An Announcement from the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors

September 16, 2013

Heath Lambert

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Heath Lambert

BCC Staff Note: The mission of the BCC is to multiply the ministry of the biblical counseling movement. One of the ways we do so is by being a “megaphone” for other biblical counseling organizations. We like to say, “The BCC is not about the BCC; the BCC is about BC.” Today we use our BCC megaphone to make you aware of an important announcement by Heath Lambert of the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors.

I am very eager to share an exciting development with you in the life of NANC. At this year’s annual meeting we will be asking our membership to change NANC’s name from the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors to The Association of Certified Biblical Counselors.

Earlier this year, NANC’s board decided that it would be in the best interests of our association to change the name. There are three reasons we believe a name change is a great step for us. Let me explain them to you.

First, the word nouthetic is a perfectly good Greek word, which most people simply do not understand. Most of us in NANC spend more time explaining the meaning of a Greek word than we intended to when we mention the name of our organization. Once people understand the meaning of the term it does not help us that much. The term means “to confront or admonish,” and this only describes a narrow slice of the kind of counseling endorsed by NANC. Of course, biblical counselors admonish people in their sin, but at NANC we also encourage our counselors to comfort the fainthearted, help the weak, pray, encourage, instruct, take care of their physical bodies, and 101 other things the Bible says to do. In its precise meaning the word nouthetic is a truncated expression of the many and varied counseling styles that God communicates in Scripture.

Second, for nearly 40 years NANC’s primary function has been to certify those people who have been qualified for biblical counseling. At NANC our primary calling is not merely to talk about biblical counseling, but to certify those people who know how to do biblical counseling. We believe it is increasingly important to communicate that certification is our fundamental mission and contribution to the biblical counseling world. Our name is the first thing about our organization that communicates who we are and what we do and there is nothing about our current name that communicates certification and its central importance to our organization. We want to address this problem with the proposal of this new name.

Third, NANC is no longer a national association. As a matter of fact, we have certified counselors in 14 countries and that number is growing. We are increasingly excited about the possibilities for international growth in biblical counseling in general and at NANC in particular. Our current name is not an accurate representation of our current international composition or of our future global interests. We believe the proposal of a new name that avoids the word national addresses this problem.

We have been communicating with our membership about this potential change since the board first recommended it earlier this year. During these communications we have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from our membership and are assured that they share our enthusiasm for this name change. Because “NANC” is in our constitution, it cannot be changed without the approval of our membership. I would like to invite you to come to NANC’s annual conference this year in Montgomery, AL on October 7-9, 2013, to participate in this historic occasion. I look forward to seeing you there and am eager for us to share in such an exciting event in the life of NANC.

For more on this announcement, please view the video below.


6 thoughts on “An Announcement from the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors

  1. Other than not having a “catchy” acronym like NANC, I am totally in agreement that the new name is a great idea and serves the purposes of NANC better!!

  2. I am just concerned that, with so many associations (most of which offer certifications and even courses of study) already out there with names that suggest a broad and inclusive scope, it is hard for people to tell the difference, or why there need to be so many, especially when I find some of the same individuals active in more than one. I know it’s been hard for me over the last year (plus) of looking into the field of Biblical counseling. It’s been very confusing trying to decide where to start. I believe that at the least, there needs to be any easy-to-find guide to it all. Having talked to local individuals involved with one or another approach to study and certification, I find they are often rather insular (although probably unintentionally), and unprepared to discuss other (even the most compatible) approaches. For example, I am now enrolled in a local IABC certification-related class (basically NANC-friendly, apparently), but I can’t tell that anyone involved is very aware of the shape of the field; they merely took the option because it was at hand and personally recommended. (A possible exception being the instructor who sounds like he is aware of the NANC world in general, possibly the BCF and perhaps more than he sees any need to discuss in the group.)

  3. I agree the need for name change. I talk about NANC to people and they just do not understand. I have to say it is about Biblical Christian counseling. Be honest I can’t pronounce Noutheticc, and so I give up and say Biblical Counseling.

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  5. While it’s challenging to come up with a more compelling name than “NANC” (I kid)… will this be refered to as ACBC?

  6. While I understand the impetus for a name change, a certain credibility comes naturally associated with a name. For this reason the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) only adopted a tag line or catch phrase (Great Commission Baptists) to better describe themselves. NANC has similar credibility. Proverbs 22:1 says “a good name is to be chosen rather than great riches”. ACBC has no such credibility, and will take years to achieve such immediate recognition. I am only in the process of filling out my NANC exams, so my voice counts little. Even so, if the organization wants to better identify its mission then why not retain credibility and adopt some sort of tag line like NANC: Certifying Biblical Counselors? God bless.

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