8:00 am  ·  Student Check-In

Registered students may begin checking in at this time, receive their course materials, and enjoy fellowship with other students and TVMI staff.

8:30 am  ·  Introduction to Pastoral Counseling

Effective listening skills and the importance of empathy are discussed as critical requirements for those in counseling. Biblical principles, along with common mistakes of lay counselors, pastoral considerations, and self-care practices are also addressed.

9:30 am  ·  Counseling Models & Techniques

Various models are taught with an emphasis on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy,. Techniques of counseling are also addressed to teach effective methods of building client rapport and meeting prescribed goals. Documentation procedures are also addressed.

10:30 am  ·  Break Period

Students are given a brief break at this time.

10:45 am  ·  Legal & Ethical Considerations I

Some issues which are addressed include confidentiality boundaries, mandatory reporting, duty to warn, legal consequences for types of misconduct, risk management strategies, and key points which concern the implementation of a counseling ministry.

11:45 am  ·  Legal & Ethical Considerations II

The primary focus is on the ethical considerations 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. Client termination stipulations are also addressed.


12:30 pm  ·  Meal Period

All students will be dismissed for an hour lunch at this time prior to beginning the afternoon sessions.

1:30 pm  ·  Client Issues & Treatment I

Some of the issues addressed include addictive behaviors, anger management, and anxiety disorders. In addition to definitions, the causes, characteristics, and treatment goals for the client are also examined. Utilizing the CBT model for these is addressed.

2:30 pm  ·  Client Issues & Treatment II

Some common problems addressed include depression and grief. Students will learn the differences between reactive depression and endogenous depression and how to recognize warning signs. Causes, characteristics, and treatment goals are presented.

3:30 pm  ·  Final Examination

At this time, students will take an open-book, open-notes final examination consisting of multiple choice and true/false questions. A minimum grade of 70% is required for successful completion of the certificate program.

4:30 pm  ·  Certificate Conferral & Dismissal

CONGRATULATIONS! Upon passing the final examination, all students will be provided with their certificate of completion prior to being dismissed from the program.


Lance G. Flood, PhD is the President & CEO of Tennessee Valley Ministries, which includes the divisions of Tennessee Valley Pastoral Counseling, Tennessee Valley Ministry Institute, Tennessee Valley Community Chapel, and Tennessee Valley Christian Media. He is a graduate of Liberty University, holding a BS in Religion and Christian Counseling, MA in Marriage and Family Therapy, MA in Addictions and Recovery Counseling, and a PhD in Pastoral Counseling. His doctoral dissertation was entitled The Implementation of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as an Integrated Model Within a Christian Counseling Environment. He also holds Graduate Certificates from Liberty University in the areas of Executive Leadership and Pastoral Counseling. Dr. Flood is the President and founder of the North America Christian Counselors Association and has utilized his counseling expertise for such organizations as The 700 Club. He also has an extensive background in music ministry, having released several albums, and traveled with the renowned vocal group, Acappella. He remains focused in this area as founder and director of several Christian performing ensembles. In addition to his current roles, he also serves as a chaplain for a large corporation.


The following are just a few testimonials of our certificate graduates:

"As a pastor, I found the pastoral counseling course to be incredibly helpful for my ministry. It gives pastors the tools to identify and meet the particular needs of those we minister to, all the while connecting them to their greatest need: Jesus Christ."  

JD Thorne; Decatur, AL

"The training I received was quite intensive. However, the training manual as a resource is extremely helpful. I also appreciated the Q&A period that was offered after each session to help clarify many points. I actually found the course to be even more practical and informational than the one that I took during seminary!"  

Elbern Latorilla; Toronto, ON

"The class is intensive and well equipped to prepare any person in this field of work. Although I have a PhD in Christian Counseling, after taking the course, I realized I had learned new and important information beneficial to any serious counselor."  

Leonardo Guerrero; Fuquay-Varina, NC

"The pastoral counseling program was extremely valuable for me as a chaplain. I believe that the seminar is helpful for anyone who is inclined to hear people's stories and meet them where they are in their growth process. It also gave me insight into my own story. The information from the seminar is a great tool to have."  

Kim Darnell; Nashville, TN

"I work as the children's director for our church. This course was exactly what I was looking for to better serve our children and families. I see a multitude of hurts and issues, and this helps give me a bigger and better understanding of how I can serve more effectively."  

Melanie Norman; Knoxville, TN

"So much great information packed into a fun session! Wonderful reminder that God's word is powerful, we all need Jesus, and we live in a broken world. We all have problems. Perfect balance of biblical truth with the acknowledgement that mental illness exists."  

Jessica Herman; Bristol, VA

"I majored in Psychology and Sociology in college. I was trained as a social worker and attended many continuing education seminars. I later spent eighteen years working with students in the school system. This weekend I learned more information than all of the other training combined. I was given information in a way that I can utilize to help a broad range of clients and am so grateful for the opportunity."  

Jane Peterson; Decatur, AL

"The information given will definitely enhance my counseling skills. I received an abundance of knowledge that is relevant in helping me as a Pastor to deal with many pressing and essential issues. The instructor's ability to answer questions that pertain to current situations was superb."  

Matthew Thomas; Philadelphia, PA

"The course provided valuable information and was presented in a way it was easily understood. Feedback was encouraged and welcomed. This course helped the volunteers/staff who are meeting with people offering assistance with life questions to understand the need for setting boundaries as well as gave examples of how to best incorporate the material learned into their sessions. Excellent!"  

Donna Puckett; Birmingham, AL

"As a professional counselor, the information presented was in line with the same training I received in my graduate studies, plus so much more. This training gave a brief overview into the real life situations that occur as a helping professional while maintaining a biblical worldview in my practice."  

Cassandra Thomas; Escondido, CA

"Tennessee Valley Ministry Institute is a jam packed intensive weekend presenting numerous counseling techniques and will provide you with much needed information. Through this institute, I gained necessary skills that will help me counsel people of all ages and all backgrounds. Thank you for the opportunity to sit in this course!"  

Thomas McDonald; Trinidad, CO

"This program is a tremendous opportunity for pastors, church counselors, teachers, and anyone who comes into contact with individuals who may need additional time to work out their problems. It gives tremendous insight and tips to help evaluate and assist those in need. I highly recommend completing this training."  

David Chase; Miami, FL

"The two day counseling certification program was absolutely amazing! Dr. Flood was exceptional and the presentation was very detailed and life changing. I strongly encourage those in leadership roles to take advantage of this seminar."  

Gary Battles; Huntsville, AL

"I was educated and blessed by Dr. Flood and the course material. There was an incredible amount of useful information provided in a short period of time. I would definitely recommend this course on Pastoral Counseling for anyone who counsels or wishes to do so."  

Terry Taylor; Decatur, AL

"The Pastoral Counseling Certificate Program was an on-time resource in my life. It has helped me to recognize in depth the importance of reaching people right where they are, but having enough empathy to not leave them there. This learning resource will light a fire under you to utilize God's Word in more effective ways to help yourself and others build better relationships all for the glory of God."  

Tracy Roddy; Northglenn, CO

"I really enjoyed the class. Lance was very engaging and truly understood the material he was presenting. His knowledge was so awesome. He kept the whole class engaged and also made it really fun to learn!"  

Shanda Lewis; Aurora, CO

"By far one of the best ways to spend a weekend! The course material was extremely relevant for those who serve in the ministry, as well as the instructor being both engaging and informative. We will definitely be taking more courses through Tennessee Valley Ministry Institute!"  

Tianna Watkins; Gadsden, AL