Welcome to Lighthouse Biblical Counseling Institute (LBCI)!

LBCI, an extended ministry of the Springfield Rescue Mission (SRM) exists to provide training to equip men and women to become certified biblical counselors and provide biblical counseling services to the public. Our mission statement and passion is to introduce people to Jesus and help them to apply the word of God to every area of their life. In January of 2020, we partnered with the gold-standard of biblical counseling certification, Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC) to further our mission. Below you will find introductory materials of this ministry. If you have questions after reading this material, please contact our LBCI Director, James McGowan, at jmcgowan@springfieldrescuemission.org


 Brief History and Overview, SRM and ACBC relationship

        National Association of Nouthetic Counselors (NANC) began in 1976 in an effort to insure biblical integrity and excellence in biblical counseling

o   Comprised: various conferences (training centers, schools), media (books, audio, podcast) and networking experiences to advance the biblical counseling movement

o   The doctrine is conservative and practical

o   Biblical counseling regards caring and guiding the whole-person based on Scripture alone

·        Objectives: train men and women…

o   to trust Christ for eternity and today (2 Cor. 5:9)

o   to rightly divide the Word of God (2 Tim. 2:15)

o   to come alongside a person in times of loss, pain, suffering and/or crisis and provide practical biblical care and instruction for restoration and formation in Christ (Rom. 15:14; 2 Cor. 3:18)

o   to speak truth and love into a person’s life (Eph. 4:15)

o   to disciple others (2 Tim. 2:2)

·         In 2013, NANC changed their name to the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC) to broaden their reach from national to international.

o   Last year over 6,000 people trained with ACBC

o   Currently, there are over 2,000 Certified counselors 

·         To become certified, ACBC requires a person to complete a 3-phase process (listed below)

·         At the SRM, certification is a requirement for our Chaplains/Counselors

o   The first SRM Chaplain became certified in 1998

LBCI is a ministry of the SRM and partner with ACBC

·         Objectives (what is LBCI offering?)

o   An ACBC approved 30-hours course in biblical counseling basics. Advanced/specialty courses

o   Able to observe live counsel of an ACBC certified counselor

o   Written exam help

o   Biblical counseling for the public

·         Who is this for?

o   Men and women passionate about biblical counseling

o   Men and women who desire to learn/sharpen/refresh their understanding of practical theology

o   Specifically: Pastors, Elders/Deacons, Ministry Leaders, Church Members, Professionals and Students

·         Where?

o   10 Mill Street, Springfield, MA (SRM main facility)

o   We are currently the only ACBC Training Center in New England

·         When?

o   Aug 28, 29; Sept 25, 26; Oct 30, 31, 2020 (11 hours/weekend, Friday night – Saturday day format). Registration has begun! Please email me your name, phone number and current home church. We will contact you shortly with the next steps. Please keep in mind, due to Covid -19 and to keep everyone save, this conference is limited to 30 people. Email James McGowan at jmcgowan@springfieldrescuemission.org

o   Planning is underway for the next 30-hour ‘basics’ conference in early 2021  

·         Why?

o   To equip the Saints to become ACBC certified counselors

o   To support the Church to share the Gospel and improve discipleship skills

o   To leverage the gifts and experiences of the Christian to minister to their neighbor (2 Cor. 1:3-9)

To become an ACBC Certified Biblical Counselor with LBCI training

Phase 1:

·         • Read 1,000 pages from a sanctioned reading list (at least 300 pages – Theology)

·         Observe a Certified Counselor for 10 hours

o   LBCI offers opportunities to witness live sessions of an ACBC certified counselor

·         Partake of a 30-hour basics training course

o   LBCI offers an ACBC approved course

Phase 2 (LBCI offers classes to help a person answer these questions):

·         Complete the Theology Exam – 24 questions

·         Complete the Counseling Exam – 20 questions

Phase 3:

Be observed by an ACBC Fellow for 50 hours of counsel

A list of the classes that are offered in the 30-hour Basics Course 

·         The Call of All Christians to CounselACBC Fundamentals

·         Qualifications of a Biblical Counselor

·         The Definition and Goal of Biblical Counseling

·         The Importance of the Gospel for Counseling

·         Gathering and Discerning Data

·         Establishing Involvement and Providing Hope

·         Providing Instruction and Giving Homework

·         Critical Analysis of Counseling

·         Survey of Counseling Theories

·         Progressive Sanctification 1 & 2

·         God’s Purpose for Marriage

·         The Roles of the Husband and Wife

·         Getting to Heart Issues

·         Biblical Sexuality

·         Communication

·         Goals of Parenting

·         Parental Instruction

·         Parental Disciplines

·         Spiritual Disciplines

·         Case study: Marriage

·         Fear and Worry

·         Guilt and Repentance

·         Depression

·         Anger

·         Forgiveness

·         Sexual Sin

·         Trials and Suffering

·         The Gospel and Mental Illness

·         Psychotropic Drugs and Biblical Counseling

·         Case study: Heart Issues

LBCI teachers and their roles at the SRM

James McGowan

SRM Chaplain/LBCI Director – teach, counsel and oversee Training Center

ACBC: Level One Certified


M.A. in Organizational Leadership from Baptist Bible College, PA

Average caseload: 10-14

Miguel Cabrera

SRM Chaplain/SRM Program Coordinator – teach, counsel and oversee programs at Mill and Taylor Street

ACBC: Level One Certified


J.D. from University of the Republic (Uruguay) UDELAR

Average caseload: 10-14

Diane Cabrera

SRM Learning Center Coordinator – assess and create academic curriculum for Mill St residents

ACBC: Level One Certified


B.A. Curriculum and Instruction from Trinity Evangelical, IN

Average caseload: 4

Lenore Brooks

SRM Volunteer Program and Give-Away Center Coordinator

ACBC: Level One Certified


Former business owner and Director of Education

Average caseload: 3

Joe Gulsvig

SRM Chaplain/ SRM Intake Coordinator – counsel and oversee intake at Mill Street location

ACBC: Phase Two of Certification


M.A. in Apologetics from Luther Rice University

Average caseload: 8-12

Dr. Richard Reed

Chaplain Emeritus – first ACBC certified counselor at SRM

ACBC (and IABC): Level One Certified


Doctorate of Practical Theology from Masters International University of Divinity, IN

Average caseload: 6-10


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