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Biblical Counseling Distinctives Focus of Leadership Conference

Biblical Counseling Distinctives Focus of Leadership Conference

Drs. Christopher Cone, Jeff Cox, Tom Baurain and Luther Smith field questions during the 2020 Christian Leaders’ Conference. 

Calvary’s Christian Leader’s Conference featured faculty papers on biblical counseling and psychology.

Calvary’s annual Christian Leader’s Conference addressed, “What makes counseling biblical?” Dr. Luther Smith, Biblical Counseling chair, was heavily involved in planning the event and said, “It was well attended on campus and online,” with about 60 persons total, “a mix of students, as well as pastors and counselors.” He also said, “The response was really good… people had lots of questions. They enjoyed the information and the thoughtful discussion.”

The conference featured presentations by a variety of Calvary faculty, including Dr. Smith, Dr. Jeff Cox, and Dr. Christopher Cone. Dr. Smith noted that, even though the presenters had not discussed the details of their presentations together, “We were saying the same thing. And that was really encouraging to me… If I mentioned [a concept] in a sentence, someone else would mention it in a paper; if I mentioned it in a paragraph, someone else would mention it in two.”

Arianna Erixon-Bova, a senior at Calvary, said, “it was wonderful to sit down and hear scholars and academics bring everything back to the root of all truth… [The conference] encouraged and pleaded for us to go back to Scripture and find the truth there, first and finally. The speakers explained that we do not need to stray away from psychology, but we do need to make sure that it is rooted in Scripture when we do use it.”

Bill Stebbins, Calvary’s Chief Development Officer, was highly involved in the logistics of the conference, and said, “I think the highlight is when you have a roundtable or the discussion, because now it’s question and answer, and you have multiple personalities up there.”

The papers presented at the conference are slated for publication as a book later in the year.

Articles Presented at the Christian Leader’s Conference

(Follow links to watch videos of the presentations)

Psychology: A Discipline or a Philosophy?  | Dr. Luther Smith

Dr. Smith’s first presentation discussed the relationship between believers and psychology and the respective consequences of defining psychology as a discipline or worldview.

Deconstructing Psychology | Dr. Christopher Cone

Dr. Cone addressed the church’s leeriness towards psychology and how the church can appropriately approach and utilize the discipline.

The Priority of Scripture | Dr. Thomas Baurain

Dr. Baurain addressed what elements must be present in biblical counseling for it to truly be biblical, focusing especially on the centrality of the Bible.

Where Can Wisdom Be Found? | Dr. Jeff Cox

Dr. Cox’s paper referenced Job and Proverbs, investigating a biblical ethic for the source of wisdom.

Specific Distinctiveness of This Approach: Consistent Application of Literal Grammatical Historical Hermeneutic | Dr. Luther Smith

Dr. Smith’s second presentation discussed how the distinctive of consistently applying a literal grammatical historical hermeneutic affects the discipline of biblical counseling.

General Distinctiveness of This Approach: A Discipline Born from the Biblical Worldview Followed | Dr. Christopher Cone

Dr. Cone’s second paper took a more general look at the distinctives of biblical counseling and how the biblical worldview influences the view of counseling and psychology.

Dr. James Clark Publishes Book on Biblical Counseling

Dr. James Clark Publishes Book on Biblical Counseling

Dr. James Clark, President Emeritus, Calvary University and the cover of his new book. 

“My experience as a youth pastor, pastor, chaplain, and then directing our counseling center at Calvary has convinced me that lives can change by the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.”

Calvary University President Emeritus, Dr. James Clark, recently published a new book: Biblical Counseling: A Guide for the Church and Community. According to Dr. Clar, the book, “describes the role of counseling as a ministry of the ‘one anothers’ in the local church and community” and explains the process of identifying leaders to serve as a counseling team to assist pastoral staff.

Clark said the book arose from his history teaching Biblical Counseling in the Church for many years, “and there wasn’t a textbook on the subject. There were several books on counseling but not a specific book to help the church.” To address this need, Clark wrote Biblical Counseling trying “to keep in mind the pastor and leaders along with the believers in the pews.”

Explaining the need for this book and the hole it fills, Clark said, “Many people in the church today need hope, healing, and answers (biblical) for their problems… However, the Apostle Paul to the church in Corinth said the Church is to do all things decently and in order. That implies that the counseling ministry must be approached in an orderly way, as well. In the book I describe how the church is to protect itself. I cover the legal aspects regarding establishing a counseling ministry. This includes forms, files, counseling offices, what is lawful and unlawful.”

Clark’s book covers the difference between secular and biblical counseling, as well as several logistical aspects of counseling in the church. He said, “My experience as a youth pastor, pastor, chaplain, and then directing our counseling center at Calvary has convinced me that lives can change by the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. I recognize, however, it is work! Recruiting, training, and leadership in church doesn’t just happen.” Biblical Counseling: A Guide for the Church and Community seeks to help prevent “the church from falling into the pitfalls of haphazard disorganization, lack of knowledge in creating a proper counseling ministry, and face the embarrassment and even litigation by not doing their homework in establishing such a ministry.”

As his book begins circulation, Clark says, “I would love to see pastors and laymen get excited about making a difference in the lives of their people through a viable counseling ministry. It is such a need today.”

Dr. Clark’s book is available for purchase in ebook or print format at graceacrespress.com.

Counseling Student Interns at Local Pregnancy Center

Counseling Student Interns at Local Pregnancy Center

Brooke Glaszczak is spending her summer getting hands-on experience.

The weather may be sweltering, but Calvary’s students are finding ways to beat the heat and keep growing this summer.

Brooke Glaszczak is a Biblical Counseling major heading into her senior year this fall, and she is taking the summer to fulfill one of her degree requirements: a counseling internship. Students have a choice in where they complete their internship, and Brooke has been volunteering at Shiloh Center in Harrisonville, Missouri.

Shiloh Center is a crisis pregnancy center that provides women with physical resources, such as diapers and clothing, in exchange for the women coming to counseling sessions and parent training classes. Brooke says she chose to volunteer at Shiloh because her target audience for counseling is women and young adults, and the center is perfect for gaining experience in that area.

Twice a week, Brooke sorts through the piles of donations, organizes clothing, and shadows in-house counselors to watch their methods and learn for their experience. Brooke is excited about the impact she can see Shiloh Center making in the lives of the women who come there. “They are a really good resource for women who have no place to go… from the resources they give and the biblical counseling that they do and just talking to people. That’s a really huge impact because [these women] don’t have help like that.”

While Brooke loves hearing the client’s stories and seeing how God is working in their lives, it hasn’t all been easy. “There are definitely difficulties that I kind of prepped myself for, that ‘this might happen’, but seeing girls come in that have been abused or raped, or girls who come in who are planning on having abortions and just want the pregnancy test… it kind of just hits you in the face.” Despite the difficulties, Brooke is thankful for her time at Shiloh Center. God has used this internship to “encourage me by showing my inadequacies, because I’m seeing in my life where I can’t do anything, and it has to be God. I feel like, especially being a Biblical Counseling major, you’re dealing with people’s issues all the time and so, there’s a lot of dependency on God. Because one person really can’t handle all those things.” Referencing Matthew 11, she commented on how we aren’t supposed to carry every burden, but we find freedom in giving them to Christ and accepting his yoke.

Besides getting her one step closer to finishing her degree, Brooke’s time at Shiloh Center has energized her for the possibilities after graduation. “It’s kind of eased my nerves on what the future will look like because I’ve seen what God can do in the lives of other people.” Between the internship and the intentional time she has invested in spiritual growth this summer, she has found a different perspective. She is delving deeper into the importance of focusing on her own growth so that she can give to others out of that, “because you can’t give out of what you don’t have.”

Through her work at Shiloh, Brooke feels confident that biblical counseling is where her career path is, and she is becoming more excited about her field of study here at Calvary. She views her passion for counseling in light of both story and redemption. “We are coming alongside these people with broken stories and helping them to see how God can mend and heal what’s broken. It’s just exciting to be used in that way to be a part of that process and be a vessel to help with that. I love the idea of it and the system of counseling biblically because it’s a really good reflection of what Christ does for us. He comes alongside of us and helps us; encourages us.”

As she reflected on her time at Shiloh Center, Brooke pulled out this takeaway from her internship, “God can take messy and broken lives and turn them around for good… and God can use anyone in His story of redemption.”

Calvary’s Biblical Counseling Master’s Degree Ranked in the Top 3 by “The Best Schools”

Calvary’s Biblical Counseling Master’s Degree Ranked in the Top 3 by “The Best Schools”

Calvary University has been ranked by TheBestSchools.org, a member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling, as having one of the top 3 “Best Online Master’s in Biblical and Pastoral Counseling Programs.”

Calvary University’s Master of Biblical Counseling can be taken either on campus at Calvary’s Kansas City campus or at the Innovation Center in Colorado, or the program can be taken entirely online through Calvary’s blended model. Calvary’s counseling department is a reflection of the University’s commitment to the Bible as the core of every program.

The top 3 ranking is based on “the quality of program and range of courses provided, as well as school awards, rankings, and reputation.”

1. Academic excellence based on a school’s curriculum generally or within the selected discipline [weight = 25%]

  • Weighs school against known leading schools in that discipline
  • Weighs number of core curricula listed as advanced courses within that discipline and compares against introductory courses
  • Weighs school’s curriculum against known knowledge needs of major employers in that discipline
  • Considers number and types of specializations offered within that discipline
  • Considers faculty expertise in that discipline
  • Considers range of electives within that discipline
  • Considers quality of online environment offered to students (if applicable), particularly within that discipline

2. Strength of faculty scholarship [weight = 25%]

  • Considers education background of the faculty
  • Considers years of faculty experience both inside and outside of academia.
  • Considers faculty membership and leadership within relevant, prominent associations
  • Considers academic papers published by faculty in relevant, prominent periodicals
  • Considers awards and recognitions given to faculty members from prominent organizations and from other sources

3. Reputation [weight = 20%]

  • Considers a school’s reputation among academic peers and employers regarding the following:
    • Faculty
    • Curriculum
    • “Freshness” of academic knowledge
    • Adaptability to changes in employment sectors
    • Suitability of graduates for the workplace

4. Financial aid [weight = 10%]

  • Mandatory: Requires full accreditation from an agency endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education and listed on the federal register to accept student federal financial aid
  • Considers range of school-sponsored financial aid such as scholarships and grants

5. Range of degree programs [weight = 20%]

  • Considers range of degree levels: associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral and professional
  • Considers range of degree subjects offered, such as art & design, computers & technology, education & teaching, criminal justice, and business

6. Strength of online instruction methodology (if applicable) [weight = 25%; subtract 5% from each of the above for online schools/programs]

  • Considers the following of the online classes:
    • Types of online technology used to deliver content
    • Pedagogy style: asynchronous, synchronous, or both (depending on the degree)
    • Extent and quality of the online, community learning environment, including options for communication, interactivity, and collaboration between students and also between students and instructors
    • Variety, breadth, and depth of coursework, and its support, including project options and online tutoring
  • Considers the following of instructors:
    • Extent of training for teaching within an online learning environment
    • Amount of timely, consistent feedback to students
    • Extent of collaboration with prospective employers to ensure suitability of instructional materials for achieving desired skills
    • Ratio to number of students in a class
  • Number and quality of internships in a student’s geographical area for applicable degrees

Shelterwood Academy Visits Calvary University!

Shelterwood Academy Visits Calvary University!

The Biblical Counseling department has been busy this year pursuing and fostering relationships with organizations and associations that are committed to serving the church and the world according to the Biblical worldview. The Biblical counseling department was honored to have Shelterwood Academy in department chapel. Shelterwood Academy is a Bible-centered residential treatment facility that works with struggling young adults. Dr. Smith shared from Galatians 6:9-10 about how as believers we strive to do good to all people, especially those in the body of Christ, and how Shelterwood Academy has been a wonderful example of this truth. Kortney Levy Director of Recruiting for Shelterwood Academy (pictured on the right), and Tiffany Rensberger (pictured on the left), an alumna of Calvary University and Substance Abuse Counselor for Shelterwood Academy shared her personal stories of how she brings hope and truth to the young adults. In addition, they shared potential mentoring opportunities available for majors in the Biblical Counseling department. Dr. Smith expressed this relationship with Shelterwood Academy is vital to Calvary University and looks forward to continuing to minister alongside them to the glory of God.

Cookies Coffee & Counseling At Calvary University

Cookies Coffee & Counseling At Calvary University

The Biblical Counseling Department is hosting a Coffee, Cookies, and Counseling event! This event allows students to hear about topics and ask questions concerning issues related to counseling and how the Scriptures addresses these issues (all around coffee and cookies of course!). The panelist will be Kim Bailey who brings her experience as a licensed counselor and counsels from a biblical worldview and Dr. Luther Smith, Program Director and Assistant Professor of the Undergraduate Biblical Counseling Department who has 8 years experience in counseling all ages from a Biblical worldview. The main topic for this event is “Trust and Forgiveness,” however both panelist will be fielding and answering questions from the students also. The date for this event is Thursday, October 25 from 6-7:30 pm in the East Education Building (Rm. 129).