ACBC Certification

Grace Community Church is proud to be an ACBC Certified Training Center. All certified institutions have been vetted and approved by ACBC to offer all of the training, reading, and observations required for Phase 1 of ACBC Certification. Grace is also approved to offer both Phase 2  and Phase 3   allowing us to walk you through the entire certification program at one location. 

At Grace Church, Phase 1 of the ACBC certification can be completed in a little as 12 months through three individual twelve-week courses. 

These courses offer comprehensive biblical counseling training required for ACBC certification. The program is rigorous, but attainable by even the busiest student. The biblical counseling certification process is broken down into the following phases:

Who can be certified?

All Christians who desire to be trained in their biblical responsibility to be disciple-makers.

What is ACBC?

In 1976 Dr. Jay Adams founded the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors (NANC) with the desire that the organization and its rigorous certification process would become the backbone of the biblical counseling movement. Today the organization is known as the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC) and is the oldest and largest biblical counseling organization in the world. The training and certification of ACBC counselors is recognized worldwide with over 1,700 counselors in 30 countries, with these numbers growing yearly.  ACBC training takes place in over 60 certified training centers ranging from seminaries to churches.

Why biblical counseling?

Every Christian is already a counselor, because every Christian interacts with people who are struggling in a fallen world, whether at home, church, or work. What you say to those people is counseling, so the question is: what are you using to counsel? Are you diagnosing problems based on the world’s understanding of morality? Or are you using your Bible?

Biblical counseling is not just something for the high and lofty—it's necessary for every Christian so that they are able to approach sin and trials in their lives and others’ with sound doctrine and a loving heart.


Phase 1 - Basic Training

Registrations opens one month before each course begins.

Discipleship Counseling Level 1

September 5th – Nov. 28th

This course is the first part of Phase 1 and covers the theological basis of counseling, the character of the counselor, a comparison of counseling philosophies, the biblical process of change, the role of repentance, and the process of handling crisis situations. Case studies are an integral part of the curriculum of this class. Topics include:

I. Orientation to and Dynamics of Biblical Counseling

A. Basics of Biblical Counseling?

  1. The Need for Biblical Counseling
  2. The Definition and Goal of Biblical Counseling
  3. Progressive Sanctification
  4. Process of Biblical Change
  5. Qualifications of a Biblical Counselor
  6. Getting to Heart Issues

B. Key Elements in Biblical Counseling

  1. Gathering Data
  2. Discerning Problems Biblically
  3. Establishing Involvement with Counselees
  4. Giving Hope
  5. Providing Instruction
  6. Giving Homework

II. Critical Reflection on Various Theories in Counseling

A. Secular and Integration Theories
B. What Makes Biblical Counseling Biblical?

Discipleship Counseling Level 2

January 9 – April 3

Focused on the specific realm of marriage and the family, this course covers the purpose of marriage, divorce and remarriage, roles of the husband and wife, physical intimacy within marriage, communication and conflict resolution, stewardship of time and priorities, and parenting. Case studies are an integral part of the curriculum of this class. Topics include: 

III. Husband and Wife Relationships

A. God’s Purpose for Marriage
B. Roles of the Husband and Wife
C. Communication
D. Biblical Sexuality

IV. Parent and Child Relationships

A. Goal of Parenting
B. Parental Instruction
C. Parental Discipline

Discipleship Counseling Level 3

April 17 – July 3

This course is designed for those who desire to pursue a more in-depth understanding of discipleship counseling. Topics include anger, worry, fear, depression, medical issues, learning disorders, eating problems, decision making and abuse, among others. Case studies are an integral part of the curriculum for this class. Topics include:

VI. Medical Issues in Counseling

A. Physical Illness and Biblical Counseling
B. Psychotropic Drugs and Biblical Counseling

VII. Case Studies

A. Total Casebook, Role Plays, and other Practice Case Discussions


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