Biblical Counseling Certificate Program at Southeastern Seminary

* * * Anticipated Launch Spring 2019 * * *

To receive e-mails when the program goes live e-mail Eli Byrd at

We are very excited about the biblical counseling certificate program at Southeastern Seminary [direct link… coming soon]. Our desire is to see churches care for their members and reach their communities through the ministry of counseling.

First and foremost there is the big question, “What will this certificate allow me to DO?” Southeastern’s fully online certificate in Biblical Counseling equips you to lead or oversee a ministry of peer-based support groups and marriage mentoring in your church.

You will learn to oversee 2 macro ministries that address a variety of subjects. These two macro ministries allow for 15 micro ministries. The support-recovery group model has curriculum for 5 emotional struggles (anger, anxiety, depression, grief and trauma) and 5 addictive struggles (substance abuse, codependency, sexual addiction, sexual betrayal and eating disorders). The marriage and pre-marital curriculum address 5 key areas of marital preparation and enrichment (foundations, communication, finances, decision making and intimacy).

You’ll notice we say “peer support groups” and “marriage mentoring.” The liability that church’s fear when considering counseling-related ministries emerges when lay ministries represent themselves as being more professional than they are. We teach you how accurately represent these ministries at each level of promotion and connection so that every participant has an accurate understanding of the type of care they will be receiving. When you represent a ministry accurately and use that ministry for its designed purpose, you greatly limit the factors and create liability.

Lay counseling ministries often also face a ratio problem. One-on-one care by a church’s best volunteers in crisis situations, which often require weeks (if not months) of attention, is a difficult sacrifice of volunteer hours for most churches to make. Because our program is built around recovery-support group and highly replicable mentoring models, the volunteer-counselor-to-participant-counselee ratio is closer to the small group discipleship model most churches are already using.

Our program is built on four key convictions:

  1. The Necessity of the Gospel – The brokenness we face requires more than better beliefs and new habits; although these are helpful, as we live between the “already” and “not yet” phases of redemption. But the effects of the Fall require the hope of the gospel. Throughout the certificate program you will be unpacking the implications of the gospel for the struggles of life.
  2. The Centrality of the Local Church – Lasting change is best facilitated in healthy relationships. God gave us the church because change is a community project. This certificate program is designed to equip you to catalyze, launch, and lead a peer-support and mentoring level counseling ministry in your church.
  3. The Primacy Scripture – While Scripture is not an encyclopedia for life struggles, it does reveal God’s design for life and relationships. Therefore, the Bible gives us our standard of health that we aspire to help others reach. While this certificate program does draw from best-practice clinical research and experienced counselors observations, we strive to give Scripture the first and last word on every subject.
  4. A Balanced View of Sin and Suffering – We sin and we are sinned against. We are depraved and we are deprived. These two realities do not compete for God’s attention. He intends to minister to both. This certificate program aim to equip you to discern whether a given struggle is more rooted in an individual’s sin or suffering and to equip you to minister to both in a way that represents God’s heart for that person.

Our curriculum is comprised of seven classes; each class is comprised of 30, 20 minute lectures (10 hours of lecture per class). Each 20 minute lecture contains a quiz at the halfway point and conclusion of the class. There are no papers to write or final exams to take. You can click on the title of a class to see the course lay out, assigned reading, and suggested-supplemental reading for that class.

Counseling Theory and Concepts: (2 Units)

1. An Introduction to Biblical Counseling in the Local Church (Tate Cockrell and Brad Hambrick)
2. Counseling Parents and Children (Kristin Kellan)

Programmatic Core: (3 Units)

3. Counseling Emotions (Brad Hambrick)
4. Counseling Addictions (Brad Hambrick)
5. Marriage and Pre-Marital Counseling (Tate Cockrell and Brad Hambrick)

Skill Development: (2 Units)

6. Individual Counseling Skills and Crisis Intervention (Kristin Kellan)
7. Group Counseling Skills (Tate Cockrell)

If you want to know more about this program… [registration link will be provided as soon as the program goes live].