What is Standards of Care?
Fieldstone Counseling Standards of Care is a 12-month course designed to offer both continuing education for seasoned biblical counselors as well as an introduction and enculturation to a biblical counseling model. These twelve individual sessions can be taken individually or together as a course. Each session will feature a lecture, a recommended reading list, an assigned reading, and an optional time of discussion and Q&A.

When does it meet?
SOC will meet the first Wednesday of every month on Zoom from 12 – 1pm EST followed by an optional 30 minute moderated discussion time.

All SOC sessions will be recorded and available for later viewing. Registrants will receive access to the
sessions (no expiration). Each recording can be purchased at any time, at the same rate as the live class.
All recordings will be available to access via a private link for only 60 days after the class occurs.

*Recordings are not intended for distribution, replication, or download. If you would like to use a recording with a large group please contact our front office to discuss distribution practices

  • Standards of Care I Per Session: $55 Per Person, Per 1 Session
  • Standards of Care I Full Course: $600 Per Person, Full Year, All 12 Sessions. (+ access to the recording for those who are unable to join live)
  • Standards of Care I Group Rate: $2,000 Group Rate, up to 5 participants, Full Year, All 12 Sessions. (+ access to the recording for those who are unable to join live) *For groups larger than 5 counselors, please contact jholmes@fieldstonecounseling.org

How can this course be used?

This course could be used for several purposes:

  • Pastors and ministry leaders can use this course to train and equip lay counselors.
  • Lay individuals seeking to learn and grow in counseling ministry.
  • Clinical counselors can use this course to inform and align their counseling to a biblical counseling approach.
  • Counseling centers executive directors or counseling pastors could use these courses to facilitate group discussion and training.
  • Established and seasoned counselors will be refreshed and challenged as they further their education.

After completion of the course, counselors will be able to:

  • Understand the biblical and historical roots of biblical counseling as well as the broader landscape of Christian counseling
  • Articulate a historic, confessional, Reformed view of the sufficiency of Scripture
  • Have a holistic view of the counselee that realizes we are created as embodied souls
  • Minister Scripture in counseling and understand the overall process of biblical change
  • Engage with mental illness, DSM-V diagnoses, and medication conversations
  • Carefully and wisely examine their posture toward secular psychology and have a paradigm to utilize secular concepts
  • Understand the dynamics of abuse and how trauma impacts counselees

Session Descriptions & Dates

September 7: Definitions, Foundations, & History of Christian Counseling
Understanding the history—biblical and historical—of biblical counseling is critical to understanding our current environment as it relates to the broader landscape of biblical and Christian counseling. Understanding our roots enables us to appraise our past critically, our present with humility, and the future with hope.


October 5: Understanding the Sufficiency of Scripture
The sufficiency of Scripture is one of the most discussed and oftentimes one of the most contentious theological issues in biblical counseling. Sufficiency is a word that can mean different things to different people, thus defining the term and how we use it will be important for the practice of biblical counseling.

November 2: Using Scripture in Counseling
Scripture is our ultimate guide for life and faith, but how we use and minister the word in counseling needs constant sharpening and growth. Ministering the word of God in counseling requires both theological conviction and conversational dexterity. Utilizing a few common metaphors will help us approach the task of ministering the word in fresh and Christ-centered ways.


December 7: The Biblical Process of Change
How do people change? Is it simply a matter of meditating and reflecting on the truth of the gospel and Scripture? Is it simply a matter of obedience: putting off old habits and putting on new habits? Or, could it be that both of these options have strengths and weaknesses and a more holistic paradigm is needed to understand the process of change? Together we will explore the Three Trees diagram and seek to expand and enrich its illustrative power.


January 4: Understanding a Biblical Anthropology- Embodied Souls
Biblical counselors believe that we are created with two natures: body and soul. An overemphasis on either relegates the other half to a place that ultimately demeans its importance. As human beings and image bearers of the living God we are embodied souls—physically embodied, socially embedded, spiritually embattled. Understanding each of these levels of nested identity help us become wise and discerning counselors.


February 1: Basics of the Biblical Counseling Process
The process of biblical counseling and how it is practiced in sessions is the bread and butter of biblical counseling. What do we actually do in counseling? For both seasoned and new counselors, understanding the basic elements of a counseling session—building rapport, establishing trust, active listening and question asking, homework—are all things we can continually sharpen our skills in.


March 1: Engaging and Navigating our Counselee’s World
Our counselees come to us embedded in a social-cultural worldview. Whether or not they know it, these “cultural liturgies” or “cultural habits” have a significant impact on their world, the people in their world, and their own selves. An hour a week of counseling will not be enough to counter-balance or counter-act these liturgies, so how as biblical counselors can we raise awareness of these habit-forming rituals as well as offer a more compelling narrative.


April 5: On Mental Illness
What does it mean to be clinically informed as a biblical counseling practice? Part of that is being aware of the broader landscape of clinical mental health. How do we understand and engage mental health diagnoses? Are diagnoses something to be dismissed? How do we faithfully engage these descriptions of behavior?


May 3: On Medication and a Biblical Proposal for Faithful Integration
Medication has historically been a contentious issue in biblical counseling. As clinically aware counselors, what is our approach to medication? Additionally, integration and claims of being an integrationist have been levied against those who have a more neutral or positive stance to secular psychology. Is there a middle path in terms of how we approach and engage secular psychology? Is there a model and set of guardrails to ensure our biblical convictions while also engaging with non-biblical material.


June 7: Assessing Suicidal Ideations, Suicide, and Self-Harm
There is never a shortage of complexity in counseling, but the issues of suicide and self-harm present unique complexities to the counselor. How do biblical counselors assess and treat counselees who are suicidal or who are self-harming? What is an appropriate scope of practice as biblical counselors?


July 5: Understanding Abuse (taught by Fieldstone counselor, Melissa Affolter)
Statistics bear out the reality of abuse happening in homes, churches, and communities at alarming rates. Scripture testifies to the cries of the wounded and addresses the complexities of oppression. As biblical counselors, we have the opportunity to connect people with the truest form of comfort and the highest form of justice in the person and work of Jesus Christ. We must position ourselves to be proactive rather than reactive, giving careful consideration to the whole person. Together we will consider how to screen for abuse and identify abuse dynamics, as well as explore counseling implications related to caring for the abused.


August 2: Understanding Trauma (taught by Fieldstone counselor, Melissa Affolter)
The experience of trauma is accompanied by a wide variety of symptoms and side effects, often leading to chronic forms of suffering both in the body and the soul. How can counselors become better equipped to recognize the impact of trauma, and take a layered approach in walking with those who feel like their lives have been shattered? We will discover practices for noticing the whole-person responses to trauma and look at how God’s intentions for healing and wholeness serve as our guide in trauma care.