Heath Lambert

by Rachel Miller

I. Known for

Heath Lambert is the Senior Pastor at First Baptist Church in Jacksonville FL, serving there as pastor since 2017.  He was the Executive Director of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC) until 2018.  He is married to Lauren Lambert and the father of their three children.

II. Biography

Lambert was born on September 13, 1979 and grew up in Kentucky.  He was raised by an alcoholic and abusive mother who hated him and kept him from his father whom he loved.  He faced many near-death experiences at the hands of his mother and had an acute fear of going to hell when he died, but he did not know the message of salvation.  A lady at his high school shared the gospel with Lambert and he put his trust in Jesus as his Lord and Savior.  He soon came to understand that God required him to let go of his hatred and forgive his mother.  Over the course of many years, he shared the gospel with her. She eventually accepted it and was radically changed.[1]

Lambert attended Gordon College and received his Bachelor of Arts in biblical and theological studies and political science.  He went on to study at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) and received his Master of Divinity in Christian Ministry and his doctorate in biblical counseling and systematic theology.[2]  He also taught at SBTS and at Boyce College as an Associate Professor of Biblical Counseling.[3]

III. Theological views

Lambert pastors First Baptist Church of Jacksonville which is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention and holds to their doctrinal statement as published in 2000.[4]  He adheres to the biblical counseling methodology of soul care, which believes in the sufficiency of Scripture to equip believers to handle all problems they may face in a way that honors the Lord.  He served as the Executive Director of ACBC, whose doctrinal position can be read here.

IV. Works/Publications

A. Books

The Biblical Counseling Movement After Adams ­– Heath Lambert

Finally Free: Fighting for Purity with the Power of Grace ­– Heath Lambert

A Theology of Biblical Counseling: The Doctrinal Foundations of Counseling Ministry ­– Heath Lambert

Transforming Sexuality: What the Bible Says about Sexual Orientation and Change – Denny Burk and Heath Lambert

Counseling the Hard Cases – Ed., Stuart Scott and Heath Lambert

B. Pamphlets

The Gospel and Mental Illness ­– Heath Lambert

Can Jesus Heal Mental Illness? ­– Heath Lambert

Sufficiency: Historical Essays on the Sufficiency of Scripture – Heath Lambert, Wayne Mack, Doug Bookman, David Powlison

C. Articles

A list of articles by Heath Lambert for the Biblical Counseling Coalition can be found here

He has also written many articles for the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors

D. Interviews

Heath Lambert’s Testimony

V. Influence on Biblical Counseling

Heath Lambert has written several resources contributing to the field of biblical counseling, such as A Theology of Biblical Counseling, and he serves on the editorial boards of The Journal of Family Ministry, and The Journal of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.[5]  He held the role of Executive Director of ACBC for many years, and he is a founding council board member of the Biblical Counseling Coalition.[6]  He aided in training the next generation of biblical counselors as a professor at SBTS and Boyce College for many years.


VI. Bibliography

Association of Certified Biblical Counselors. “I Will Bear Witness: Heath Lambert’s Testimony.” Published April 16, 2015. https://biblicalcounseling.com/i-will-bear-witness-heath-lamberts-testimony/.

Biblical Counseling Coalition. “Heath Lambert.” Accessed May 21, 2020. https://www.biblicalcounselingcoalition.org/person/heath-lambert/.

First Baptist Church Jacksonville. “Meet Our Pastor.” Accessed May 21, 2020. https://www.fbcjax.com/meet-our-pastor.

First Baptist Church of Jacksonville. “Who We Are.” Accessed May 23, 2020. https://www.fbcjax.com/who-we-are.



[1] “I Will Bear Witness: Heath Lambert’s Testimony,” Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, published April 16, 2015, https://biblicalcounseling.com/i-will-bear-witness-heath-lamberts-testimony/.

[2] “Meet Our Pastor,” First Baptist Church Jacksonville, accessed May 21, 2020, https://www.fbcjax.com/meet-our-pastor.

[3] “Heath Lambert,” Biblical Counseling Coalition, accessed May 21, 2020, https://www.biblicalcounselingcoalition.org/person/heath-lambert/.

[4] “Who We Are,” First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, accessed May 23, 2020, https://www.fbcjax.com/who-we-are.

[5] “Heath Lambert,” Biblical Counseling Coalition.

[6] Ibid.

Idols of the Heart (Publication)

Idols of the Heart: Publication

By. Marianne Castillo

I. Overview

Idols of the Heart: Learning to Long for God Alone is a Christian book written by Elyse Fitzpatrick. On the back of the book Elyse Fitzpatrick says that she writes Idols of the Heart for the many people who “desired to live godly lives but feel trapped in habitual sin. This book reveals that at the heart of every besetting sin lies idolatry”. [1] The chapters focus on revealing what the reader loves and worships. [2] Idols of the heart helps readers identify the false gods in their hearts, thoughts, and affections. [3] Each chapter ends with hope, that “God changes hearts”. [4] Idols of the Heart teaches the reader God is the answer to being free from false Idols.

On the back of the book two authors and one pastor have expressed their recommendations/opinions of the book Idols of the Heart:

Martha Peace says “With great clarity and intriguing biblical illustrations, Fitzpatrick explains how idols in our hearts compete without affection for God. In a gentle way, she tells how by God’s grace to turn from your idols to whole-hearted love for God”. [5]

David Powlison, “ Demonstrates how ‘false gods’ generate the garden- variety sins of irritability, self- pity, escapism, and anxiety, as well as anger, despair, addictions, and panic. Fitzpatrick shows how Jesus Christ retakes our lives from these idols, setting up his reign over our attention, loyalty, and affection”. [6]

Dr. Ed Bulkley says, “If you are struggling with desires, addictions, and harmful behaviors that seem too strong to overcome, perhaps you are worshipping an idol of the heart. Fitzpatrick explains what those idols might be and how to deal with them in a biblical way. Idols of the Heart I not just another self-help manual”. [7]

Idols of the Heart begins with a dedication to Elyse Fitzpatrick’s husband that reads “To Phil his steadfast love and patience: It’s because you laid down you life day after day that I was able you do this”. [8] Then follows the table of contents that show where to find the: List of illustrations, acknowledgements, introductions, chapters 1-12, appendix A-C, notes, and an index of scripture. [9] Each chapter has a consistent structure of a title, a verse that corresponds to the content of the chapter, a monologue that relates to the chapter, as well as 1-7 “further thought questions” at the end of the Chapter. The further thought questions encourage the readers to open up their bibles, read a passage of scripture, self examine ones heart, and spend time in prayer asking the Lord to help them grow in what they have read.

The Notes and Index of Scripture are resources that Idols of the Heart contain in the back of the book. The notes section clearly list the resources in each chapter that Elyse Fitzpatrick uses. [10]  The Index of Scripture are all the verses that Elyse Fitzpatrick refers to in Idols of the Heart. [11] These two resources are useful to the reader who would like to do further reading.


II. History & Impact

Idols of the Heart was published 2001 in Phillipsburg and New Jersey by P&R Publishing. [12] Idols of the heart is Elyse Fitzpatrick’s second book written in 2001 and her fifth book out of twenty-three. Elyse Fitzpatrick acknowledges many people for helping her and inspiring her to write Idols of the Heart. George Scipione for training her; Dave Powlison who took the time to guide her thinking about idolatry; Pastor Dave Eby for his sermon note that Elyse Fitzpatrick used throughout Idols of the Heart. The Evangelical Bible Book store employees who suggested her books for resources, close friends that supported her; as well as her mother who not only supported her but did some grammatical editing. Elyse Fitzpatrick last thank you went out to “Barbara Lerch at P&R, who believed that it is time for reformed woman to be heard on this topic”. [13]

Idols of the Heart is impactful to women and men all over. Goodreads have three full pages of positive reviews from men and women.

Amanda gave four stars on October 27, 2014 leaving a comment that reads “This is a really good book, convicting me about the idols in my life and helping to change my thinking and therefore actions to worship God better”. [14]

Ian with four stars on February 6, 2016 says “I highly recommend his book. Each chapter ends with ‘Further Thought Questions’ which help you digest the content and apply it to yourself”. [15]

Melanie Gurnette left a five star review on February 4, 2014 saying “I have learned a lot about how I have been worshipping my heavenly father, and how quite frankly it has been lacking. I am thankful to writes like Fitzpatrick who bring understanding and action to the scripture I have read my whole life’. [16]

Greg Froster, a writer for one of the articles in CrossWay, believes that books are primary. He explains that books allow readers to view someone else’s perspective/ experience on the world. Grey Froster says “This is what gives books their profound and mysterious power”. [17] John Piper believes that Christian writers are influential. He expresses that a way loving people is by influencing them. Idols of the Heart is an impactful Christian book. John Piper says, “You should be writing in such a way as to make God look better than anything else in the world, to make the path of sin look worse than anything else in the world, and to make the path of righteousness look beautiful in spite of all the difficulties that the path of obedience might bring.” [18] In Idols of the Heart Elyse Fitzpatrick makes the sin of idolatry look evil and encourages her readers to know that the Lord will “develop whole hearted love and devotion in you- all for His glory and praise!” [19]


III. Works/Publications


IV. Bibliography

Fitzpatrick, Elyse. Idols of the Heart: Learning to Long for God Alone, New Jersey: P&R Publishing, 2001.

Froster, Gregg. The Importance of Books in Christian History. Article. USA: Crossway, 2019. https://www.crossway.org/articles/the-importance-of-books-in-christian-history/

“Idols of the Heart: Learning to Long for God Alone by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick.” Goodreads, Goodreads, 1 Jan. 2002, www.goodreads.com/book/show/90474.Idols_of_the_Heart.

Piper, John. How Important is a Christian Writer’s Influence? Interview. Desiring God, 2013. https://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/how-important-is-a-christian-writers-influence


[1] Elyse Fitzpatrick. Idols of the Heart: Learning to Long for God Alone (New Jersey: P&R Publishing, 2001), 241

[2] Ibid, 16

[3 Ibid

[4] Ibid, 17

[5] Ibid, 241

[6] Ibid

[7] Ibid

[8] Ibid, 5

[9] Ibid, 7

[10] Ibid 217

[11] Ibid, 233

[12] Ibid, 4

[13] Ibid, 11

[14] “Idols of the Heart: Learning to Long for God Alone by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick.” (Goodreads, 1 Jan. 2002)

[15] Ibid

[16] Ibid

[17] Gregg Froster. The Importance of Books in Christian History (Article. USA: Crossway, 2019)

[18] John Piper. How Important is a Christian Writer’s Influence? (Interview. Desiring God, 2013)

[19] Elyse Fitzpatrick. Idols of the Heart: Learning to Long for God Alone (New Jersey: P&R Publishing, 2001), 18






Alasdair Groves

Alasdair Groves

By Alyssa Rodriguez

I. Known for:

Alasdair Groves is most known for being the executive director for the New England branch of the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation, also known as the CCEF. He is also known as the director of the Christian Counseling Educational Foundation School of Biblical Counseling. [1]


II. Biography:

Alasdair was born son of Alan and Libbie Groves, his father was the late Westminster Theological Seminary professor who was an Old Testament professor at Westminster. He grew up outside of Philadelphia and went to college at Dartmouth them later attended Westminster and  the Christian Counseling Education Foundation school to get his master’s degree of divinity and counseling emphasis. Between both schools he met his wife Lauren and they ministered together for two years with the Navigators. When Alasdair finished seminary, he spent a whole year on staff as a counselor with the CCEF and was also a interim director of pastoral care at Westerly Road Church in Princeton. He finally became a faculty member at Christian Counseling education Foundation in 2010 but then soon left Philadelphia to found CCEF in New England on the border of New Hampshire and Vermont. Alasdair still lives there today with his wife Lauren and three kids, Emily, Adara, and Alden. He served as a director of the Christian Counseling Education Foundation School of Biblical counseling in addition to his teaching role for the last two and a half years. He published his first book Untangling Emotions earlier this year by Cross way, he also published more than six articles in the Journal of Biblical Counseling and helped achieve a chapter to an e-book for pastors that was published by Covenant Eyes. In New England and even beyond, he taught many seminars, Christian Counseling Education Foundation  podcasts, and produced several videos, audio resources and blogs. Fun facts about Alasdair is that is a fiction enthusiast, loves to produce good music and food, and loves ultimate frisbee[2][3]


III. Theological views:

His belief is what prompted his book Untangling Emotions, were he talks about how we engage with God. He believes that we must listen to our emotions and see what they are telling us about what we value, see what we are doing with them or what we are doing to escape them, letting ourselves sit and examine what is happening in our heart and what we value, and how we are overall handling it. Then realizing that we cannot examine our own emotions without bringing them to the Lord. He believes that once we bring them to the Lord, they backfire because our emotions were made help us share God’s heart. To love what He loves and hate what He hates, to be passionate about what excites God and grieve the things He grieves, and delight in what delights Him. This being said He believes that our emotions are fundamentally an opportunity for us to share in His heart, so then every emotion whether it is sadness, guilt, anxiety, or joy it is the perfect opportunity  for us to hear His promises speaking into the situation. Hearing God’s heart of compassion or lovingness, whatever it might be. He believes that all emotions are meant to lead us into a relationship with the Lord just as we are to connect with each other through sharing of emotion. Because of this belief Alasdair also sees it as seemingly impossible to experience true joy of anything [4]including a sunrise or sunset without acknowledging that this is what Christ has made and that He is greater than us all.


IV. Works/Publications

Alasdair Groves most well-known publication is his book Untangling Emotions published on March 14, 2019 by Crossway with 240 pages only found in the English language. It is under the genre of Self-help and Christian Literature. This book was completed with Alasdair and a man named Winston T. Smith as the authors. On the CCEF page he has over ten articles published. His most recent article was published on March 11,2020 that he called Anxiety, Waiting and the coronavirus. All of these articles are three to ten minutes long about practical things such as ways to deepen time in your devotions, treasuring others, parents who have lost their children, mothers, friendships, and anger. He has several other digital books that he wrote with others. Him and three other men wrote a book on Apologetics published in 2016 by the CCEF with 159 pages. He also helped write another book published in 2016 on Methodology, and Lastly, he helped publish as co-director a third “Must Read” on Sexuality once again published in 2016 with a total of 123 pages by the CCEF. [5]


  • Untangling Emotions
  • Must Reads on Apologetics
  • Must Reads on Methodology
  • Must Read on Sexuality


  • Anxiety, Waiting on the Corona Virus
  • Five Ways to Jump Start Your Devotions
  • Help! I Keep Losing My Temper
  • Family Devotions
  • Treasuring Others
  • Engaging Our Emotions, Engaging with God
  • The Ultimate Treasure Hunt
  • To Parents Who Have Lost a Child
  • Do You Listen When You Apologize?
  • A Few More Thoughts for Moms at Home This Winter
  • For the Moms Stuck Inside
  • Hungry for Friendship with God? Me Too


  • Dynamics of Biblical Change



V. Influence on Biblical Counseling

Alasdair Groves has influenced Biblical Counseling in Northern England as the co-founder where has served for over ten years as the executive director. He also served for three years as the director of CCEF’s school of Biblical Counseling for 3 years. [6]


VI. Bibliography

“Alasdair Groves.” The Gospel Coalition. Accessed April 24, 2020.


“J. Alasdair Groves.” Crossway. Accessed April 24, 2020.



Lowe, Julie, Alasdair Groves, and Aaron Sironi. “Alasdair Groves: Authors.” Christian

Counseling & Educational Foundation, April 23, 2020.


Lowe, Julie. “Board Appoints Next Executive Director.” Christian

Counseling & Educational Foundation, September 4, 2019.










  • External Links



   [7]        https://www.biblicalcounselingcoalition.org/podcast-episode/1514-ep-113-alasdair-groves-rebroadcast/

[1] Alasdair Groves https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/profile/alasdair-groves/

[2] Board Appoints New Executive Director https://www.ccef.org/board-appoints-next-executive-director/

[4] Engaging with God in our Emotions https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=067cjgGDizk

[5] CCEF Alasdair Groves https://www.ccef.org/people/alasdair-groves/

[6] Alasdair Groves https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/profile/alasdair-groves/

Competent to Counsel (Publication)

Competent to Counsel (Publication)

By Lauren York

I. Overview

Dr. Jay Adams is widely respected as the Father of the Biblical Counseling Movement. Beginning his work as pastor, professor, and church planter, he has experience behind the pulpit as well as the desk. After studying counseling thoroughly both individually as well as under the supervision of a highly respected psychologist of the 20th century, Adams felt led to write about his findings. In the seventies when this book was written, counseling for the Christian looked too much like counseling for the non-Christian. Did God’s Word have a role in the specific lives of troubled believers? Or were they doomed to temporary solutions and stick-on bandages for soul-deep wounds? In his finest work, Competent to Counsel: Introduction to Nouthetic Counseling, Jay Adams explores the sufficiency of Scripture for all areas of life. He reevaluates traditional, secular approaches and instead teaches believers how they can become qualified to help others in the counseling setting through effectively wielding the Scriptures.

II. History

In the preface of Competent to Counsel, Adams discusses his background in ministry. Despite being prepared to lead in the church, he had a feeling of inadequacy when it came to the bigger problems of life—the areas psychologists were supposed to deal with. One day after and evening service, a man from his church approached him, burdened by some struggle. He grasped for words, but finally sent the man home with a still heavy heart. Less than a month later, the man died. Adams felt like a failure. After this tragedy, he saw a deficiency in his qualifications and devoted himself to the study of counseling. However, as he borrowed from secular textbooks and listened to recommendations from Christian counselors, he eventually found his way to one of the most influential psychologists of the 20th century: O. Hobart Mowrer.

A noted research psychologist, Mowrer was honored with the Presidency of the American Psychological Association for his radical perspective on learning theory. He challenged mainstream beliefs, questioned institutionalized psychiatry, and even ventured to declare current psychiatric dogmas to be false. By the late 1950s, Mowrer had abandoned psychology as a theory as well as practice. Instead of adopting and accepting the common Medical Model for understanding human behavior, he proposed the Moral Model. In Mowrer’s Moral Model, he showed how the assumption of personal responsibility usurped any ideas claiming mental illness as the culprit for deviant behavior. Having worked closely with the OSS, community groups, students, the severely troubled in mental institutions and many other control groups, Mowrer was exposed to the most “diseased” of society. He supposedly was plagued by severe mental illness as well. Yet, he held to his convictions that people are not sick in the head—they are behaviorally immoral.

In the summer of 1965, Jay Adams was privileged to work alongside of Mowrer in a sort of internship setup. Adams refers to this time as “an unforgettable experience.” Adams was pricked by Mowrer’s theory of personal responsibility in the face of guilt or clinical insanity. He began to feel challenged by this viewpoint which claimed the problem stems from within the man, not outside. Adams explains that it was this radical belief system which drove him to ask, “What do the Scriptures say about such people and the solution to their problems?” As a Christian minister, he stood in stark contrast to Mowrer. While their deep distaste for psychology was a connection, Adams’ adherence to Scripture as the ultimate source of truth set him apart from his superior. He was so stirred by his time studying under Mowrer that he launched his own counseling and education center the following year, and in 1970—within just five years of his “unforgettable experience”—Adams had written and published his first edition of Competent to Counsel.


III. Impact

The publication of this book was the subject of heated debate and broad controversy among churches. Since “widespread conservative and religious distrust of psychology persisted even into the 1960s,”[1] Adams’ theories were not quickly adopted by the church. However, Adams’ early exposure to a Mowrer “go against the grain” type of approach stuck with him and made an impact on the Christian community as a whole. Whereas he largely lost interprofessional acceptance, he gained followers among pastors and their parishioners overtime. Psychology had previously taken a transcendent role in the job of soul care, but now, the task was redelivered to the hands of ministers of the soul. The Father of the Biblical Counseling Movement essentially replaced the Father of American Psychology. In an interview with Tabletalk Magazine, Jay Adams quotes, “I never say that Christians are competent. I say that they ought to become competent. That’s why I have taught counseling both in writing and in classes for so many years.”[2] No longer is the realm of counseling set aside for trained psychiatrists; it is set aside for those who have answers for the soul. Through the comprehensive usage of Scripture to effect lasting change, he shows in this book just how intimate the counselor’s understanding of the Word must be in order to directly apply it to the counselee’s life.

After his revelatory experience working under Mowrer, Jay Adams’ sole goal was to take the truths he had gleaned about man’s need for responsibility and pair that with the Word of God. Thus, Competent to Counsel became a text dedicated to helping people learn how to be qualified for the task of instructing. In the book, Adams writes that he is not only fully aware of the problem of “old eclecticism with a Christian coating,” but that he attempts to reject it. This statement directly addresses the controversy about the medical versus the biblical that arose as a result of his publication. People were wary of Adams’ approach to the Scriptures and his claims about becoming “competent” to counsel. The role of the Pastor and Christian is to talk about religion, not mind or life problems, the culture claims. But his early exposure to Mowrer’s sharply contrasted belief system with that of the day prepared Adams for the unwavering stance of the Biblical Counselor. He credits his former teacher with driving him to the conclusion that the “mentally ill” can be helped with the Word of God.

Psychology is so engrained in the mind of the culture that it is hard to escape, but he thoroughly combats the assumption that sin issues are strictly mental issues.  The very idea of integrationism in counseling is appalling to him. The denouncement of these forms of instruction such as Christian Counseling helped to form a clear distinction between the truly biblical and unbiblical. His method of counseling focused on instruction, which is why he gave it the title of nouthetic counseling (nouthetic means to “admonish, correct, or instruct”).[3] As believers began to grasp the relevance of the Bible for life and the need for it in the counseling setting, the line was being drawn. There is no mistake now about the focus as well as the effects of Biblical Counseling which elevate it from any other type of “soul-care.” Adam’s derives his methodologies and instruction directly from the Word of God, and this is certain to have a deep impact.


IV. Works/Publications

Aside from Competent to Counsel, Jay Adams has authored over 100 books. Some of his most prominent works are as follows[4]:

  • The Christian Counselor’s Manual
  • Theology You Can Really Understand
  • Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage in the Bible
  • Shepherding God’s Flock: A Handbook on Pastor Ministry, Counseling, and Leadership





V. Bibliography


Adams, Jay Edward. Competent to Counsel: Introduction to Nouthetic Counseling. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publ. House, 2002.


“Adams, Jay E. 1929.” [WorldCat Identities], Last modified January 1, 1970. http://orlabs.oclc.org/identities/lccn-n50-36855/.


Bob. “Competent to Counsel?” RPM Ministries, Last modified December 9, 2009. https://rpmministries.org/2009/06/competent-to-counsel/.


“Competent to Counsel: An Interview with Jay Adams by Jay Adams.” Ligonier Ministries. Accessed May 5, 2020. https://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/competent-counsel-interview-jay-adams/.


Gifford, Greg E. “Jay E. Adams.” The Encyclopedia of Biblical Counseling, Last modified July 11, 2019. https://encyclopediabc.com/2018/12/11/jay-e-adams/.


“Jay Adams’ Heritage: How Jay Adams Is Connected to the Father of American Psychology.” Biblical Counseling Coalition, Last modified May 3, 2019. https://www.biblicalcounselingcoalition.org/2019/05/03/jay-adams-heritage-how-jay-adams-is-connected-to-the-father-of-american-psychology/.


Powlison, David Arthur, “Competent to Counsel? The history of a conservative Protestant anti-psychiatry movement” (1996). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9712988.


Page, C. (2017). Preserving guilt in the “age of psychology”: The curious career of O. Hobart Mowrer. History of Psychology, 20(1), 1–27. https://doi.org/10.1037/hop0000045.


[1] History of Psychology, Preserving guilt in the “age of psychology.” 1-27.

[2] “Competent to Counsel: An Interview with Jay Adams by Jay Adams.” Ligonier Ministries.

[3] Powlison, David Arthur, “Competent to Counsel?”

[4] “Adams, Jay E. 1929.” [WorldCat Identities].


George C. Scipione

George C. Scipione

by Hannah Caranta

I. Known for

George C. Scipione was involved in biblical counseling for about fifty years, founded and directed the Institute for Biblical Counseling and Discipleship (IBCD), pastored for forty-four years in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, and directed the Biblical Counseling Institute of the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary. [1] He has written books both on theological matters and on biblical counseling (see list of books below).

II. Biography

A. Early Life

Scipione was born on May 21, 1946. [2] He attended Temple University and graduated in 1967. July 8th, 1972, Scipione married his wife Eileen, who has also done work in biblical counseling. They have five children and two grandchildren. [3]

B. Education

AB from Temple University, BD from Westminster Theological Seminary, MA from Temple University, ThM from Westminster Theological Seminary, PhD from Whitefield Theological Seminary, DMin studies from Westminster Theological Seminary. [4]

C. Death

Scipione died January 22, 2020 at the age of 73 in Pittsburgh, PA. [2] His death has been honored by online tributes from various institutions, students, and friends.

III. Theological views

George C. Scipione’s theological views are primarily Presbyterian, but is Protestant Christian at large. According to a tribute from ACBC by Jim Newheiser, Scipione’s theology is committed to God’s Word as supreme and authoritative in counseling. In addition to the supremacy of Scripture, Scipione had a commitment to the church being Christ’s work now and that translated into his teaching. [5]

IV. Works/Publications

A. Books

Timothy, Titus & You: A Study Guide for Church Leaders, 1975.

Timothy, Titus & You: A Workbook for Church Leaders, 1975.

The Battle for the Biblical Family, 2000.

The Sword and the Shovel, 2002.

The Pauline Concept of SUNEDEISIS

B. Articles

The God of All Comfort, 2019.

JBC Volume 7:4 PDF, Psychological Seduction by W. E. Kilpatrick Book Review.

JBC Volume 10:1 PDF, Self-Esteem is Sweeping over America.

JBC Volume 9:4 PDF, Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Mo: Is Biblical Counseling It or No? George C. Scipione

JBC Volume 8:3 PDF, Who Owns the Children of Divorce?

JBC Volume 7:2 PDF, The Limits of Confidentiality in Counseling.

C. Interviews

Counseling Difficult Cases, 2010.

Confessing our Hope: The Podcast of Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, #183- Author Interview with Dr. George Scipione.

Care and Discipleship Podcast: 034 Interview with George Scipione.

D. Audio

The Fear of the Lord is the Beginning of Counseling.

Identity Crisis (TI19): You are a Prophet, Priest, and King.

Identity Crisis (TI19): You are Your Gender.

Identity Crisis (TI19): You are Your Calling.

Addictions (SI17): The Necessity of Individualized Counseling.

Addictions (SI17): The Attributes of a Christ-like Counselor.

Disordered Desires (SI16): Gender Blending and Confusion.

Disordered Desires (SI16): Keys to Evangelism in a Sexualized Culture.

Disordered Desires (SI16): Male Leadership in a Genderless World.

Equipped to Counsel (SI15): Difficult Cases and Wisdom in Counseling (Part 1).

Equipped to Counsel (SI15): Difficult Cases and Wisdom in Counseling (Part 2).

Making Peace with the Past (SI14): Confessions of a Biblical Counselor: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

Making Peace with the Past (SI14): Help for Jesus, You, and Your Counselees.

Making Peace with the Past (SI14): Hope for Peter, You, and Your Counselees.

Making Peace with the Past (SI14): Help and Hope for You and Your Counselees in the Midst of Overwhelming Hopelessness.

Churches Equipped to Care (SI13): Counseling People with Psychological Disorders.

Churches Equipped to Care (SI13): The Inner Man and Outerman Balance in Counseling.

Churches Equipped to Care (SI13): What is Man?

Changed by Grace (SI12): The Importance of the Local Church.

Changed by Grace (SI12): A Biblical View of Personality.

Changed by Grace (SI12): The History of the Biblical Counseling Movement.

Keeping a Passion for Christ (SI10): Abiding in Christ.

Keeping a Passion for Christ (SI10): Help for Hoarders.

Keeping a Passion for Christ (SI10): A Breath of Fresh Air for Chokers.

Keeping a Passion for Christ (SI10): Repentance – Don’t Counsel Without It.

Making Peace in a World of Conflict (SI09): Nouthetic Gentleness.

Making Peace in a World of Conflict (SI09): Problems that Prevent You from Being a Peacemaker.

Making Peace in a World of Conflict (SI09): Sexual Purity in Men 1.

Making Peace in a World of Conflict (SI09): Sexual Purity in Men 2.

Helping the Hurting (SI08): Counseling People Struggling with Life-Dominating Sin.

Helping the Hurting (SI08): Counseling Men Struggling with Sexual Sin.

Helping the Hurting (SI08): Counseling the Hurting from 1 Peter.

Helping the Hurting (SI08): Ask the Counselor.

Blame It on the Brain (SI07): The Heart of the Issue is the Issue of the Heart.

Blame It on the Brain (SI07): Preparation for Counseling from the Pastoral Epistles.

V. Influence on Biblical Counseling

George C. Scipione has contributed greatly to biblical counseling. He worked in the biblical counseling field for most of his life. He taught at various institutes, directed his own institutes, wrote theological works, and provided resources for biblical counselors around the world. He was a member of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC) and was a Supervising Fellow, board member, and member of the Academy. His work in founding the Institute for Biblical Counseling and Discipleship (IBCD) trained both ministers and laymen to counsel. A quote found in the faculty list for Scipione at Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary (RPTS) shows his beliefs about counseling: “I believe counseling is a subset of discipleship. Therefore, counseling is a spiritual duty and for select persons, the exercise of a spiritual gift. The elders are God’s main counselors, while gifted laymen will help them, and all exercise this duty. All non-organic problems must be solved biblically under the oversight of the elders. Organic problems need the best available medical care in conjunction with the pastoral care of the elders.” [4]

VI. Bibliography

[1] “George Scipione”, George Scipione, https://georgescipione.com/.

[2] “George Charles Scipione Obituary”, Legacy, https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/name/george-scipione-obituary?pid=195162700.

[3] “Today in OPC History”, The Orthodox Presbyterian Church, https://opc.org/today.html?history_id=445.

[4] Academic Catalog 2019-2020, Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Volume 48, 111, http://www.rpts.edu/Catalog.pdf.

[5] “George Scipione- A Tribute”, ACBC, https://biblicalcounseling.com/george-scipione-a-tribute/

The Master’s University

The Master’s University 

by Rachel Miller


I. Overview

In 1991, The Master’s University became the first school to offer a Bachelor of Arts degree in biblical counseling.  The program is, “designed to prepare God’s people to meet counseling-related needs wherever they exist with the sufficient and superior resources God provides.”[1]   Students at The Master’s University may obtain a B.A./M.A. in biblical studies with an emphasis in biblical counseling as either traditional or online students.

The biblical counseling program seeks to equip students to accurately understand and apply, and instruct others through God’s Word.  They are committed to the authority and sufficiency of God’s Word to address all of man’s problems.  They hold that, while secular psychology may provide helpful observations, only God’s Word can provide accurate interpretation and bring about effective hope and change.  They affirm biblical counseling because they are, “committed to the Word of God as being authoritative Truth; because the only means of authentic change begins with faith in Jesus; and because the ultimate jurisdiction of counseling falls within the church.”[2]  They assert that while outside sources can be helpful, everything man needs to live a God-honoring life is contained within God’s Word.

TMU is connected with the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors and holds to the same biblical counseling model, as opposed to the integrational model of counseling.  Students who receive their B.A./M.A. in Biblical Counseling have completed much of the work necessary to receive their ACBC certification.  TMU also offers further study in biblical counseling through their Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling.


II. History

In 1991, Dr. John MacArthur authored Our Sufficiency in Christ in which he asserts that, “to possess the Lord Jesus Christ is to have every spiritual resource,”[3] and that Christ is sufficient to provide for all man’s needs.  That same year, as president of the university, he hired Dr. Robert Smith as the first biblical counseling faculty member at TMU.  Dr. Wayne Mack was then hired in 1993 to head up the program at the graduate level.  The departments have seen several changes in leadership at both the graduate and undergraduate level.  The MABC program is now led by Dr. John Street, while Dr. Greg Gifford heads up the undergraduate counseling program.  Dr. Ernie Baker is the online biblical counseling department chair.[4]

III. Resources

A. Leaders

Undergraduate Faculty:

Greg Gifford

Shelbi Cullen

Adjunct Undergraduate Faculty:

Jamaica Groover-Skelton

Robert Somerville

Tom Sugimura

Adam Tyson

Ed Wilde

Former Undergraduate Faculty:

Ernie Baker

Joe Keller

Wayne Mack

Bob Smith

Robert Somerville

MABC Faculty:

Stuart Scott

John Street

B. Publications

1. Journals:

The Journal of Biblical Soul Care https://www.masters.edu/jbsc.html

2. Books

The Master’s University Biblical Counseling faculty have written several books contributing to the field of biblical counseling, including:

How to Counsel Biblically – Master’s University Faculty

Think Biblically! – Master’s University Faculty

Marry Wisely, Marry Well – Ernie Baker

Helping Your Family Through PTSD – Greg Gifford 

Christian Life Issues – Wayne Mack

Anger and Stress Management – Wayne Mack

 To Be or not to Be a Church Member – Wayne Mack

 God’s Solutions to Life’s Problems – Wayne Mack

 Preparing for Marriage God’s Way – Wayne Mack

 Strengthening Your Marriage – Wayne Mack

31 Ways to Be a “OneAnother” Christian – Stuart Scott

Counseling the Hard Cases – Stuart Scott and Heath Lambert

Men Counseling Men – John Street

C. Blog Posts


D. Counseling

The Master’s University does not practice counseling, but equips students for the work of counseling.


E. External Links



[1] https://www.masters.edu/programs/biblical-counseling.html

[2] “Biblical Counseling v. Psychology,” Dr. Greg Gifford, February 7, 2018, https://www.masters.edu/news/biblical-counseling-v-pyschology.html.

[3] John MacArthur, Our Sufficiency in Christ, (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1991), 11.

[4] Greg Gifford, “History of Biblical Counseling at The Master’s University,” Dec. 11, 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sebP4aVxrU&feature=emb_logo.


Social Anxiety

By Josiah Garber


I. Definition

Biblical perspective

Biblically, social anxiety comes from the underlying main issue of pride. That is to say that social anxiety is a sin that stems from a person focusing on themselves too much. The person with social anxiety sees the approval of man as the ultimate good in their lives. This means that they despair when they believe that they will not receive that approval that they feel they need. Therefore, social anxiety is a sinful self-centeredness that is the inverse of self-exaltation. This self-centeredness then replaces God with a love of oneself that manifests itself in either traditional prideful actions or, in the case of social anxiety, a despair that the one does not live up to the standard that they believe they should. Effectively, the god of the person who is struggling with social anxiety is himself. Social Anxiety manifests itself in people feeling inferior to those around them. Viewing ourselves as less than we are, less than God created us to be, stops us from loving others the way that we should.

Scripture calls social anxiety sin very clearly. This is seen first of all in Matthew 6:25-34 where Christ exhorts all not to worry. In this passage, we are called to not be anxious.  Anxiety is shown to be useless; it will not add a single day to our life. Instead, Christ calls us to focus on the struggles of today. It is a call to focus on what we are currently up against, not our fears of the future. This whole passage, through the analogy of the flowers and of the sparrows, emphasizes the sovereignty of God. He is the one who will provide for all of our needs.

A second passage that deals with this issue is Philippians 4:6-9. In these brief few verses, Paul commands the Philippians to “not be anxious about anything.” Social Anxiety, then would  be included. This is a clear demonstration that anxiety is sin. However, Paul gives the solution to anxiety in this passage. That is, he states that the one who is anxious is to give their requests to God in thanksgiving, prayer, and faith. Peace, he states, is the result of this. This means that faith is important as the believer must trust not that God will grant what they want, but that He will give what is best for them.

Secular perspective

Social Anxiety Disorder, also called Social Phobia, is defined as “an emotion characterized by apprehension and somatic symptoms of tension in which an individual anticipates impending danger, catastrophe, or misfortune. The body often mobilizes itself to meet the perceived threat: Muscles become tense, breathing is faster, and the heart beats more rapidly.”[1] The secular view is purely physical, saying that it is simply an anticipatory fear of social situations. They distinguish fear and anxiety by saying that “Fear is the emotional response to real or perceived imminent threat, whereas anxiety is anticipation of future threat.”[2]

The treatment of social anxiety normally takes the form of one of two separate forms. The first is the use of psychiatric medications. These are usually similar to the ones used for depression, and they vary in their effectiveness at curbing symptoms from mildly successful to somewhat moderately successful. The second form of treatment is cognitive behavioral therapy. This will often take the form of exposure therapy or group therapy. It is also quite common for there to be a mixture of the two approaches in an attempt to cover the weaknesses of each approach. [3] In order for someone to be diagnosed with Social Anxiety they must have manifested symptoms for 6 months or longer.


II. History

Social Anxiety has existed for a very long time, with even general anxiety being directly addressed by both Jesus and Paul. The idea of social anxiety may have originated Hippocrates as early as 400 B.C. However, it wasn’t until 1968 in the DSM-II that Social Anxiety was specifically mentioned and defined. It was here that it was first classified, and the idea of it has only become more prevalent since.

III. Evidence of the Problem

Social Anxiety’s main theme is an avoidance of stressful social interactions. “The feared situation is most often avoided altogether or else it is endured with marked discomfort or dread.”[4] This often leads to isolation, where the person will distance themselves from their family or friends. Social Anxiety also manifests itself through a fear of judgement from others. It is a “fear or anxiety about one or more social situations in which the individual is exposed to possible scrutiny by others.[5]

The person struggling with this will often fear that they will be rejected, unloved, or perceived as annoying, lame, stupid, weird, rude, boring, or a whole host of other undesirable outcomes.

IV. Etiology

While there is no known medical condition that causes Social Anxiety, there are several factors that may contribute to it. These factors are things such as abuse, internalization of fears, an unhealthy level of comparison of oneself to people one may see as ideal, and the perceived need to become the ideal form of oneself. Spiritually, Social Anxiety comes from a lack of trust in God, a propensity to not leave the worries of one’s life in the hands of God through faith and prayer. It may also come from valuing oneself as the most important thing, thus leading to that value having ultimate control over emotions and actions. [6]

Some physical symptoms of this issue are the avoidance of social situations, tremors, increased heart rate, tenseness, perspiration, and, in some more extreme cases, panic attacks. [7] Spiritual symptoms include a lack of trust in God, doubt in His promises to give  all that is needed, and a view of God’s love and provisions as not enough to satisfy social needs.


V. Examining the Heart

The possible heart themes behind Social Anxiety are a desire for control and a fear of man. The person with Social Anxiety will desire for the people in their lives to see them as they wish to be seen, of value, enjoyable to be around, and acceptable in their preferred social situations. Some idols that go along with this are a love of self, pride, and a love of comfort.

VI. Biblical Solutions 

In his Christian Counselor’s Manual, Jay Adams says “If the counselee’s fear fundamentally is a fear of men, then the answer lies in encouraging him to engage in loving ministry, in which he may give of himself to others. Granted, more may be involved, but ultimately, fear will vanish only when he has learned to live the life of loving concern for his neighbor.”[8] Adams also states that a constant and continuous prayer life will lead to peace. [9] Others mention that it is most important that one does not value himself primarily, as that will lead to worry. Valuing Christ first and other people before oneself will take the focus off of oneself, helping to get rid of anxiety. [10]

Recommended Books

“When People are Big and God is Small” by Edward T. Welch

“Overcoming Anxiety: Relief for Worried People” by David Powlison

“Anxiety Attacked: Applying Scripture to the Cares of the Soul” by John MacArthur

Recommended Homework Resources

“A Christian Growth and Discipleship Manual: A Homework Manual for Biblical Living Volume 3” by Wayne A. Mack and Wayne Erick Johnston

“For Further Thought” sections in “When People are Big and God is Small” by Edward T. Welch




[1] Gary R. VadenBos, APA Dictionary of Psychology (Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Association, 2015), 66.

[2] David J. Kupper et al., DSM-V (Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Association, 2013), 189.

[3] Vladin Staracevic, Anxiety Disorders in Adults: A Clinical Guide (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2010), 183.

[4] VadenBos, 999.

[5] Kupper et al, 202.

[6] Robert D. Jones, “Getting to the Heart of Your Worry,” The Journal of Biblical Counseling 17, no. 3 (Spring 1999), 22.


[7] James Morrison, DSM-IV Made Easy (New York, NY: The Guilford Publications, 1995), 262.

[8] Adams, 417.

[9]  Jay E. Adams, The Practical Encyclopedia of Christian Counseling (Heckettstown, NJ: Timeless Texts, 2003), 190-191.

[10] Jones, 22.

Association of Certified Biblical Counselors

By Kaylie Decker

I. Overview

In 1976 Dr. Jay Adams founded the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors (NANC) with the desire that the organization and its rigorous certification process would become the backbone of the biblical counseling movement. Today the organization is now known as the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC) and is the oldest and largest biblical counseling organization in the world. The training and certification of ACBC counselors is recognized worldwide with over 1,700 counselors in 30 countries that speak 30 languages with these numbers growing yearly.  ACBC also has over 60 certified training centers ranging from seminaries to churches. Continue reading Association of Certified Biblical Counselors

Wayne Mack

By Oksana Zherebnenko


I. Known For

Wayne Mack has been identified as a seminal contributor to the Biblical Counseling movement. He studied and taught biblical counseling and Christian living in numerous universities. Mack has served on the board of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC) and on the board of the Fellowship of Independent Reformed Evangelicals (FIRE). Mack has spoken at various counseling seminars and has also helped establish biblical counseling programs in the United States and in South Africa.

II. Biography

Wayne Mack was born on June 7, 1935. His hometown is Carlisle, Pennsylvania but he lives in Pretoria, South Africa for the majority of the year with his wife, Carol (@WayneMack, Facebook, April 30, 2019). Wayne married Carol in 1957 and they have four adult children and thirteen grandchildren [1].

Wayne Mack received a bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College. He then received a Master’s of Divinity (MDiv) from Philadelphia Seminary and a Doctorate of Ministry (D.Min) from Westminster Theological Seminary.  He has studied psychology at LaSalle University. He also studied counseling, theology and the church at Eastern Baptist Seminary, and theology at Wheaton graduate school and Trinity Theological Seminary [1].

III. Theological views

Wayne Mack is a promoter of nouthetic counseling. Within nouthetic counseling there are three main ideas: 1) Scripture is necessary when confronting a counselee about their problems 2) Counseling is always done to the benefit of the counselee and 3) The counselee is striving to change in order to be more like Christ, who is the standard [2]. Wayne Mack is marked by a dedication to the Word of God and all of his work is immersed in Scripture [3]. Mack does not write as a philosopher who explains theological epistemology, but instead he teaches as a pastor would, explaining how to help people according to a biblical framework [4].

IV. Works/Publications

Wayne Mack has written 27 books on biblical counseling and Christian living.  His books include Strengthening Your Marriage, Homework Manual for Biblical Living, Anger and Stress Management God’s Way, and Humility: A Forgotten Virtue. His article entries have been published in Reformation Today, The Journal of Pastoral Counseling, The Journal of Biblical Counseling, and The Master’s Journal. He has a number of audio and video messages on counseling and Christian living distributed by Nouthetic Media [5].

V. Influence on Biblical Counseling

Wayne Mack has taught college and graduate school courses in biblical counseling at various bible colleges and seminaries. He has conducted biblical counseling seminars and conferences all over the world. Wayne and his wife moved to Pretoria, South Africa to teach biblical counseling to pastors. Wayne Mack supervised the development of the Master of Arts Biblical Counseling program at The Master’s University in Santa Clarita, CA. He is a charter member of ACBC and he helped found ACBC Africa. He served on the board of FIRE and is on the Board of Directors of Publicaciones Faro de Gracia. He works with Strengthening Ministries Training Institute to distribute books, audio and video tapes on counseling to churches and Christians all around the world [1].

VI. Bibliography

“About Dr. Wayne Mack,” Strengthening Ministries International, accessed April 28,

2019, http://www.mackministries.org/docs/about.shtml.

“About Wayne Mack,” Nouthetic Media, accessed April 28, 2019,


Adams, Jay E. “What is ‘Nouthetic’ Counseling,” Institute for Nouthetic Studies,

accessed April 28, 2019,


Lambert, Heath. 2011. The Biblical Counseling Movement After Adams (Foreword by

 David Powlison). Wheaton, IL: Crossway.



“What others have to say about Strengthening Ministries,” Strengthening Ministries

International, accessed April 28, 2019,


  1. Strengthening Ministries International, “About Dr. Wayne Mack”
  2. Institute for Nouthetic Counseling, “What is ‘Nouthetic’ Counseling”
  3. Strengthening Ministries International, “What other have to say about Strengthening Ministries”
  4. Lambert, The Biblical Counseling Movement After Adams, Ch. 4.
  5. Nouthetic Media, “About Wayne Mack”