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BCC Interview: Faith Bible Seminary

September 4, 2011

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As part of our BCC vision, we want to point you to the best of the best in robust, relational biblical counseling. Each week we’re posting (and then making available as an ongoing resource) interviews with churches, para-church groups, educational institutions, and individuals committed to biblical counseling.

Faith Bible Seminary

This week we highlight the biblical counseling department at Faith Bible Seminary. To learn more about their biblical counseling program, we interviewed Professor Rob Green.

BCC: “Professor Green, please tell our readers about the degrees you offer in biblical counseling.”

FBS: “Faith Bible Seminary (FBS) offers a Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling (MABC) degree program. This program is a 36 hour program consisting of twelve 3-credit courses.”

BCC: “Who is your target audience or ideal student?”

FBS: “Since our program does not lead to state licensure, the vast majority of our students will serve in their local churches. Thus, our ideal student is one who is passionate about becoming an excellent counselor who also wishes to help train additional counselors in the context of their local church.”

BCC: “Please tell our readers about your program’s mission and vision. What makes your degree program(s) unique?”

FBS: “The MABC seeks to equip students with God’s Word so that they can confidently and effectively help those in sin and suffering. FBS differentiates itself from other seminaries because of its focus on practical education. Our students receive the benefit of being trained by counselors with decades of real counseling experience in the context of the local church.”

BCC: “How many new students do you accept each year?”

FBS: “There is no cap on the amount of students that we can accept in a year. The MABC is a distance learning program so most of the work is done off campus.”

BCC: “How many courses are required? What are the names of some of your core biblical counseling courses?”

FBS: “Every course in our MABC program is counseling related. We organized our 12 required course into three levels of classes:

  • Foundational Classes: These courses are designed to help a growing counselor understand the biblical, theological, and practical issues necessary to develop a robust philosophy of biblical counseling. Course titles include: Intro to Biblical Counseling, Principles of Bible Study, Theology of Biblical Counseling, Methods of Biblical Change, and Spiritual Formation and Self Counsel.
  • Theoretical Classes: At this level, students must demonstrate the ability to apply the concepts learned in the first level to counseling situations. At times, we vary the subject matter at this level but students will be discussing issues like addictions, marriage and family counseling, worry, and sexual abuse.
  • Counseling Application Classes: These final three courses require students to demonstrate their skills by doing counseling. This is facilitated by courses in this level called Supervised Counseling, Counseling Labs, and Master’s Project.”

BCC: “What model(s) of instruction do you use: traditional (15 weeks/one class per week), modular (one week block classes), online, all/blended?”

FBS: “We use a hybrid of online and modular classes. Five for our 12 classes have, in addition to online course work, a weeklong module here on our campus. Furthermore, we require all of our students to have at least 30 hours of supervised counseling before they can graduate. Students are granted the option of doing an independent study in lieu of one of the module courses. This allows students to complete the program by making only two trips to Lafayette.”

BCC: “Could you summarize the primary costs associated with your program?”

FBS: “Our program costs $250 per credit hour plus a $40 administration fee. That means that each 3 credit class will cost the student $790. FBS provides several methods for payment of tuition.”

BCC: “How do you envision your graduates using their degrees? In what types of ministries are your graduates already serving?”

FBS: “We believe that most of our students will serve to enhance the counseling ministries in their churches. However, our upcoming graduates include a Bible college teacher, several foreign missionary church planters, and both counseling and senior pastors.”

BCC: “Share a little bit about your director/chair and about your faculty: names, education, ministry experience, which courses they teach, and areas of specialty?”

FBS: “Pastor Rob Green is Chair of the MABC. Rob serves as one of the pastors at Faith with responsibilities in the seminary, the church, and the counseling center. He teaches the course Principles of Bible Study in the MABC program as well as Greek, Greek Exegesis, and NT Biblical Theology in the M.Div program. He is NANC (National Association of Nouthetic Counselors) certified and a member of the leadership council for the BCC (Biblical Counseling Coalition). Dr. Robert Smith is affectionately known as the “Pope” because he has served as a counselor, supervisor, and instructor for almost 40 years. Doc, who is now in his 80s, is a retired physician who was the co-founder of Faith Biblical Counseling Ministries. He is a NANC Fellow, board member, and a member of the prestigious NANC Academy. He teaches our Counseling Issues II class with Dr. Amy Baker and our Counseling Lab course. Dr. Steve Viars is the senior pastor at Faith. He has been involved in the biblical counseling movement since the mid 1980s. He has led our church to be a church that is a counseling center rather than to simply have a counseling center. He is a NANC Fellow and is currently the President of the Biblical Counseling Coalition BOD. Steve teaches the Introduction to Biblical Counseling course in the MABC program and numerous courses related to church leadership in our M.Div program. We also have professors from other seminaries and churches teaching in our program. At this time, Dr. Stuart Scott (Southern Seminary), Dr. Robert Jones (Southeastern), and Dr. Garrett Higbee (Harvest Bible Chapel) all teach in the program.”

BCC: “We’d love to hear a testimony from a current student or graduate.”

FBS: “The Bible tells us that, ‘He who walks with wise men will be wise’ (Prov. 13:20). From Midwestern Indiana, the unique expertise of the MABC program faculty at FBS beckoned to me in the mountains of Montana. Seeing areas of needed growth in my life and counseling, I desired to learn from those who had been at this ‘counseling thing for a while, who demonstrated practical Biblical wisdom and a real love for God and people. By God’s grace for the past two years at FBS I’ve been encouraged, enlightened, challenged, and stretched by people who take 2 Cor. 5:9seriously—their ambition is to be well pleasing to God. Learning from several leaders in the Biblical counseling movement through excellent reading, on-line interaction and on-site class instruction has better equipped me not only in counseling and teaching, but in my daily walk with Christ. The courses emphasize reading, interpreting, and applying the Bible accurately, so that counseling is true to the intent of God’s all sufficient, inerrant Word; that is,truly Biblical counseling. Each instructor brings a particular emphasis or way of looking at counseling issues, as well as helpful tools—when you put them together, you are very thoroughly equipped. Not that I have arrived (we never will in this life!), but having been through this enjoyable yet rigorous process, I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve been humbled, and I’ve grown. The program is well worth the time and effort for those who desire to be faithful stewards of their God–given gifts and abilities. Using what I’ve learned, I plan to continue to teach women’s counseling at a BA level in our local bible college, as well as counsel and train up women counselors at our church in Bozeman, MT” (Pam Gannon).

BCC: “How can people contact FBS?”

FBS: “Those seeking information from Faith Bible Seminary can do so in any of the following ways: Email: [email protected]. Phone: 765-448-1986. Website: www.fbslafayette.org. Our mailing address is: Faith Bible Seminary, 5526 SR 26 East, Lafayette, IN 47905.”

BCC: “Professor Green, thank you for your ministry at FBS and thank you for helping our readers to learn more about the biblical counseling program at Faith.”

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