Transformational Christian Counseling, Life Coaching, and Soul Care Solutions

N.C.C.A. Training & Credentials

 The Soul Care Institute,  An N.C.C.A. Certified Academic Institution

888-761-5777, Extension #1

Distance Learning for Christian Counselors

Training | Certification | Licensing | Mentorship | Accredited Degrees

 Dr. Linda H. King, President & Director


About the N.C.C.A.

The National Christian Counselors Association (N.C.C.A.) is a training/educational organization that equips, trains, certifies, and licenses Christian counselors.  The Association, based in Sarasota, FL, was established by Drs Richard and Phyllis Arno in 1981 as a non-profit corporation in order to conduct research and develop a therapeutic procedure based on Scripture.

The N.C.C.A. includes ministers, professional Christian counselors, testing specialists, medical doctors, attorneys and educators.  The staff of the Association has committed themselves to the Lord Jesus Christ and believes that counseling is vain, unless it is founded upon, and directed by, the Word of God.  Soul Care Ministries International, Inc. (The Soul Care Instutitute™) is proud to be affiliated with the N.C.C.A. as a Certified Academic Institution offering the entire N.C.C.A. Certification, Licensing and Accedited

The counseling model developed by N.C.C.A, “Creation Therapy,” focuses on enabling persons to better understand themselves and their responsibility to establish a spiritual relationship with God.  The Scriptural concepts are based on Gen.1:1, “In the beginning God created…” and Psalm 139:13-14, “For You created my inmost being.”   Drs. Arno developed the counseling model over seven years through systematic research with over 5,000 individuals.  The counselees sought help for depression, inter/intra-personal conflict, marriage and family dysfunctions and anxiety.

N.C.C.A. is a fully accredited institution of higher learning and has agreements with specific schools that award degrees for students who complete a set of requirements for receiving their next level of degree. Through years of faithful service, the N.C.C.A. has built relationships with organizations, including Soul Care Ministries International, that are serving Christ and equipping the people of God.  Other affiliated organizations include Christian Bible Schools, Colleges and Seminaries that are working in the ministry field.  You may visit N.C.C.A. online at this link.  Please return to this site for application/registration with The Soul Care Institute.

Benefits of N.C.C.A. Certification and Licensing

Potential counselors often ask about the benefits of the training and obtaining certification or license from the N.C.C.A.  The main benefit is knowledge.  The training you receive provides deep spiritual insight into understanding human behavior and relating to others.  This knowledge is valuable in every area of life, including your ability to help those who are hurting.

Having N.C.C.A. credentials ensures that you are recognized within your community as a qualified Christian/Pastoral Counselor.  The community can be assured that your credentials are authentic and current. 

Other benefits available to N.C.C.A. members include qualifying for professional liability insurance, networking with other counselors and the opportunity to earn continuing education credits at seminars and conferences.  In addition, the N.C.C.A. offers assistance to its members with regard to degree transfer work and fulfillment of academic goals.

The training is convenient and flexible and adjusts to meet the needs of Christians with different goals including:

  •  Christians who want to be better equipped to minister to those who need counsel.
  • Pastors who want to learn how to counsel members of their community who are experiencing problems.
  • Ministers of Counseling who want to qualify for professional liability insurance.
  • Christian who want to be credentialed to enter counseling as a part-time or full-time ministry. 
  • Professional counselors who want to become A.P.S. certified and learn a Biblically-based counseling model that has proven-success.

 N.C.C.A. credentials will help you both personally and professionally. 

Advantages of the Arno Profile System


Christian Certification/Licensing

Providing comfort and direction have been integral aspects of Christian ministry throughout church history.  Each Christian counselor must decide if he or she wants to be an agent of the state or a servant of the Church (body of Christ). If you have a Divine call on your life to counsel and minister to the hurting, then a state license may inhibit such ministry.

The National Christian Counselors Association Licensing Program is not a state license and is, in fact, distinctly different.  Most states have regula­tory laws governing the practice of psychology.  Many of them also legislate the practice of general counseling.  The laws vary from state to state.  For example, some states have a counselor category called “Licensed Profes­sional Counselor.”  Therefore, the National Christian Counselors Associa­tion requires its counselors to clearly identify their license, e.g., “National Christian Counselors Association Licensed Pastoral Counselor” or “National Christian Counselors Association Licensed Clinical Christian Counselor.”  This ensures that the N.C.C.A. counselor is operating within legal and ethi­cal standards, and maintaining the public’s trust and confidence.

State regulatory laws help to protect the public and ensure professionalism within the counseling profession.  The N.C.C.A. strives to attain a similar goal within the Christian community and, at the same time, operate within compliance with state laws.  The state and federal governments also have jurisdictional boundaries.  They cannot pass laws that prevent the Church from fulfilling its purpose and ministering to humanity’s needs.  The state recognizes that counseling is one of the responsibilities of the Church and its clergy.  For this reason, the state does not and must not interfere with the Ministry of Counseling.

The major difference between state-licensed professional counselors and Pastoral or Christian counselors, who are licensed by the N.C.C.A. and under the authority of the Church (Body of Christ), is clear and well defined.  Coun­selors who have been licensed by the state are held to strict ethical standards which mandate an individual’s right to be free from religious influence.  The state licensed professional counselor is forbidden to pray, read or refer to the Holy Scriptures, counsel against things such as homosexuality, abortion, etc.  Initiating such counsel would be considered unethical by the state.  In most states in theU.S., state licensed counselors “must not promote their personal religious beliefs” according to the code of ethics in each respective state.  The only time a state licensed counselor can involve religious (Christian) principles, morals, activities, instruction, etc., is if the counselee initiates or requests counsel in this area. 

The state-licensed counselor may not have the education, experience and knowledge of Scripture that the N.C.C.A. counselor provides.

Opposite from that, Pastoral counselors are required to pray, share their faith, read the Holy Scriptures, etc.  The fact that Pastoral and Christian counselors do these things creates a clear distinction.  We are two distinct professions and govern ourselves accordingly.

As you can readily see, the state governs secular counselors and the Church is responsible to set standards and govern ministers who have devoted their lives to the ministry and to Pastoral counseling.  None of this is to say that the Christian counselor, minister or priest is not permitted to request fees and receive remuneration for the services they render, as long as they remain adherent to the state laws governing such procedures.

The N.C.C.A. requires all who are certified or licensed by its Licensing Board of Examiners to:

 1. Be credentialed ministers (ordained, licensed or commissioned) whose goal is to evangelize and ease the emotional pain and suffering of humanity.

2. Provide their service under the authority of a legally organized local church, a national church organization or a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit ministry.

3. Complete specialized training provided by the N.C.C.A.

4. Complete the minimum requirements for continuing education and annual     license renewal.

5. Uphold N.C.C.A.’s Code of Ethical Standards.

N.C.C.A.’s published “Code of Ethical Standards” outlines all of the procedures involved in dismissal, revocation, probation and reinstatement of an individual’s membership, certification and/or license and is available for review at

Explanation of Ministerial Credentials & Clergy

Are you “called” by God to counsel and want to be licensed?

Many individuals who inquire about the N.C.C.A.’s licensing program are already accountably ordained ministers whom are under the authority of their local church or denomination.  These individuals can complete the require­ments and be licensed as a Licensed Pastoral Counselor or as a Licensed Clinical Christian Counselor. In many states, they can counsel and accept remuneration for this service (in accordance with state and local guidelines) without being affiliated with any state agency or without being state licensed. Some states will require the clergy counselor to carry out their counseling under the sponsorship of a church or denomination to which they remain accountable.  This is because the laws governing counseling in most states exempt “Clergy” from submitting to its (the state’s) authority. You will need to make sure that your ministerial credentials and relationship to your church or denomination meet the requirements of licensing exemption in your state.

What about the others – those individuals who are not credentialed ministers or pastors?  The call to counsel is just as real for them. They do not want to be state licensed and most certainly do not want to relinquish their right to represent Jesus Christ in their counseling ministry.  They just want to answer and fulfill God’s call on their lives.

Indeed, some are called to the high office of the pastorate.  These persons should be credentialed (set aside) by a church or a denomination and ap­proved to perform all the duties of the pastorate, including the dispensation of the sacraments (giving Holy Communion and Baptizing).

However, there are many other types of Ministers or Clergy.  For example, Ministers of Music, Chaplains, Ministers of Administration, Missionaries, Youth Ministers, Evangelists, Pastoral Counselors, Bishops, etc.  All of these offices are understood by the state and federal government to be “Clergy.”

The Ministry of Counseling is a valid ministry which is instituted by God. The call into this ministry is an awesome call which cannot be easily ignored. 

Perhaps you are not called to pastor a church or to give Holy Communion or to Baptize. However, if you are called by God into the Ministry of Counsel­ing, we can help you.   You do not specifically have to be Ordained; you can qualify to be commissioned as a Commissioned Minister of Counseling. This should meet state requirements so you can legally offer spiritual Bible-based counseling and accept remuneration, because you will be in compliance with laws in your state that recognize the right of members of the Clergy to provide spiritual counseling.  And, it will open the doors for you to accept God’s call on your life.

Your local church/denomination may be authorized to commission you as a Commissioned Minister of Pastoral Counseling.

Please do not reject God’s call and His anointing on your life because you are fearful of the words “Clergy,” or “Ordained,” or “Commissioned” or “Minister.” These precious words mean “set aside” for the specific ministry for which God has called you.

Our call is to help you fulfill your call

N.C.C.A. License Board of Examiners


Non-Discrimination Policy


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)


How to Get Started

We extend an invitation to you to become a member of one of the largest educational and training associations of Christian counselors in the world. Our staff is committed to helping you fulfill the call that God has placed on your life.

You can complete your studies through distance education.  A student can enroll with The Soul Care Institute™ and take the necessary training to be credentialed by the N.C.C.A.  We offer online classes as well as traditional printed and bound book format that allows candidates to choose which format best suits their learning style. Students who wish to earn their next level degree may do so via transfer from The Soul Care Institute™ to the degree granting institution.  Learn more about the program at , request a catalog or contact us at The Soul Care Institute.  We look forward to serving you.





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