Whether you desire to serve as a biblical counselor in full-time ministry or simply to encourage others in your workplace, church and family, the biblical counseling program at BJU exists to prepare Christians to assist believers in their progressive sanctification by pointing them to Christ through the ministry of the Holy Spirit and God’s all-sufficient Word.
The Bible classes (equivalent to a minor in Bible) will provide you with a solid foundation for your biblical counseling ministry. Including classes in hermeneutics, doctrines, Bible and theology—as well as courses on the various books of the Bible—you will learn who God is, how to interpret His Word and how the gospel pertains to every area of life.
In your counseling classes you’ll learn how Christ-centered ministry is deeply rooted in the doctrines of sufficiency and progressive sanctification. You’ll develop the skill to point people to Christ as you take the Bible and apply it to the spiritual struggles, trials and challenges that every believer faces.
Your psychology classes will acquaint you with secular and integrational counseling approaches, and help you critique them from a biblical worldview. You’ll be challenged to understand and biblically evaluate the psychological diagnoses which are found in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). In addition, you’ll not only study key areas of psychology (including social, developmental and experimental), you’ll be assisted in formulating a biblical view of each area.
You’ll also benefit from the BJU Core, a unique combination of Bible and liberal arts courses taken by every BJU student. As a biblical counseling student, the Bible courses are already included in your program of study. These courses, as well as daily chapel services and godly professors, will nurture your growth in Christlikeness.
In addition, liberal arts courses will broaden your horizons and equip you with skills essential for flexibility in an ever-changing job market—skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving, effective communication, ethical decision making, adaptability and much more.
The generous number of electives throughout the program will allow you to customize your experience, whether you’d like to focus on pastoral ministries, women’s ministries, youth ministries, or an area such as business or writing.
Bekah McAllister, ’08
Admission counselor at BJU
Studying Biblical Counseling is one of the wisest choices I have made.
I’m extremely grateful for the training that I received as it shaped my worldview and helped me to be grounded in the truth that God has the answers for all of our problems. The Biblical Counseling major is incredibly practical. What I learned in the classroom will never be outdated because Biblical Counseling is based on truth that will never change or lose relevance. No matter what job I have or where I live, there will always be people who cross my path that will need to see how the Bible can help them deal with the struggles of life.
When the Lord led me to be an English teacher overseas, I was encouraged to see that Biblical counseling breaks through cultural differences. Initially, I was intimidated when my students came to me with their problems because I wasn’t sure if my answers were influenced by American ideals and would not be well received. I quickly learned that was not the case as long as I communicated Biblical principles. How encouraging to see the power that the Bible has! That experience has filled me with gratitude for my time at BJU because it has equipped me with the best resources for making an impact on the lives of others.
Daniel Taylor, ’10
Volunteer fire department chaplain
Shortly after the completion of my degree in biblical counseling, I accepted a chaplaincy position at a local fire department.
I had very little idea of what exactly I was getting myself into. After an introductory crash course, though, I realized my undergraduate training would be invaluable.
Most of my work was “pre-counseling” or evangelistic in nature, but the Lord was able to use me as an instrument in the progressive sanctification of the few men who did know Him as Savior already.
Counseling is not, “I have arrived in my Christianity; let me pull you through yours now.” Rather, counseling is, “I am a sinner like you, but by God’s grace, let’s seek Him together so that we can bring Him the most glory from our broken lives.”
Courtney Frazier, ’09
When I decided to study counseling at BJU, I knew the Lord was going to use it in my life, but I didn't know how much.
My prayer was to use what I had learned in the counseling program in the profession I chose as an early interventionist, as well as in ministry.
Serving as an early interventionist, I work with children that have special needs and disabilities, using play therapy to develop their speech, social and academic skills and help them function in the everyday world. I also work with the families, training them on how to help their children develop their skills; this includes informing them of the doctors, therapists, and schools needed to help their children overcome these difficult areas of disability. These families are often very discouraged about not knowing how to work with their special needs child. Some of these families have a background of domestic abuse, and drug and alcohol addictions. Using what the Lord has taught me through His Word and my counseling courses at BJU, I have had many opportunities to assist these families in their own personal struggles with discouragement, fear, and addictions.
Along with using my studies as an early interventionist, I have had many opportunities to minister to others through counseling. My prayer was that God would give me a job so that I could use my counseling as a ministry for those who could not afford it but needed it. God has definitely answered this prayer! In the last few years, I have been able to serve people who have struggled with tragic circumstances such as rape, eating disorders, domestic abuse, thoughts of suicide and death of a loved one. I have been able to see God comfort His children, change their hearts and change their lives. Recognizing their identity in Christ and the Gospel, rather than their fear of man or dependence on addictions, has completely changed their life purpose and given them a truly evident joy!
- Camp counselor
- Chaplain (military, hospital, jail)
- Christian school counselor
- Children’s ministry leader
- Women’s ministry leader
- Local church counselor
- Children's home counselor
- Teen home counselor
Some of the positions graduates have ministered in are:
- Wilds Christian Camp, Brevard, N.C.
- Camp Ironwood, Newberry Springs, Calif.
- Shepherd’s Gate Women's Shelter, Greenville, S.C.
- Greenville Rescue Mission, Greenville, S.C.
- Piedmont Women’s Center, Greenville, S.C.
- Tent maker in South Korea
- Missionary in Mexico
- Early Interventionist, Brilliant Beginnings, Simpsonville, S.C.
- Admission Counselor, BJU
Weekly Outreach Ministries
Our students put into practice what they are learning by participating in weekly outreach ministries where they preach, teach and visit with people. Bible students also have opportunities to serve in local churches where they study under experienced leaders. An evangelist founded BJU and this emphasis remains to this day. Every week a variety of outreaches take place in the local community and beyond. From sports evangelism to nursing home outreaches, children’s ministries to music ministries, prison outreaches to church ministries, you will have opportunities for practical education within a ministry that fits your gifts and desires. Many of these ministries connect you with local believers in need of spiritual encouragement or short-term partnering to share the good news to those in need of Christ.
Missions Advance is a student-led group whose purpose is to stimulate missionary zeal and vision on campus. Their goal is to cultivate the student body’s passion for God’s glory, resulting in greater participation in world missions through learning, praying and mobilizing.
- Learning: by inviting speakers, giving presentations, and providing missionary letters to better inform students’ prayers
- Praying: by spending a majority of the meetings interceding for God’s work around the world and for God to send laborers into His harvest
- Mobilizing: by offering avenues through which the student body can be involved in mission work while in school
Missions Advance meets every Monday and Thursday night.
Student Leadership Development
You can take advantage of the support offered in the Student Leadership Initiative. Several times each semester you will meet with fellow student leaders to learn more about being a servant-leader during panel discussions, guest speaker presentations and more.
Summer mission teams
A summer ministry opens your eyes to Jesus’ church around the globe and to the needs people have. During this concentrated period of service in the field, you will experience the sweetness of communion with saints from other lands, and grow in your love for God’s people and for those who have not yet encountered hope through Jesus Christ.
Division of Ministries
Our outstanding faculty has more than 218 years of combined teaching experience in preaching and other pastoral and evangelistic roles.
Many of our faculty hold either terminal degrees in their fields or have extensive practical ministry and teaching experience.
Our faculty’s sound, exegetical teaching is combined with their desire to mentor you, as you prepare to serve Jesus Christ in ministry.
Courses & Objectives
Sample Course Outline
- Apologetics & Worldview
- Counseling Men or Women Elective (3 credits)
- Math/Computer or Science Elective (3 credits)
- BJU Core
Each student will:
- Implement basic principles of research for studying psychological topics.
- Critique psychological theories from a biblical worldview.
- Articulate how biblical counseling is rooted in the doctrines of sufficiency and progressive sanctification, differing from secular and integrational counseling.
- Apply a biblical counseling methodology to personal problems.