The way that you counsel other people is determined by how you understand God, yourself, other people, life’s pressures, and change. This course addresses the depth, breadth, and balance of your understanding. How does Christ’s past grace, present grace, and future grace speak to our hearts and change how we live our daily lives? This course is about people. It is about how we face the troubles of life. It is about how we deal with our inner struggles. It is about how we change into Jesus’ image. Through case studies, class lectures, assigned readings, and Scripture, you’ll explore these practical questions. Self-counseling projects will help you to make first-hand, practical application of the concepts learned in class.



Week 1: Course Introduction & Overview
Week 2: Understanding the Person
Week 3: Understanding the Heat
Week 4: The Wisdom Found in Christ
Week 5: Understanding the Situation (Part 1)
Week 6: Understanding the Situation (Part 2)
Week 7: Practical Application: James
Week 8: Influences of the Heart
Week 9: Sin & the Heart
Week 10: Sin & Transformation
Week 11: Living with Personal Integrity
Week 12: Final Lecture



About the Professors

David Powlison, M.Div., Ph.D. serves as CCEF’s executive director, as a faculty member, and as senior editor of the Journal of Biblical Counseling. He has served at CCEF for more than 35 years. He holds a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania and an MDiv from Westminster Theological Seminary. David has written extensively on biblical counseling and on the relationship between faith and psychology. His books Seeing with New Eyes and Speaking Truth in Love probe the implications of Scripture for how to understand people and how to counsel. The Biblical Counseling Movement: History and Context explores the background and development of CCEF’s mission. David’s new book titled: Good and Angry: Redeeming Anger, Irritation, Complaining, and Bitterness (New Growth Press), will launch in September 2016. David and Nan dearly love their three children, and the three spouses and five grandchildren who have joined the family.

Alasdair Groves directs CCEF New England and is a faculty member at CCEF where he has served for more than five years. He received his Master of Divinity in counseling from Westminster Theological Seminary. In addition to counseling for CCEF New England, Alasdair has served on the staff of several churches and has a background in campus ministry. He has written articles for the Journal of Biblical Counseling, and regularly teaches a variety of seminars around the New England region. Alasdair and his wife, Lauren, have three young children. Alasdair is a fiction enthusiast, plays ultimate frisbee, and loves to produce and enjoy both good food and good music.



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.

  • Why Does it Have to Hurt? by Dan McCartney

  • The Christian Life by Sinclair Ferguson

  • Optional (portions of this book are available individually throughout the course, but you may wish to purchase the entire book): Seeing With New Eyes: Counseling and the Human Condition Through the Lens of Scripture (Resources for Changing Lives)