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Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation
Counseling in the Local Church

Counseling in the Local Church

Course Description

Biblical counseling – is it just for the pastors and elders? Or for trained professionals? What does it look like to restore counseling to the local church? The purpose of this course is to:

  • to broaden students’ understanding of counseling to include all relationships
  • to build a thoroughly biblical understanding of the local church as a ministering community where everyone plays a part
  • to help students find their place of ministry within the context of the local church and to help others do the same
  • to see the importance of both public and private ministry of the Word and how they interrelate
  • to examine present ministry opportunities

Topics covered include a biblical foundation for private ministry of the Word; the role of community and relationships in the process of sanctification; developing a practical ecclesiology; and developing an eye for ministry opportunities such as conflict resolution, evangelism, and church discipline.

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Course Outline

  • Week 1: Course Introduction: Why the Church Should be Counseling
  • Week 2: Redemptive Community
  • Week 3: Self-Counsel
  • Week 4: A Biblical View of Change
  • Week 5: Public Counsel
  • Week 6: Sought and Created Counsel
  • Week 7: Structures and Processes for Interpersonal Ministry
  • Week 8: Counseling Models at Four Churches
  • Week 9: Conflict and Pursuing Forgiveness
  • Week 10: Unsought Group Counsel
  • Week 11: Church Discipline

About the Professor

tim-laneDr. Timothy S. Lane is a minister in the Presbyterian Church in America since 1991 (PCA), and co-author of How People Change and Relationships: A Mess Worth Making. He has written several mini-books including PTSD, Forgiving Others, Sex Before Marriage, Family Feuds, Conflict, and Freedom From Guilt. He has experience in both campus and pastoral ministry (serving as a pastor in Clemson, SC 1991-2001). From 2001-2013, he served as a counselor and faculty at CCEF (2007-2013 as Executive Director) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Tim is adjunct professor of practical theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Westminster Seminary California and Redeemer Seminary in Dallas, TX.

Michael Gembola holds a Master of Arts in Religion (Biblical Studies) and a Master of Arts in Counseling from Westminster Seminary, and a Certificate in Advanced Professional Counseling from the Biblical Seminary Graduate School of Counseling. He serves as Director of Congregational Care and Discipleship at City Line Church and is under care of the Philadelphia Presbytery (PCA). He is also a lecturer in practical theology at Westminster Seminary. He enjoys basketball, guitar, local history, and exploring big cities with his wife Kelly and their son, Adriano.

Required Textbooks for Onsite Students

Onsite require textbooks are forthcoming.

Required Textbooks for Online Students

Students must purchase separately, any other required reading is provided with course access.

  • How People Change by Tim Lane and Paul Tripp
  • Life Together: The Classic exploration of Faith in Community by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • Relationships: A Mess Worth Making by Tim Lane and Paul Tripp
  • Pastoral Theology in the Classical Tradition by Andrew Purves
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