Careers in Christian Counseling
My preference is that the Christian counselor opt out of state licensing, for I am not sure that the state knows enough about counseling to license and thus have authority over the Christian counselor. Because the U.S. Constitution forbids state interference in the practice of one’s religion, the Christian counselor can operate without state interference.
My suggestion is to begin taking and then teaching the Christian counseling courses offered by CLU. These course sare practical, biblical, spiritual and life-changing. Once you have taken any of these courses, you can then teach them in a small group, home group, or Sunday school class as often as you like.
I believe that as people are drawn to these classes, they will become aware that you also offer one-on-one counseling for individuals, couples and parent-child relationships. They can be encouraged to book appointments with you. You can charge a flat rate (perhaps $35 per hour), have a suggested donation, or charge on a sliding scale. As you meet with people and they are helped, they will tell their friends and your clientele will grow. I personally know counselors who are doing this very successfully, and who even charge for their courses sometimes. The testimonies they receive back from their clients are that they are being helped much more than when they were going to a state-licensed counselor. Isn’t that the way it should be?
Another suggestion, of course, would be to work on staff at a local church. At a minimum, to avoid conflict with the state, you should be connected to a church and under their covering.
Become a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors and receive a certificate which you can hang on the wall of your counseling office, stating that you are a member in good standing of the American Association of Christian Counselors. Cost is $79 per year. Complete the application online at www.aacc.net.
Counseling Insurance is available to members of AACC, from the “American Professional Agency” at www.americanprofessional.com.
Licensing and ordination available at www.cluonline.com/network.
Read the book “Keeping Your Ministry Out of Court” by Dr. E. James Wilder and Dr. Ed Smith ($14.95). It is very interesting and helpful. It can be ordered from them at (270) 465 3757.