Biblical counseling – is it just for the pastors and elders? Or for trained professionals? What does it look like to restore counseling to the local church? The purpose of this course is to:

  • 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.



Week 1: Course Introduction: Why the Church Should be Counseling
Week 2: Redemptive Community
Week 3: Self-Counsel
Week 4: A Biblical View of Change
Week 5: Public Counsel
Week 6: Sought and Created Counsel
Week 7: Structures and Processes for Interpersonal Ministry
Week 8: Counseling Models at Four Churches
Week 9: Conflict and Pursuing Forgiveness
Week 10: Unsought Group Counsel
Week 11: Church Discipline



About the Professor

Dr. Timothy S. Lane is a minister in the Presbyterian Church in America since 1991 (PCA), and co-author of How People Change and Relationships: A Mess Worth Making. He has written several mini-books including PTSD, Forgiving Others, Sex Before Marriage, Family Feuds, Conflict, and Freedom From Guilt. He has experience in both campus and pastoral ministry (serving as a pastor in Clemson, SC 1991-2001). From 2001-2013, he served as a counselor and faculty at CCEF (2007-2013 as Executive Director) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Tim is adjunct professor of practical theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Westminster Seminary California and Redeemer Seminary in Dallas, TX.


Required textbooks

Students must purchase separately, any other required reading is provided with course access. If you would like to borrow these books please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to check availability.

  • How People Change , Lane and Tripp, New Growth Press

  • Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community, Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  • Relationships: A Mess Worth Making, Lane and Tripp, New Growth Press

  • Pastoral Theology in the Classical Tradition, Purves, Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2001)


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