Christian Counselor Jobs
There are several kinds of counselors, working with people for a variety of reasons.
Christian counselors do not differ significantly from secular counselors, except in one important aspect: Christian counselors often use Biblical principles and advice when working with a client. In addition, the Christian counselor helps fellow Christians to follow their faith and use their relationship with God to become part of the healing process. If you enjoy working with people, feel a strong need to help others overcome emotional problems and addictions, and can really listen to those who are struggling, this career path may be a good choice for you.
In general, school counselors work with students and their families to deal with issues that may be affecting the student’s ability to learn and function well in the school environment. School counselors also work with children to teach them appropriate social behaviors. These counselors often work with children who have learning disorders or other medical issues that can prevent them from functioning in the classroom. Vocational counselors help people who are looking for new careers for a variety of reasons. People who have lost their jobs or are interested in launching a new career can work with a career or vocational counselor to help them determine which career will best suit their needs and abilities. Vocational counselors will help people create effective resumes and search for jobs. While there are Christian counselors who are school and vocational counselors, the majority of Christian counselors are mental health counselors, substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors, and marriage and family therapists.
Mental health counselors work with clients on an individual or group basis to address a specific emotional or mental disorder. These counselors are trained to work with clients experiencing things like depression, anxiety, self-esteem issues, and grief. Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors work with clients who are battling with an addiction, whether the addiction is alcohol, drugs, food, or gambling. These counselors help their clients overcome and live with these addictions and live healthier lives.
Marriage and family therapists differ from mental health counselors in that they do not focus on a specific emotional or mental disorder, but instead work with individuals, couples, and families to learn methods for developing healthy relationships with each other.
Christian counselors have many choices when it comes to jobs. Christian counselors are needed at Christian schools, colleges, and universities, missions, ministries, some churches, and non-profit organizations that provide counseling services. Some mental health clinics are also now providing some faith-based counseling for their patient population. Christian counselors can also choose to begin a private practice.
Job prospects for counselors in general are supposed to be very good. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the number of counseling positions is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations. Projected job growth varies by specialty, but job opportunities should be favorable because job openings are expected to exceed the number of graduates from counseling programs, especially in rural areas. Overall employment of counselors is expected to increase by 18 percent between 2008 and 2018, which is faster than the average for all occupations. However, growth is expected to vary by specialty. Employment of substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors is expected to grow by 21 percent.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics attributes this to society becoming more knowledgeable about addiction, which leads more people to seek treatment. Furthermore, drug offenders are increasingly being sent to treatment programs rather than to jail.