A “Missional” Counseling Course That Makes an Immediate Impact on the Community
Biblical Seminary’s (Hatfield, Pennsylvania) Certificate in Advanced Professional Counseling program includes a course that doesn’t stop with equipping students with required training in preparation for the state licensure exam: the course also trains students to make a difference in the community as they learn.
A little background: The Master of Arts in Counseling program at Biblical is completed in just two years. Students attend one night a week (Mondays) and one Saturday a month. At the completion of the program, students who wish to continue on to pursue licensure can apply for an additional one-year certificate. Biblical holds the distinction of being the only seminary in the Philadelphia area that has a distinctly Christian based program that leads to licensure.
The course: “Career and Lifestyle Development.” Why does it make a community difference?
During week five of the intense six week course offered each winter term, the students put together and run a Career Advice Clinic. This year the counselors served 26 clients free of charge; people who came for counseling expressed needs that included: 1) what to do with frustration over job loss and long job searches, 2) desires to make career changes but not knowing how to even begin, and 3) how to craft a resume that will get an interview.
Clients were prayed with, counseled, listened to, support, and coached. The students seemed quite intentional in their pre-meeting telephone discussions and were able to bring appropriate resources to the career clinic that would be helpful in addressing other life issues that could be contributing to difficult job situations.
Student feedback included how blessed they were by the interaction with real people struggling with a variety of job scenarios, and how great it was to provide hope to the clients and honor to God.
For further information, contact WRF member Pam Smith at email@example.com.