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NCCA Licensing and Certification Titles  

NCCA Licensed Pastoral Counselor or
NCCA 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 Examiners to:

* 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 organization.

* Complete specialized, continuing training provided by the NCCA.

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