Category: Becoming a Christian Counselor

Pursuing My Options for Training

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

Is God Calling You to be a Christian Counselor?

There is much to consider when pursuing a career or ministry in Christian Counseling.   First and foremost, is asking the Lord if this is His plan for your life.  One way to confirm that is in the mouth of two or three witnesses.   Most counselors have been told all their life they have a gift for helping others, or listening to others.  Although, we do not take man’s word over God’s will,  we understand that God has placed His plan in our heart since before we were born.  Therefore, we can recognize the signs and evidence of that plan working out all through our life. The plan becomes very apparent to us and others as we tune in to what the Holy Spirit has been revealing through the years.

The Holy Spirit will reveal gifts, tendencies, a passion, strengths and weaknesses.   This will happen from a very young age.  As we get older there are several tests that confirm to us what those gifts are.   One of those tests is the APS (Arno Profile System) that we use at In His Image Counseling.   It will reveal the strengths, weaknesses and tendencies, as well as bring clarity to the gifts resident in you.  There are also spiritual gift tests used in churches and several online that pinpoint the specific gift God has place in you to be used in the Kingdom of God.   I would suggest that you do both of these first if you do not have a clear picture of God’s will for you in this area.

Prayer and listening to God is the most important way to confirm His will for you.  We often talk alot and do not listen to the Lord.  Make sure you are taking 5-15 minutes after prayer or Bible Study to just let the Lord know you are there and ready to be still and listen.   If you do not know how to do this refer to the article “Listening to the Lord”.    Pray over your  passion for a period of time, asking God to guide you and show you what doors are open to you, and confirming that open door with a peace in your spirit.    Then step out in faith knowing that God will complete that which He has started in you.  That means he will provide the finances, the time, and the mental strength to complete your studies.

Be blessed in all that He has called you to!

To have your personal temperament analysis run, contact us at 813-684-7927, or 817-337-8977.

Listening to God

We hear much about praying and talking to God these days.   But, how much do we hear about listening to God.   What does that mean?  How does that look?   Does He really talk to us?

As I write this I must grin.   Because, I know so well that He sure does talk to us.  Not only does He, but He wants to even more.   He wants to talk with us, and share His heart, His thoughts, and His love with us.

So how do I hear from God?   It is great you asked.   A good way to start hearing from the Lord is to spend time reading His Word first, in a quiet place.  Then set 5-15 minutes aside to listen to Him.  Have a notebook and pen in front of you, and start with letting God (and yourself) know that you want to be still and wait on Him. Thank Him that you will hear His voice only.   I often say, “speak to me Lord”, and wait, knowing that He will answer.

At first you may hear “I love you..”   “You are doing great”, or “I have been waiting for you”.  Yes, God has been waiting for you.  He loves to communicate with us.   Keep your mind on a visual of Him, or on the Word you just read and let Him give you deeper insight as you ponder it.

Do not just sit with your mind blank and accept anything that comes in.  Remember, you have an enemy.  His name is Satan, and his demons.   They are certainly able to speak to us as well.  But, you have the witness of the Holy Spirit and the Word to help you be sure of God’s voice.  Also, if you ask to hear from  God and His Holy Spirit, you can trust that God will protect you from any other spirit.   If what you hear does not line up with the Word, than it is not God.  It could just be your flesh, also.   Cast it down, do not be alarmed or moved by it in any way.   Then put your mind back on Him, or even say verbally again, “thank you Lord that I hear your voice only”.  Sometimes it takes time for your flesh to learn to be still in God’s presence.

An important point to remember is that, as Christians,  we have God’s Spirit living in us.  It is through Him, the Holy Spirit, that God speaks to us.   The Spirit talks to our spirit, which feeds the information to our minds.  When you hear God you can often sense it coming from inside.  Although, there are times you just look around and are sure you just heard an audible voice.  Therefore, when making a decision about something, do not depend on words you hear in your mind only.  Confirm that those words are from Him, by making sure it lines up with the Word and then by making sure you have peace in your spirit about it.

You are practicing His presence.   It takes time, commitment, and patience.  Just as it does when you have to give yourself to someone else, to listen to them and really understand what they are saying rather than just wanting to say what you want to say.  This is even more awesome, because He is God, the Almighty God and He loves you so much.  One word from God can change your whole life!    Enjoy your time with Him!

Helpful Resources

Practicing the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence

The Master is Calling by Lynn Hammond

Call us if you need want more information about our ministry.

813-684-7927, or 817-337-8977