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IIFBC does not provide state or secular licensure or certification. Receiving a minister’s license or certification from IIFBC is both a privilege and a high honor. Each level of credential has its own standards for achievement. 

Religious instruction is legal in all states. Being a religious institute, IIFBC is exempt from higher education laws in the state of Texas, and thus is allowed to provide distance training in all 50 states. As an institute of higher learning and because we do grant a diploma with associated fees, there may be one or two states that have limiting laws in regard to the granting of a diplomas or educational credentials.

IIFBC provides a complete and thorough outline on how to establish a counseling center in course #1. In essence, the organization must be recognized as a church or religious organization in the state that service is provided. There are broader ways to provide service when you avoid using the word counseling or counselor and use more generic terms such as mentor, life coach, consultant, or prayer partner.

IIFBC has filed papers with the state of Texas to be able to operate as a faith-based institute. IIFBC is recognized by the IRS as a religious 501c3 organization. Because IIFBC is a school of higher education that provides a quality service, there are some state agencies in TX that recognize IIFBC training.  

Basically states can do what they want until someone emphasis the so-called separation of church and state. Each state has its own set of agencies for providing service and care to its state residents and those agencies have their own set of boundaries that may or may not recognize your training/certification/diploma. Many state agencies are looking for help and welcome finding ways to work together with faith-based organizations. Check with the state agency you want to work with or receive referrals. You may be surprised with the welcoming you will receive. Our world needs help and with budget cuts, state agencies are finding ways get help from organizations that they have not been open to in the past. 

The training courses are self-paced, so it all depends on how much time you invest. Most courses can be completed in a month or less for people that have normal schedules.

In reality, it would be unusual for a state agency to hire you as a counselor because you have a religious credential as a faith-based counselor. But it would NOT be unusual for a state agency to recognize your value and education as a faith-based counselor.

Board certification is for those wanting to be an instructor for IIFBC of its flagship classes CNS101, CNS102, and CNS103. The diploma is more professional looking, and you have the privilege of calling yourself board certified, which means you have been certified with IIFBC’s board.  Board certification has other requirements beyond certification. Board certification requirements are listed on the web site and in the training manuals. 


Basically, you have to pay the fee, provide a resume, letters of reference, conduct the IIFBC assessment on 12 clients, and have 100 hours of ministry service in your church or other place of recognized ministry. These items are accomplished after becoming a Certified Faith-Based Clinical Counselor. 

International Institute of Faith Based Counseling (IIFBC) and Life Training Institute (LTI) are Accredited Members with Transworld Accrediting Commission International. Serving the Christian education community for over 35 years, Transworld is a federally recognized, non-profit church educational organization designed specifically for biblical institutions. Their philosophy is to demonstrate accountability to the consuming public for education obtained in nontraditional evangelical educational institutions.


Transworld oversees more than 1000 member institutions including schools, seminaries, universities, colleges, and institutes both in the United States and internationally. They provide documented evidence of compliance with standards of structure and governance, material resources, policies, faculty, and curriculum. Transworld’s overall purpose is to promote academic excellence and accountability.

For more information about Transworld Accrediting Commission International, visit TransworldAccrediting.com.

Yes, but realize that you will be contacting the school receptionist or administrator. They are not counselors. Your email will be forwarded to an instructor, and they may provide a response. Also, your certification must be current.

The difference is in the titles and the education requirements. The term therapist is a broader based term that has broader applications. Therapy implies strategies or deeper levels of healing on various levels.  

As a member in good standings you receive the following benefits:

  • You will receive a minister’s wallet card (helps identify you as a minister and may grant access to hospital rooms and prisons)
  • Eligibility to re-attend a live training class at a significant discount
  • Be able to replace your certificate if lost or destroyed
  • Able to receive an IIFBC transcript for obtaining credit with other institutes
  • Continued privilege to call yourself a certified or licensed faith-based counselor from a recognized certifying organization
  • Opportunity to obtain updated or revised manuals
  • Receive referrals from IIFBC
  • Transfer of credits from another institution or college is currently allowed. IIFBC courses and programs are uniquely developed for education and life application.
  • After completion of a program, you may enroll in additional programs by completing another Application. All completed IIFBC courses will be accepted for credit towards other IIFBC programs