7.6.2 Counseling Courses

PTC 151 Dynamics of Biblical Change (Offered as Hybrid)

  • To build a firsthand understanding of the progressive sanctification process
  • To enable students to connect biblical truth to the case study realities and details of lives lived

Topics covered include the nature of idolatry and faith; the relationship between motive and action; the way Christ’s past, present, and future grace intersects with and affects how people live their daily lives; and the interplay of suffering and other situational factors with a person’s actions and reactions.
  Fall semester, three hours. Mr. Powlison/Mr. Alasdair Groves.

PTC 178 Helping Relationships (Offered as Hybrid)

  • To help students develop a functional biblical counseling worldview
  • To help students understand the importance of heart change as a methodological goal 
  • To develop an understanding of the role of Scripture in biblical counseling 
  • To highlight and practice the critical skills for effectiveness in biblical counseling

Topics covered include how to build a counseling relationship, how to gather and interpret data, how to function as an agent of repentance, and how to guide and assist others as they seek to apply change to daily life.
  Spring semester, three hours. Ms. Bernhardt/Mr. Welch.

PTC 221 Counseling & Physiology


  • To equip with a nuanced and practical biblical anthropology that will help distinguish between spiritual and physical issues in the lives of counselees
  • To deepen understanding of a select group of acute and chronic problems having physiological manifestations, particularly those that affect intellect and mood
  • To develop biblical strategies for pursuing counselees with such problems 
  • To sharpen abilities to critique the reigning presuppositions of biological psychiatry that serve to undermine Scripture’s authority in the counseling process

Topics covered include biblical anthropology and its counseling implications on neuropsychology, psychopharmacology, dementia, traumatic brain injury, psychiatry, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic attacks and hallucinations, attention deficit disorder, addiction, homosexuality, and autism.
  Fall semester, two hours. (Note Change: This course will be offered on campus in 2014-2015). Mr. Emlet.

PTC 243 Theology and Secular Psychology (Offered as Hybrid)

  • To teach students how to understand psychologists’ observations, theories, and practices, and how to engage them critically, humbly, and lovingly
  • To reinterpret through a redemptive gaze the things that psychologists see most clearly and care about most deeply
  • To understand where biblical counseling fits in our cultural context, both within the evangelical church and within the surrounding mental health system

Topics covered include the skills of reinterpretation and redemptive interaction; historical overview of the biblical counseling and the evangelical psychotherapy movements; the lay of the land in contemporary counseling; assessment of motivation theories and self-esteem theory; and primary source readings from a half dozen representative psychologists, ranging from high culture to self-help.
  Spring semester, three hours. Mr. Stryd/Mr. Powlison.

PTC 251 Marriage Counseling

  • To help students develop a rich, biblical-theological view of marriage and relationships that challenges popular goals for marriage/relationship counseling and provides powerful hope and direction
  • To provide students with conceptual and methodological tools for marriage counseling that are rooted in a biblical worldview of marriage and that recognize the unique challenges of marriage counseling 
  • To interact with prevailing secular models of marriage counseling within a biblical worldview 
  • To begin to develop the ability to offer relational skills within a larger context of heart change 
  • To consider current marriage problem areas impacting the church

Topics covered include a biblical theological review of marriage and relationships; and an introduction to systems theory, gender differences, communication, and conflict. Counseling videos will be used to help the student gain a sense of the counseling process.
  Fall semester, three hours. Mr. Winston Smith.

PTC 261 Human Personality

  • To deepen students’ understanding of biblical doctrine as it applies to the person
  • To examine what doctrines are especially important to apply in this generation 
  • To understand how to apply biblical doctrine in personal ministry 
  • To be able to uncover the implicit theology in other models of personal ministry and dialogue effectively about these issues

Topics covered include a review of systematic theological categories with a commitment to developing multiple applications, an examination of both Christian and non-Christian counseling case studies with an eye to enrich them with our theological work, and the practical application of a biblical-theological approach to the study of people.
  Fall semester, three hours. Mr. Welch, Mr. Todd Stryd

PTC 303 Counseling Problems and Procedures

  • To identify the essential features of biblical counseling
  • To identify current counseling issues that are apparent in the church 
  • To appreciate Scripture’s depth as it addresses common problems such as suffering, anger, and anxiety 
  • To prepare students to move toward people with any type of struggle in a way that is helpful and Christ-centered

Topics covered include abuse, guilt and legalism, fear, anger, bipolar, schizophrenia, anorexia and bulimia, and addictions.
  Spring semester, three hours. Mr. Welch.

PTC 358 Counseling Children and Adolescents (formerly Human Growth and Development)

  • To develop counseling methods for understanding and communicating with children and adolescents
  • To enhance students’ understanding of the dynamics of family functioning that underscore behavioral problems of children and adolescents 
  • To understand the present legal issues in counseling children and adolescents 
  • To develop biblical models of parenting that students can use in counseling parents to be more effective in training and disciplining their children 
  • To develop an understanding of the effects of divorce on children and the issues in counseling with step and blended families

This course will focus on counseling with children and adolescents. It will provide students with a broader focus on evaluating children’s behavioral and emotional issues in the context of family functioning. The course will give special attention to counseling method and relevant legal issues.
  Spring semester, three hours. Mrs. Lowe.

PTC 371P  Counseling Observation

  • To see the application of a biblical model of counseling
  • To learn how to manage a counseling hour 
  • To understand how ministry is done in the context of a relationship 
  • To provide direction in counseling

Students will observe counseling through a one-way mirror and meet with the counselor following the counseling session. Instead of addressing predetermined topics, the class will discuss topics that arise out of the counseling case. Limited enrollment. Preference given to M.Div. - Counseling and M.A. - Biblical Counseling students. Auditing not permitted.
  Fall, winter and spring semesters, two hours. Mrs. Lowe, Mr. Stryd, Mr. Gembola, Mr. Emlet, Mr. Smith, Mrs. Strickland

PTC 432  Essential Qualities of a Biblical Counselor

  • To help students identify their strengths and weaknesses as counselors with regard to both heart issues and skills
  • To help students develop strategies for growth in these areas 
  • To provide practical opportunities by which to make these evaluations and to develop skills that contribute to effective counseling

Character qualities covered include love, humility, faithfulness, and spiritual maturity. Skills are coordinated with those covered in Methods of Biblical Change. Prerequisite, either PTC 151 or PTC 178. ($50 testing fee is required. Fee is subject to change).
  Fall term, two hours. (Eight-week course, taught 3 hours per week). Mrs. Kim.
PTC 514  Seminar in Professional Orientation

  • To understand the organizational structures that oversee professional and lay counseling.
  • To identify and apply ethical and legal guidelines 
  • To formulate a biblical perspective on professional ethics 
  • To discern the relevance of diversity and cross-cultural issues in counseling practice

  Winter term, two hours. Staff.

PTC 522  Counseling in the Local Church

  • To broaden students’ understanding of counseling to include all relationships
  • To build a thoroughly biblical understanding of the local church as a ministering community where everyone plays a part 
  • To help students find their place of ministry within the context of the local church and to help others do the same 
  • To see the importance of both public and private ministry of the Word and how they interrelate 
  • To examine present ministry opportunities

Topics covered include a biblical foundation for private ministry of the Word; the role of community and relationships in the process of sanctification; developing a practical ecclesiology; and developing an eye for ministry opportunities such as conflict resolution, evangelism, and church discipline.
  Spring Semester, two hours. Mr. Emlet.

PTC 591-P CCEF National Conference

  • To introduce students to contemporary issues in Biblical Counseling

Topics covered will change every year so students can take the course more than once. Students should check the fall course schedule for specific dates. Students will be required to complete written responses and outside reading to fulfill course requirements.
  Fall semester, one hour. Mr. Emlet.

PTC 673  Case Study Seminar

  • To apply theology to the specifics of face-to-face ministry
  • To develop more experience by discussing a broad range of counseling case studies 
  • To receive supervision on counseling cases

Faculty will present counseling cases for group discussion and students will present their own cases for supervision. Along with applying the content of the other counseling courses, topics include professional and ethical issues. Not available to M.Div. or M.A.R. students. Auditing not permitted.
  Spring semester, two hours. Ms. Andrews.