Undergraduate Program

Church & Lay Counselor Training

Make a Difference. Change Lives.

The Lay Counselor training program is designed for individuals who wish to utilize their skills to help others within their church family to help people find freedom in Christ.

Through this program, individuals will learn how to help their church family find freedom from issues like anxiety, depression, addiction, marriage and relationship problems, and more.

This certification program teaches a biblical counseling model called Creation Therapy, which includes the most in-depth Christian trait analysis available, the Arno Profile System (APS). This model instantly gives the counselor an in-depth look at the client’s unique, inborn strengths, weaknesses and needs. It then provides a step-by-step model for counseling.

The Lay Counselor program is a 100% online distance learning program that fully equips you as a Registered Christian Counselor via the International Academy of Pastoral Counselors**.

Program Overview

The Lay Counselor training program is completed via distance-learning at the student’s own pace. Students may enroll in the program at any time. 

Program Requirements

  • – High school diploma or GED.
  • – Professing Christian and active member of a local church body, including a letter of recommendation from the student’s pastor or pastoral oversight.

Additional Note

Individuals who complete this program may apply their coursework toward any degree program at CTS should they decide to continue their education.

Program Requirements:


Candidates must complete the following courses:

  • – COU101: Creation Therapy
  • – COU179: Practical Approaches to Counseling
  • – COU186: Counseling: Applying Theory to Practice
  • – COU105: Mastering Pastoral Counseling Utilizing Temperament

Candidates must complete the following:

  • – Complete a practicum, consisting of administering the APS report to 10 individuals.
  • – Complete three (3) hours of clinical supervision.
  • – Submit responses to the IAPC’s National Licensing Board of Examiners.
  • – Submit a headshot or photo.
  • – Submit a resume detailing ministry & vocational experience.
  • – Submit three reference forms from individuals who can speak to the candidate’s character and Christian witness.
  • – Submit a letter of recommendation from the candidate’s pastor and/or pastoral leadership within the student’s local church, on church letterhead.
  • – Apply for Membership to the International Academy of Pastoral Counselors.
  • – Apply for Membership to the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling.

Following the candidate’s completion of the program, he or she will earn:

  • – Membership in the International Academy of Pastoral Counselors
  • – Membership in the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling
  • – Certification as a Registered Christian Counselor with the International Academy of Pastoral Counselors


The following costs constitute the entire program for the Lay Counselor program:

(Prices are listed in U.S. Dollars ($ USD)
Application for Admission
Practicum consisting of a total of 25 APS reports (@ $35.00 each)
Clinical Supervision consisting of a total of three (3) hours (@ $75 per hour)
Membership Fee to the International Academy of Pastoral Counselors
Membership Fee to the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling
IAPC Certification Fee
National Background Check Fee

It’s time to get started on the path to success. Apply today.

Department Contact Info

Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Organizational Leadership

Sandra Brawner, D.PC., Department Chair

Jennifer Davis, Ph.D., Vice President, Academic Affairs

(877) 781-8747

Apply Now

Additional Information

Flexible payment options for the Lay Counselor Certification Program is available to students, including payment plans, paid-in-full discounts, and pay-as-you-go options. Limited scholarships are also available. Click here to view our Tuition & Fees page.

Program Enrollment:

Enrollment at CrossPointe Theological Seminary takes place on a rolling basis, meaning you can begin your coursework as soon as your application is approved. Once you’ve completed a course, you may move on to the next course.

**This degree does not lead to state licensure as a Professional Counselor, Social Worker, Marriage & Family Therapist, or Clinical Alcohol & Drug Counselor, but rather to licensure as a Licensed Pastoral Counselor with the National Christian Counselors Association, a non-profit para-church Christian Organization.

Get answers to Frequently Asked Questions here.