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.
Biblical Counseling Ministries, Inc.
This week we highlight Biblical Counseling Ministries, Inc. of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. To learn more about their biblical counseling ministry, we interviewed Sue Nicewander, their Executive Director.
BCC: “Sue, please tell our readers about your mission and vision. What is BCM all about? Who is your primary audience?”
SN/BCM: “BCM is the cooperative effort of five Baptist churches in Central Wisconsin who have pooled their resources to hire a biblical counselor as a church resource. BCM works in, with, and through local churches, under their authority and fully committed to their ministries. We offer biblical counseling at five locations by pastoral referral only. We also sponsor and teach seminars and classes to train people how to counsel the Word. In addition, we provide resources at our website to encourage further development of biblical skills. So far, we have served approximately 60 churches in our area.
We have a book available in mid-November that explains our ministry and how to start one like it. We share our story and our experience in Building a Church Counseling Ministry Without Killing the Pastor by Sue Nicewander with Pastor Stephen Steinmetz and Pastor Jonathan Jenks (Day One). Our primary audiences are pastors, local churches, and biblical counselors who want to build discipleship the New Testament way.”
BCC: “What is the history of BCM? Tell us your story.”
SN/BCM: “BCM began in 2001 as an idea. I (Sue Nicewander) have a Master’s degree in Biblical Counseling from Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Plymouth (Minneapolis), MN. I’m also NANC-certified and hold certificates from Almond Tree (substance abuse ministries) and Peacemaker Ministries. While in seminary, I recognized the need of pastors for more help and the frustration of biblical counselors coming out of good seminaries to a silent job market. The churches in our area are relatively small, so they can’t afford to put a biblical counselor on staff (other than their pastors). So, I brought together a group of pastors and faithful women to discuss how this problem might be solved, and BCM was born. We opened our doors in 2003, and now we are sharing our ministry vision in hopes that God will raise up others who want to learn from our experience.”
BCC: “Sue, what is your succinct definition of biblical counseling?”
SN/BCM: “Biblical counseling walks alongside a person, carefully listening and accurately opening the Scriptures in a Christ-centered way to address their questions and concerns as Christ would.”
BCC: “Share a little bit about your staff—who works with you and in what roles?”
SN/BCM: “We have only one employee—myself (Sue Nicewander). I serve as our Executive Director, biblical counselor, and discipleship instructor. Our board consists of five pastors, a deacon, a pastor’s wife, and a businesswoman. BCM has volunteer staff at five locations who provide for our needs in each of their churches. Four churches have voluntarily agreed to house administrative, resource, support, and training centers for BCM. We also have a counseling supervisor and a current strategic plan to expand counseling to more than our original five locations.”
BCC: “What are the types of resources that people can find at your site?”
SN/BCM: “Our website offers a free recommended reading list, our monthly newsletter, seminar, and class information (including registration), plus booklets on a growing number of topics. You can also find information on each location where counseling is offered.”
BCC: “What upcoming conferences, seminars, classes, and other training opportunities do you have in the next year?”
SN/BCM: “Our training center is certified by the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors (NANC), which means that you can take our winter classes to fulfill the educational requirements for counselor certification with NANC. But we offer the classes to any committed believer who wants to learn how to build discipleship skills.
BCM offers a seminar every year during the first weekend in November, plus three discipleship training classes each January through April. Our six discipleship classes run on a two-year rotation. Five of our six classes are offered live streamed, so they can be taken from anywhere in the world. (The sixth class, Skill-building in Biblical Counseling, is a weekend class utilizing role plays to build counseling skills.) Consult our website for details about these and other classes.”
BCC: “Sue, how can people be praying for you and your ministry?”
SN/BCM: “With new opportunities opening up since the publication of our book, please pray that God will use BCM to help others move toward a more biblical approach to discipleship. Pray for our counselees, students, board, and staff that we may become more like Christ as we seek to minister the Word, and that BCM will move forward according to God’s will, not our own. Pray, too, for finances during these hard economic times, that God will provide through the faithful giving of His people.
BCC: “How can people contact you and connect with you?”
SN/BCM: “People can connect with us through:
Sue Nicewander, MABC, NANC, Executive Director and Biblical counselor
Biblical Counseling Ministries, Inc.
Calvary Baptist Church
469 Airport Avenue
Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54494
Email: [email protected]
BCC: “Thank you, Sue, for your ministry and for helping our readers to learn more about how you serve Christ and the Body of Christ through Biblical Counseling Ministries, Inc.”