Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF)

Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation

By Abigail Conners


I. Overview

The Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF) is an organization that supports the idea that the body of Christ provides the care and counseling that a person needs.  Their beliefs are founded on the truth and authority of Scripture.  Though they categorize themselves as Protestants, they encourage and have fellowship with those who have different theological positions.  They confidently stand by the teaching of God’s word and point folks towards Jesus Christ and his grace for progressive lasting change through Biblical Counseling.

2. History

CCEF was founded by Jay Adams and John Bettler in the 1960’s once the movement for Biblical Counseling was started.  They have various locations like Philadelphia, New England, and Montana.  They host conferences as well as speaking events that are posted regularly on their website.  Different materials and sources are also offered to the public, them being blogs, podcasts, and videos.  They have grown to be a powerful organization that has been an influence in the Biblical Counseling Movement.

II. Resources

A. Leaders

Board Members of CCEF [1]:

Barbara Aills

David Harvey

David W. Budnick

Deepak Reju

Richard M. Horne

Rod Mays

Steve D. Estes

Steve Midgley

Staff of CCEF [1]:

Andy Coleman (I.T. Manager)

Anne Pettit (SBC Student Services Coordinator, Graphic Design)

Brandon Peterson (Resources & Customer Service Manager)

Brian Stenson (Development Associate)

Bruce Eaton (Facilities & fiche Manager, JBC Editor)

Carly Robinson (SBC Manager)

Charlotte Eastlack (Director of Business & Finance)

Dave Casey (Staff Accountant)

Deb Peart (Receptionist)

Denise Wilson (Receptionist)

Esther Lou (Executive Assistant)

Eunice Ko ( Counseling Ministries Administrator)

Jen Jane (Counseling Ministries)

Jeremy Eshelman (Communications)

Jimmy Adkins (Manager of Marketing and Communications)

Jodie McMullen (Customer Service Representative)

Joao Bassett (Speaking Events Manager)

Jonathan Morgan (SBC Student and Alumni Success Coordinator)

Jordan Showalter (SBC Administrative Assistant)

Kimberly Monroe (JBC Managing Editor)

Laura Andrews (SBC Online Instruction Manager)

Lauren Whitman (JBC Editor)

Lynette English (SBC Course Designer)

Megan Wong (Director of Development & Advancement)

Miriam Hertzog (Development Coordinator & Supporting Church Liaison)

Rebecca Eaton (Online Instruction Assistant)

Sam Alex (Counseling Ministries Administrative Assistant)

Sarah Gammage (Customer Service Representative)

William Baublitz III (Conference Manager)


B. Publications

C. Journals

The Journal of Biblical Counseling

D. Books

Here are some:

Safe and Sound: Standing Firm in Spiritual Battles by David Powlison

Untangling Emotions by Alastair Groves, Winston Smith

Child Proof: Parenting by Faith, Not Formula by Julie Lowe

Caring For One Another: 8 Ways to Cultivate Meaningful Relationships

God’s Grace In Your Suffering by David Powlison

E. Minibooks

Here are some:

Opiate-Related Disorders: Helping Those Who Struggle by Eamon Wilson

Overeating: When Enough Isn’t Enough by Mike Emlet

Helping Your Anxious Child: What to Do When Worry Gets Big by Julie Lowe

Schizophrenia: A Compassionate Approach by Todd Stryd

Domestic Abuse: Recognize, Respond, Rescue by Darby Strickland

Domestic Abuse: Help for the Sufferer by Darby Strickland

F. Blog Posts

G. Podcast

H. Audio/video


IV. Events

A. Conferences

Per CCEF, they have a series of conferences and speaking events that have been planned.  If you go to their events tab, there are a list of conferences that are coming up as well as upcoming speaking events.  This organization uses these events as a ministry to inspire fellowship and to encourage those that are participating.


B. Counseling

CCEF does counseling for those that are desiring change in their lives and for that change to be implemented by biblical truth.

The organization quotes on their website; “As Part of our mission to restore Christ to counseling, CCEF offers counseling services at our various locations.  If you are considering counseling for yourself, or are looking for a resource for a friend or family member, we offer help you can trust because it is rooted in biblical truth.[2]”

C. External Links


Work Cited






David Powlison

By Thomas Watson

CCEF’s Former Executive Director, Senior Editor of the Journal of Biblical Counseling

I. Biography

  1. Early life
  2. Birth
  3. When: December 14, 1949
  4. Where: Honolulu Hawaii, United States
  5. Parents: Peter A. and Dora M. Powlison
  6. Spouse: Nancy H. Gardner
  7. Children: Peter Powlison, Hannah Powlison, Gwenyth Powlison
  8. Death: June 7, 2019

David Powlison was a Presbyterian author and biblical counselor; he is the executive director to CCEF, the senior editor of the Journal of Biblical Counseling and is a member of the counsel of the Gospel Coalition. He has been practicing counseling for over 30 years. His work is credited for bridging the gap between the secular psychiatric philosophy and biblical schools of counseling. He has written many books and articles on subjects such as sexual sin, anxiety, and grief.

David Powlison was born on December 14, 1949 to Peter and Dora Powlison on the island of Honolulu of Hawaii in the United States. He and his wife, Nancy H. Gardner, had 3 children, Peter, Hannah, and Gwyneth Powlison (TGC, PTLGOS).

At the age of 25, Powlison was working at McLean Psychiatric Hospital in the mental health department, in Belmont Massachusetts, when Christ convicted him of sin and brought him to repentance (CW, HGSD). After his conversion, while working in the Psychiatric Hospital as a mental health worker, Powlison started observing the constant suffering of the patients, that had little to no hope for change or healing. Powlison became “disillusioned with secular psychologies.” He found one individual quite interesting while working there, a man who was a mental health worker with no aspirations for high education. This man was building relationships with the patients, holding them accountable to their choices, and not blaming their behavior primarily on mental disorders. This induced the patients to react differently and ask for this particular man when they were in distress. The difference between what this man and the rest of the faculty practiced help lead Powlison to believe that the theories were fundamentally at odds and went to study theology at Westminster Theological Seminary (WTS; WSTIC).

Powlison started his education at Harvard University, with a Bachelor of Arts in 1971 then pursued a MDiv from Westminster Theological Seminary 1980. In 1986 he received his Master of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania. Then went on to get a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1996 his subject of study—history of science and medicine, with an emphasis on the history of psychiatry (PB, DAP).

II. Education

  1. AB, Harvard University, 1971
  2. MDiv from Westminster Theological Seminary 1980
  3. MA University of Pennsylvania, 1986
  4. PhD from University of Pennsylvania, 1996
    1. History of science and medicine, primarily history of psychiatry.


III. Significant life events that impacted person

IV. Theological Views

  1. Presbyterian

V. Works/Publications

  1. Books

Anger: Escaping the Maze – 2000

The Biblical Counseling Movement: history and Context – 2010

Breaking the Addictive Cycle: Deadly Obsessions or Simple Pleasures? – 2010

God’s Grace in Your Suffering – 2018

Good and angry: Redeeming Anger, irritation, Complaining, and Bitterness – 2016

How does Sanctification Work? – 2017

Jax’s Tail Twitches: When you are Angry – 2018

Making All Things New: restoring Joy to the Sexually Broken – 2017

Pornography: Slaying the Dragon – 1999

Power Encounters: Reclaiming Spiritual Warfare – 1994

Seeing with new eyes” Counseling and the Human Condition through the Lens of Scripture – 2005

Speaking Truth in love: Counsel in Community – 2005

Zoe’s Hiding Place: when you are Anxious – 2018

Power Encounter: Reclaiming Spiritual Warfare – 1994

Controlling Anger Responding Constructively when life Goes Wrong – 2008

I’m Exhausted: What to do When You’re Always Tired – 2010

Pleasure – 2005

Competent to Counsel? The History of a Conservative Protestant Biblical Counseling Movement – 2008

2. Pamphlets

Anger: Understanding anger – ?

Coming Clean: Breaking Pornography’s Hold on You – 2012

Controlling Anger: Responding Constructively When Life Goes Wrong – 2012

Domestic Abuse: How to Help – 2001

Facing Death with Hope: Living for what Lasts – 2008

God as Father: When Your Own Father Failed – 2005

God’s Love: better Than Unconditional – 2001

Grieving a Suicide: Help for the Aftershock – 2010

Healing After Abortion: God’s Mercy Is for You – 2008

I Just Want to Die: Replacing Suicidal Thoughts with Hope – 2008

I’m Exhausted: What to Do When You’re Always Tired – 2010

Innocence Lost: Rebuilding after Victimization – 2012

Journal of Biblical Counseling, 28-1 – 2014

Journal of Biblical Counseling, 28-2 – 2014

Journal of Biblical Counseling, 28-3 – 2015

Journal of Biblical Counseling, 29-1 – 2015

Journal of Biblical Counseling, 30-1 – 2016

Journal of Biblical Counseling, 30-2 – 2016

Journal of Biblical Counseling, 30-3 – 2016

Journal of Biblical Counseling Must Reads on Anger – 2013

Journal of Biblical Counseling Must Reads On Redeeming Psychology – 2013

The Journal of Biblical Counseling Must Reads: On Apologetics –

The Journal of Biblical Counseling Must Reads: On Counseling in the Church –

The Journal of Biblical Counseling Must Reads: on Methodology –

The Journal of Biblical Counseling Must Reads: on Model –

The Journal of Biblical Counseling Must Reads: on Sexuality –

Journal of biblical Counseling, Volume, 26 #3 – 2012

Journal of Biblical Counseling, Volume 27 #1 – 2013

Journal of Biblical Counseling, Volume 27 #3 – 2014

Journal of Biblical Counseling 18-1 – 1999

Journal of Biblical Counseling 18-2 – 2000

Life Beyond Your Parent’s Mistakes: The Transforming Power of God’s Love – 2010

Overcoming Anxiety: Relief for Worried People – 2012

Pre-Engagement: Five Questions to Ask Yourselves – 2000

Real Love: Better Than Unconditional? – 2012

Recovering from Child Abuse: Healing and Hope for Victims – 2008

Renewing marital Intimacy: Closing the Gap Between You and Your Spouse – 2008

Sexual Addiction: Freedom from Compulsive Behavior – 2010

Sexual assault: healing steps for Victims – 2010

Stress: Peace amid Pressure – 2004

Stressed Out: becoming Peaceful on the Inside – 2012

When Cancer Interrupts – 2015

When You Are Worried: Finding Reasons for Peace – 2012

Why Me?: Comfort for the Victimized

Worry: Pursuing a Better Path to Peace – 2004

You Make Me So Mad! Managing Your Anger – 2012

3. Articles

An Open Letter to the Suffering Christian – 2018

An Open Letter to Those Nonchalant about Their Sexual sin – 2017

An Open Letter to those Debilitated by their Sexual Sin – 2017

An Open letter to those apathetic about their sanctification – 2017

An open letter to those frustrated by their progress in sanctification – 2017

A Conversation Between David Powlison and Winston Smith

Why do we Pray?

Emmanuel shall come to you

Helping those who are angry with God


God is changing us – but how?

Sanctification is a Direction

What is the Ultimate Goal of Sexual Renewal?

Is Sexual Renewal a Simple or Complex Process?

5 Sources of True Change

The Many Ways God Changes Us

4. Interviews

The root of sinful anger

Ten Ways Not to Waste Your Cancer

Making All Things New: Restoring Pure Joy to the Sexually Broken

God, Psychology, and Christian Care of the Soul – Panel Discussion

God, Psychology, and Christian Care of the Soul, Part 1 – David Powlison

God, Psychology, and Christian Care of the Soul, Part 2 – David Powlison

God, Psychology, and Christian Care of the Soul, Part 3 – David Powlison

Gospel Coalition’s David Powlison battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer



VI. Influence on Biblical Counseling

  1. Bridging the gap between sin and psychopathology, Powlison believed that “sin is the core of psychopathology.” Sin skewed your goals and perception of God and the world. Powlison looked at Ecclesiastics 9:3 and saw that there is “madness in our hearts while we live.” His point is that whatever the physiological or environmental influences may be, such as genetic predispositions and cultural values, all factors must be held together. This idea is in contrast to the idea of blaming environment or only one factor. That the root of all sin and mental illness comes directly from the persons heart (CCEF, RBSP).

VII. Bibliography

David Powlison – “Why I Chose Seminary for Training in Counseling” , (WTS WSTIC) August 2017

David Powlison – “on the relationship between sin and psychopathology” , (ccef, RBSP) April 2016

PraBook Biography: :David A. Powlison” World Biographical Encyclopedia, Inc ,(PB, DAP) Accessed May 2019

Dr. David Powlison, “How God saved David Powlison From Destroying Himself” , (CW, HGSD) May 2017


External Links