About Us

The Institute for Biblical Counseling & Discipleship

IBCD exists to serve churches, organizations and individuals who share a passion to see believers equipped to counsel one another through life’s struggles with the Word of God. We do this by offering training through our Care & Discipleship program, as well as offering events and free resources that are helpful to anyone interested in learning how to better help others through the Word of God. If you are seeking biblical counseling outside of your local church please visit our Find A Biblical Counselor page.


Jim Newheiser

Executive Director
Associate Professor of Christian Counseling and Practical Theology at RTS Charlotte
Fellow and Board Member of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors

Craig Marshall

Director of Operations
Pastor of Grace Bible Church in Escondido, CA
Certified Biblical Counselor of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors

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The History of IBCD

Our Beliefs

Local Counseling

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Since 1968, we have been involved in the exciting challenge of researching, developing and testing a counseling methodology that can be used to train pastors and others. The Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation was founded by a small group of Christian pastors, psychologists and educators who began meeting in Short Hills, N.J. in 1966 to discuss the impact of psychological counseling on Christianity. Their burden for a fully biblical counseling model that would be carried out in the context of the local church led first to a counseling service and then to a training program for pastors. The growth of both ministries led to the incorporation in 1968 of The Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF).Dr. Jay Adams was one of the key leaders of this movement. His book, Competent to Counsel (1970), set forth many of the main ideas of this new approach. The overwhelming response to this work made Dr. Adams the unofficial leader and philosopher of this counseling movement and this has been reflected in his many subsequent publications and international speaking engagements.

In 1968, our former director, George Scipione, began his involvement with biblical counseling by taking courses at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. He spent the next two years in training with Dr. Adams and from 1970 to 1974, worked as a staff member and director of the Hatboro, Pennsylvania office of CCEF. From 1974 to 1982, he pastored Calvary Community Church in Harmony, New Jersey. In 1982, he came to San Diego and founded CCEF West.

To facilitate growth, CCEF West became a separate entity from our parent organization and now operates as a specialized ministry under the authority of Grace Bible Church in Escondido, California, as the Institute for Biblical Counseling & Discipleship (IBCD).

In the summer of 2006, George Scipione resigned as director of IBCD and moved to the East Coast to pursue other ministry opportunities. Upon his departure, he passed the baton to Dr. Jim Newheiser of Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina. Dr. Newheiser currently serves as our Executive Director. We are thankful that for more than 30 years the Lord has given us the privilege of helping churches grow in one another care.

The biblical counselor, by definition, is committed to the Old and New Testaments as the only authoritative rule of faith and practice. Both the faith and conduct of the biblical counselor, as well as his counseling theory and practice, are formed by the standards of Scripture. Therefore, we affirm:

1) that the Bible is the only inspired, infallible and authoritative Word of God;

2) that there is only one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit;

3) the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, His virgin birth, His sinless life, His miracles, His substitutionary and atoning death through His shed blood, His bodily resurrection, His ascension to the right hand of the Father and His personal return in power and glory;

4) that for the salvation of lost and sinful man, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential;

5) that a person becomes justified by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ;

6) the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life;

7) the resurrection of both the saved and the lost: they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation;

8) the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ and His church.

We believe that the Word of God is able to help us in every situation we are facing. If you would like biblical counseling, we suggest the following process:

Contact your pastor

Pastors are to be shepherds of their people (1 Pet 5:1-4) and will give an account to God for those entrusted to their care (Heb 13:17). We believe each local church should be able to help its people through biblical counseling. If your pastor would like assistance in helping you, you can refer him to the IBCD resources.

Find a biblical counselor in your area

If you are looking for biblical counseling outside of your local church, please search our Find A Biblical Counselor page. We do not maintain a vetted list of counselors.

In Case of an Emergency

If you are facing a crisis or an emergency, be sure to call your pastor, doctor, or the police.

If you have questions about ACBC certification, we would ask that you become familiar with their material on the ACBC website before you call us.

Many questions about our training can be answered on our Care & Discipleship page.

Questions? Comments?

Feel free to send us an email at info@ibcd.org.

Escondido Office

For additional questions you can call us at the office: (608) 492-4223

655 W 11th Ave
Escondido, CA 92025

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