There are many interesting career opportunities, which involve a lot of communication. One such job is that of a Christian counselor. As the name suggests, these are psychology professionals, who are adept in conventional counseling practices as well as spiritual aspects of Christianity. They primarily work for people who are depressed and need help, keeping in mind the Christian laws, concepts, rules, and practices. This is a field of work, which along with traditional psychology, demands a significant amount of additional knowledge about the religion. There are some believers of Jesus Christ, who also work as counselors in the community without a degree.
Decide on this Career
The first step to enter this field is to decide if you really want to become one. Also, determine if you want to become a professional, or simply a counselor. Decide if you want to enter this career for making a living, or just to serve the people. This is because you can become a Christian counselor even without training and certification, and simply by knowing and practicing a true Christian life.
Consider Licensing Requirements
You can start with taking Bible study lessons in the local churches, and get to know about its teachings as much as possible. Moreover, you need to practice in your everyday life, what you learn. In case you are considering this as a full-time career for a living, find out whether your state requires you to obtain licensure. If you choose to obtain a license from the state, you will have to adopt only typical counseling practices allowed by the state law.
You have the option to attend a Christian college/university for a degree in subjects like psychology, counseling, and theology. An aspirant in this work sector can choose a bachelor's/master's degree, or even a doctorate. Get in touch with professional associations, such as the National Christian Counselors Association (NCCA), Christian Association for Psychological Studies (CAPS), or the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC). Refer to their respective websites to know more about related programs and other requirements.
After you become familiar with the true Christian life and start practicing the same, or have completed your education, you can move on to work. You can address simple problems of teens and youngsters in churches for a start. In order to solve problems of other people, you need to be well versed with Christian teachings. Include Biblical concepts and examples to solve the emotional issues of people. You can even attend special conferences, and network with church authorities in your neighborhood to excel in the skill.
In many cases, pastors and elders of the church play the role of counselors, and may also work in marriage counseling, family counseling, and teen counseling. Experienced professionals would be able to counsel all kinds of people, regardless of the nature of their problems. Since this career is not chosen for earning money, but for helping people emotionally, the salary range is not expected to be high. The average income is considered to be around USD 35,000 per annum.