Counselor Training

Head to Heart Pastoral Counselor Training

“Has God called you to the ministry of Christian counseling?”  If you have a desire to help hurting people find
healing and hope through Jesus Christ, Head to Heart School of Pastoral Counseling may be the
program that God is leading you to.

“After making the decision to go back to school and get licensed as a Christian Counselor through NCCA, I researched most
of the schools associated with the program. Unsure of which school to choose, I met with Dr. Al Jones of Head to Heart
Restoration Ministry. After one meeting, I was convinced that Head to Heart would be critical to my success.
I am so pleased with my decision because the one-on-one mentoring that
I have received from my clinical supervisor has been invaluable!”

– T.C.

“The Head to Heart School of Pastoral Counseling program provided excellent academic and practical preparation for my
new vocation as a professional pastoral counselor. The course work gave me a strong grasp of the basic principles of
Christian psychology and counseling. The practicum work was the most challenging and most rewarding part of the
program; it gave me a whole new set of skills in Temperament Therapy.  It was a pleasure to study under Dr. Al Jones as my
clinical supervisor. He provided wise direction and constant encouragement to me throughout the program.”

– J.H.


Head to Heart School of Pastoral Counseling, in conjunction with the National Christian Counselors Association (NCCA) and our network of affiliated colleges, universities and seminaries, offers one of the finest Christian Counseling programs in the nation.

Head to Heart School of Pastoral Counseling is a Certified Academic Institution (CAI) of the National Christian Counselors Association. The NCCA is one of the largest Christian Counseling Associations in the United States.  Over 4000 people have become licensed as Christian or Pastoral Counselors since its foundation in 1981.

Head to Heart School of Pastoral Counseling is a distance learning program that allows you to complete the training from home and is perfect for the person that cannot stop their current career and responsibilities to attend school. Although it is a distance learning program, you are provided with individualized coaching and mentoring. In addition to the course work, you also complete supervised practicum work that will increase your knowledge, skills, and confidence to effectively counsel and minister to others. The coaching and mentoring program is regulated by the National Board of Christian Clinical Therapists (NBCCT) to ensure that your supervision is of the highest quality and meets your education and training needs. Ongoing continuing education and the annual NCCA conference provides opportunities to continue learning, earn additional Faith Based Certifications, expand your knowledge and skills, and develop relationships with some of the finest Christian counselors in the nation.

As a CAI, Head to Heart School of Pastoral Counseling utilizes a biblically-based educational and training model for Christian counseling called Temperament Therapy. Temperament Therapy has been used successfully by thousands of Christian Counselors.

Head to Heart School of Pastoral Counseling and the N.C.C.A. provide quality training for Christians who feel God’s call to counsel. Our training results in credentials that the community (Christian and non-Christian) will recognize. Potential counselors often ask about the benefits of the training and obtaining certification or license from the N.C.C.A. The training you receive provides a deep spiritual insight into understanding human behavior and relating to others. This knowledge is valuable in every area of life, including your ability to help those who are hurting.

Having N.C.C.A. credentials through the Head to Heart School of Pastoral Counseling ensures that you are recognized within your community as a qualified Christian/Pastoral counselor. The community can be assured that your credentials are authentic and current.

Many of the people licensed through the N.C.C.A. include Ministers, Pastors, lay church leaders, small group leaders, professional Christian counselors, testing specialists, medical doctors, attorneys and educators.

Variety of Programs

Head to Heart School of Pastoral Counseling offers a variety of levels of certification and license depending on your goals as a Christian Counselor. We have an entry program for all educational levels from high school/GED through Doctorate degrees.

Once you complete all of the requirements and are certified/licensed as a Christian or Pastoral Counselor you can counsel anywhere in the United States and accept remuneration for these services (in accordance with state and local guidelines), without being affiliated with any state agency or being state licensed.  This is because the laws governing counseling in all states exempt “Clergy” from submitting to its (the state’s) authority.  The First Amendment of our Constitution requires such exemption: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

In addition, to license as a Christian or Pastoral Counselor, Head to Heart School of Pastoral Counseling, in conjunction with the N.C.C.A. and its network of affiliated Bible colleges, universities and seminaries, offers assistance to its members with regard to degree transfer work to earn Bachelors, Masters and Doctorate degrees.

Many of these Bible colleges, universities and seminaries are long standing accredited schools.  These are not “mail order” degrees.  These recognized degrees reflect the significant commitment of course work, counseling experience and in depth case study documentation of the graduate.   Christian or Pastoral Counseling License is issued by the N.C.C.A.  Degrees are issued by the appropriate Bible college, university or seminary.

State Versus National License

The National Christian Counselors Association Licensing Program is not a state license and is, in fact, distinctly different. Most states have regulatory laws governing the practice of psychology. Many of them also legislate the practice of general counseling. The laws vary from state to state. For example, some states have a counselor category called “Licensed Professional Counselor.” Therefore, the National Christian Counselors Association requires its counselors to clearly identify their license, e.g., “National    Christian Counselors Association Licensed Pastoral Counselor” or “National Christian Counselors Association Licensed Clinical Christian Counselor.” This ensures that the N.C.C.A. counselor is operating within legal and ethical standards, and maintaining the public’s trust and confidence.

State regulatory laws help to protect the public and ensure professionalism within the counseling profession. The N.C.C.A. strives to attain a similar goal within the Christian community and, at the same time, operate within compliance with state laws. The state and federal governments also have jurisdictional boundaries. They cannot pass laws that prevent the Church from fulfilling its purpose and ministering to humanity’s needs. The state recognizes that counseling is one of the responsibilities of the Church and its clergy. For this reason, the state does not and must not interfere with the Ministry of Counseling.

The major difference between state-licensed professional counselors and Pastoral or Christian counselors, who are licensed by the N.C.C.A. and under the authority of the Church (Body of Christ), 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 influence. The state licensed professional counselor is forbidden to pray, read or refer to the Scriptures. Initiating such counsel would be considered unethical by the state. In most states, the state licensed counselors “must not promote their personal religious beliefs” according to the code of ethics in each respective state. The only time a state licensed counselor can involve religious
(Christian) principles, morals, activities, instruction, etc., is if the counselee initiates or requests counsel in this area.

Opposite from that, Pastoral counselors are required to pray, share their faith, read the Scriptures, etc. The fact that Pastoral and Christian counselors do these things creates a clear distinction. We are two distinct professions and govern ourselves accordingly.


Head to Heart School of Pastoral Counseling is affordable. There are no large upfront down-payments or hidden program costs.  The enrollment fee, the first half of Phase I clinical supervision, and the first course are only $522.00. You pay as you go. You pay for courses and fees, as they become due, throughout each phase of the program. Payment can be made by cash, check and credit card. (There is a 3% convenience fee for credit card payments.)

Many students have received partial or complete financial support for the program through their local church as an extension of their ministry services.

Designed for the Busy Adult

The distance learning program can be conveniently completed from home. Each course has a generous time frame for completion that easily fits with outside employment, family time and ample study time.

Since the majority of students have not been in school for several years, there is often some fear of not being successful in completing coursework, taking exams and writing counseling reports.  Online as well as text book format is available to students depending on their preference of learning styles. (There is an additional fee for the on-line access.)

Ministerial Credential

The Ministry of Christian or Pastoral Counseling is a valid ministry. You may not be called to the office of a Lead Pastor within a local church or denomination but are called to the ministry of counseling. There are many types of Ministers or Clergy. For example, Ministers of Music, Chaplains, Ministers of Administration, Missionaries, Youth Ministers, Evangelists, Pastoral Counselors, Bishops, etc. All of these offices are understood by the state and federal government to be “Clergy.”

You do not specifically have to be ordained as a pastor to be a Pastoral Counselor.  Your local church/denomination may be authorized to commission you as a Commissioned Minister of Pastoral Counseling. This should meet state requirements, so you can legally offer spiritual Bible-based counseling and accept remuneration because you will be in compliance with laws in your state that recognize the right of members of the Clergy to provide spiritual counseling.

For students who have a desire to develop a para-church, non-profit Christian counseling center, and do not desire to be credentialed by their local church have the opportunity to be commissioned, licensed or ordained through separate requirements/studies through the church arm of the National Christian Counselors Association.

Please do not reject God’s call and His anointing on your life because you are fearful of the words “Clergy,” or “Ordained,” or “Commissioned” or “Minister.” These words mean “set aside” for the specific ministry for which God has called you.

N.C.C.A. Licensing Requirements

The N.C.C.A. requires all who are certified or 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 church organization or a 501(c)3 not-for profit ministry.

Complete specialized training provided by the N.C.C.A. or one of their Certified Academic Institutions (Head to Heart School of Pastoral Counseling).

Complete the minimum requirements for continuing education and annual license renewal,

Uphold N.C.C.A.’s Code of Ethical Standards.

Notice of Non-Discrimination Policy

Head to Heart School of Pastoral Counseling and the National Christian Counselors Association admit students of any gender, race, color, national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students. We do not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, national or ethnic origin in administration of our educational policies and/or admission policy.

Further, we do not discriminate in admission or employment practices with respect to those with impaired vision, hearing, physical mobility or age.

Head to Heart Restoration Ministry is incorporated in the state of Texas and is a not-for-profit 501(C)3 tax exempt corporation. The National Christian Counselors Association is incorporated in the state of Florida and is a not-for-profit 501(C)3 tax exempt corporation.

All fees and requirements are subject to change.

The N.C.C.A. is an educational ministry of the National Conservative Christian Church which works in conjunction with all denominations and Christian Churches.

For More Information and Closing

Head to Heart School of Pastoral Counseling exists to help train and equip you for the exciting Ministry of Counseling.  Feel free to ask anything about our training program or the N.C.C.A. certification, licensing and degree programs.  Your N.C.C.A. credentials and Christian counseling degree(s) are well suited for establishing and maintaining a vital ministry of care and counseling for your church or within the community as a para-church or not-for-profit ministry.  Your N.C.C.A. credentials will allow you to do so legally and ethically while receiving payment for providing counseling services.

If you would like to speak with a past or present Head to Heart School of Pastoral Counseling student, contact information is available upon request.

If you would like to discuss the different programs in detail as well as specific course and payment information contact the Head to Heart Restoration Ministry office at (512)733-8000 or complete the form for more information that is on this site.

Pray and ask God to lead you and take the first step in fulfilling your calling to the Ministry of Counseling.