Biblical Counseling: Centering on Christ in the Chaos
When Mid-America desired to develop a Biblical Counseling program, they sought the help of Dr. Jay Adams. The late Dr. Adams was the founder of the modern day Biblical Counseling movement and published over 100 books, including Competent to Counsel which was the seminal work in the field. Like us, Adams believed the Bible is sufficient for the counseling task and superior to the world’s wisdom. Moreover, we share the belief that Christians can be competent to counsel, without an education in psychology or state licensure, through proper use of the Bible. Adams graciously agreed to develop the Biblical Counseling program at Mid-America, and classes began in 2015.
The Biblical Counseling Department at Mid-America is in a unique position to provide qualified biblical counselors to churches who can work alongside leaders in the field of biblical counseling. Amid recent events in the world, the need for Biblical Counselors is growing, and opportunities to minister God’s Word abound. Through our certificate, bachelor, master, and doctoral level programs, students gain a firm and practical foundation for helping people find hope through God’s Word.
Crisis and trauma are life-changing and devastating. When we think of crises, we often think of the pain, loss, loneliness, anxiety, and struggle that accompany them. In addition to the reality of the pain and challenges that come with crises, there are also opportunities to show God’s love, minister in His name, provide His comfort, and counsel His Word. I have found people in crisis are often open to spiritual things. Many who have been hostile to the things of God are willing to listen, and some actively seek God. Crises cause us to consider our priorities and recognize that beyond our day-to-day living, we should consider important issues and relationships. I think it is fair to say crises are events allowed by God to cause us to consider what (or Who) is essential.
Over the last three years, our lives have been impacted by a number of significant, far-reaching crises. The global COVID pandemic, social unrest, and economic pressures have had significant direct and indirect impact on Christians and non-Christians alike. The results of these recent crises include increased generalized fear, a dramatic increase in anxiety-related diagnoses, and increased suicides. In short, many around us, both in and outside the church, are feeling varying degrees of hopelessness. People need help with very serious issues. God is the One Who can provide true hope to those who have little or no hope. As Christians, we can counsel them with God’s Word. The Bible has much to say about crisis. From the fall in Genesis to the second coming of Christ in Revelation, the Bible gives examples of crises, provides stories of crises, and informs us through direct teaching on crisis.
Today as never before, we need biblical counselors. At Mid-America, we are training students to see crises, traumas, or disasters as opportunities to minister truth to hurting people. Because crises cause suffering and those suffering are often open to counsel, biblical counselors can help people align their lives with Scripture’s truth.
There will always be crises. While the current frequency and severity of crises will likely abate, things will not ultimately improve since we live in a world that is devolving rather than evolving. Mid-America’s Biblical Counseling faculty, graduates, and students will be leading churches to minister God’s Word to those impacted by crisis. They will also lead the field of Biblical Counseling in staying true to its heritage and responding to contemporary crises with God’s love and His Word.