The major difference between state-licensed professional counselors and Pastoral or Christian counselors, who are licensed by the N.C.C.A. and under the authority of the Church (Body of Christ), is clear and well-defined. Counselors who have been licensed by the state are held to strict ethical standards which mandate an individual’s right to be free from religious influence. The state licensed professional counselor is forbidden to pray, read or refer to the Holy Scriptures, counsel against things such as homosexuality, abortion, etc. Initiating such counsel would be considered unethical by the state. In most states in the U.S., state licensed counselors "must not promote their personal religious beliefs" according to the code of ethics in each respective state. The only time a state licensed counselor can involve religious (Christian) principles, morals, activities, instruction, etc., is if the counselee initiates or requests counsel in this area.
Most counselees are going to be in for the shock of their life as they, now, receive counsel from someone not trained in Christian counseling. Many people have shared horror stories of people attempting to get counsel from a Christian trained as a state counselor. The state-licensed counselor may not have the education, experience and knowledge of Scripture that the N.C.C.A. provides in their training program. Pastoral counselors are required to pray, share their faith, read the Holy Scriptures, etc.
The fact that Pastoral and Christian counselors do these things creates a clear distinction. We are two distinct professions and govern ourselves accordingly. As you can readily see, the state governs secular counselors and the Church is responsible to set standards and govern ministers who have devoted their lives to the ministry and to Pastoral counseling. None of this is to say that the Christian counselor, minister or elder is not permitted to request fees and receive remuneration for the services they render, as long as they remain adherent to the state laws governing such procedures.
The N.C.C.A. requires all who are certified or licensed by its Licensing Board of Examiners to:
N.C.C.A.'s published "Code of Ethical Standards" outlines all of the procedures involved in dismissal, revocation, probation and reinstatement of an individual’s membership, certification and/or license.
Counseling Career Opportunities With MCCMI are:
In the USA and Abroad: We are looking for people whom God is calling to begin a counseling ministry in Maryland and other states throughout America and overseas. Training is available to qualified applicants to begin counseling ministries in other areas and to become a partner with Maryland Christian Counseling Ministry. Our proven and result-oriented training can help you to become employed in any of the following positions:
Please note: Our training does not guarantee employment in these areas. These are areas people have sought and found employment through our unique training. We do, however, assist each person in whatever way necessary in finding God’s will and successful employment For more information on our educational programs.
For a free consultation, Please Call Toll Free: 844.855.MCCM