Licensed Pastoral Counselor or
Licensed Clinical Christian Counselor
The National Christian Counselor's Association (NCCA) Licensing Program is not
a state license. In fact, it is distinctly different. Most states have
regulatory laws governing the practice of psychology. Many of them also
legislate the practice of general counseling. These regulations vary from
state to state.
For example, some states have a counselor category called "Licensed
Professional Counselor." These states prohibit NCCA graduates from using the
initials "LPC." Their title must be spelled out, i.e., "NCCA Licensed Pastoral
Counselor" or "NCCA Licensed Clinical Christian Counselor." This ensures that
the NCCA counselor is operating within legal and ethical standards, and
maintaining the public's trust and confidence.
The major difference between state-licensed professional counselors and
Christian counselors, who are licensed by the NCCA and under the authority of
the Church, is clear and well-defined. Counselors who have been licensed by
the state are held to strict ethical standards which mandate an individual's
right to be free from religious interference. The state licensed professional
counselor usually is forbidden to pray, to read or refer to the Scriptures,
and/or to counsel against such practices as homosexuality or abortion. The
only time a state licensed counselor can legally involve religious (Christian)
principles, morals, and activities is when the counselee initiates or requests
counsel in those areas.
In sharp contrast, NCCA Pastoral and Christian Counselors are specifically
trained to pray, to share their faith, to read the Bible, and to use spiritual
principles from Scripture in their counseling practice. The fact that
Christian counselors do these things creates a clear distinction between them
and secular counselors.
The NCCA requires all who are certified and licensed by its Licensing Board of
* Be credentialed ministers (ordained, licensed, or commissioned) whose goal
is to evangelize and ease the emotional pain and suffering of humanity.
* Provide their service under the authority of a legally organized local
church, a national religious organization, or a non-profit Christian
* Complete specialized, continuing training provided by the NCCA.