American Association of Christian Counselors
American Association of Christian Counselors

About Us

Code of Ethics-

Click here to view the AACC code of ethics.


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AACC is committed to assisting Christian counselors, the entire “community of care,” licensed professionals, pastors, and lay church members with little or no formal training. It is our intention to equip clinical, pastoral, and lay care-givers with biblical truth and psychosocial insights that minister to hurting persons and helps them move to personal wholeness, interpersonal competence, mental stability, and spiritual maturity.

Statement of Faith-

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There exists only one God, creator and sustainer of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally co-existing in three personsâ Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

The Scriptures, both Old and New testaments, are the inspired, inerrant and trustworthy Word of God, the complete revelation of His will for the salvation of human beings, and the final authority for all matters about which it speaks.

Human nature derives from two historical personas, male and female, created in God’s image. They were created perfect, but they sinned, plunging themselves and all human beings into sin, guilt, suffering, and death.

The substitutionary death of Jesus Christ and his bodily resurrection provide the only ground for justification, forgiveness, and salvation for all who believe. Only those who trust in Him alone are born of the Holy Spirit and are true members of the Church; only they will spend eternity with Christ.

The Holy Spirit is the agent of regeneration and renewal for believers in Jesus Christ. He makes the presence of Jesus Christ real in believers, and He comforts, guides, convicts, and enables believers to live in ways that honor Christ.

Ministry to persons acknowledges the complexity of humans as physical, social, psychological, and spiritual beings. The ultimate goal of Christian counseling is to help others move to personal wholeness, interpersonal competence, mental stability, and spiritual maturity.

Who are the Members of AACC? –

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AACC is committed to assisting Christian counselors, whether those counselors are licensed professionals or caring church members with little or no formal training.

AACC proudly recognizes the diversity within the helping relationship and provides membership opportunities in three separate categories:

Professionals include psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, licensed counselors, and others who have advanced training in one of the mental health professions.

Religious leaders include pastors, youth leaders, missionaries, pastoral counselors, Christian educators, and others with theological and/or counseling training.

Lay counselors include church members of parachurch organizations, spouses of professionals or religious leaders, and others who are interested in Christian counseling, but who have little or no professional training.

Member Benefits –

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– Affiliation with other Christians: The most important benefit of membership and also the most intangible—affiliation and fellowship with other Christian counselors and pastors around the nation—literally around the world.

– Christian Counseling Today, magazine subscription: Our quarterly, four-color, 88-page flagship magazine that focuses on issues facing today’s Christian counselors. Reaching an estimated 125,000. Intellectually stimulating, academically sound, psychologically accurate, and Biblically solid, the magazine features interviews and articles from Christian counseling leaders worldwide. Editors — Mark Camper and Eric Scalise.

– Christian Counseling Connection, newsletter subscription: This quarterly newsletter focuses on news relevant to Christian counselors and spotlights membership activities, promotes forthcoming conferences, and publishes professional reports. With specific application to clinicians, pastors and lay counselors, this publication strives to deliver practical usefulness to each targeted audience. Editors — Mark Camper and Eric Scalise.

– AACC eNews Monthly, electronic subscription: An electronic newsletter designed to deliver fast, breaking news and information. Delivered monthly by Internet and e-mail. Editor — George Ohlschlager.

– Counsel CD’s: These thought-provoking, quarterly audio CD’s include interviews with Christian counseling experts who discuss the latest findings, techniques, and issues facing Christian counselors. Host: Tim Clinton.

– AACC Certificate of Membership: This certificate records a member’s affiliation with thousands of others who are committed to the promotion of excellence and unity in Christian counseling.

– AACC Member Plaque: Available to members for an additional fee.

– AACC Christian Counseling Code of Ethics: This ethics code is a detailed synthesis of biblical, ethical, clinical, legal, and interpersonal standards. It helps ground the Christian counseling movement on a comprehensive ethic that glorifies God. An updated and revised version will be release in 2010.

– Preferred Pricing: AACC is committed to providing highly effective, user-friendly resources for a counseling practice. AACC’s catalog allows members to order the best counseling resources in their field with the low AACC member pricing.

– Practical Assistance: Member-discounted malpractice liability insurance programs are available to AACC members.

– Federal/State/Church/Corporate Advocacy: AACC’s dedicated and growing program of legal and policy advocacy for Christian counseling and mental health—and broader issues of faith and life—in the power centers of American life.

Letter from the President –

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Dear Friend:

Attending to the needs and issues of hurting people today is complex, and at times , overwhelming. As today’s generations search for purpose, meaning and value, many are experiencing a pervasive sense of emptiness and loneliness. And why shouldn’t they?

In a world flooded with distresses like divorce, father absence, rampant sexual abuse, terrorism, anxiety and depression, there seems to be an epidemic of escapism through drugs, alcohol, consumerism, sex, violence and suicide. Dallas Willard alluded to this in his book on spiritual disciplines and stated, “Obviously, the problem is a spiritual one. And so must be the cure.”

Although it appears to be the worst of times, something seems to be happening across America — people are searching for God. According to a recent Gallop survey, 82% desire a more intimate relationship with God. Up 24% in just the last four years! (1)

I’m reminded of Isaiah 6:8, when the Lord asked, “And whom shall I send, and who will go for me?” I never cease to be amazed that God’s desire is to use people — like you and me — to carry His message of hope in Christ to a searching and hurting world. If there is ever a time for Godly leadership, servanthood and Biblical counsel — it is now. (2)

In the AACC, we understand the challenges in helping others. And whether you are a pastor, clinician, physician or lay helper, we exist to serve you faithfully as you care for others. As a member, we’ll help you become more aware of current trends and issues in counseling, deliver cutting-edge services and offer timely resources — all designed to help increase your counseling effectiveness. As we grow together, we will work to:

  • Help you handle the Bible with confidence while dealing with life’s most difficult and trying issues.
  • Offer insight on clinical issues and patterns that have emerged through reflection, research and scholarship.
  • Provide practical tools and strategies to help you in your day-to-day ministry.
  • Offer standards and direction in handling the tough legal, ethical and gray areas of counseling.

In a very short time, AACC has become the leading organization for professional, pastoral and lay counselors. Nearly 50,000 members have found a place for “professional affiliation” and a “place to belong” — an organization that provides support, education, resources and encouragement, and strives to be practical, Biblically-based and clinically excellent.

Becoming a member is easy — simply click “Join AACC” at the top of this webpage and fill out the appropriate information. When you do, we will immediately send your personalized membership certificate and get you on your way.

I am excited about the days ahead and look forward to AACC becoming a part of your life.


Timothy E. Clinton, Ed.D., LPC, LMFT

President, AACC

1. Dallas Willard, (1958). The spirit of the disciplines: Understanding how God changes lives, San Francisco, CA: Harper and Row, Viii.

2. Gallup, G., & Jones, T., (2000) The next American spirituality: Finding God in the twenty-first century, Colorado Springs, CO: Victor/Cook Communications, 2000.

What Others Have Said About AACC –

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Dr. Larry Crabb

The tide is turning….Christian counseling is becoming more Christ-centered, Biblically based, and oriented toward the eternal more than the immediate. AACC is leading the way.


H. Norman Wright

I am delighted to be a part of AACC. The practical emphasis of this organization is filling a need that has existed for many years. Professional counselors, as well as ministers, will find both an opportunity for personal and professional growth, as well as new networking possibilities. I would encourage anyone to take advantage of the opportunities of this organization.


Dr. H.B. London, Jr.

In our ministry at Focus on the Family, we are finding that a high percentage of pastors we meet feel ill-prepared to deal with the complex pastoral counseling issues that come their way. AACC is on the cutting-edge as they seek to equip the ‘called out’ minister for the 21st century.


Core Values –

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In all of my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Philippians 1:4-6

OUR SOURCE: We are committed to honor Jesus Christ and glorify God, remaining flexible and responsive to the Holy Spirit in all that He has called us to be and do.

OUR STRENGTH: We are committed to Biblical truths, and to clinical excellence and unity in the delivery of all our resources, services, training and benefits.

OUR SERVICE: We are committed to effectively and competently serve the community of care worldwide—both our membership and the church at large—with excellence and timeliness, and by over-delivery on our promises.

OUR STAFF:We are committed to value and invest in our people as partners in our mission to help others effectively provide Christ-centered counseling and soul-care for hurting people.

OUR STEWARDSHIP: We are committed to profitably steward the resources God gives to us in order to continue serving the needs of hurting people.

Vision –

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The vision of AACC has two critical dimensions. First, we want to serve the worldwide Christian church by helping it become more mature in Christ, while taking on His heart of love and sacrificial care. Secondly, we want to be serving, educating, and equipping 80,000 professional clinicians, pastoral counselors, and lay helpers in the near future.

We are committed to helping the church equip God’s people to love and care for each other in the same spirit that Christ loves and cares for us. We recognize Christian counseling as a unique and case-based form of Christian discipleship, assisting the church in its call to bring believers to maturity in the lifelong process of sanctification- of growing to maturity in Christ.

We recognize that some are gifted to do so in the context of a clinical, professional and/or pastoral manner. We also believe that selected lay people are gifted to care for others and that they need the appropriate training and mentoring to do so. We believe that the ‘seat’ of helping ministry in the church is supported—must be supported—by three strong legs. These legs are the pastor, the lay helper, and the clinical professional, and it is to these three roles that AACC is dedicated to serve.

It was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Ephesians 4:11-13

AACC Foundation –

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The AACC Foundation IS OUR NON-PROFIT WORLDWIDE RESOURCE that exists to encourage the development of Christian counseling worldwide through funding of various programs that are not priorities in a for-profit, business model, but are nonetheless crucial to the comprehensive development of a Christian counseling ministry.

– Christian Care Network: Hundreds of counselors and clinics across the country have joined this peer-reviewed referral network, which is quickly becoming the resource for those seeking Christ-centered professional care in America. The CCN offers a referral directory of Christian mental health professionals and ministry-based counselors that have been credentialed through the Board of Christian Professional and Pastoral Counselors (BCPPC). The referral directory is available online and through the AACC phone center. There are currently over 3.000 active members.

– New Century Marriage Initiative: Our goal is to train one million marriage mentors, provide training and resources to the church, and conduct cutting-edge research on marriage and its alternatives throughout this first decade of the 21st century.

– International Association of Christian Counselors: Arch Hart is Chairman of a budding IACC organization that has as its goal, the development of Christian counseling resources, services and members in countries worldwide.

– Student/International Scholarships: For attending our many conferences and events throughout the world.

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