This course fulfills all requirements to effectively implement and maintain a counseling ministry within the local church or other para-church organization which serves a diverse client population. Tuition for the program is only $99.00 and includes all lectures, course guide, final examination, Certificate of Completion, and one year of professional membership in the North America Christian Counselors Association. Please note that whether this program is completed on campus or online, all times listed below are strictly adhered to. Finally, all students will be dismissed following their last session and will complete their final examination for the course online prior to receiving their certificate. This open-book test consists of 120 multiple choice and true/false questions that requires a minimum score of 75% for successful completion of the program. TVMI currently maintains a 100% pass rate.

Saturday Morning

8:00 am - 8:30 am  ·  Introduction to Pastoral Counseling

In this introductory session, the student is provided with the definition and mandate for the ministry of Christian counseling. Effective listening skills and the importance of empathy are discussed as critical requirements for anyone serving in this capacity. Biblical principles of Christian counseling, along with common mistakes of lay counselors and pastoral considerations are also addressed within the session.

8:30 am - 9:00 am  ·  Counseling Models & Techniques

A variety of counseling models are taught in this session, with particular emphasis on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and why it is perhaps the most sound model for those working within a counseling ministry. Various techniques of counseling are also addressed to teach the student effective methods of building client rapport and meeting prescribed goals. The student is also introduced to documentation procedures.

9:00 am - 9:30 am  ·  Legal & Ethical Issues I

In the first part dealing with legal and ethical issues, the student is introduced to important considerations such as the boundaries of confidentiality, mandatory reporting, duty to warn, the legal consequences of various types of misconduct, strategies for risk management as applied to a counseling ministry within the local church, key points regarding the implementation of a counseling ministry, and more.

9:30 am - 10:00 am  ·  Legal & Ethical Issues II

In the second part of legal and ethical issues, the discussion moves from legal issues and focuses primarily on the variety of ethical considerations that a Christian counselor should be aware of and adhere to. The topic of a dual relationship is defined and addressed, as is a myriad of other ethical issues that apply to both personal and professional scenarios. In addition, the student is introduced to client termination stipulations.

10:00 am - 10:15 am  ·  Morning Break

Students are given a brief mid-morning break at this time.

10:15 am - 11:00 am  ·  Individual Counseling I

In the first session on individual counseling issues, the student is introduced to common scenarios that are seen within this context. These include addictive behaviors, anger management, and anxiety disorders. In addition to the definitions and discussion of these struggles, there is also an examination of the causes, characteristics, and treatment goals for the client. Utilizing the CBT model for these problems is addressed.

11:00 am - 11:45 am  ·  Individual Counseling II

In the second session addressing issues among individual clients, some common problems addressed include topics such as depression and grief. Once again, the definitions are presented. For example, the student will learn the differences between reactive depression and endogenous depression, and how to recognize warning signs. Causes, characteristics, and treatment goals are once again presented.

11:45 am - 12:30 pm  ·  Marriage & Family Counseling I

During the first lesson dealing with marriage and family counseling, the student is introduced to a variety of statistics related to marriages among both Christian and non-Christian couples alike. Other topics include common marital problems such as infidelity and domestic violence. Within these subjects, particular attention is given to how to facilitate reconciliation following an adulterous relationship and how to deal with abuse.

Saturday Afternoon

12:30 pm - 1:15 pm  ·  Lunch Period

Students are dismissed at this time for a 45 minute lunch period.

1:15 pm - 1:45 pm  ·  Marriage & Family Counseling II

The second part of marriage and counseling begins with a discussion of pornography and the various consequences it has on the individual, couple, family, and church. Bonding principles of marriage are presented, as are destructive properties within marriage. Principles of effective marriage counseling are also presented. Family counseling models and techniques are also taught, along with an introduction to genograms.

1:45 pm - 2:15 pm  ·  Counseling Children & Adolescents

The ninth session addresses counseling children and adolescents. The introduction includes critical considerations and techniques when dealing with this client population. Reasons why children receive counseling, along with changes to recognize in children are presented. Techniques for counseling adolescents who are resistant to the counseling process are taught, as are counseling models for children and adolescents.

2:15 pm - 2:45 pm  ·  Crisis & Trauma Counseling

This topic begins with definitions of both crisis and trauma, along with key elements which need to be considered. There is also discussion of both Type I and Type II trauma situations and noteworthy statistics dealing with trauma. Working within a large scale trauma environment is also discussed, and the boundaries that exist in this type of situation. Other topics include unrecognized loss and crisis intervention techniques.

2:45 pm - 3:00 pm  ·  Afternoon Break

Students are given a brief mid-afternoon break at this time.

3:00 pm - 3:45 pm  ·  Principles of Group Counseling

In the second to last session in the program, a wealth of information is provided on the topic of group counseling. Reasons for group counseling, types of groups, group leadership styles, potential problems in group counseling, Stages of groups, leadership goals within a group, required leadership skills, problem member types within a group (and how to deal with them,) and therapeutic factors are all addressed.

3:45 pm - 4:30 pm  ·  Recognizing Mental Illness

The final session deals with the issue of recognizing mental illness and begins with an introduction to the DSM and classification procedures. Detailed information on disorder types (anxiety, mood, psychotic, developmental, factitious, personality, and neurological) are provided to the student. The lesson concludes with an informative section on psychopharmacology, along with counselor self-care challenges and strategies.