What is a Christian Counselor?
Christian counseling is a popular counseling specialty that actually has many career options. A Christian counselor is a licensed individual who helps church members and their non-religious family and friends. Professional christian therapists keep Jesus Christ as the backbone of their mental health therapy sessions. A christian therapist can offer one on one sessions, family counseling, marital counseling, or group sessions, or any other type of counseling.
Practically all states require that Christian counselors have similar credentials to licensed therapists. This is usually a master’s degree in psychology, counseling or therapy as well as quality training before entering the field alone. However, some churches may employ unlicensed individuals without degrees who are simply loving and wise ministry staff who excel at helping others.
What Are Some Career Options for Christian Counselors?
Christian counseling as a career can be even more dynamic with the added dimension of a strong Christian faith. Licensed social workers, behavior specialists and more can transfer their skills to rewarding roles in society. These five careers in Christian counseling will appeal to educated professionals with a talent for changing people’s lives and mental health.
Many Christian churches provide programming for members and outreach to surrounding communities. A Christian counselor brings people and case management skills to those efforts. A congregation manager is also a valuable resource of support for ill members and those who care for them.
Congregation managers will find their week only begins at weekend services. A typical day may include making hospital visits, organizing a food drive and checking in with leaders of groups like the choir or youth club. Congregation managers work closely with senior leadership to identify struggling members and refer those members to the appropriate sources of help.
Christian Guidance Counselor
Christian schools prefer staff with Christian faiths. These academic institutions are an ideal outlet for Christian professional careers in counseling. One of the most exciting counselor careers for Christians is high school and college guidance counseling. What a joy to help young people cement their futures and faith at once.
School mentoring, career readiness and life challenges are among the aspects guidance counselors help young people with. High school guidance counseling is a specialty function within both education and counseling degree programs. Christians may seek out programs with a higher education component to boost the chance of working for colleges.
Couples and Family Therapist
Many people believe a strong faith is essential to healthy relationships. A Christian professional career in counseling as a couples and family therapist aims to inspire troubled relationships or maintain healthy ones. This job is expected to be one of the fastest growing occupations, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting a 19% employment increase from 2014 to 2024.
This counseling career for Christian professionals is an opportunity to be a backbone in people’s lives. A couples and family therapist may assist pastors with premarital counseling, married couples and young members. A general practice draws clients who seek a Christian perspective.
Correctional Ministries Counselor
A strong prison ministry program is a missionary element in many Christian churches. Some churches and correctional facilities take this a step further with dedicated correctional ministries leaders. This option for a Christian counseling career requires a high degree of empathy and strong desire to work with distressed individuals.
Christian professionals can strengthen their abilities to work in this field with a criminal justice focus in addition to social work and counseling degree requirements. They should expect to pass a criminal background check for access to incarceration facilities. Once hired, they may counsel individuals as well as lead group sessions.
Hospice care is an industry where careers for Christian counselors abound. A person may experience a range of emotions during the dying process and a social worker can ease these emotions. Furthermore, their family and loved ones will undoubtedly need emotional care from coping with caregiver exhaustion and grief.
A hospice counselor can help people come to terms with death before and after it takes place. Christians may apply their high degrees of empathy and faith to fortify a family or household as death impends. This is an intimate role which may continue after a death, as help with the grieving process.
There Are Many Career Path Options for Christian Counselors…
These paths show the range of applications of a Christian counselor career. When combined with the fundamentals of faith, they empower the ingenuity and empathy skills required to counsel effectively. For anyone looking for more information, be sure to visit the websites of the National Christian Counselors Association and the American Association of Christian Counselors.