Christian Counseling Certificate Online Program

Graduate Certificate of Completion in Christian Counseling

Offered By: College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Help Others Approach Mental Health With a Christ-Centered Focus

The online Graduate Certificate in Christian Counseling program at Grand Canyon University offers an introduction to counseling theory within a Christian worldview. You will examine personal spiritual formation and character development, and you will be guided to apply biblical principles to counseling topics, such as forgiveness, self-assessment and reconciliation with God. 

This certificate in Christian counseling online is designed to teach you counseling theories from a Christian perspective, which can help you decide if you wish to pursue a master’s degree in counseling and, afterward, state licensure. Alternatively, this Christian counseling certificate may enable you to pursue non-licensure positions, where you can work to create meaningful change for others.

Earn a Certificate in Christian Counseling Online From GCU

The Christian counseling certificate program at GCU could be a great path if you want to help others and, potentially, move forward to earn a master’s in counseling. This online certificate program integrates the Christian worldview and the Bible into counseling field concepts. It teaches the boundaries and limitations for counselors, counseling theories, and the relationship between biblical concepts and healthy relationships. 

This program is offered fully online so you can build your knowledge in Christian counseling skills on a more flexible schedule. Take courses through an interactive learning platform and have access to your instructors and peers throughout the program.

Skills and Coursework Taught in This Certificate in Christian Counseling

You will take courses that integrate a Christ-centered approach to overcoming emotional and behavioral health difficulties. During these courses, you will be taught to: 

  • Assess major counseling theories in light of a Christian worldview 
  • Establish a biblical and theological foundation as it informs counseling practice 
  • Evaluate ethical issues in counseling from a Christian perspective 
  • Incorporate a Christian approach to spiritual growth and emotional health for life and practice 
  • Integrate a Christ-centered approach into the implementation of counseling therapies
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The Christian counseling certificate online consists of four courses that address the integration of counseling theory, Christian worldview, the study of spiritual formation and more. These courses cover topics such as:

  • A narrative approach to theology, with a look at applications of biblical principles to the life and practice of Christian counselors
  • Spiritual formation and stages of growth, including personal faith development and character development for counselors
  • Personal and professional implementation of practices pertaining to relational health
  • The integration of the Christian worldview into counseling theory and practice, with an emphasis on the nature and purpose of human beings from a biblical perspective and ethical issues pertinent to the Christian counselor

Careers Paths For Christian Counseling Certificate Holders

This Christian counseling certificate online is designed for students who want to help people but are unsure whether they want to earn their master’s degree and pursue licensure as a counselor. No program of study can guarantee any particular career outcome, and the requirements to become a counselor can vary from state to state. However, after graduating with your certificate in Christian counseling, you may choose to pursue the following types of work: 

  • Providing personal coaching support within church settings
  • Delivering peer support services
  • Helping others as a behavioral health specialist 

GCU Proudly Offers Institutionally Accredited Certificate Programs

Before making an enrollment decision, it’s important to check whether the school you’re considering is institutionally accredited. GCU is an institutionally accredited university that emphasizes quality of instruction.

Certificate in Christian Counseling Online Program FAQs

The decision to further your education is not an insignificant one. Take the time to research your intended career path before making an enrollment decision regarding a Christian counseling certificate program. The following frequently asked questions and answers can help you get started.

The time it takes to become a Christian counselor will vary, depending on individual factors that are unique to you, such as your current level of education and whether you plan on enrolling in a counseling degree program on a full-time or part-time basis. 

After earning your certificate in Christian counseling at GCU, you might decide to take your career path a step further by earning a master’s degree that can lead to licensure, such as the Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with an Emphasis in Christian Counseling. You can fill out the form on this page to request to speak with a university counselor to better understand how long it might take you to complete any of our programs at GCU. 

Although biblical counseling and Christian counseling may seem quite similar, they aren’t quite the same thing. Typically, a biblical counselor is a theological professional. They may have earned a seminary degree rather than a counseling degree. A biblical counselor approaches counseling from a spiritual perspective, not a clinical one. In contrast, a Christian counselor is typically a licensed clinician who is trained to deliver counseling-based therapy from a Christian perspective.

Since the legal requirements to become a licensed or certified counselor vary from state to state, you should research the requirements for the state in which you plan to work. All states require all types of counselors who wish to work in private practice to obtain licensure. All states require aspiring counselors to obtain a relevant master’s degree, complete a certain number of supervised clinical experience hours and pass a state-approved exam in order to obtain licensure.1

All types of mental health counselors who wish to work in private practice are legally required to obtain and maintain licensure.1 If you do not want to work in private practice, it may be possible for you to work in Christian counseling without a license. However, even employers who are not legally required to hire licensed counselors may decide on their own initiative to only hire licensed Christian counselors, or to express a preference for licensure.2 In short, while licensure might not always be a strict requirement, you’re likely to find that more doors are open to you with licensure. Without licensure, you might complete a Christian counseling certificate program and work in counseling support roles, such as case management.

Prepare to pursue work that helps others and glorifies God with a certificate in Christian counseling. Apply today for enrollment in GCU’s online program.

1 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2022, October 24). How to become a substance abuse, behavioral disorder, or mental health counselor. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Retrieved Sept.1, 2023. 

2 Grey, S. (2023, May 31). How to become a Christian counselor: skills and requirements. Forbes. Retrieved Sept.1, 2023. 

Total Credits: 12
Online: 8 weeks
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The University will accept one course of the total certificate requirements in transfer.
Online: $590 per credit
[Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid]

Cost of Attendance

Course List

12 credits
Degree Requirements:
12 credits

Core Courses

Course Description

This course is a narrative approach to the theology of God, humanity, and salvation. Students learn to apply the story of the Bible to the life and practice of the Christian counselor.

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to spiritual formation with attention to classical spiritual disciplines and stages of growth. This course includes an exploration into personal spiritual health and character development with implications for counseling practice. Prerequisite: CCN-601.

Course Description

This course explores relational health in connection with topics including self-assessment, forgiveness, reconciliation with God and others, and the pursuit of spiritual health. Personal practice and implementation in professional counseling are emphasized. Prerequisite: CCN-650.

Course Description

In this course, students explore the integration of the Christian worldview into counseling theory and practice. Emphasis is placed on the nature and purpose of human beings from a biblical perspective as well as ethical issues pertinent to the Christian counselor, while critically evaluating contemporary secular theories and practices. Prerequisite: CCN-655.


GCU Online Student

Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.