Christian counselors fill important roles in their congregations and their communities. Whether they are full-time professionals or fulfilling part-time callings, these counselors can use online resources to maximize the well-being of those they serve. Here are five resources indispensable for any Christian counselor.
The Christian Counseling and Education Foundation (CCEF)
Founded in 1968, the Christian Counseling and Education Foundation maintains a highly informative website with a variety of tools for Christian counselors. These resources include lists of relevant books and blog posts from expert counselors like Bob Welch. CCEF's website also dispenses relevant audio, such as excerpts from the CCEF's annual professional conference.
The CCEF is known for drawing upon those elements of mainstream psychology that line up with biblical teachings. This approach is controversial for counselors who prefer a "pure" biblical approach. Nevertheless, CCEF sets a fine example by recognizing how Bible teachings often agree with mainstream psychological principles supported by empirical evidence.
Institute For Nouthetic Studies
Unlike the type of counseling taught by CCEF and similar organizations, nouthetic counseling never utilizes concepts that are not explicitly stated in the Bible. While this uncompromising approach isn't for everyone, nouthetic counseling is indispensable for many Christian counselors and their clients.
Although the term "nouthetic counseling" was coined fairly recently, this type of strict, pastoral advice-giving has a centuries-long pedigree within Christianity. The champion of nouthetic counseling is Dr. Jay Adams, a man who has exerted an oversized influence in biblical counseling for decades.
Today, there is a healthy debate within the Christian world about the limitations and strengths of the nouthetic approach to counseling.
The Association Of Biblical Counselors (ABC)
Another organization that provides training and certification for Christian counselors, this association also assists local churches to become counseling training centers in their own right.
Physically based in Bedford, Texas, ABC maintains a thorough and informative website loaded with useful material for counselors. These include discussion forums, video and audio training and scholarly reviews of other counseling resources. Though ABC prefers to use the term "biblical counseling" over "Christian counseling," ABC's training and educational resources are of clear value to all types of Christian counselors–whatever specific terms they use for their services.
There are a number of different approaches to Christian counseling. However, all Christian counselors are united by respect for Biblical teachings. A searchable online Bible is a must for any Christian counselor that hopes to constantly benefit from biblical wisdom. One of the more popular Christian websites, BibleGateway provides more than the full, unedited text of the canonical Bible. The site also features a variety of study guides that can help counselors directly correlate biblical teachings with the needs of their clients.
The National Christian Counselors Association (NCCA)
In many ways, NCCA's website is similar to the first three resources listed here. This nonprofit organization differs in the fact that it is guided by the vision of Dr. Richard Arno and Dr. Phyllis Arno. For over thirty years, these respected counseling professionals have employed systematic research to develop proven counseling tactics for these common problems: marriage problems, family conflict, depression and generalized anxiety.
These are just a few of the online resources that aid modern Christian counseling.