a counselor and a patient

How To Become A Christian Counselor

Christian counselors are among the most highly sought-after professionals in today’s society. With depression statistics skyrocketing, medical and spiritual conditions on the rise, parenting conundrums ever-increasing, and marriages in dire need of repair, Christian counselors provide a necessary solution to the manifest dangers that are shredding the moral and spiritual fabric of our nation.

Back to the question then, how to become a Christian counselor? Obviously, becoming a Christian counselor is not a walk in the park. Like any career path, becoming a Christian counselor takes work and effort. Here are the basic steps to follow in how to become a Christian counselor.

Steps To Become A Christian Counselor

Be a person of faith

Although it sounds rudimentary, the Christian counselor must first be sure of his or her faith. Personal faith is at the root of the desire and ability to become a Christian counselor. In order to use the teachings of the bible in your counseling practice, you must first have a strong understanding of and belief in God.

How to become a Christian counselor is about getting the right education. Religious courses that prepare individuals for a career in Christian counseling are available to students pursuing a bachelor's or master's degree. These Christian faith-based courses, such as biblical studies, theology, and church administration, will prepare you with the Christian foundation necessary to become a Christian counselor.

Complete a master’s degree program

Top-notch training is essential. Find an accredited college with a reputable counseling degree program. Education—specifically, the right education—is extremely important. All potential professional counselors receive training in the areas of psychology, statistics, sociology, counseling techniques, human development, and other foundational classes. According to statistics, more than half of all counselors have earned a master’s degree in counseling.

At Colorado Christian University, our Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is taught with a Christian worldview. This faith-based perspective to teaching uniquely prepares students for a career in Christian counseling, going beyond the typical psychological training found in traditional mental health counseling programs. Continuing education is required in this field, so be prepared for a life of learning. Online programs can make attaining your master's degree much easier to do while holding a full-time job or raising children.

Select an area of specialty

Mental health counseling is a vast field with a wide array of specialties. At some point, you will need to narrow down your training and area of focus to hone in on a single area of counseling, such as marriage and family, substance use disorder and adolescence, etc.

After your education is complete, it’s time to get some real out-of-the-classroom experience in the field of counseling. Counseling jobs abound, but it’s still important to keep aware of potential opportunities and seek those openings that will best help your future career.

Earn counseling licensure

Since nearly every state requires that counselors be board-certified, licensing is an important part of becoming a Christian counselor. In order to become a National Certified Counselor, as conferred by the National Board for Certified Counselors, applicants must have a minimum of two years of experience in counseling, hold a graduate degree, and successfully pass the NCC examination. Only with the NCC licensure is one lawfully given the right to practice counseling as a career.

Christian Counseling Career Outlook

Once you have completed the steps above, you will be a licensed counselor and ready to pursue a career in Christian counseling. The median salary for mental health counselors is approximately $40,000 per year, though the higher earning potential is possible depending on the line of work you pursue. Most Christian counselors don't choose this profession for the money, but instead, feel called to it by their faith. Using biblical learnings to guide individuals towards spiritual answers to their problems is the ultimate reward for Christian counselors.

Find out what options you have for continuing your education and learning more about a future career in the counseling field.

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