Certification & Licensure
Life In Abundance School of Counseling (LIASC) requires all who are certified by the NCCA Licensing Board of Examiners to:
- Be credentialed ministers (ordained, licensed, or commissioned) whose goals are to share the love of Christ with others and to ease the emotional pain and suffering of humanity.
- Provide counseling services under the authority of a legally organized local church, a national church organization, or a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit ministry.
- Complete specialized training provided by LIASC.
- Complete the minimum requirements for continuing education and annual license renewal.
- Uphold the NCCA’s Code of Ethical Standards and maintain an NCCA annual membership.
The National Christian Counselors Association’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.
NCCA License vs. State License
The Christian Counseling Degree Programs and Certification at Life In Abundance School of Counseling (LIASC) DO NOT grant state licensure. Further, the licensure granted by the National Christian Counseling Association to LIASC students is very different from state licensure. Most states have regulatory laws governing the practice of psychology. Please note, these laws vary from state to state and credentialed Christian Counselors must operate within each state’s own guidelines.
Each individual must decide if he wants to be an agent of the state or a servant of the Church. Biblical, Pastoral, or Christian Counselors looking for certification or accreditation should consider whether they have a divine call on their lives to counsel and minister to the hurting from a Christian perspective. If so, then a state license may hinder such ministry.
The primary differences between state-licensed professional counselors and NCCA licensed Christian Counselors who are under the authority of the Church are clear and well defined. Counselors who have been licensed by the state are held to strict ethical standards that mandate an individual’s right to be free from religious influence. Pastoral Counselors are well trained in theology as well as psychology and are required to pray, share their faith, and read the Holy Scriptures.
A license from your state requires you to abide by the state’s regulations. A license from a religious institution holds you accountable to the organization that issues it. An organization such as the National Christian Counselors Association (NCCA) requires the Christian Counselor to adhere to Christian ethical standards.
State Regulatory Laws
State regulatory laws help to protect counselees and ensure professionalism within the counseling profession. The NCCA and LIASC strive to avoid infringing upon state regulations. For example, some states have a counselor category called “Licensed Professional Counselor” or “Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor”. The state licensed counselor will use the initials LPC or LCPC. Likewise, the National Christian Counselors Association has a category called “Licensed Pastoral Counselor” and “Licensed Clinical Pastoral Counselor”. The Christian Counselor may not use the initials LPC or LCPC, as those indicate state licensure. The NCCA licensing board requires its licensed counselors to clearly identify their license by using their full title, e.g. “NCCA Licensed Pastoral Counselor” or “NCCA Licensed Clinical Christian Counselor,” with the title spelled out clearly. This ensures that the NCCA licensed counselor is honest with the public and operates within legal and ethical standards, and maintains the public’s trust and confidence.
In addition to the ability to govern the practice of psychology, the state and federal governments also have jurisdictional boundaries. They do not pass laws that prevent the Church from fulfilling its purpose of ministering to humanity’s needs. The state recognizes that counseling is one of the responsibilities of the Church and its clergy. For this reason, the state does not interfere with the Ministry of Counseling.
Accreditation, Certification, Licensure & Degree
The National Christian Counselors Association (NCCA) is fully accredited by the Accrediting Commission International as a comprehensive Accredited Member. For information regarding the standing of the NCCA please go to www.accreditnow.com. The NCCA is also fully accredited by the National Private School Accreditation Alliance. For information see www.npsag.com.
The LIASC student will be certified as a Temperament Counselor upon satisfactory completion of: required coursework, administration of the required number of APS assessments, clinical supervision hours, and written responses to 50 board questions. This certification is supported by the NCCA.
The authority to practice counseling as a Pastoral Counselor is not given by LIASC or the NCCA. That authority is given by the church and the church’s recognition. Therefore, an additional requirement to be certified as a Licensed Pastoral Counselor is the ‘commissioning into ministry’ by the church or an alternative licensing organization. Completion of the LIASC training should qualify you to be commissioned. Obtaining this commissioning is the responsibility of the LIASC student. LIASC may be able to recommend an alternative licensing organization if commissioning by the LIASC student’s local church is not a viable option for the student. Licensure will be as a Certified Pastoral Counselor or a Licensed Pastoral Counselor depending on the highest degree held by the student.
The Christian Counseling Degree program is available through a number of partner institutions. Earning a Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, or Doctorate will require completion of the coursework, a matriculation fee, an NCCA membership, and an SACC membership. Students interested in a degree completion program should consult with their Clinical Supervisor to understand the program desired and the requirements therein.