God calls every Christian to grow to maturity in Christ (Eph. 4:15-16). Every believer, at one time or another, faces suffering and difficulties that require us to trust God and to look to others for help. Within the local church, God has provided a natural relationship among believers that is intended to accomplish that goal. The apostle Paul teaches that as believers we are to be “… full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and is able to instruct one another.” (Rom. 15:14). Each day we have wonderful opportunities to counsel one another. The only question is: is that counsel Biblical? Are we offering one another the grace of the gospel?
At Crossway, our desire is to provide every member with a basic ability to handle the Word of God in his or her relationships. We also want to equip particular members in the church to be more skillful in counseling so they can care for struggling believers. To accomplish this goal, we offer two tiers of training. The first tier is called Counseling for Everyday Life and consists of two Vital Life courses that focus on how God changes people and how God uses people to bring change in the lives of others. The second tier is called Care and Discipleship Certification and is an in-depth curriculum that offers certification in biblical counseling though the ministry of IBCD.
Counseling for Everyday Life
CEL Track One – How People Change
Course description – Part 1 in our general counseling training this course challenges and equips participants to live out the gospel in their everyday lives. This course will help you to understand the underlying motivations for your actions and gives you specific, practical help in changing long–standing patterns of behavior. The result will be that you will understand yourself from a biblical perspective and you will grow in love for God and others. This course is 8 sessions long.
Required Resource: How People Change workbook
CEL Track Two – Instruments in The Redeemer's Hands
Course description – Part 2 in our general counseling training walks participants through a biblical model of personal ministry (Love, Know, Speak, Do). Participants are encouraged that even though they are in need of change themselves, the Spirit can and will use them as “instruments of change” in the lives of others. The goal of this curriculum is to become a church that is mature and able to counsel one another from God’s Word and thus fulfill Paul’s command to care for one another (1 Cor. 12:25). This course is 8 sessions long.
Required Resource: Instruments in a Redeemer's Hands workbook
Biblical Counseling Certification
Crossway offers certification in biblical counseling with the Institute of Biblical Care and Discipleship (IBCD). The IBCD Care & Discipleship Certification is a 3 level course designed to train individuals and churches in developing 'one another' care in the life of the congregation. Each of the three levels can be audited or completed with the required paperwork and payment to receive certification from IBCD. Coursework with IBCD can also be used to fulfill the requirement for certification with ACBC.
Course description – This introduction to biblical counseling is designed to acquaint people with an understanding of how the sufficiency of Scripture impacts how we view our struggles, especially in relation to psychology. It also deals with the general principles involved in biblical counseling and how one would use this method in situations involving anger, conflict, depression, fear, temptation, and dealing with trials.
Course description – This material builds on the foundation laid in Level 1, but focuses specifically on biblical views of marriage and parenting and how to deal with common problems in these areas. The intricacies of the mind/body issues in biblical counseling are also explored, especially in regards to the use of psychotropic drugs.
Course description – This final level of certification is aimed at the integration and development of all that has been covered in Levels 1 & 2. Applicants are required to observe 10 hours of counseling with a NANC Certified biblical counselor. If one is not able to do this live through IBCD, DVDs are available to complete this requirement. Some required reading of essential counseling texts are the final part of this certification process.