One of the ideal environments for Christian counselors is the church. Church ministries often include counselors on staff who provide Christian adult, family, and youth counseling services. The roles that the counselors take on may vary depending on certain factors. For example, a Christian counselor may focus on counseling as his or her primary focus or participate in counseling sessions as part of his or her work as a pastor, minister, chaplain, or preacher.
Counselors in churches are actually a common staple for Christian churches. They are helpful resources for people of all ages. Here’s how it works…
Christian Counseling is a Popular College Major
Counseling programs are a standard fixture within colleges and universities around the country. Christian colleges, seminaries, and missionary colleges commonly offer counseling programs that allow students to specialize in Christian counseling, as well as related areas.
Here are some of the degree concentrations a future Christian counselor might find when researching schools.
- Christian counseling
- Community care and counseling
- Christian caregiving and counseling
- Biblical counseling
One of the common avenues for Christian counselors is to earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology and then enter a graduate program in counseling, Students may enroll in a psychology program at a Christian college to gain a Biblical worldview during undergraduate school, or they may consider a Christian institution for graduate school and a focus on Christian counseling.
Common Job Titles for Church-based Counselors
The job title of “counselor” is a relatively general term and can encompass a wide variety of concentrations and specializations. Counselors employed by churches often provide specialized care in a particular area of the ministry. Some church counselors may help parishioners with vices like drug addiction or with mental health problems. Other counselors may focus on youth ministry and family therapy.
Here are a few of the job titles a trained, faith-based counselor may encounter during the post-graduation job search.
- Christian therapist
- Christian counselor
- Licensed Christian counselor
- Addiction counselor
Churches commonly provide a variety of services to their congregations that include ministry, schooling, and counseling. A Christian counselor may have direct involvement in one or all of these areas. Some Christian counseling jobs may require that applicants are licensed by the state in which they want to practice, and prospective employees should take note of any licensing requirements when applying for a church-based job.
Job Resources for Christian Counselors
A recent graduate of a Christian counseling program may seek employment with his or her home church, as well as with another branch or congregation. Not only can Christian counselors find work with domestic churches around the United States, but they can also find work around the world as missionaries or with international congregations.
Christian counseling graduates may find it helpful to seek membership with The American Association of Christian Counselors, which provides a useful list of classified jobs located within churches, seminaries, and educational facilities. Another excellent resource for Church-based counseling jobs is the list compiled by the Biblical Counseling Coalition.
Faith-based counselors and therapists who practice their craft with a Biblical worldview may find rewarding employment with their church. Christian counselors may also find work with para-church organizations, which often offer services like Christian counseling outside of direct Church oversight. Future job options for Christian counselors are available both within and just outside the church.