Online Counseling Courses for Pastors (Addiction, Problematic Emotions)

We at BtT wish to make you aware of SEBTS’ recently expanded portfolio of online counseling courses. At the heart of a pastor’s calling is the ability to counsel. A pastor finds himself providing counsel not only from behind his desk, but also from the pulpit, on the street corner, and in the hospital room. For this reason, SEBTS is expanding its slate of online course to include two new courses—Addiction and Problematic Emotions.

“Counseling Individuals with Problematic Emotions” will be offered online this spring, beginning in January. This course explores the common problematic emotions of depression, anxiety, anger, and suffering with a focus on understanding them as biological, moral, relational, and spiritual phenomena.

“Counseling Individuals with Addiction Problems” will be offered online in Fall 2013. This course studies a range of addiction problems, with a focus on their etiology, dynamics, and impact on others, along with biblical strategies and methods of intervention and treatment. We hope these courses equip students around the world for service in vocational counseling ministries in the church or in parachurch ministries.

[If you are not already a SEBTS distance learning student, but would like to get started, click here. If you wish to view our “Frequently Asked Questions” page, click here.]

The professor for these courses is Sam Williams (Ph.D., California School of Professional Psychology) Dr. Williams is Professor of Counseling at Southeastern. He operated a private practice as a Licensed Clinical Psychologist for ten years in Louisiana before moving to Southeastern to take up the professorate as a biblical counselor. He is known as a voracious learner who reads widely in theology, epistemology, psychology, and other fields related to counseling.

Other counseling professors at SEBTS include Robert Jones (D.Min., Westminster Theological Seminary; D.Theol. candidate, University of South Africa) and  Stephen Wade (Ph.D., Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary). Dr. Jones serves as Assistant Professor of Biblical Counseling and is a member of the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors. He is the author of Uprooting Anger: Biblical Help for a Common Problem (P&R, 2005), Bad Memories: Getting Past Your Past (P&R, 2004), and other books. Dr. Wade serves as Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology and Director of the Great Commission Equipping Network and Student Field Ministry. He has served since 1999 as Senior Pastor of Poplar Spring Baptist Church in Zebulon, NC. Dr. Wade did his Ph.D. work in theological studies, and therefore brings a strong theological mind to the discipline of biblical counseling. He wears the finest “five o’clock shadow” beard on faculty.

For what it’s worth, SEBTS also offers several degree programs in biblical counseling. These programs are designed to equip graduate and post-graduate students for pastoral care and counseling in and for the church.

The Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling is designed to equip students for vocational counseling ministries in the context of the local church.  Students take courses leadership, team ministry, and discipleship as part of this program. The M.A. in Christian Education and Biblical Counseling weds Christian education courses with courses in biblical counseling to prepare students for a broad ministry in education and counseling in the local church or parachurch ministries.

The M.Div. with Biblical Counseling is designed to further prepare those who seek to minister long-term in the local church. In addition to the M.Div. core, students take 33 hours concentrated in the counseling curriculum. Part of this curriculum includes three skills implementation course in which students complete at lest 30 hours of supervised counseling to give them hands-on experience in this ministry. Furthermore, students can take courses to prepare them to seek professional licensure beyond the M.A. or M.Div. if they so desire (licensure requirements vary by state). In addition to this specific track, the M.Div. with Pastoral Ministry track requires a course in biblical counseling to prepare pastors for local church ministry.

The Th.M. in Applied Theology with a specialization in Biblical Counseling concentrates 12 of 15 course hours in counseling courses. The purpose of the Th.M. is to further equip students who may go on to doctoral study in the field, or to serve as a terminal post-graduate degree for those seeking to minister in the local church.

The Ph.D. in Applied Theology with a concentration in Counseling is a recent addition to the Ph.D. programs at Southeastern, one we are excited to offer. The purpose of this program is to prepare ministers and teachers for long-term counseling ministries in the church or academy. Students will be prepared to write and teach on counseling issues for and in the church and academy upon successful completion of this program.

We invite you to study with our Pastoral Care and Counseling faculty in the M.A., M.Div., Th.M., or Ph.D. programs of Southeastern. For more info visit our website ( or and check out the Admissions and Academics links.