The modern psychologies provide the lenses through which most people view life’s problems. They shape how people interpret troubling behaviors, emotions, and relationships—so that sin is never part of what goes wrong with us. They shape the solutions offered—so that Christ plays no necessary part in addressing what is going on. Through practical assignments, group discussion, lectures and assigned readings, you’ll develop skills to lovingly and wisely engage the ways others seek to understand and solve personal problems. You’ll develop your ability to reinterpret what they see most clearly and care about most deeply. This class will help you to understand where biblical counseling fits both within the church and in relation to the surrounding mental health system.



Week 1: Course Introductions
Week 2: Developing Your Reinterpretive Skills
Week 3: Pastoral Care in the History of the Church
Week 4: Reinterpretative Skills
Week 5: Psychological Research
Week 6: Sigmund Freud
Week 7: Behavior and Cognitive-Behavior Therapies
Week 8: Psychotherapy
Week 9: Christian Psychology
Week 10: Engaging Secular Psychological Culture
Week 11: Engaging Evangelical Psychotherapy
Week 12: Engaging the Biblical Counseling Movement
Week 13: What Does the Future Hold for Biblical Counseling?



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), launched in September 2016. David and Nan dearly love their three children, and the three spouses and five grandchildren who have joined the family.

Todd Stryd is a faculty member at CCEF and the counseling coordinator. He has served for more than ten years. He holds a PsyD from Immaculata University and an MDiv from Westminster Theological Seminary. His dissertation work explored the relationship between a reformed Christian narrative and the experience of schizophrenia. He has experience as a hospital chaplain, crisis worker, and university counselor. Todd is married with three children. He considers himself a coffee connoisseur and fills his off days with reading Winnie the Pooh and making Lego creations.


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 ccef [at] to check availability.

  • The Biblical Counseling Movement: History and Context by David Powlison
  • The Berenstain Bears Get the Gimmies by Stan and Jan Berenstain
  • Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David Burns
  • Forgiveness: I just can’t forgive myself (booklet) by Robert Jones
  • Inside Out by Larry Crabb
  • Psychology and Christianity: Five Views edited by Eric Johnson
  • The Question of Lay Analysis by Freud, New York; W.W. Norton, 1990 (1927)
  • Seeing with New Eyes by David Powlison
  • Speaking Truth in Love by David Powlison




Term start date: 15th August 2018
Registration closes: 15th July 2018