Spirit, Word and Sacrament
An Ancient Faith, Reaching a New Generation, Lived in Holy Community
Emmaus Abbey Centre for Christian Counseling
Training Philosophy for Counselors
The mission of Emmaus Abbey Church & Centre for Christian Counseling (EAC) is to provide quality training that brings together the best of Biblical counseling with pastoral care to those in need. We believe that counseling is the new evangelism, that hurting, broken people are a harvest field in need of the healing power of God and His church. By training godly counselors Emmaus Abbey is not only living out its own mission but fulfilling the Great Commission. Emmaus Abbey training benefits anyone who desires to help others, make a difference in their world, and live out the call of Christ to reach the lost, heal the brokenhearted, and care for the hurting in our world.
The 2 year counseling program offers credentialing for pastoral counselors through the National Christian Counselors Association. The NCCA certification/licensing program is not to be identified nor confused with state licensing in any way. It is intended for a person who wants to practice as a servant of the Body of Christ. The authority to counsel while recognized by the State is granted by the Church. In addition to the training offered by Emmaus Abbey and Centre, the NCCA requires a ministerial credential to complete the program.
Emmaus Abbey Church & Centre for Christian Counseling is an educational and training organization for Christian counselors. Emmaus Centre FCC includes ministers, professional Christian counselors, testing specialists, medical doctors, attorneys and educators. The staff of Emmaus Abbey Centre FCC has committed themselves to the Lord Jesus Christ and believes that counseling is vain, unless it is founded upon, and directed by, the Word of God.
Philosophy of Counseling
Counseling with authority: The Holy Scripture, being God’s law and testimony, is true and should therefore serve as the Christian’s standard for all matters of faith and practice (Isaiah 8:19-20; 2 Peter 1:3). There is no authority that is higher than the one found in Scripture. Wherever and on whatever subject Scripture speaks, it must be regarded as both inerrant and authoritative. Therefore, when we as counselors enter into the process of counseling, it is by God's authority, not ours. It is God who heals, who changes and transforms us!
There have always been people who have affirmed the inerrancy and authority of Scripture in matters of faith and practice, but who would not affirm the sufficiency of Scripture for understanding and resolving the spiritual (non-physical) problems of man. These people acknowledge Scripture to be the Word of God and are therefore worthy of our respect, but when it comes to understanding and resolving many of the real issues of life, they think that Scripture has limited value.
It is, therefore, crucial that we clearly articulate what Christian counseling truly is. There are four distinguishing features of truly Christian counseling as explained below:
1. Christ-Centered Counseling-Gals 2:20
Christian counseling is conscientiously and comprehensively Christ-centered. It focuses on who Christ is, what He has done for us in His life, death, resurrection and in sending the Holy Spirit. Christ-centered counseling also focuses on what He is doing for us right now in His intercession at the Father’s right hand, and what He will yet do for us in the future. In Christian counseling, the Christ of the Bible is not an appendage or a “tack on” for living in the fast lane. Rather, He is at the center as well as the circumference, and everywhere in between, of counseling.
Christ-centered counseling involves understanding the nature and causes of our human difficulties. It involves understanding the ways we are unlike Christ in our values, aspirations, desires, thoughts, feelings, choices, attitudes, actions, and responses. Resolving those sin-related difficulties includes being redeemed and justified through Christ, receiving God’s forgiveness through Christ, and acquiring from Christ the enabling power to replace un-Christ- like (sinful) patterns of life with Christ like, godly ones.
2. Salvation-Centered Counseling
A Christian counselor must have a conscientiously and comprehensively Christian world view in his/her outlook on life. Truly Christian counseling is done by individuals who have experienced the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, and have come to Christ in repentance and faith, acknowledging Him as Lord and Savior of their lives. These are also people who have surrendered their lives to the Cross and want to live in obedience to Him; people whose main concern in life is to exalt Him and bring glory to His name. They are people who believe that, since God did not spare His own Son (from and on the cross) but delivered Him up (to the cross and death) for us (on our behalf and in our stead, as our substitute), He will freely through Christ give us all that we need for effective and productive living (for transforming us into the very likeness of His Son in the totality of our being). Biblical, Christian counselors also acknowledge the role of the Holy Spirit in regenerating, saving, and sanctifying the believer. Truly Christian counseling is done by those whose theological convictions influence, permeate, and control their personal lives and their counseling theory and practice.
3. Bible-Centered Counseling
Christian counseling is conscientiously and comprehensively based on the Bible, deriving its understanding of who man is, the nature of his main problems, why he has these problems, and how to resolve these problems from Scripture. In other words, the counselor must be conscientiously and comprehensively committed to the sufficiency of Scripture for understanding and resolving all the nonphysical personal and interpersonal sin-related difficulties of man.
4. Church-Centered Counseling
Another distinguishing feature of Christian counseling is that it will be conscientiously and comprehensively church-centered. Scripture makes it clear that the local church is the primary means by which God accomplishes His work in the world. The local church is His ordained instrument for calling the lost to Himself and the context in which He sanctifies and changes His people into the very likeness of Christ. According to Scripture, the church is His household, the pillar and support of the truth, and the instrument He uses in helping His people to put off the old manner of life and to put on the new self (cf. 1 Timothy 3:15; Ephesians 4:1-32).