Associate Pastoral counselor Credential

specific requirements: 

A. The candidate must be an ordained pastor from a local conservative reformed church. 


B. He must have served in the pastorate for three or more years. 


C. A letter of recommendation (with contactable references) from the candidate's overseeing body must be sent to IRBC. This can be scanned and emailed to irbcdirectorsasst@gmail.com, or sent via mail to IRBC (6442 - 36th Avenue; Hudsonville, MI 49426). This letter must include the following: 

  • A statement indicating that the candidate is faithfully fulfilling his pastoral responsibilities
  • If the candidate has ever been suspended from the ministry, a statement indicating the occurrence and explanation of the reason behind the suspension
  • Statements indicating any areas wherein the candidate is demonstrating weakness in doctrine or in life, if applicable
  • A statement indicating that the candidate has the gifts necessary to serve as an effective biblical counselor
  • A statement testifying that the applicant possesses a humble attitude

D. He must complete the Personal Testimony and Doctrinal Commitment Questionnaire.


E. Letters from two former counselees, testifying to the candidate's counseling skill, must be received by IRBC. These can be scanned and emailed to irbcdirectorsasst@gmail.com, or sent via mail to IRBC (6442 - 36th Avenue; Hudsonville, MI 49426).


F. He must sign the Code of Ethics Form and the Doctrinal Commitment Form.


G. He must submit a copy of his certificate of ordination


H. He must complete a local and national background screening check. Results should be sent to irbcdirectorsasst@gmail.com


I. He must have completed the IRBC Basic Training Course in Reformed Biblical Counseling training, or an IRBC-approved equivalent.* If he completed the IRBC Basic Training Course in Reformed Biblical Counseling, he should upload his class certificate of completion here. If he completed an IRBC-approved equivalent training course, he must still watch the IRBC lectures from the second semester of the IRBC Basic Training Course in Reformed Biblical Counseling. Contact irbcdirectorsasst@gmail.com to receive access to these videos. Then fill out the following form: Completion of IRBC Lectures Form

*Approved equivalents include the following: Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary Biblical Counseling Degrees, Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary Counseling Degrees, Westminster Theological Seminary Biblical Counseling Degrees, Reformed Baptist Seminary Biblical Counseling Degrees, Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary Counseling Degrees, the CCEF School of Biblical Counseling training course, the IBCD Care & Discipleship Training course*, and the ACBC Fundamentals Training Course can all be substituted for the IRBC Basic Training Course in Reformed Biblical Counseling (which is part of the Phase 1 requirements for IRBC Certification). You may inquire about other institutions which are not listed. Appropriate documentation (certificates of completion, diplomas, etc.) verifying that one has completed one of these other approved courses is required.

*Note: The “free” method of taking the IBCD course (listening to free audios online) will not be acknowledged for fulfilling Basic Training requirements, as there are no accountability measures and no associated documentation proving that course requirements have been met.)  


J. He must observe 5 hours of IRBC-approved counseling observation videos using Supplemental 7DD Data Collecting and Goal Forms. Email irbcdirectorsasst@gmail.com for information regarding obtaining access to these observations. 7DD Data Collecting and Goal Forms can be scanned to irbcdirectorsasst@gmail.com, or uploaded here. Log your 5 counselor observations in this form


K. He must read the Training Manual for Reformed Biblical Counselors. This manual can be requested and purchased through IRBC. Please contact irbcdirectorsasst@gmail.com to make this arrangement. 


L. He must watch the Resolving Everyday Conflict series by Peacemaker Ministries (eight lectures). These DVDs are his responsibility to purchase (or borrow/rent, if applicable) and watch. Fill out this form to indicate completion of this series of lectures.


M. He must pay an applicable fee of $100 USD. Payment can be made via check to IRBC (checks must be addressed to "Cornerstone URC" with "IRBC" in the memo line to be accepted), or via an online payment using this link (if paying online, please choose "certification program fees" from the drop-down menu under "funds").