Courses & Certification Questions

Get answers to questions about CDC Courses, ACBC Certification, the IBCD Certificate of Completion, counseling Observation Videos, and more.

IBCD Courses

What learning materials are included? Do I have to buy any additional resources?

View what’s included in each plan: 

You are not required to purchase the handbooks, but they may be helpful for you to take notes and are available in our online store. As a Community subscriber these handbooks are available as a free digital download in the Starter Kit.

Where can I find course outlines?

Outlines are located under each step in the Read section:

Certificates & ACBC Certification

What is the difference between IBCD and ACBC?

IBCD functions as a training center for ACBC. ACBC functions as the certifying agency. IBCD does not certify our learners or keep a list of counselors. 

  • Fundamentals Training Certificate for ACBC Certification: Learners can use our Care and Discipleship course towards their Fundamentals Training requirement needed for Phase 1 of ACBC certification.  You can find more information below on the coursework section.
  • IBCD Certificates of Completion: IBCD offers a certificate of completion for completing all of the application, interview, and exam requirements for Levels 1-3 of our Care and Discipleship Course. These certificates are not affiliated with ACBC.

Can I use IBCD coursework for ACBC Certification?

Yes! IBCD is an ACBC Certified Training Center. Our Care & Discipleship Course (CDC) fulfills the Fundamentals Training requirement for Phase 1 of ACBC certification. You can also use our observation videos to satisfy the 10 hours of counseling observation required in Phase 1. These observation videos can be accessed through an Individual Subscription or through physical DVDs found in our online store.

To understand more about how our materials fulfill some of the requirements for ACBC, please read our ACBC Information Page first. Be sure to fill out the registration form if you plan to use our materials to pursue ACBC Certification.

What is the IBCD Certificate of Completion?

All of the training in the IBCD Care & Discipleship Course has been designed to assist people in pursuing ACBC Certification. However, we have found that when people are first introduced to biblical counseling, they are sometimes not ready to pursue the rigors of the ACBC Certification process but would like to receive a certificate of completion for their work. By completing our exams, interviews, applications, and fees you can receive IBCD Certificates of Completion for Levels 1-3 of the Care and Discipleship Course. These certificates are not affiliated with ACBC.

What is the Care & Discipleship Course (CDC)?

The Care & Discipleship Course is designed as an entry-level biblical counseling program. Many churches and individuals use it as a standalone course for equipping in one-another care. Through the course, participants can expect to learn the basic methodology and fundamentals of biblical counseling, as well as biblical strategies for dealing with common difficulties, like anxiety, depression, marriage conflicts, and more. The course is also approved as an ACBC Fundamentals Training Course and can be used to fulfill the Fundamentals Training requirements for ACBC Certification.

If you are planning to use this material for ACBC Certification, please read our ACBC Information Page first. You will be required to fill out a registration form.


How long does it take to complete the CDC Levels 1-3?

Our Care & Discipleship Course is designed to be flexible. 

  • If you are using the material as a way to pursue ACBC Certification, the requirements include approximately 46 hours of content (36 hours of Fundamentals Training and 10 hours of observation). Depending on a participant’s availability, it’s possible to complete these requirements in about a month and a half. 
  • If you choose to pursue a Certificate of Completion through our CDC course, you will have additional time commitments and assignments. Depending on availability, students can finish these requirements in 3-6 months. 
  • Some churches go through the material as a group. We estimate that usually requires 64 classes. Depending on your meeting schedule, this may take 1-1.5 years.  Here is a teaching guide that outlines the class over 64 weeks.

The following is a list of what is considered the minimum time required to complete the CDC course and assignments to receive IBCD certificates:

  • Level 1
    • Level 1 instruction – 15 hours
    • Level 1 electives – 3 hours
    • Level 1 leader interview 1 hour
    • Level 1 exam – 7 hours
    • Level 1 total: 28 hours
  • Level 2
    • Level 2 instruction – 15 hours
    • Level 2 electives – 3 hours
    • Level 2 leader interview 1 hour
    • Level 2 exam – 7 hours
    • Level 2 total: 28 hours
  • Level 3
    • Reading, The Peacemaker – approx 5 hours (1 page/min)
    • Reading, Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands – approx 6 hours (1 page/min)
    • Watching Observation Videos – 10 hours
    • Writing Peacemaker response paper – 1 hour
    • Writing Instruments response paper – 1 hour
    • Writing Observation reflection paper – 1 hour
    • Level 3 leader interview – 1 hour
    • Level 3 Total: 25 hours
  • Care & Discipleship Course & Assignment Total: 81 hours

How long are the Counseling Observation Videos? What are the names of the biblical counselors I observed?

*This is the information you will need if using our videos to fulfill your ACBC Phase 1 Observation requirement. The lengths of the Observation Videos are listed in the attached document. The “counseling duration” section notes the length of time that counts for ACBC’s required 10 hours of observation. Download the IBCD Observation Video Log Details here.

Is there a time limit for applying coursework towards ACBC Certification?

IBCD does not have a specific timeframe in which you must finish your training. If you plan to go onto ACBC Certification, after you complete a Fundamentals Training Course, you will have 4 years to complete the rest of Phases 1 and 2. For example, if an individual finishes the Fundamentals Training Course in 2024, they will need to submit their Phase 2 exams and evaluations by December 31, 2028. For more information about ACBC Phase requirements visit their website here.

How do I access the Messy Care & Discipleship and Counseling Care for Domestic Abuse as an Individual subscriber since these are not included with my subscription?

We’ve made it simple! Just upgrade to the Community Plan and subscribe by adding 2 seats at sign up. Even though it’s just you on the plan, this additional seat covers the cost of the additional resources you’ll receive. Instead of $6/month, you’ll pay $12. And, with the additional seat you’ve purchased, feel free to invite a friend to learn along with you!

Can I share my course content with others?

Each learner is required to have their own subscription to access the materials, including spouses and members of the same household. We attempt to price our materials in such a way that it is affordable for all. Having your own subscription also allows you to track your own progress through each course. Upgrade to a Community Plan today!