Counseling Degree Program FAQ

How long have you been training counselors?
In His Image: Institute of Counseling and Training is a Certified Academic Institution of the National Christian Counselors Association (N.C.C.A.). We have partnered together with the N.C.C.A. to provide you an excellent education, and NCCA licensure, in a distance learning format, with personal supervision. The N.C.C.A. has been training Christian counselors for over 30 years. We have trained ministers, lay counselors, Pastors, and professional counselors throughout the United States and in other countries around the world.
Is this Counseling Degree Program accredited?
The N.C.C.A. is fully accredited by the Accrediting Commission International (A.C.I.) as a comprehensive Accredited Member. For more information regarding N.C.C.A.'s standing, please contact A.C.I. at: 501-882-3361, or The N.C.C.A. is also fully accredited by National Private Schools Association Group (NPSAG). For information regarding N.C.C.A.'s standing, please contact NPSAG at: 800-840-0939, or The N.C.C.A is also a member of the Better Business Bureau of West Florida. You may contact them at:
What is the difference between an N.C.C.A license to counsel and a state license to counsel?

Each individual must decide if he or she wants to be an agent of the state or an agent of the Church. If you have a divine call on your life to counsel and minister to the hurting, then a state license may put many prohibitions on such a ministry.

The N.C.C.A. Licensing Program is not a state license. In fact, it is distinctly different. Most states have regulatory laws governing the practice of psychology. Many of them also legislate the practice of general counseling. These laws vary from state to state. For example, some states have a counselor category called "Licensed Professional Counselor". These states prohibit N.C.C.A. graduates from using the initials "L.P.C." Their title must be spelled out, i.e., "N.C.C.A. Licensed Pastoral Counselor" or "N.C.C.A. Licensed Clinical Christian Counselor." This ensures that the N.C.C.A. counselor is operating within legal and ethical standards.

State regulatory laws help to protect the public and ensure professionalism with the counseling profession. The

The State License or N.C.C.A. License?

N.C.C.A. strives to attain a similar goal with the Christian community and, at the same time, operate so as to avoid infringing upon state regulations.

The state and federal governments also have jurisdictional boundaries. They cannot pass laws that prevent the church from fulfilling its purpose and ministering to humanity's needs. The state recognizes that counseling is one of the responsibilities of the Church and its clergy. For this reason, the state does not (and must never be permitted to) interfere with the church ministry of counseling.

The major difference between state-licensed professional counselors and Pastoral or Christian counselors, who are licensed by the N.C.C.A. and under the authority of the Church (Body of Christ), is clear and well-defined. Counselors who have been licensed by the state are held to strict ethical standards which mandate an individual's right to be free from religious interference. The state licensed professional counselor is usually forbidden to pray, read or refer to the Holy Scriptures in their counseling sessions. The only time a state licensed counselor can involve religious (Christian) principles, morals, activities, etc., is if the counselee initiates or requests counsel in this area. Even then, the state licensed professional counselor could integrate secular methods such as psychotherapy in their counseling approach.

Opposite from that, Pastoral counselors are required to pray, share their faith, read the Holy Scriptures, etc. The fact that Pastoral counselors and Christian counselors do these things creates a clear distinction. We do not do the things that state licensed counselors do in counseling and they do not do the things we Pastoral counselors do.

As you can readily see, the state governs secular counselors and the Church is responsible to set standards and govern ministers who have devoted their lives to the ministry and to Pastoral counseling.

None of this is to say that the Christian counselor is not permitted to request fees and receive remuneration for the services they render. In fact, the Bible says, "a workman is worth his wages." Minister's do and should receive support from those to whom he/she ministers. State law is in agreement with this statement and allows for the Minister of Counseling (Licensed Pastoral Counselor, or the Licensed Christian Counselor) to charge for their services.

What are the benefits of the Arno Profile System (A.P.S.)?
The Christian counselor administers a questionnaire, of 54 questions, which takes fewer than ten minutes for the counselee to complete. After administering the Arno Profile System report (APS), the counselor will send the responses to our office, and receive back a 7 to 8 page computer analysis (information on APS costs is found on Policies and Procedures page). Four different types of reports can be provided: Clinical, Personal, Personnel, or Youth. N.C.C.A. Licensed Counselors also qualify to purchase the APS software and then are able to generate APS' from their own office.The questionnaire measures the counselee's needs, natural traits, strengths, and weaknesses according to temperament. The computerized APS report provides the Christian counselor with in-depth information and the best way to counsel the individual. The system enables a qualified counselor to identify the counselee's root problem, faster and more accurately.The temperament identification provided in the APS report identifies three separate human interactions; Inclusion (social orientation/intellectual energies), Control (decision making abilities or inabilities) and Affection (interaction in deep relationships). It also identifies each one of these interactions in two ways, expressed (what we say we want) and wanted (what we really want).Traditionally, there have been four temperaments, Melancholy, Sanguine, Choleric and Phlegmatic. In 1981, Drs. Richard and Phyllis Arno established the N.C.C.A. and began 7 years of research, with over 5,000 individuals in the counseling setting. Their purpose was to develop a therapeutic procedure based on scripture. While researching the temperament models available they identified a fifth temperament. The fifth temperament is called the Supine.

The Supine has similar traits to the Sanguine, and the Melancholy, but does not fully represent either of those temperaments. The Supine identification describes a person who, by their very nature, is a servant and feels that they have little or no value. They have a gentle spirit, and are very social only when they know they have been accepted.

The APS identifies a person's temperament in each one of the three interaction areas mentioned earlier. For example, a person may be a Sanguine in the Inclusion (social) area, a Melancholy in control (decision making) area and Supine in Affection (deep relationships) area.

The APS does not measure a person's behavior, like a personality test does, which can change throughout the persons life. Rather, it identifies a person's inborn temperament. Psalm 139 speaks of it as our "inmost being". Who God created us to be (temperament) and who we become (personality) through learned behavior, can be vastly different, and from that comes great inter/intra-personal conflict. We need to find out who God has created us to be "in our inmost being", and who we are in Christ, the new nature. By doing this we can learn to operate out of the temperament strengths God has given us, and learn to walk in the Spirit as we realize who we are in Christ, thereby overcoming our temperament weaknesses.

Our temperament strengths were given to us by God, the temperament weakness' come from our sin nature. Both lead us to God, because without God even our strengths will turn to sin (pride). Because we each have different temperament tendencies, we each have different areas of life (sin) in which we need to overcome. A well trained Christian Counselor, using the APS report and the Word of God, is equipped to help a client to get at the root of their struggles. The client will gain an understanding and appreciation of the strengths God has given them; they will gain a deeper understanding God's love for them and who they are in Christ, in order to overcome their temperament weaknesses (sin); and they will have a greater understanding of their needs, specific to their unique temperament, and how to meet those needs in godly ways.

The APS, which was developed and continues to be taught by Drs. Richard and Phyllis Arno, is inexpensive and will save the counselor/counselee about eight counseling sessions because it targets the hidden problems immediately. Administering the APS is the first step in the counseling model that is taught by In His Image Institute of Counseling and Training.

As a licensure candidate, you will learn the Arno Profile System (A.P.S.) for counseling. This easy to learn counseling technique has achieved a success rate of over 90%. Thousands of lay counselors, professional counselors, pastors, and pastoral counselors throughout the United States and in nine foreign countries are currently using the A.P.S.

Is the Arno Profile System (A.P.S.) taught in all training programs?
Who would the Counseling Degree program benefit?
  • Christians who want to be better equipped to minister to those who need counsel.
  • Pastors who want to learn how to counsel members of their community who are experiencing problems.
  • Christians who want to be credentialed and enter the field of counseling as a part-time or full-time career/ministry.
  • Professional counselors who want to become A.P.S. certified and learn a biblical counseling model with proven success.
How will I benefit from your Counseling Degree Program?

Those considering becoming counselors often ask about the benefits of the training and obtaining certification and licensing from the National Christian Counselor's Association (N.C.C.A). The training you will receive teaches a strong Christ-Centered Therapy model, that has a 96% success rate. We teach a step-by-step model that gives the counselor and client confidence in the counseling process, leading to the high success rate. You will not only be fully equipped in training, but also in credentials. You will have the degrees needed to be recognized as a professional in your community.

In addition, we provide many options for receiving your ministerial credentials. Having these credentials qualifies you as a minister of counseling which allows you to open an independent counseling ministry in your community under the authority of the national church organization you choose. We have relationship with credentialing organizations, that represent the body of Christ as a whole, not only one denomination. But, we also are connected to ones that are denominational. It is each students choice who they want carrying their ministerial credentials.

Having N.C.C.A. credentials, guarantees that you will be recognized within your community as a qualified Christian/Pastoral counselor. The community can be assured that your credentials are authentic and current because you will be under the discipline of professional review boards that are organized on the national and state levels by the N.C.C.A.

Other benefits available to N.C.C.A. members include professional liability insurance and networking with other counselors. The N.C.C.A. has annual educational conferences that are tailored to the needs of those in the specific Ministry of Counseling. This includes resources for further training, ministry and business development; insight into legal matters, spiritual development, a challenging of your vision to become all God has for you in your ministry, spiritual refreshing, relaxation, and much more.

Can I legally operate as a Life Coach as well as a Counselor with this training?
Yes, there are no present laws governing Life Coaching and Consulting. There are laws governing the operating of a business. Therefore, you must become familiar with the laws of your state for operating as a sole proprietor, or other type of business.
Can I legally counsel with only a Life Coaching or Consultant training?
No, the government governs the practice of Counseling. You must be either an agent of the state, with state license, or agent of the Church with ministerial credentials to provide counseling legally. Counseling is the working with individuals on their problems and personal issues. Life Coaching and Consulting work with people to help set goals to go forward, and help identify barriers to getting there, and answers for removing those barriers. Counseling will always include some Life Coaching, but Life Coaching and Consulting will not include counseling. If you want to counsel, you will want to complete the Counseling Training.
Do you accept state education loans?
No, although there are many programs such as the Veterans Education program that will pay for our program for the student. Please contact us for more information.
Do you have payment plans?
Yes, please call for more information.
Do you have any discounts for groups taking the program at the same time?
For groups of 4 or more, in the distance learning program, we discount the enrollment fee for all except one person.