ACBC Certification and the IBCD Care & Discipleship Course

ACBC Certification & The CDC Program

We believe that certification from the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC) is a very helpful process for individuals pursuing biblical counseling training, and it is incredibly beneficial to the local church.

All of the training in IBCD Care & Discipleship Course has been designed to assist people in pursuing ACBC Certification. We have found that when people are first introduced to biblical counseling, they are not immediately ready to pursue the rigors of the ACBC Certification process. The CDC program breaks the ACBC Certification process into smaller steps with certificates of completion along the way to indicate overall progress. Part of the CDC process includes submitting exams. These exams will be reviewed by ACBC Certified counselors, who will offer you detailed feedback. We have found that participants who complete the CDC program will feel edified, challenged, and prepared as they move towards ACBC Certification.

If you plan to use the Care & Discipleship material for ACBC Certification, or if you plan to facilitate a group through the material for ACBC Certification, you must fill out whichever of the following forms applies:

The complete requirements of the CDC program are not necessary to become certified through ACBC, but they are very helpful. IBCD’s CDC material alone, without the exams, applications, and interviews, can be used to meet ACBC’s Phase 1 requirements. Here is a description of how the CDC Course can be used toward ACBC Certification:

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Phase 1 of ACBC Certification | Learning

Phase 1 of ACBC Certification is to complete a 30-hour Fundamentals Training Course, 10 hours of Observation and 1,000 pages of approved reading.

The IBCD CDC Level 1 (Basic) and Level 2 (Intermediate) material is an approved Fundamentals Training Course, satisfying all 30 hours. You may use your church’s Supporting Church access, a physical DVD, Individual Subscription, or our free audios to complete this portion of the training.

IBCD offers 7 Observation Videos that you can use to complete the 10 hours of observation. You can access these through your church’s Supporting Church access, a physical DVD, or an Individual Subscription. To find out how many hours each case has along with counselor names, please see our FAQ page. You will need this information as you fill out your ACBC Application.

ACBC requires 1,000 pages of approved reading. The IBCD CDC program requires participants to read The Peacemaker by Ken Sande and Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands by Paul Tripp, which satisfies approximately 640 pages of approved reading. Both of these books are on ACBC’s Approved Reading List. If you complete the CDC program, you will still be required to read approximately 320 pages that must be chosen from the Theology section of ACBC’s Approved Reading List.

The complete requirements of the CDC program are not necessary to become certified through ACBC, but they are very helpful. All participants will need to fill out this form for IBCD’s records.

Phase 2 of ACBC Certification | Exams & Evaluations

Phase 2 of ACBC Certification is to complete the exams and evaluations. ACBC requires two exams: Counseling and Theology. Once you finish writing these exams, you can turn them in along with an evaluations. The exams and evaluations will be turned in directly to ACBC. As a part of the application, you will need to indicate the following information about your Basic Training through IBCD:

Fundamentals Training Course 
Name of Certified Agency: IBCD
Completion Date: date finished listening to/watching the material
City, State: location where training occurred
Instructors and Courses: Jim Newheiser and Charles Hodges, IBCD Care & Discipleship Course

Please be sure you’ve filled out this form so that IBCD can record your training. 

You will also need to submit your Observation and Reading Logs. You will submit all of these requirements to ACBC directly through the process described on their website. If you used IBCD Observation Videos, please see our FAQ page for run times, counselor names, and more information. You will submit all of the Phase 2 requirements to ACBC directly through the process described on their website.

Phase 3 of ACBC Certification | Supervision

Phase 3 of ACBC Certification requires supervision. Once you’ve passed your exams and your evaluations have been approved, ACBC will walk you through the steps to obtain a supervisor. With this supervisor, you will complete 50 hours of supervised counseling.

More information on ACBC Certification can be found at

ACBC Fundamentals Training Course Policies

Please keep the following policies in mind if you plan to use the IBCD materials to fulfill ACBC Certification requirements. 

  • All participants using the CDC material, whether accessing the material through their church, Individual Subscription, or free audio resources to satisfy ACBC’s Phase 1 requirements must fill out our registration form. If you neglect to fill out their form, your training will not be approved by IBCD or ACBC 
  • If you are facilitating as a group goes through the material together, please be sure of the following:
    • First, fill out a facilitator registration form here.
    • Each of your participants attends each session (or makes up the material on their own time)
    • Each participant fills out this form
    • You may facilitate discussion after viewing the videos together, but facilitators are not to offer any extra teaching. If you’d like to add commentary, please clearly state that your personal teaching is not officially approved teaching from ACBC. This is because approved ACBC training must be taught by an ACBC Fellow. If you engage in extraneous teaching, your course will be disqualified for ACBC and IBCD approval. Your participants will not be eligible for ACBC Certification. 
  • If your church has purchased the physical Observation DVDs, you may watch our DVDs in a group setting
  • If you have purchased an Individual Subscription, you may not use that subscription to stream the videos to a group setting. Please see the Supporting Church options or email for information on licensing
  • Individual Subscriptions are meant to be used for individuals only and not meant to be shared. Sharing subscriptions diminishes our ability to report to ACBC whether or not a participant has completed the material. If your account has been shared, your application will be denied. 
  • Some groups will meet weekly to discuss the content, but expect participants to view the videos on their own time. This is an approved way to use Individual Subscriptions
  • An individual may use our free audios for CDC Level 1 and CDC Level 2 to satisfy ACBC’s Phase 1 30 hour teaching requirement. Each individual must fill out the registration form. These individuals will need to access observation hours either in person with a local ACBC Certified counselor or through ACBC approved observation videos. You can access IBCD’s observation videos through an Individual Subscription
  • If you are an institution, like a seminary or university, and would like to use the videos in your class, please email for licensing options
  • The complete requirements of the CDC program are not necessary to become certified through ACBC, but they are very helpful. IBCD’s CDC lectures alone, without the exams, applications, and interviews, can be used to meet ACBC’s Phase 1 requirements. 

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