Everyone who applies for a credential with the BCPPC must specify the level of credentialing he/she is seeking by utilizing the correct Application Form. Currently, the BCPPC offers four national credentials in Christian Counseling, two of which are in the Licensure/Professional Track (Professional Christian Counselor and Christian Counselor) and two of which are in the Pastoral/Ministry Track (Pastoral Counselor and Biblical Counselor). Individuals, who meet the requirements for any given credential, may also be eligible to receive more than one designation and can request consideration when submitting the application packet.

Definitions (as used in the BCPPC Application)

Regional and/or National Accreditation – This refers to a term used in the United States to describe the process whereby one of six accrediting bodies, each serving a specific geographic region, accredits schools, colleges, and universities:

  • the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
  • the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA)
  • the Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges (MSA)
  • the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges (SACS)
  • the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
  • the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges (NWCCU)

These regional agencies are recognized by both the United States Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Applicants may check their school’s status by searching the United States Department of Education database or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation database. Regionally accredited schools are predominantly academically oriented, non-profit institutions.

USDE and CHEA also recognize other national accrediting bodies, including:

  • the Distance Education Training Counsel (DETC)
  • the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHA)
  • the Association of Theological Schools (ATS)
  • the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS).

Substantially Equivalent Accreditation – Other schools are nationally accredited and while it may be difficult, in some cases, to transfer credits (or an earned degree) to a regionally accredited institution because of potentially lower academic standards, they often undergo an identical or clearly parallel process in order to become officially recognized. Common to both regional and national accrediting bodies, is a very rigorous approval process that includes: a comprehensive application, a lengthy review of the school’s program and educational delivery methods, no excessive credit for life experience (greater that 20-25%) or fast-track learning where degrees can be awarded in a matter of weeks/several months, an on-site visit by an accrediting team, and ongoing oversight of the academic program

One distinguishing factor for both regionally and nationally accredited schools is that they are automatically eligible to participate in Title IV federal student financial assistance programs. Schools and degree programs that do not meet the above definitions/criteria, will not be considered as meeting the educational standards for either the Board Certified Christian Counselor (BCCC) or Board Certified Professional Christian Counselor (BCPCC) credential.