Counseling by The Book

Counseling by The Book

Counseling by The Book

Dr. John Babler is shown here teaching on the campus of
Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary

Whether you know it or not, you are a counselor. You counsel people hundreds of times a year. In coffee shops, near water coolers, in the grocery store, at church, or over a meal. The question is not, “Will I counsel” because you most certainly will. A better question is, “What will you counsel with?”

Many people use their experience, something they heard or read, or something they were taught as a way to give good advice and counsel. Counseling by The Book Training is a new biblical counseling training program developed by Dr. John Babler. Dr. Babler is Chairman of Biblical Counseling at Mid-America Seminary and College, and he also serves as a Fellow and Board Member with the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC). His expert training will help you learn how to use Scripture to counsel those who ask you for help.

If you want to give people advice that is true, will stand the test of time, and draw people to God (which is ultimately what we need), Scripture is the way to go, and Counseling by The Book Training will help you get there. We provide a certificate upon completion.

Completion of this training offers you two benefits: 1) You earn a Certificate in Biblical Counseling from Mid-America, and 2) It fulfills the requirements for the Fundamentals training requirement for certification by the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC). This optional certification provides further instruction and skills development for you as you “Counsel by The Book.” Visit the ACBC website for more information about this certification.

We offer two options for receiving the Counseling by The Book Training:

  1. Online, self-directed training via videos featuring Dr. Babler
  2. Live, on-campus training during four weekends, taught in-person by Dr. Babler

Both options include all 26 sessions of the Counseling by The Book content, plus a certificate upon completion. Check out each option to see which is best for you!

If you’re looking for a program that is self-paced, so you can begin today and complete the training as it fits your schedule, Counseling by The Book Online is for you. Start getting equipped today! This comprehensive training program includes 26 video sessions featuring Dr. Babler’s teaching. You also receive downloadable study notes that help you follow along and provide the material you’ll be covering in written form. You can watch the videos anytime, anyplace, and on any device.

The cost for the Counseling by The Book Online Training is $399. This includes anytime access to the 26 video sessions, notes pages for the sessions, and the certificate.

If you’re looking for the best and fastest route to becoming equipped to counsel without compromising the quality of the training, Counseling by The Book Live! is for you. This intensive workshop includes 26 comprehensive sessions taught live by Dr. Babler, all condensed into four weekends on the campus of Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. The next session is Fall 2024:

  • August 23–24
  • September 6–7
  • September 20–21
  • October 11–12

Each weekend includes Friday, 6:00–9:00 p.m., and Saturday, 8:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

NEW! LEVEL 2 ADVANCED TRAINING The Level 2 Counseling by The Book Live! training offered this Fall will meet the same days and times as the Level 1 training. It is for those who have completed the Level 1 training and will focus on observation videos of counseling sessions and discussion of case studies. This training will help you become more proficient at Biblical Counseling as you watch others counsel and as you discuss significant case studies. Watching the videos will also meet the observation requirement for those pursuing ACBC Certification.

CAN’T ATTEND A WEEKEND? No problem! You have two options: 1) Access the training through livestream; or 2) Access the library of online videos anytime! Your registration for the Live! training includes full access to the complete set of online videos as well.

THE COST for the Counseling by The Book Live! Training is $450. In addition to the live, on-campus training, notes pages for the sessions, and the certificate, this package includes as a bonus anytime access to the 26 video sessions.

What Topics are covered in the Counseling by The Book training?

You get 26 complete sessions of Dr. Babler’s best teaching, whether you go with the online option or the live option. Below is a list of each session.

  • Session 1: Welcome and Introduction
  • Session 2: Avoid the World’s Wisdom
  • Session 3: Doctrine of Scripture
  • Session 4: Doctrine of God 
  • Session 5: Doctrine of Man 
  • Session 6: Doctrine of Sin
  • Session 7: Doctrine of the Church
  • Session 8: The Heart of the Problem
  • Session 9: The Biblical Process of Change
  • Session 10: Instilling Hope
  • Session 11: Relationships in Counseling
  • Session 12: Foundational Biblical Counseling
  • Session 13: Counseling Ephesians
  • Session 14: Counseling Nuggets
  • Session 15: Biblical Confrontation and Church Discipline
  • Session 16: Un-Biblical Thinking
  • Session 17: Medication, Diagnosing, and the DSM-5
  • Session 18: Addictions and Sexual Sin
  • Session 19: Gathering Information and Asking Questions
  • Session 20: Legal and Ethical Issues
  • Session 21: Homework
  • Session 22: Evangelism
  • Session 23: Marriage and Family Counseling
  • Session 24: Grief and Crisis Counseling
  • Session 25: Selected Counseling Issues
  • Session 26: Wrap-up
Who provides the certificate?

Upon successful completion of the training (online or live), you will be awarded a joint certificate of completion from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary and Counseling by The Book. We use the honor-code system and trust that each person who signifies they’ve completed the coursework has done so.

Completion of this certificate also fulfills the requirements for the Fundamentals training requirement for certification by the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC). This optional certification provides further instruction and skills development for you as you “Counsel by The Book.” Visit the ACBC website for more information about this certification.

What is biblical counseling?

Biblical counseling is based upon the belief that the Bible is sufficient to help people deal with the challenges of life. At Mid-America, we believe and teach that the Bible is sufficient for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness and is able to equip believers for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16–17). We train students to view the Bible as providing both the mandate and method to counsel others. We focus on helping students know how to minister the Bible as the sole source of their counseling. For a more in-depth answer to this question, read Dr. Babler’s article in the Mid-America Messenger. You can also view other options for biblical counseling training offered by Mid-America.

Counseling by the book gets great reviews

Virgil W

Virgil Walker

This training is a “must” for all believers regardless of their role in the church.  We should all learn to apply Scripture to every issue.  This is the only training that I find able to do such a thorough job of equipping the saints for such a task. 

Cathy S

Cathy S

I learned how important it is to listen for unbiblical truths and confront that with the truth of Scripture. Through the training, God gave me a love and passion for biblical counseling- something I knew very little about before the training. 

Brian H

Brian H

In reviewing the growth of modern psychology, it became apparent that they are not addressing the cause for many emotional and mental issues and thus never attaining healing. This course will better equip you in your ministry

Annie W


Everyone who is a Christian and has a desire to deeply and practically disciple someone, while learning doctrine and how to correctly exegete the Bible, should take this course!

What Others Are Saying

“I found the suggestion to begin collecting Scripture for use in counseling very helpful. I have begun my list and look forward to continuing to apply the Word in various situations to help believers thrive.”
Holly Ashton
“I found the practical aspects instead of theory most valuable.”
Dale Ledbetter
“This course is a wonderful first step or as a capstone to remind those graduating of what all they have learned—and the case work is great.”
William Rouse
“The training just reinforced my firm belief in the sufficiency of Scripture, that the Word of God is all we need to 'life and godliness' and is 'profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.' Thank you!”
Norm Murdock
“The strong biblical foundation. I considered the biblical counseling certificate program at another seminary. However, I chose this one because I was more confident in Dr. Babler's philosophy of counseling because of his convictions regarding the sufficiency and superiority of Scripture. I cannot speak to the value of the other program, but I was certainly not disappointed in this one. Dr. Babler's foundational method of counseling was just what I needed to hear.”
William Perry
“I enjoyed the focus on biblical superiority and confidence in the same, also the emphasis on checking ourselves and our motivation to counsel.”
Bryan McCoy
“Truly, connecting with the truth of the sufficiency of Scripture made a significant paradigm shift in how I talk to the refugee families in my ministry. ”
Kori Bailey
“The course was biblical! ”
Ryan James
“A consistent emphasis on the sufficiency of Scripture! ”
Denise Howard

A Personal Note from John…