What We Are About
In the Doctor of Ministry in Biblical Counseling at The Master’s University (TMU), we train both men and women to become effective biblical counselors under the authority of the local church. We believe what the Bible says about itself, that it is inerrant in every word and therefore sufficient for our lives when it comes to soul care (Psalm 19:7–9; 2 Timothy 3:16–17; 2 Peter 1:3–4). That is why psychology has no place in true biblical counseling. The Word of God can change people at a level that psychology can never touch. Men and women who complete their D.Min. at TMU will be thoroughly trained in the theology and practice of biblical counseling to help people change and grow from the inside out.
The church of Jesus Christ also needs you to care and counsel hurting people around you, and we can help! Come to our program and we will prepare you with rigorous education and hands-on discipleship that is needed for the care of precious souls. Learn what true biblical counseling is, how to use the Bible accurately and effectively, and practice it under the supervision of our faculty who have decades of counseling, academic, and pastoral experience. Join us to become equipped to minister the Word of God to those who are facing the most serious problems of life. Praise the Lord, there is no problem too grave that cannot be met by the sufficient scriptures!
Our Philosophy of Counseling
The Holy Scripture, being God’s law and testimony, is true and should therefore serve as the Christian’s standard for all matters of faith and practice (Isaiah 8:19-20; 2 Peter 1:3). There is no authority that is higher than the one found in Scripture. Wherever and on whatever subject Scripture speaks, it must be regarded as inerrant, authoritative, sufficient, and superior to human counsel. There have always been people who have affirmed the inerrancy and authority of Scripture in matters of faith and practice but who would not affirm the sufficiency of Scripture for understanding and resolving the spiritual (non-physical) problems of man. They acknowledge Scripture to be the Word of God, and in this they are correct, but when it comes to understanding and resolving many of the real spiritual issues of life, they think that Scripture has limited value. Therefore, it is crucial that we clearly articulate a definition of biblical counseling according to Scripture. There are four distinguishing features of truly Christian or biblical counseling as explained below.
Christ-Centered Counseling – Biblical counseling is conscientiously and comprehensively Christ-centered. It focuses on who Christ is and what He has done for us in His life, death, resurrection, and in sending the Holy Spirit. Christ-centered counseling also focuses on what He is doing for us right now in His intercession at the Father’s right hand and what He will do for us in the future. In biblical counseling, the Christ of the Bible is not an appendage or an “add on” for living in the fast lane. Rather, He is the center and the circumference (and everywhere in between) of counseling. Christ-centered counseling involves understanding the nature and causes of our human difficulties. It involves understanding the ways we are unlike Christ in our values, aspirations, desires, thoughts, feelings, choices, attitudes, actions, and responses. Resolving those sin-related difficulties includes being redeemed and justified through Christ, receiving God’s forgiveness through Christ, and acquiring from Christ the enabling power to replace un-Christlike (sinful) patterns with Christlike, godly ones.
Gospel-Centered Counseling – A biblical counselor is also conscientiously and comprehensively Christian in his outlook on life. Genuine biblical counseling is conducted by individuals who have experienced the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit and have come to Christ in repentance and faith, acknowledging Him as Lord and Savior of their lives. These are also people who want to live in obedience to Him, people whose main concern in life is to exalt Him and bring glory to His name. They are people who believe that, since God did not spare His own Son from the cross or the suffering He experienced there, but delivered Him up to the cross and death for us on our behalf and in our stead, as our substitute. Through Christ, He will freely give us all that we need for effective and godly living and transform us to be like His Son in the totality of our being. Biblical Christian counselors also acknowledge the role of the Holy Spirit in regenerating, saving, and sanctifying the believer. Truly biblical counseling is carried out by those whose theological convictions influence, permeate, and control their personal lives along with their counseling theory and practice.
Bible-Centered Counseling – Genuine biblical counseling is conscientiously and comprehensively based on the Bible and derives from Scripture its understanding of who man is, the nature of his primary problems, why he has these problems, and how to resolve these problems. In other words, the counselor must be conscientiously and comprehensively committed to the sufficiency of Scripture for understanding and resolving all the non-physical personal and interpersonal sin-related difficulties of man.
Church-Centered Counseling – Another distinguishing feature of genuine biblical counseling is that it will be conscientiously and comprehensively church centered. Scripture makes it clear that the local church is the primary means by which God accomplishes His work in the world. The local church is His ordained instrument for calling the lost to Himself and the context in which He sanctifies and changes His people into the likeness of Christ. According to Scripture, the church is His household, the pillar and support of the truth, and the instrument He uses in helping His people to put off the old manner of life or self and to put on the new way of living and new self (1 Timothy 3:15; Ephesians 4:1-32). Credibility in counseling is established when it is conducted under the authority of the church and its properly appointed leadership.