at Southwestern enables one to earn a certificate from Southwestern while independently pursuing certification with ACBC. Additional information about the ACBC certification process may be found at https://biblicalcounseling.com/training/.
Previous counseling or academic experience is not required.
Dr. Cheryl Bell is the wife of one, the mother of four, and Nana to three precious grandchildren. These are her most treasured relationships and greatest responsibilities. After raising and educating her children, God called Dr. Bell to return to school where she completed her Ph.D. in biblical counseling with a minor in women’s studies at Southwestern Seminary. Her dissertation addressed the issue of child sexual abuse. She currently teaches biblical counseling at Southwestern and counsels women who are struggling to meet life’s challenges. She loves to see God transform His children’s lives by His Spirit and through His Word in the classroom and in the counseling room.
Dr. Jon Okinaga graduated with his Ph.D. in biblical counseling from Southwestern Seminary. He is passionate about helping those who struggle with substance abuse and has over a decade of counseling experience serving in various ministry capacities. Dr. Okinaga is a member of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors and is now working toward becoming a fellow. He is married to Nicole and is the father of James.
Dr. Lilly Park has taught counseling and women’s courses at various Christian colleges and seminaries since 2011. Her ministry experience includes serving as a staff counselor at a ministry that cares for young moms, serving on church staff, and training church members in biblical counseling. Dr. Park has been a member of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors since 2007 and serves as a council member of the Biblical Counseling Coalition. Her desire is to help students think critically about life experiences and struggles from a Christ-centered perspective that is based on the authority of Scripture with the aim of loving God and loving others.
Please contact CounselingCenter@swbts.edu or call 817-921-8690 if you have any questions concerning the certificate in biblical counseling.
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