Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation


This year, CCEF celebrates its 50th anniversary. In his editorial, David Powlison takes a brief look back at the development of biblical counseling and how the counsel of Scripture has come to inform and shape our counseling.

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Aaron Sironi and Lauren Whitman

This article presses into one of the fine-grained details of marriage counseling. Constructive and productive communication is not an easy task and interpersonal conflict takes many forms. When a spouse withdraws or shuts down, it creates a specific challenge. Aaron Sironi and Lauren Whitman describe how withdrawing damages the marital bond. They outline a process of growth for withdrawers and illustrate that process through a case study.


Michael R. Emlet

This article digs into the theological foundations of counseling. How do we understand human complexity? The Bible gives three foundational categories that orient us as we engage a struggler. Mike Emlet’s “Loving Others as Saints, Sufferers, and Sinners” keeps us oriented to all three realities. Part 1 of his article lays out the biblical premises and discusses the first category. We are saints who need confirmation of our identity in Christ. Part 2 (in our next issue) will complete the picture.


J. Alasdair Groves

How do you develop a healthy, godly emotional life? How do you help someone else grow in this way? Many counseling approaches are suspicious of emotions and teach stoic self-control. Other counseling approaches glorify emotions and teach free expression of feelings. Christian faith has been used to justify both extremes, but Groves pursues the full range of godly emotions. His article speaks of six spiritual practices that gradually remake our emotional life in God’s image. Some of these may surprise you!


David Powlison

Biblical wisdom calls for us to interact with our culture and to redeem what we are hearing and seeing. The word “brokenness” has become a popular way to describe painful human experiences. Many things are broken in our lives, and Scripture’s way of discussing this is uniquely rich—and takes a radical, counterintuitive turn. In this article, Powlison highlights seven interconnected ways that the Bible portrays brokenness.


Brenda Pauken

In this article, Brenda Pauken probes the fascinating story of the prophet Elijah. In the pursuit of Israel’s repentance, God called Elijah to many harrowing acts of faithfulness and service. Though the Bible doesn’t use the term burned out, Elijah did burn out. Pauken unpacks how his story can minister grace to a burned-out person.


David Powlison

One of the founding purposes of the Biblical Counseling Coalition (BCC) is to articulate a clear and winsome standard of biblical counseling beliefs and best practices. As part of fulfilling this goal, the BCC has written a Confessional Statement. We present the statement here as a resource. We hope it anchors you, your church, and your ministry in a biblical vision for counseling.




For 40 years, the Journal of Biblical Counseling of CCEF has provided a forum for biblical counseling’s development and application. The mission of the JBC is to develop clear thinking and effective practice in biblical counseling. We seek to do this through publishing articles that faithfully bring the God of truth, mercy and power to the issues that face pastoral ministries of counseling and discipleship.

Senior Editor David Powlison writes, “CCEF works and prays to restore Christ to counseling—and to restore counseling to the church. The Journal of Biblical Counseling serves this mission as a publishing ministry of CCEF. We believe that true, life-explaining insight into people necessarily involves thinking Christianly. Loving, lasting help necessarily involves practicing ‘counseling’ as one aspect of consciously Christian ministry. The deeper you gaze into what actually goes wrong with people—the weight of our sins and sorrows—the more clearly you see that Jesus Christ is essential to making it right.”

The journal includes articles and reviews from CCEF faculty like David Powlison, Ed Welch, Michael Emlet, Winston Smith, Julie Lowe, and more. It also includes other authors in the field including Paul Tripp, Jay Adams, John Piper, Tim Keller, Tim Lane, and more.

The Journal of Biblical Counseling (JBC) is currently published three times per year, available in both print and digital subscriptions. The JBC was published as a print journal from 1993-2007 (Issues: 11:2–25:3). From 1977-1992, it was published as The Journal of Pastoral Practice (Issues: 1:1–11:1).


Senior Editor: David Powlison
Managing Editor: Kimberly Monroe
Assistant Editor: Lauren Whitman
Proofreader: Bruce E. Eaton