BCC Staff Note: Part of the BCC vision is to be a “megaphone” for biblical counseling ministries. In this weekend’s post, we have asked Jim Newheiser to tell us more about the IBCD.

What is IBCD?

IBCD (The Institute for Biblical Counseling and Discipleship), which was founded in the early 1980s by George Scipione as CCEF West, was one of the earliest training centers for biblical counseling. We are located in San Diego County with offices in La Mesa and Escondido. While we offer counseling at both locations using NANC certified counselors, our primary vision is to equip people to counsel in their local churches using the all-sufficient Scriptures which point to the life-transforming gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Because we have found that nothing teaches and inspires students to counsel from the Scriptures more than seeing live counseling, the great majority of our cases have live observers/trainees including leaders from area local churches and students from local seminaries.  We offer a NANC Basics course live, via DVDs, and online audio.

We have various training events throughout the year, including an annual Spring Seminar, and a Summer Institute which took place this year (2012) from June 28-30. We also have had the privilege of teaching biblical counseling in other nations including Spain, Oman, Qatar, Nigeria and the Philippines, with a trip planned to Costa Rica this fall. We are very excited about ongoing opportunities we have across the border in Mexico where we are holding periodic seminars for church leaders. Also, a group there that is newly committed to biblical counseling is translating our basics course (DVDs and syllabus) into Spanish.


Our website has been completely updated and made more user-friendly (including integration with social media such as Facebook). We offer extensive counseling resources at no charge. These include a full Basics of Biblical Counseling Course (including course syllabi), our past Spring and Summer training seminars, and hundreds of counseling audios. Thousands of people from around the world are downloading our materials.

Summer Institute

We have had a significant summer counseling conference for about thirty years. This year our theme was “Changed by Grace.” We were excited that our plenary speakers included Tim Lane (CCEF), Julius Kim (Westminster Seminary in California), John Sale, and Jim Newheiser.  Workshop speakers included Ernie Baker (Masters College), George Scipione (Reformed Presbyterian Seminary), and Elyse Fitzpatrick. Pre-conference events included a Basics of Biblical Counseling course from Monday-Thursday, and a Women’s seminar (“Who Do You Think You Are? Discovering and Responding to your Identity in Christ”) led by Elyse Fitzpatrick. We are already planning our 2013 conference at which BCC Executive Director Bob Kellemen will be a plenary speaker.

Care and Discipleship Certification

While we believe that there are many excellent biblical counselors who have not gone through a formal certification process and that everyone benefits from whatever level of training he or she receives, we believe that most counseling students will gain more from a structured learning experience.  Just as students who take a college class for credit tend to learn more than those who merely audit, we believe in the benefits of training that includes classroom instruction, reading, examinations, and being mentored in counseling.  We have been helping students pursue NANC certification for many years and are thankful to currently have several in the final stages of this process.

We are about to roll out an exciting new program of IBCD Care and Discipleship Certifications. First, let me explain why we are doing this. We and other biblical counseling training centers have found that while many of our students start out planning to complete their NANC certification, only a very small percentage actually complete this program because of its rigorous demands. While we remain fully committed to helping students obtain NANC certification (and do not favor lowering the requirements), we believe that many will benefit from less demanding levels of certification which would still identify a person as being equipped to disciple others in his or her local church. These certificates still require some reading and a short exam, along with endorsement of the local church, but they would not be as demanding as the NANC requirements. An important requirement will be that each student will meet with a pastor/elder to share what he has learned and how he hopes to use his training and gifts in the local church.

For some, these IBCD Care and Discipleship certifications could be steps towards NANC certification. Local churches desiring to create a culture of care have expressed interest in having all of their key leaders (especially home group facilitators) trained at least to level one (Basics), with many reaching level two (Marriage and Family) or three (Observation and Reading). Then perhaps a few especially gifted and diligent students would go forward to NANC certification.

Read the IBCD Care & Discipleship Brochure.


We are excited about the vision and ministry of the Biblical Counseling Coalition to unite and network those of us who believe in gospel-centered counseling founded in the all-sufficient Scriptures. We count it a great privilege to work alongside of excellent men and women whom God is using mightily to exalt Christ and to transform lives.