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Online · School of Behavioral Sciences · Psychology

Issues of Christian Counseling

  • CG
  • Section 8WK
  • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020
  • Modified 01/13/2020

Contact Information

See detailed faculty information in Blackboard.

Course Description

This course provides the framework to the structure and issues surrounding biblical counseling and helping ministries. Special attention will be given to the dealing with spiritual warfare, “brief therapy” model of counseling, life transitions, and crisis care.





Our pressing concern at the inception of the 21st century is that people are hurting and searching frantically for hope and new life. If there is ever a time for godly leadership, servanthood, and biblical counsel, it is now. This course seeks to meet that challenge by equipping students to biblically guide individuals asking for help.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

    1. Describe the biblical and ethical standards of the Christian counseling profession (PL01, PL04, PL06).
    2. Analyze the differences in Christian and secular counseling.
    3. Discuss the clinical/research-based understanding of mental health and wholeness (PL02, PL05).
    4. Discuss the ethical issues related to professional boundaries in Christian counseling (PL04, PL05).
    5. Apply Christian counseling techniques to specific counseling issues (PL03).
    6. Recognize diversity in counseling populations (PL06).

Course Resources

Required Resource

The following textbooks/materials will be mailed to you free of charge:

Clinton, T., & Ohlschlager, G. (2002). Competent Christian counseling: Foundations and practice of compassionate soul care. Colorado Springs, CO: Water Brook Press.

Disclaimer: The above resources provide information consistent with the latest research regarding the subject area. Liberty University does not necessarily endorse specific personal, religious, philosophical, or political positions found in these resources.

Additional Materials for Learning

  1. Computer with basic audio/video output equipment
  2. Internet access (broadband recommended)
  3. Blackboard recommended browsers
  4. Microsoft Word (Microsoft Office is available at a special discount to Liberty University students.)
  5. APA formatting information

Course Assignments

Textbook readings, lecture notes, and case studies.

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (3)

Throughout this course, the student will participate in 4 Discussion Board Forums. The forums are to promote critical thinking within the classroom and to produce knowledge useful to the learning journey. For each forum, the student will compose a thread and 2 replies in response to 2 other classmates’ threads. Threads are a response to the topic of discussion in the forum, and replies are a response to a classmate’s thread. Each thread must be at least 250 words in length, and each reply must be at least 150 words in length.

Case Study Forums (2)

Throughout the course, the student will participate in 2 Case Study Forums. For each Case Study Forum, the student will compose a thread and 2 replies in response to 2 other classmates’ threads. Threads are a response to the topic of discussion in the forum, and replies are a response to a classmate's thread. Each thread must be at least 350 words in length, and each reply must be at least 150 words in length.

Article Review Forum

Throughout the course, the student will review articles and participate in an Article Review Forum. For the Article Review Forum, the student will compose a thread and 2 replies in response to 2 other classmates’ threads. Threads are a review of the article in the forum, and replies are a response to a classmate's thread. Each thread must be at least 350 words in length, and each reply must be 150 words in length.

Exams (4)

Each exam will cover the material presented in the corresponding module/week. Each exam will be open-book/open-notes, contain 50 multiple-choice and true/false questions, and have a time limit of 1 hour and 30 minutes.


Ohlschlager & Clinton (2002) note that “trying to be culturally blind or color-blind diminishes the importance of unique differences in the client’s personality and lifestyle” (617). In fact, it is considered unethical to treat every culture and ethnicity in a uniform fashion in counseling. Research now indicates that different approaches and techniques may need to be utilized for each culture.

Using your textbook and 2 research journal articles of your choosing (use the Liberty University Online Library resources), research a population of your choice and answer the following questions in your essay.

  • What are some of the key psychosocial issues for this population?
  • What are some of the central therapeutic approaches?
  • Would the population you are reasearching be difficult for you to work with? Are there any psychosocial issues this population exhibits that may evoke an emotional reaction in you?
  • Based on your findings what do you believe (and what does research indicate) could be improved for this population in terms of current mental health services?

Submit your 500 word essay by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday of Module/Week 7.

Course Grading

Course Requirements Checklist


Discussion Board Forums (4 at 50 pts ea)


Case Study Forum (2 at 75 pts ea)


Article Review Forum


Essay 1


Exams (4 at 137.5 pts ea)





Late Assignment Policy

Course Assignments, including discussion boards, exams, and other graded assignments, should be submitted on time.

If the student is unable to complete an assignment on time, then he or she must contact the instructor immediately by email.

Assignments that are submitted after the due date without prior approval from the instructor will receive the following deductions:

  1. Late assignments submitted within one week after the due date will receive up to a 10% deduction.
  2. Assignments submitted more than one week and less than 2 weeks late will receive up to a 20% deduction.
  3. Assignments submitted two weeks late or after the final date of the course will not be accepted outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.
  4. Group projects, including group discussion board threads and/or replies, and assignments will not be accepted after the due date outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.

Disability Assistance

Students with a disability and those with medical conditions associated with pregnancy may contact Liberty University’s Online Office of Disability Accommodation Support (ODAS) at [email protected] for accommodations.  Such accommodations require appropriate documentation of your condition.   For more information about ODAS and the accommodations process, including how to request an accommodation, please visit Requests for accommodations not related to disabilities or pregnancy must be directed to the Registrar’s Office, which generally handles medical needs support.

If you have a complaint related to disability discrimination or an accommodation that was not provided, you may contact ODAS or the Office of Equity and Compliance by phone at (434) 592-4999 or by email at [email protected].  Click to see a full copy of Liberty’s Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy or the Student Disability Grievance Policy and Procedures.

Course Attendance

In an effort to comply with U.S. Department of Education policies, attendance is measured by physical class attendance or any submission of a required assignment within the enrollment dates of the course (such as examinations, written papers or projects, any discussion board posts, etc.) or initiating any communication with one’s professor regarding an academic subject. More information regarding the attendance policy can be found in the Academic Course Catalogs. Regular attendance in online courses is expected throughout the length of the term. Students who do not attend within the first week of a sub-term by submitting a required academic assignment (such as the Course Requirements Checklist, an examination, written paper or project, discussion board post, or other academic activity) will be dropped from the course. Students who wish to re-engage in the course are encouraged to contact Academic Advising to discuss their enrollment options. Students who begin an online course, but at some point in the semester cease attending, and do not provide official notification to withdraw, will be assigned a grade of “FN” (Failure for Non-Attendance). Students wishing to withdraw from courses after the official start date should familiarize themselves with the withdrawal policy.

Grading Scale

900-1010 800-899 700-799 600-699 0-599

For courses with a Pass/NP final grade, please refer to the Course Grading section of this syllabus for the assignment requirements and/or point value required to earn a Passing final grade.

Add/Drop Policy

The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory.

Honor Code

Liberty University comprises a network of students, Alumni, faculty, staff and supporters that together form a Christian community based upon the truth of the Bible. This truth defines our foundational principles, from our Doctrinal Statement to the Code of Honor. These principles irrevocably align Liberty University’s operational procedures with the long tradition of university culture, which remains distinctively Christian, designed to preserve and advance truth. Our desire is to create a safe, comfortable environment within our community of learning, and we extend our academic and spiritual resources to all of our students with the goal of fostering academic maturity, spiritual growth and character development.

Communities are predicated on shared values and goals. The Code of Honor, an expression of the values from which our Doctrinal Statement was born, defines the fundamental principles by which our community exists. At the core of this code lie two essential concepts: a belief in the significance of all individuals, and a reliance on the existence of objective truth.

While we acknowledge that some may disagree with various elements of the Code of Honor, we maintain the expectation that our students will commit to respect and uphold the Code while enrolled at Liberty University.

Adherence to the principles and concepts established within facilitates the success of our students and strengthens the Liberty community.

The Code of Honor can be viewed in its entirety at


CCOU 202

Textbook: Clinton & Ohlschlager, Competent Christian Counseling (2002).


Reading & Study




Clinton & Ohlschlager: chs. 1–4

1 website

Course Requirements Checklist

Class Introductions

Case Study Forum 1





Clinton & Ohlschlager: chs. 5–10, 14


DB Forum 1

Exam 1




Clinton & Ohlschlager: chs. 11–12


Case Study Forum 2



Clinton & Ohlschlager: chs. 13–17


DB Forum 2

Exam 2




Clinton & Ohlschlager: chs. 18–21

1 website

Article Review Forum



Clinton & Ohlschlager: chs. 22–25


DB Forum 3

Exam 3




Clinton & Ohlschlager: chs. 26–29





Clinton & Ohlschlager: chs. 30–33


Exam 4





DB = Discussion Board

NOTE: Each course week (except Module/Week 1) begins on Tuesday morning at 12:00 a.m. (ET) and ends on Monday night at 11:59 p.m. (ET). The final week ends at 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Friday.