Christian Counseling Certification Article on Mentoring

Making disciples of all nations and fulfilling Christ’s mandate involves sometimes more than preaching but also sometimes working with others and helping develop their spirituality.  Individuals in positions of authority or experience sometimes find themselves helping others perfect their trade.  This is not only true of the professional world, but also within the spiritual world.  Numerous pastors, elders and spiritually developed Christians help others find Christ and also to grow in Christ.

Mentorship hence is a vital role within the Church.  It involves the Spiritual Works of Mercy that include instructing the ignorant, admonishing the sinful, counseling the doubtful and praying for their development.  Spiritual parents play large roles in this development.  Whether a pastor, minister, spiritual advisor, mentor or God parent, one is thrust into a spiritual position to help their spiritual children grow in Christ.  This spiritual promise is an important one that comes from God.  It is a very solemn duty to to not only guide but teach by good example.


Christ selected 12 Apostles to proclaim the Gospel. Spiritual Mentorship follows the paradigm of Christ in selecting and cultivating spiritual growth


This is why it is so scandalous when Church authority is abused.   When trust in authority is broken, many can be lost to the faith.  Many lash out against the faith.  Sexual abuse, corruption and bad example are all great sins before God and those in authority who mentor and teach the young, will answer in the most harsh ways.   It is important to shower one’s spiritual children with guidance and charity of the Holy Spirit through example and teaching.

Many look to the Paul Timothy relationship.  In it, St Paul guides St Timothy through the process of instruction and guidance.  St Paul educates but also encourages St Timothy in his spiritual formation.  Like St Paul, spiritual mentors are called to help cultivate religious vocations through example, teaching and encouragement. A spiritual mentor is a teacher, a coach,  and a counselor to his spiritual child and can help cultivate vocation through these positions of authority.

In doing so, like Christ, they give to their disciples a service of servanthood, as Christ did to the twelve but also an accountability.  An accountability to be spiritually present in their lives.  Also in any relationship their must be boundaries.  Overt dependency upon each other can cause damage to the growth of the spiritual child, as well as the spiritual parent.  The spiritual parent may also fear to let their spiritual child go.  So it is important to have important boundaries that are rooted firmly in Christ and faith.  It is hence important to discuss spiritual expectations and moral behavior in life, and when needed, the acknowledgement to seek outside help when needed.

It is also important to follow the Jesus Model.  Larry Kreider speaks about this model as a key way to help mentor and spiritually form young Christians.

Jesus just did not send out his disciples to the world without training or knowledge.  He chose them intentionally and took time to know them and cultivate their talents.  He taught not only by His words, but also by example.  The disciples learned the power of Christ on earth through His miracles and sermons.  In turn, Christ prepared them to proclaim the Gospel, but it was only until the Holy Spirit came upon them were they truly prepared.

He chose simply individuals.  He did not choose the rich or powerful but simple fisherman, Peter, James and John.  He chose a tax collector in Matthew, as well as numerous other outcasts.  He chose Andrew, Philip, James the Less, Simon, Bartholomew, and knowing those who would doubt Him, in Thomas, and those who would deny Him, in Judas.  Yet Christ, still accepted them all in their imperfections and status.  He gave them His full attention and charity and took them in as His own spiritual children.

Spiritual Mentors will also follow this model of Christ.  They will look to help develop the spirituality of the least of their brethren and allow their spiritual talents to become tools for the Church.  Like Christ, mentors need to initiate and take the first steps to help develop their spiritual children’s gifts.  They can reveal to them the good news of the Gospel and inspire in them a sense of awe regarding God. Through example and good deeds, they can inspire them.

They must also continue to build and cultivate the seed of faith within their spiritual children.  They must encourage spiritual life, reading of scripture, attendance of Church, and working within it.  They must cultivate that potential and push the faith into action.

Finally, eventually as Christ released the twelve, a mentor must be ready to release their spiritual children.  This does not mean, he or she abandons them or no longer offers his or her ear, but it does mean they trust in the abilities and faith of their children to spread the Gospel and themselves become spiritual parents.  The apostles went to the corners of the world and carried out their Master’s command even unto death.


We can help our spiritual children and help them grow in faith. Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification


If God is calling one to spiritual parenthood or to be a spiritual advisor, it is important to allow the Holy Spirit to guide it.  Prayer and fasting and discernment are extremely important.  One should not let insecurities or fear prevent one from fulfilling one’s duty to the Church.  The call to spiritual mentoring dismisses fear and insecurities, as well as ignorance, or apathy, or even impatience when one does not meet one’s standards.   It is a vocational call and it is a special relationship.

If you would like to learn more about AIHCP’s  Christian Counseling  Certification or would like to become a certified Christian Counselor to aid in your own spiritual mentorship of others, then please review the program and see if it meets your professional academic and spiritual goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Christian Counseling.