The Pastoral Counseling Certificate Program is an intensive Saturday seminar offered live in various cities throughout North America that prepares graduates for all aspects of entry-level work within a counseling ministry offered by the local church. The total cost is only $149.00 and includes the following:

  • Lectures / Q&A Sessions
  • Course Guide & Materials
  • 1.0 Continuing Education Unit
  • Certification Exam
  • Graduation Certificate in customized holder
  • Full year of Professional Membership in the NACCA
  • Breakfast, Lunch, and Refreshments


    7:30 am - 8:00 am  ·  Student Check-In

    Registered students will check in at this time, receive their materials, and will be able to fellowship with others while enjoying a complimentary continental breakfast.

    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.

    12:30 pm - 1:15 pm  ·  Lunch Period

    Students will be provided with a complimentary lunch at this time.

    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.


    Lance Flood, MA, PhDc serves as 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 & Christian Counseling, MA in Marriage and Family Therapy, MA in Addictions & Recovery Counseling, and Graduate Certificates in the areas of Pastoral Counseling and Executive Leadership. He is currently in the dissertation phase for his PhD in Pastoral Counseling, and is the President and founder of the North America Christian Counselors Association. He has utilized his counseling expertise for such organizations as The 700 Club and has an extensive background in music ministry, having released several albums, and traveled with the renowned vocal group, Acappella. He continues to remain active in this area as the founder and director of several Christian performing ensembles. He also works as a chaplain for a local organization.


    The following are just a few testimonials of our 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 seminar 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 Saturday! 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