So you know that God has called you to counsel, and it is time to consider your options. Where do you see yourself in 3 years? Is it in a private practice, for a church or ministry, or do you see yourself working in state programs and institutions?
If you know that you will be setting up your own practice or ministry, or working for someone else’s ministry, then receiving training, degrees, and licensure through In His Image Counseling and Training would be an excellent choice. Your cost will be less than 1/4 the cost of a college program, you will have a governing institution in which to be accountable (National Christian Counselors Association), you will learn a counseling model that is 96% successful, and you can be done with your licensure work in 2 years or less. This allows you to go onto your Masters and Advanced Board Certification in the area of your choice (e.g. Marriage and Family Therapy, Adolescent Therapy, Crisis intervention, etc.).
Also, during Phase 1 you will begin your practicum by administering and interpreting the Arno Profile System (APS) to ten individuals. This is the most in depth and Christ centered temperament analysis available, providing greater insight into the root of issues that could otherwise take 5-10 sessions to identify. This will allow you to touch peoples lives through the interperting of their APS, until you are licensed and able to counsel and set up a fee schedule.
If you believe you may have to or want to work in a secular setting, or in a setting that is going to require a degree from a state accredited college, than a program like In His Image Counseling and Training will not work for you. You would need to look into a Christian Liberal Arts College. If you want distance learning you still may be able to do that, because there are many colleges now that offer that option in their counseling departments. Some of those Christian Liberal Arts Colleges are Liberty University, Regent University, and Bethany College to name a few. The cost is greater, the time is longer, but you will finish with a degree from a state accredited college, and be able to sit for a state license. There is also government financial aid, which will consist of grants and loans. Most people have to get loans which have to be figured into your future debt. Many are looking for the fun of the “college experience”. You want to consider how important that is to you, as well.
One other consideration is that if you are considering working for a church, you want to know that some look for only Counselors trained in the Word, not secular psychology, like our program. But, some also look for state degreed and licensed counselors. With the program at In His Image Counseling and Training, you will recieve your BA degree through Calvary Theological Seminary, and your MA and PhD through one of the colleges, of your choice, affiliated with our program.
These colleges are accredited by the top Christian accreditation agencies as Bible Colleges and Seminaries, not Liberal Arts colleges. You will be a Christian Counselor, agent of the Church not of the state. Your training will give you a deep understanding of human behavior, insight on how to be led by the Spirit of God while counseling the hurting, and wisdom in applying the Word of God in ways that lead your clients to victory.
Your licensure and credentials as an “agent of the church” allow you to legally counsel and set up a fee schedule even as your secular counterparts do. Also, there is lobbying going on in legislation to initiate the recognition of the insurance companies for the work of Pastoral and Christian Counselors. Success in this area would allow insurance reimbursements for our clients all the time. Presently, there are still options available that allow reimbursement for Pastoral Counseling.
This article is meant to give you a clear picture of your options, and the wisdom to make a great choice. If you want to know more about the program at In His Image Counseling, please feel free to call or write us at 813-684-7927, or firstname.lastname@example.org