Counseling Curriculum


This series of courses is under development in association with The Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF), the oldest and leading professional and pastoral biblical counseling association.

CCEF serves Christ’s church with graduate level courses in its School of Biblical Counseling, its regular and intensive counseling services, its residential internship and training programs, its online distance educational training, the Journal of Biblical Counseling, and national and international training seminars and conferences. CCEF courses and resources are used in seminaries, Bible colleges, and other Christian college settings around the world. More can be learned about CCEF and its ministry at

With CCEF encouragement, TUMI, has undertaken the task of distilling several graduate level CCEF biblical counseling extension courses into an undergraduate level following the TUMI approach for urban church leaders.

The Counseling courses follow the structure of the Capstone courses. They include many of the same features noted in the Courses link and other features especially important to teach the principles and practice of biblical counseling.


Each course is thoroughly biblical, richly practical, and deeply personal. As students apply concepts to themselves they develop competencies for using them among their church families.

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Counseling courses in The Foundation and Practice of Counseling include:

“How Change Happens”

How Change Happens introduces church leaders to the model of how God brings about change in the believer.

Two versions of the model are presented: The Three Trees, and The Eight Questions. Both are derived from Dr. David Powlison’s course, The Dynamics of Biblical Change. He and others have taught this foundational course for more than 30 years at the CCEF facility, Westminster Theological Seminary and in other local and international locations.

How Change Happens Video Lessons

“What Change Looks Like”

What Change Looks Like applies the model to eight common threatening settings that commonly yield fear, anger, worry, depression, and escapism. Students will be apply the model taught in How Change Happens to themselves in these and other situations. Students will learn to show the relevance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the believer’s day by day living, by applying it consciously to their lives in their own personal situations. Much of this course content is also drawn from the second half of the graduate level, Dynamics course taught by Dr. David Powlison.

What Change Looks Like Video Lessons

“Helping Change Happen”

How can I help others change? That’s the thrust of this course. What “methods” and what kind of people does God use and bless as his instruments of change? How can I take the model we’ve been learning in How Change Happens and What Change Looks Like and serve with it in the lives of the brothers and sisters in my church?

Other Planned Courses

Other pastoral counseling courses planned for this certificate program include:

  • “Essential Qualities of a Biblical Counselor”
  • “Counseling and the Church”
  • “Using Scripture Helpfully in Counseling”
  • “Marriage Counseling—Connecting the Gospel to the Common Messes”
  • “Youth Counseling—Understanding Their Challenges and Connecting the Gospel Skillfully

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Certificate in the Foundation and Practice of Pastoral Counseling

The certificate for the Foundation and Practice of Pastoral Counseling will require all three foundation courses.

Components of Pastoral Counseling Courses

Each course in the Pastoral Counseling curriculum includes an academic component, a reading and writing component, and a ministry component. All of these are explained more fully in the workbook or syllabus for each course.

Academic Component

In each lesson students will watch and listen to lectures and follow it in their workbooks. Students will take notes and after the video presentation or during the live teaching will discuss major factors and raise questions with the mentor.

Students will be quizzed on the content of the workbook and lectures three times throughout the course and have a final exam covering all the content of the course.

Reading and Writing Component

Response Papers
Two or three books are required reading throughout the course. The syllabus will identify the pages/chapters to be read each week.

Students will write response papers on their readings in each book throughout the course. If there are two books, for example, and there are three designated segments to each book, students will write six response papers during the course. These will consist of the students’ sense of what the author is saying and what they think is most important and why. Response papers are only one or two pages in length.

Scripture Case Study, or other Extended Report
Several passages of Scripture or topics for Scripture application are identified for each course. Students are to select one such passage or topic and write a report addressing the assignment for that course.

Vignettes (short segments of their life experiences to which they apply the model) and Other Course Specific Assignments
Counseling courses are pastoral—not mainly academic. Personal reflections and applications of biblical principles from each counseling course are significant features of the training. Biblical counseling is not merely mastering a series of “methods.” It’s godly shepherding, and works with the “fine china of people’s lives.” (A metaphor from Paul Tripp.) Students learn deeper levels of such pastoral help by applying these same biblical principles to their own lives first.

Ministry Component

Toward the end of each course each student must take some feature of the course and, with the approval of his or her pastor, use it with others in his or her church or ministry led by the church. This could be in a Bible study, Sunday School Class, discipling relationship, outreach effort, etc. Students will then write a one page Ministry Project Report to summarize their ministry; how it was received; and what they learned from the experience.

In How Change Happens and What Change Looks Like, for example, students will teach the model of how change happens to an individual or a group in their church. Then they will illustrate how it works by relating a vignette of their own experience. Finally they will invite their friend or someone in the small group they are teaching to apply the model to a life situation of that person in which they would like to see change.

Ministry Projects are written up in short one or two page reports sketching what was done, in what setting, with what reaction, and with what learning the student gained.

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