Discipleship and mentoring future disciples is an important part of Christianity. We see this in the Paul-Timothy relationship and how Paul taught Timothy and educated him in the faith. Christian mentors can help others become better disciples. The relationship is very much vocational and only certain individuals are called to help form Christians.
If you are a pastor, priest, minister or someone helping youth in Christian formation, then consider becoming a spiritual advisor or mentor to them. Help them form their faith and guide them through scripture. AIHCP offers a four year Christian Counseling Program for qualified professionals. The program is online and independent study. If interested please review and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.
A serious threat to any religion is fanaticism. One likes to think his or her faith is safe from it, but the reality is many utilize faith and religion for other motives of propaganda. In the meantime, they radicalize the base of believers to push forth very unreligious ideals.
To many non religious this is one of the most unattractive elements of religion. While it may be a bad quality of misused faith, it definitely does not dismiss faith and religion on the whole. Instead it shows the dangers of corruption of anything, not just faith. When extremist views enter into any philosophy, politics, religion or ideals, then the chance of corruption exists. Hence it is important especially in faith to protect it from radicalism. Radicalism itself is much a sin against faith than non belief itself.
In this short blog, we will look how radicalization and fanaticism can in particular harm the Christian faith and the individual believer.
The first element of fanaticism is pride. Pride in one’s faith at the expense of charity and humility. Christians have pride in Christ. They boast Christ. However, when Christians boast Christ in spite of personal humility and unworthiness, then Satan easily twists faith into pride and corrupts it. Like the Pharisees of old, pride corrupts them and blinds them to the need of others and places themselves on a pedestal above others.
Fanaticism in addition to corrupting faith with pride, creates division instead of unity. It no longer places others as those in need of the Gospel but those in contradiction to the Gospel. It dehumanizes those who are not of the same faith. It creates a City on the Hill that sees itself as better and deserving of special graces. It looks to condemn others instead of forgive others and creates a “us” vs “them”
Fanaticism over emphasizes certain dogmas and places them over other ideals. Due to this poor interpretation, it collects a cult of believers within a certain faith that become schismatics. Hence fanaticism is also a cult within a religious cloak. It distorts dogma, over-emphasizes certain points, and refuses to discuss compromise on interpretation.
Religious radicalism also militarizes believers. It places within the heart of believers a do or die feeling of impending doom. This is how it galvanizes believers to the point of looking beyond one’s neighbor and only seeing the dogma. In this, they are willing to die for concepts at the expense of other people.
Ironically, our faith does call for certain things similar to radicalized faith. It does call for a certainty. It does condemn religious indifferentism. It does preach a radical ideal of spreading the Gospel and putting Christ in our all aspects of our life but these ideals are properly weighed with reason, obedience and most importantly charity.
We are called to love Christ at the highest level. We are called to be religiously zealous in our life. But when that love is distorted by dogmatism, hate, division and pride, then the fruit becomes corrupt. So being openly religious is not fanaticism in itself. We are called to be active Christians, but retaining the term Christian is the key. Pride, war in the name of religion, fear, division, and condemnation of others is not what Christianity is.
Christ Himself was religious but He was no fanatic. He was fanatic about the faith, but His actions were not fanatic in thought and deed. Instead, He insisted upon love and mercy and humility. These ideals call for practical action to love one’s neighbor. He yet balanced this love of neighbor also with strong faith. He did not deviate from the truth but promoted it.
Being a religious person hence is very different than being a religious fanatic. Fanatics may share some elements of a religious person, but they are distorted by pride, hate, judgement, dogmatism, disobedience and division. While a religious person strongly holds to their beliefs, a fanatic takes it a step farther, and finds superiority in faith and any lack of conformity a threat.
So in our faith, we need to define what extreme is? Can our love of Christ ever be too extreme? Certainly not. We are called to love God with our whole heart, our whole mind and our whole self, but in that love, that very extreme love, we are also called to love our neighbor. Extreme love of neighbor entails remaining strong to the truth, but it also entails love and communication when we disagree.
This is the true nature of ecumenism. Ecumenism is how we spread the Gospel in a Christ like way not a fanatic way. Ecumenism is about dialogue and discussion of faith. It is about seeing the beauty of God in all faiths, but also clearly defining differences but in a loving way. It does not condemn others but it looks to define what the faith teaches and why. False ecumenism looks to indifferentism and is equally a sin against faith as fanaticism. The fanatic will condemn and create division while the false ecumenist will create a false unity and deny the faith ultimately for the sake of fake communion.
Hence again is the balance of a true religious person. One who is steadfast but not ready to bargain away the faith for false unity, but neither one who will judge and condemn others in the name of God for personal pride and promotion of a creed over others.
Christ did not force conversion nor did He water down the truth. While religions in the past have committed horrible atrocities, if we follow the model of Christ, then we can truly be fanatic about our faith without being radical.
Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification Program and see if it matches your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification as a Christian Counselor.
Eastern Meditation stripped of its religious connotations has numerous health benefits but to substitute this type of meditation for Christian meditation in regards to spiritual life is an error. For purposes of physical health, breathing and various positions void of religious intent have health benefits, but for spiritual benefits, one must turn to the classical Christian meditation that looks not for relaxation but spiritual connection with God through the Scripture and Christ.
Christian meditation is Christo-centric and finds its basis in God’s presence through the quiet of Scripture and Christ. Christ leads one to the Father and helps one reflect on one’s spiritual life with God. Deeper contemplation can lead to deeper unions with God but all leads one back to the current world and its current situation instead of attempting to escape it.
Meditation is prayer and it is important that Christians remember this and not allow secular definitions of it to water its true nature down. The purpose is not to merely refresh the mind, de-stress, or find calm, but to connect with God.
The article, “Meditation Isn’t Mere Therapy — It’s a Living Relationship With Almighty God” by Anna Abbott reminds us of the true spiritual and prayerful nature of meditation. She states,
“In the case of Christian meditation, it is an active quest to live the life of Christ, which was anything but passive. Our Lord sought baptism from his cousin to begin his life of teaching. He called the Twelve Apostles. He actively healed, preached and performed miracles. He repeatedly told Sts. Peter, James and John that the endpoint of his mission was crucifixion, death and resurrection. He endured heroically, not passively. His mission is the foundational “quest.”
Going beyond this secular definition of meditation and realizing this active quest to find God is key in Christian meditation. Christian meditation is not to escape the world but to understand it with all its suffering and distraught but to Christianize it. Meditation brings the Christian closer to God to deal with the issues of the world. In this way, Christian meditation is far more different than secular notions of meditation that find there roots in Eastern themes.
While these techniques have physical health value they cannot replace spiritual meditation. Also bear in mind as Christians, these techniques themselves need to be utilized carefully since their ultimate design is based to create mental states that are associated with Eastern theology which is far from Christian. The ultimate end of Christian meditation is union with God, not to become a god.
Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification and see if it matches one’s academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification as a Christian Counselor.
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.
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.
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.
This is a quick crash course in textual review of the Gospels and where they came from. Obviously, we all know they came from the Holy Spirit’s inspiration, who inspired human beings in the collecting various of stories and also directly inspiring the writers themselves, whether the writers were direct witnesses or collectors of the information. Despite this inspiration, there still was a massive human cooperation with God that gave us the collection of the Four Gospels. It is important as Christian Counselors, ministers, priests, and chaplains to have a good foundation in what the Gospels are and where they came from.
Preaching the Gospel is a standard phrase for those in ministry but what are the Gospels themselves? Obviously the term to preach the Gospel extends beyond just the teachings found in the Four Gospels but are expounded throughout the entire Bible, but the ideal of the Gospel, the story of Jesus Christ and what He meant for salvation is the core concept found in the Gospels. The previous books prepare the Christian for the encounter with Christ as found in the Gospels, while the Epistles explain them in greater detail.
Hence the message of the Gospel is that Jesus Christ is both God and man and came to Earth to redeem humanity from the sin of Adam. In Christ, everything is made perfect. In Christ, is the perfect sacrifice and bridge to God. Without Christ, no salvation is possible and it is essential to accept Christ via Baptism to apply the blood of His redemption on the cross. This is why it is was so critical a command to preach this message to all corners of the world.
The Gospels hence paint a picture of who Christ is and why He came. They form the cornerstone of Christ’s teaching and set the basis for the Church. It was hence critical for the Church to enshrine them as part of the foundational structures of the faith and all Christian theology. The Four Gospels of Matthew, Mark. Luke and John were all formally written before the end of the 1st century. In fact, most findings dictate that the Epistles of Paul outdate the Gospels. It shows that the ideas of the Gospels had not been written yet by their namesakes, or at least collected together into one volume after the preaching of Paul. Historic and literary criticisms of the text show that Mark was the first book written of the Four Gospels and Mark’s Gospel collected data from various sources. These sources are known as the Que source which had accumulated various stories about the life of Christ handed down verbally and also in some cases documented. Unfortunately, this common source of data about Christ has never been collected but the very fact most Gospels share common stories, illustrates a common source regarding the life of Christ as handed down by the Apostles.
The Gospels were stories of Christ that were collected from eye witness accounts or contain parts written directly as witnessed by the observer. Historical authorship traditionally is applied to the namesakes of the Gospels themselves, the Apostles John and Matthew and the Disciples Mark and Luke. Some contend that these historic figures only are of the name of the book and not the actual author or redactor. Others contend that the eye witnesses themselves wrote the book. Hence in John and Matthew, we see apostles who witnessed the life of Christ. While Mark and Luke would have depended more on eye witness accounts as well as other source materials.
Despite only having only Four Gospels, the Church existed within the first three centuries under persecution and it would not be until the Fourth Century that it was able to canonize the books as inspired. Many other books were classified as uninspired and left out of the canon. Such books as the Gospel of Thomas or the Infancy Narratives were considered non canonical. Some other books were considered heretical while others were considered pious but not inspired.
Hence the Church canonized the New Testament and accepted only the four we see today. The first three are referred to as the Synoptic Gospels, while the Gospel of John stands on its own as a unique Gospel that has a higher Christological value. While all the Gospels show Christ is both God and Man, the Gospel of John emphasizes the Divinity of Christ at a higher level. This differences in emphasis is important to the whole story of Christ.
The Synoptic Gospels while sharing similarities, nonetheless also differ in audience. Matthew’s audience is more towards the Jewish population. Matthew wished to show how Jesus was a good Jew and came not to destroy the Law but to fulfill it, while Luke engages more with the Greek world, showing that Christ has also come to save all of humanity, not just the Jewish people. If these namesakes of these Gospels are indeed the historical individuals, then Matthew would have an indepth knowledge of Christ as well as the Jewish law. Luke who writes much on the infancy of Christ, according to tradition, also knew the Virgin Mary well and is said to have written the first icon of the Mother of God. This would tie to the indepth amount of the infancy stories found in Luke.
Regardless, the Gospels are written and inspired and share their namesakes actual hand or spirit. The accounts compliment and supplement each other. Where others look to find contradictions or minor variations, the Church sees the many stories of Christ and their diversity shared in the Gospels. In fact, as John points out, not even all the books of the world could contain the many stories of Christ. The Church is grateful to possess four accurate accounts that supplement different audiences but share the same inspired story of Christ, God and Man, and also Redeemer for all audiences.
While various criticisms exist for Scripture, they should not be seen as critiques but instead research into the history, literary aim, and textual development to better understand the individual book. These are important tools that if used reverently can be used to help us better appreciate the Word of God and message of salvation.
The stories and accounts are reliable because one can see the full story of Christ find form. While only in oral form for the longest time, they found parchment and permanency through the Holy Spirit and His divinely inspired writers. These same witnesses would later forfeit their lives for the stories found in to cement their authenticity with their own blood.
This is why we believe and this is why we share the Four Gospels.
Ignatian spirituality is an excellent way of experiencing God and prayer in one’s daily life. In essence it is very intellectual and Christo-centric. Christ is the center of all and service is essential to the church and community. Meditation within the tradition is also Christo-centric and focuses on visualization on the life of Christ. This focus on Christ helps many through various therapies, especially in grief. The steps within Ignatian review of conscience can be important in helping individuals analyze their life itself
The article, “How Ignatian spirituality enhanced my cognitive behavioral therapy” by Sue Do looks closer at the cognitive benefits of Ignatian spirituality and meditation on recovering from loss and grief. The article states,
“In the five steps of the Examen prayer of St. Ignatius, I found the “reviewing of my day” to be a crucial part of my resilience and recovery. Facing my struggles and talking about it to God through journaling is similar to confronting my distorted thoughts in cognitive behavioral therapy techniques. Positive affirmations are similar to the awareness of one’s needs and asking for graces in Ignatian spirituality.”
Ignatian spirituality is a very disciplined and precise spirituality that looks to find Christ but also helps to better oneself in deeper analyzation to find weakness within the soul. His exercises and meditation all help lead to a stronger Christian life
Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification and see if it matches your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification as a Christian Counselor.
Jesus is the central aspect of life. He plays such a key role because without Him there is no redemption. Christ the New Adam took upon sin and undid the curse of Adam through His sacrifice on the cross. Hence in everything, Christ is present. Christ makes all new.
Jesus Christ is an amazing miracle within Himself. He is the Word made Flesh as stated in the Gospel of John and that alone warrants adoration and worship yet many do not understand the true inner workings of Christ and can become confused.
First and foremost, it is important to emphasize the importance of Jesus Christ. The Fall of Adam sent the temporal world spiraling out of control into spiritual darkness. Reparation needed made due Adam’s sin but no sacrifice was pure enough. A sacrifice that possessed both perfect priest and perfect victim were needed to be given to God.
Christ offered Himself as that sacrifice by merely being born, but permitted Himself to remain obedient even to death to fulfill the necessity of sacrifice. The Last Supper would have sufficed as the Perfect Sacrifice but the evil of humanity sought His life in a bloody sacrifice. Christ did not demand His own end but accepted the will of the Father and hence as history showed, He was crucified.
However, to be a perfect priest and sacrifice Christ had to be both God and man. He had to be perfectly both. From a Divine standpoint, His essence as the Word, was divine and eternal while from a human standpoint, He was created and not eternal.
His Body was perfectly human. The Divine Word did not create a shell to inhabit, or create the illusion of being human, but literally shared and occupied a Body with Jesus. The Divine Word did not overtake or possess but became one with the human soul and body. This hypostatic union was made possible by Mary saying yes to God’s will.
When looking at this miracle, Christ was both God and man, completely and fully, two natures but perfectly fused as one person. Hence Christ’s humanity while created, became interconnected with the Word in such a way that Christ the Person was completely God. One element was eternal, while another was finite, but together in union, represented one person and one God.
Due to this, we worship Jesus as a person. We do not reserve worship only for His divine element but His entirety.
Because of Christ’s entirety of both God and man, He could then properly represent humanity as High Priest and as Divine offer Himself as the perfect sacrifice to the Father. This is why it is so critically important that we understand that Christ is both fully human and fully God but yet one person.
This supernatural mystery of the Incarnation and Hypostatic Union show the great love Christ has for humanity and His central role in the redemption plan. This love was so perfect that many even contend, the incarnation was impossible to prevent even if Adam had remained faithful. Through Christ’s humanity, the Logos can touch us in different ways than just as a pure spirit and Deity. As a human, He can love us in every possible way.
So many heresies have confused these concepts, either dismissing His divinity (Arius) or reducing His humanity (gnostics) or misunderstanding how His natures interacted (Nestorianism and Monophysitism). These heresies miss the importance of God’s perfect love for us as well as the Christ’s role as the New Adam.
So we can confidently declare that Christ is Divine for the “Word Became Flesh”. He is the Alpah Omega as declared in Revelations and He was eternal before, as He stated, than even Abraham. We can also confidently declare Christ is human for He was indeed born in a manager, and was indeed crucified.
The Incarnation and Redemption saw the birth and death of a man and the resurrection of a God. For this reason, we glorify Christ and bend our knee. Christ is our King, Priest, Redeemer, but also our Friend and most Beloved.
If you would like to learn more about Jesus Christ, one should read the Gospels, as well as study Christology. This will enrich one’s understanding but also one’s love of Christ.
Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Program and see if it matches your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Christian Counseling
Please review Jesus both God and Man article–Please click here
Also please review article on nature of Christ–Please click here
Also please view article on Jesus–Please click here
Please also review AIHCP’s video on the Word Made Flesh–Please click here
Finally, also review article on Jesus–Please click here
Individuals can be spiritually depressed. They can hope and become unhappy with their faith. They can also feel desolations in their prayer life where they feel abandoned. How one bounces back in their spiritual life during this episodes is key. Spiritual Counselors and mentors can help individuals rediscover the presence of God in their life.
The article, “Understanding Spiritual Depression” from Healthline looks closer at spiritual depressions. The article states,
“If you’re experiencing spiritual depression, your religious leader might encourage a similar remedy: prayer or seeking Christ. Yet, many of the symptoms associated with spiritual depression can also suggest a depressive disorder, which may not improve without support from a mental health professional.”
Spiritual depression can be deeper rooted and may require professional mental help, but in many cases, one requires spiritual guidance through the spiritual desert of the world. Please also review AIHCP’s Spiritual Counseling Program as well as AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Program. Both programs are online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification
Discernment is an important process in every Christian’s life. This is the case not only in calls to vocation but also decisions that affect daily life. Understanding good and evil and properly diagnosing proper choices in life help the Christian navigate the troubled waters of temporal existence.
Vocation is more than just one’s eventual role in life but also one’s daily duty and position everyday in life. It is important to continually strive to fulfill one’s daily duty and help others find their role. Discernment and guidance are key in these choices. Proper discernment is based in prayer and imitation of Christ in fulfilling God’s will. However, even with prayer, we can sometimes doubt. Learning how to discern and dissect moral decisions can be more difficult than it appears. Sometimes it takes time to finally find God’s will and answer to you.
The article, “WHAT IS IGNATIAN DISCERNMENT?” by Rev. Doug Leonhardt, S.J. looks at how St Ignatius Loyola utilized prayer, meditation and logical thinking based in philosophy and morality to come to discernment conclusions. The article states,
“Pondering and noticing interior movements of attraction and heaviness are at the heart of Ignatian discernment. Discernment involves prayer and weighing facts and feelings about the several good choices which ultimately leads to a choice about what is the best fit for an individual. In the traditional language of Christianity, good Christians try to find the will of God for their lives. They look for signs but often when no clear signs are given, they make a decision and then ask God to bless it. ”
Discernment in choice, path, endeavor and even regarding spirits and people are important parts in Christian spirituality. It is important to learn how to form a strong Christian moral compass that helps guide one’s conscience. Through wisdom granted by the Holy Spirit and an offering of all one does to God, one can be more confident that the right choice or feeling will eventually emerge.
Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification and see if it meets your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Christian Counseling.
The spirituality of great men and women guide them. It allows them to pour out the inner grace God has given them and share it with the world. St Ignatius Loyola was one such visionary who dived deep within to ultimately pour back out to all. Martin Luther King Jr shared very similar views as St Ignatius, in how he looked to find Christ in everyone. Like St Ignatius, he looked to give service to humanity through love of Christ.
This ultimately led to a social platform of peace, love and equality. The same teachings of St Ignatius that was handed down originally from Jesus Christ.
The article, “The Jesuit Spirituality of Martin Luther King Jr.” by Marcia Chatelin looks deeper at the comparisons of both these great men in their love of Christ and search of social justice. A social justice that is both a hallmark of Martin Luther King Jr. as well as the Jesuit Order. The article states,
“We are able to return to King’s writings and speeches, and when paired with a review of the Spiritual Exercises, we can sharpen our gaze and our resolve to do justice to these compatible visions. Both provide us inspiration in seemingly opposite models, which are both necessary to identify and repair our fractured world: Ignatius’ mystic experience and King’s most humble revelations of faith; Ignatius’ great emptying of ego while alone and King’s luminous spirit in front of many”
Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Training and see if it matches your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four certification in Christian Counseling.