Take the first step towards certification.
The International Association of Biblical Counselors (IABC) is open to pastors, elders, counselors and lay people across the world who want to help fellow believers deal with their problems by understanding and applying God’s Word. You do not have to be a “professional” counselor to join IABC , but you must have an unswerving commitment to the sufficiency of Scriptures as the essential means for the healing of the inner man.
Choose your education and learning path.
Pass your coursework and exams.
Complete Counseling Supervision.
Certification is open to qualified individuals and organizations who have rejected psychotherapy and have embraced the all-sufficient Word of God as the source of mental and spiritual wholeness. All those seeking membership or certification must be in complete agreement with our Statements of Faith and Practice to join IABC.Review the Statements of Faith and Practice
From the President of IABC:
Become certified with IABC. You’re not in this alone.
Thank you for inquiring about Certification with the International Association of Biblical Counselors. This page will explain the certification process. Please read it carefully, and if you have any questions, feel free to contact our Member Services Office at our toll-free number: (877) 583-3033 or email them at [email protected].
We are continually developing our growing organization, and we are open to your suggestions. A primary philosophical precept of IABC is that the Bible is the authority (control center) for everything we do in Biblical Counseling. We genuinely believe that the Bible provides all the information necessary for the healing of the heart, soul, mind, and spirit of God's children (2 Peter 1:3) as we allow the Holy Spirit to work.
If you believe that God is just as able to heal the wounded heart in our age as He was when Jesus walked this earth, you will find wonderful fellowship and encouragement in IABC. We hope you will stay in touch with us, visit our website at iabc.net, and join with us at one of our regional conferences throughout the year, or for our IABC International Biblical Counseling Conference the first weekend in August.
I encourage you to fill out your certification application when you are ready and send it to us so we can help you grow with us in your counseling ministry. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
From the IABC President,
Three Stages of Certification Process
Choose your education and learning pathway.
Pass your coursework, theology and counseling exams.
Complete 50 hour sessions of supervised counseling with a certified training center/trainer.
Becoming a Certified Biblical Counselor
To become a Certified Biblical Counselor is to join the ranks of those who have chosen to excel in the field of Biblical Counseling and Discipling.
In selecting and evaluating people for leadership, God looks first at character qualities before any consideration of spiritual gifts, natural abilities, or specialized training (I Samuel 16:7; Luke 22:24-27). Therefore, though no absolute standard is established, observable growth (Matthew 28:20; 2 Peter 3:18) in the following areas is a prerequisite to being considered for any position of biblical leadership. A leader shall:
- Have a servant's heart (Luke 22:24-27).
- Reflect the character of Christ (Philippians 2:5-1 1; I Peter 2:21-25).
- Have the attitude of mind to perform His tasks so as to reflect the glory of God (I Corinthians 10:31).
- Demonstrate a sincere love for his/her brothers and sisters in Christ (John 13:34-35; Ephesians 5:2; Hebrews 13: 1; I John 4:7).
- Be filled with the Holy Spirit, growing in wisdom and faith, and be of a good reputation (Acts 6:3).
- Be a member in good standing of IABC. This Membership must be in place and remain active prior to certification and is renewable annually for $60.00 (Please note that the annual renewal dues for certification are $99.00.)
- Maintain active, continued involvement in a local Bible-believing, preaching, and practicing church.
- Satisfactorily complete an approved course of study in Biblical Counseling, including but not limited to reading and training. Click here for the “Course of Study Syllabus”.
- Satisfactorily complete the “Counseling Evaluation” and the “Biblical Counselor's Theological Evaluation.”
- Fulfill the fifty-hour mentorship/supervised hours requirement.
- Submit a letter of recommendation from a church or Christian organization verifying your involvement in a ministry in which counseling skills are utilized, along with three Character Reference forms
- IABC certification dues and processing fees of $148.00, payable to IABC Member Services, are as follows:
- Certification Processing Fee: $49.00
- Annual Certification dues: $99.00. NOTE: Annual renewal dues are $99.00 (this covers the tri-annual mandatory background check)
- Successfully complete the online Child Safety Training provided through the company that provides the background check services for IABC. (There is no extra cost for this training.)
- If you choose to work with a Training Center, the Training Center Director (TCD) will mentor you through their in-house program. Fees vary* based on each Training Center. Typically, this happens in two phases:
- Tuition-based courses that vary in scope, duration, and price; and
- Supervised Counseling is the last step in your training, whichever option for training you choose. This mentorship fee is approximately $550.00 (This includes $100.00 for the 2nd Reviewer for the Exams). Contact your Training Center for details.
- If you choose the Directed Study Program (DSP) option, you will need to select from the current list of DSP Certification Mentors, which is available from Member Services.
- The same Supervised Counseling fee of $550.00 is due to the DSP Certification Mentor, payable per their instructions. (This includes $100.00 for the 2nd Reviewer for the Exams).
- Fees vary* based on each DSP Certification Mentor.
- Confirm agreement with the IABC Statement of Faith, Standards of Practice, and Affirmations and Denials.
- Attend an IABC Conference (International or Regional) at least once every three years.
- Fulfill the minimum of three (3) Continuing Education Credits each year. The list of approved CE options is updated regularly on the website. Be sure to keep track of communicating what you have completed via the annual Certification renewal Form to receive credit.
*Although IABC sets a standardized fee, it is a suggested starting point. Fees vary by Training Center and Certification Mentor. Each mentor is an approved affiliate of IABC and remains autonomous when it comes to fees.