Beginning this September, the International Board of Christian Counselors is pleased to announce the addition of the Board Certified Biblical Counselor (BCBC), the Board Certified Pastoral Counselor (BCPC) and the Board Certified Christian Counselor (BCCC) credential to the Board Certified Professional Christian Counselor (BCPCC) already being delivered to licensed mental health professionals. As AACC President and IBCC Board Chair Tim Clinton stated, “Alongside our professional clinicians, we are dedicated to credentialing pastoral counselors and counselors who practice in dedicated ministry but who aren’t state licensed mental health professionals.”

As you are probably already aware, the demand for professional credentials is increasing in all the counseling professions, including Christian counseling. The IBCC will now deliver four distinctive credentials—the base credentials that will form the foundation of all other specialty credentialing the IBCC will offer in the years to come.

IBCC Now Offers Four Voluntary Credentials to the Christian Counseling World

BCPCC—Board Certified Professional Christian Counselor. Restricted to state licensed mental health professionals who identify and practice also as Christian counselors. These include licensed psychologists, professional counselors, mental health counselors, marriage & family therapists, clinical social workers, and psychiatrists—anyone licensed as a MH practitioner by one of the 50 states, territories, or Canadian provinces.

BCCC—Board Certified Christian Counselor. Planned for non-licensed and pre-licensed Christian counselors with masters and doctoral degrees who work with registration, certification, or state sanction of some kind in allied professional, counseling, and teaching roles. Here, for example, are academics, physicians, lawyers, nurse practitioners, vocational therapists, school counselors, educational psychologists, and pre-licensed interns in the various MH disciplines.

BCPC—Board Certified Pastoral Counselor. These are for ordained pastors, associate church staff, and pastoral counselors engaged in significant counseling ministry in church, para-church settings, and pastoral counseling agencies. Here also would be pastoral counselors with state sanction, national certification and religious licensure from groups like NANC, ACST, NCCA, NCCLB, APC, AAPC, and other CPE organizations.

BCBC—Board Certified Biblical Counselor. These are for bachelor and associate level counselors, and for advanced lay helpers with completed training in recognized courses such as Stephens Ministry, NANC, ACST, NCCA, NCCLB, and AACC’s Light University (eligible with three courses completed—the ‘Regular Diploma’ level). Included here would be registered nurses, bachelor-level social workers, substance abuse counselors, hospice workers, and the like.

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