Certificate Programs

About Our Training

The Biblical Counseling Institute offers an in-depth training program leading to a nationally recognized Certificate in Biblical Counseling. The program is open to pastors, vocational ministers, teachers, professional counselors, and lay leaders within the church.

The Certificate in Biblical Counseling is offered jointly by the Biblical Counseling Institute and the Riley Center at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

BCI believes and teaches that God’s Word is fully sufficient for the counseling task and superior to anything the world can offer. Our position is based in the following (and other) passages of Scripture:

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

“…His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue” (2 Pet. 1:3).

The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul
The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple
The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart
The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes
The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever
The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether
(Psa. 19:7-9).

Certification classes are offered throughout the U.S. and abroad. We also offer course online through distance learning (see Distance Learning section of our website).

Our focus and objective is the preparation of the Body of Christ for the ministry of reconciliation, restoration, and evangelism. To accomplish this goal, the BCI program is taught in three levels:

Level I

Level I deals first with the theological basis for biblical counseling through an examination of Scriptures that uphold the sufficiency and superiority of God’s Word. Also addressed is the spiritual preparation of the counselor and his/her readiness to assume the counseling task.

Finally, this level provides an Introduction to Biblical Counseling by building a structure of biblical care including the use of Scripture in specific counseling situations, the role of the Holy Spirit, the process of transformation, and the purpose and power of repentance. The student receives an overview of counseling individuals, couples, and families with attention given to the actual application of biblical counseling technique. The following courses are required to complete Level I:

BC100–Introduction to Biblical Counseling

Introduction to Biblical Counseling is the first required course for all students. The course introduces the student to basic concepts of Biblical counseling including problem identification, the development of biblical language, counseling planning, and counseling techniques and intervention with individuals and families in crisis.

Students are trained in the direct application of Scripture to specific problem areas, the process of repentance and restoration, the workings of the Holy Spirit in the counseling process, and the application of resources within the Body of Christ as an element of healing. Students also engage in self-evaluation, discerning their spiritual readiness for this type of ministry.

BC101–Biblical Counseling with Individuals

Biblical Counseling with Individuals expands upon the basic principles offered in the introductory class. With a focus on individual spiritual, emotional, relational, and behavioral concerns, the student is trained in specific techniques of care in a one-to-one relationship of discipleship, education, and counseling.

Common issues of depression, anxiety, relationship difficulties, grief, anger, and addiction are highlighted with ongoing training in problem definition and treatment strategies. Specific case scenarios are offered along with role-play opportunities, helping the student practice the application of Scripture and biblical principles in an ongoing relationship of growth and development.

BC102–Biblical Counseling with Couples and Families

Biblical Counseling with Couples and Families trains the counselor to intervene with relationship problems present in pre-marital, marital, and other family relationships. A system of pre-marital counseling is taught along with techniques for addressing mild to severe marital conflict.

Critical issues such as marital preparedness, biblical structure for marriage, communication, and intimacy are explored along with methods for addressing crises such as infidelity and divorce.

As with all course work, specific case consultation is provided along with role-play opportunities and supervision of technique using biblical principles as the cornerstone of all intervention.

Level II

Level II covers the Practice of Biblical Counseling and provides insight into specific issues faced in counseling. Topics addressed include dealing with:

  • Depression, Anxiety, Grief, and Anger
  • Unforgiveness and Bitterness
  • Sexual Sin
  • Alcohol and Drug Problems
  • Marriage and Family Problems and Pre-Marriage Counseling
  • Child and Adolescent Issues
  • Divorce and Blended Families

The following courses are required to complete Level II:

BC200–Biblical Counseling with Children and Adolescents

Biblical Counseling with Children and Adolescents offers focused, specialized training for helping children and teens between the ages of six (6) and eighteen (18). The student is given specialized training on matters of childhood development and the unique challenges that come with this population.

Much emphasis is given to the process of helping parents in the management of such issues within a Biblical framework for the home. As with all courses, the student will have the opportunity for case presentation, role-play, and supervision with specific case material.

BC201–Evangelism in Biblical Counseling

Biblical Counseling is not only a tool for restoration and discipleship, but can be a productive area of evangelism for the biblical counselor. In this course, the student will learn specific methods of spiritual inquiry, testimony, and Scriptural texts relevant in leading the counselee into an initial relationship with Jesus Christ.

BC202–Biblical Crisis Ministry

This course addresses the response of the Body in crisis situations. Counseling approaches for use in natural disasters (hurricanes, floods, earthquake, etc.), crime situations (homicide, sexual assault, terrorist activity, etc.), and personal crisis situations (sudden loss, abuse, etc.) are taught.

This course is especially useful for Chaplains, disaster relief workers, crisis first responders, police and fire staff and ministers, or anyone dealing with unique and sudden trauma. BCI also offers a Sub-Certification in Biblical Crisis Ministry available with additional coursework.

Level III

Level III provides an opportunity for participants to apply the knowledge and skills gained in levels I and II. The successful completion of all three levels leads to a Certification in Biblical Counseling. In this final level of training, students receive supervision and consultation for specific case situations and must complete the following courses:

BC300–Advanced Biblical Counseling Case Seminar

This course is devoted entirely to the presentation of individual cases from the churches and practices of the participants. Each student will have the opportunity to present one case in detail and receive detailed analysis of his/her treatment process from the beginning assessment through the termination of counseling.

BC301–Biblical Counseling with Complicated and Chronic Cases

This course provides the student experience in working with chronic and severe cases requiring specialized care and expanded resources. Situations such as severe depression, suicidal threat, addiction, psychosis, eating disorders, etc. are explored with emphasis on case study, supervision of actual cases, and role-play.

This course will also train the professional counselor and pastor to interface with medical doctors, hospitals, treatment programs, and church resources to complete the continuum of care necessary to provide support and resolution for long-standing issues.


Additional Requirements:

BC Practicum And Supervision


Each student must arrange a counseling practicum in their local area through a church, counseling center, or other ministry. BCI will assist the student in making these arrangements. The practicum will consist of 20 hours of counseling observation and participation, under the supervision of the BCI faculty.


Each student must complete four (4) hours of supervision for each of the three levels (12 hours total), prior to graduation from the program. The supervision should be from a BCI faculty member or someone approved by the faculty prior to the initiation of supervision. This important component of the training ensures the counselor’s progress and readiness for certification by addressing actual case situations ongoing in their areas of ministry.


Upon the completion of the Level III training and supervision, each student must take and pass a written examination, demonstrating mastery of the core theology and practice of biblical counseling.


Upon the completion of the Level III training, all students must submit a letter of endorsement from his/her pastor or church leader, evidence of church affiliation, and a signed profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Required Reading

The Bible (as assigned)

Wonderful Counselor: A Return To Truth

Ab Abercrombie and Kerry Skinner


Ab Abercrombie and Karen Abercrombie

Recommended Reading

Several other books will be recommended including texts by Dr. Jay Adams, Dr. Wayne Mack, Dr. John MacArthur, Dr. John Babler, Dr. David Penley, Dr. Henry Brandt, and others.

Information and Registration

Dr. Ab Abercrombie, Director

Biblical Counseling Institute
325 Lennox Square
Fairhope, AL 36532

(251) 401-0293

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