Spring 2019 President’s Update

Spring 2019 President’s Update


Dear AACC Member:

It is hard to believe spring is almost upon us. From our AACC headquarters in the beautiful mountains of Virginia, we are grateful for the visual reminders of hope and growth that the season will bring. Our small, but dedicated, team has been extremely busy preparing for our 2019 event schedule. There is much to do, and we are already looking forward to, and making plans for, 2020.

Please take a moment to pray that God will continue to guide and bless our efforts. I remember and believe the words of the late Dr. Jerry Falwell, Sr., “Nothing of eternal significance ever happens apart from prayer.”

These are very challenging times for the Church, our communities, the nation, and our friends around the globe. Let’s pray for God’s clear guidance and presence in all that we do and ask that He will continue to do a mighty work in our midst, especially as we look to gather in Nashville at the beautiful Opryland Hotel for our 2019 “Rise Up” World Conference on October 9-12.


2018 Dallas Mega National Christian Counseling Conference a Huge Success!

A sellout crowd of more than 2,000 attendees joined us at the stunning Anatole Hotel in downtown Dallas on September 26-28. Featuring plenary sessions with Tony Evans, Kay Warren, Ron Hawkins, Ian Jones, Diane Langberg, Michael Lyles, Ed Stetzer, and more, the fall “Speak Life” Mega National Christian Counseling Conference was quite spectacular! Attendees had opportunities to learn, grow, and interact with colleagues from all 50 states and 10 foreign countries. A few highlights from the event included:

  • Hundreds of attendees completed one of our 12-hour Specialized Counseling Intensive Trainings
  • A special, closed-door Commission on Sexual Harassment, Abuse, and Violence included a roundtable discussion on curriculum recommendations for a 2019 course release by AACC. Watch for updates on this as the course is currently in development.
  • Praise and Worship led by Michael O’Brien and Praise Band was a powerful and inspiring experience. We see God’s hand in Michael’s talent, and the presence of God was felt deeply.
  • More than 100 church and community leaders gathered with us in Dallas for an all-day pre-conference Opioid Crisis Training featuring the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

2018 Summits and Free Opioid Epidemic Response Training

Part of our calling at the AACC is to use our resources to help facilitate a healthy relationship between mental health and the mission of the Church. We know there are congregations all over the world that want to do more to address the mental health needs in their pews and communities each Sunday.

We were so excited to join with three of those churches and communities for Mental Health and the Church events in 2018. This past year, we hosted:

  • Counseling, Mental Health, and the Mission of the Church Summit in Riverside, California
  • Counseling, Mental Health, and the Mission of the Church Summit with a special focus on Addictions in York, Pennsylvania
  • New Life Summit with a special emphasis on Marriage and Family in Charlotte, North Carolina

Each event featured the same plenary and workshop schedule you enjoy at our National events, but with a focus on the Church and community. We gathered together with pastors, Sunday school teachers, coaches, teachers, social workers, and others who embraced two truths: 1) We all have something we need to find healing from, and 2) We all have a role to play in helping others find hope and healing.

With the hope of making an even deeper impact on each community we visited, the AACC began hosting free Opioid Crisis Epidemic trainings at conferences in 2018, starting with our York, Pennsylvania Summit. In these free trainings, the community was invited to listen to strategies for combatting the current epidemic in our nation and collaborate in real time with a panel of local experts that included government, church, and private organizations. The Department of Health and Human Services’ Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives joined us, sending representatives to each of the three free trainings. The free trainings received local and national press, and participants reported their time at the event to be profoundly impactful. Most recently, the AACC held an Opioid Crisis Response Symposium at Houston Baptist University on February 16th.

2019 “Rise Up” World Conference Workshop Proposal Submissions MOST EVER!

More than 500 academic/clinical/biblical proposals have poured into the AACC headquarters for consideration. Dina Jones, Director of Professional and Public Relations, said, “The track leadership teams are encouraged and invigorated by the excellent proposals across all 25 tracks. I believe the depth and quality of the Call for Papers submissions reflect the energy, excitement, and continuing development of our profession.” We have worked hard to update and add new tracks to reflect the trends in modern-day mental healthcare. Track coordinators and leaders are currently reviewing the proposals and will make their recommendations soon. The full schedule of workshops and poster sessions will be available in early April. Pray that the Lord guides and blesses these efforts. We are grateful to all who submitted proposals.

2019 “Rise Up” World Conference Registration Outpacing all Prior World Conferences

The 2019 AACC “Rise Up” World Conference is rolling along at a record pace with nearly 3,500 registrations to date… outpacing all previous events. We are projecting another sellout event of nearly 7,000 mental health leaders, pastors, life coaches, chaplains, lay helpers, and more joining us at the magnificent Opryland Hotel in Nashville on October 9-12th for what has become the world’s premier Christian counseling event.

The “Rise Up” World Conference theme is anchored out of Isaiah 60:1 (NIV), “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.” If there is ever a time for us to rise up, stand strong, and be united in our commitment to Christ-centered mental healthcare… it is now!

The AACC World Conference consistently attracts Christian counseling leaders from all 50 states and nearly 40 countries from around the world. The biennial conference has become one of the largest and most significant events in modern-day Christianity, having sold out the last seven times in a row. Attendees can enjoy several of the world’s most engaging Christian thought and practice leaders, dynamic praise and worship, some of the best in Christian entertainment, as well as:

  • 48 Pre-conference Learning Institutes
  • More than 175 cutting-edge counseling workshops carefully selected across 25 relevant, professional/clinical/biblical tracks
  • A massive Exhibitor/Sponsor Hall featuring the latest in resources, services, and beneficial organizations including mental health treatment centers, colleges and universities, publishers, and more
  • Opportunities to connect with friends and colleagues and build lasting friendships through networking and professional development events
  • and more…

Best of all, attendees are able to tailor the World Conference experience to meet their personal and professional needs. Get ready for a God-filled conference sure to bless your life and increase your counseling and ministry effectiveness!

While we cannot promise everything at this year’s event, it is shaping up to be one of our best World Conferences ever. Attendees will hear from John Ortberg, Jentezen Franklin, Greg Laurie, Shelia Walsh, Inky Johnson, and more. For more information, visit www.worldconference.net. Do not miss this one! Stay onsite at the Opryland Hotel… rooms are filling quickly! Nearly 50% of rooms already booked!

For those who do not know, the Opryland has added SoundWaves, a stunning and upscale waterpark for families. With numerous dining options and stores at the hotel, as well as the lush botanical gardens, the Opryland is without a doubt a fantastic place to stay for the World Conference. Call 888.777.6779 to lock in your room now and be sure to ask for the special AACCdiscounted rate. On-site room reservations are filling quickly with nearly 50% of the hotel room block already full.

Be sure not to miss the March 29th Special SUPER EARLY BIRD Registration Deadline and enjoy the best savings we can offer!

More exciting World Conference announcements are forthcoming.


BEST Practices Series to Launch Spring 2019

Be on the lookout for our all-new BEST (Biblical and Evidenced-based Strategies and Treatment) Practices Counselor Training Programs. The mental health field continues to evolve and rapidly change. This is especially true in our understanding of disorders with ongoing research in prevention, assessment, intervention, and recovery. As a result, at the heart of adequate mental healthcare is asking and answering what clinical practices work best with different clients and disorders, such as depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorders, panic attacks, and couples in distress.

The BEST practice series will help you answer these questions:

  • What are the best practices that I need to be aware of in this subject matter?
  • What are the benchmarks of proficiency in this branch of counseling?
  • What do I do in the therapy session and my treatment and care of clients facing this issue?

These new training programs are anchored in the wisdom and authority of Scripture and will help increase your counseling skills and effectiveness.

Upon successful completion of the materials, a certificate of completion and certification will be awarded to each participant. Continuing education credit is also available for each program of study.

            The River Conference: Where God, Life, Hope, and Relationships Come Together…

Prestonwood Baptist Church, Dallas Texas, November 15-16, 2019 

Over the past two years, we have been hosting “The Struggle is Real” events all across America, and we are now excited to announce the development of the first-ever “River Conference” on November 15-16th at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas. Built around a focus on Mental Health and the Mission of the Church, our goal is to bring an experiential weekend of inspiring messages of hope, healing, and new life through the power of story, education, and encouragement. Those in attendance will come face-to-face with the metaphorical “river” and hear from several of the nation’s leading experts on topics like positivity and mental health; family and relationships; grief, loss and trauma; and how to have the life and relationships you have always wanted. Our mission is to help rid the shame, silence, and stigma for those wrestling with emotional, mental, and relational issues. We cannot wait to see what God is going to do at this event!


2019 Counseltalk Webinar Slate Announced

  • March 19th
    The God Factor: Dynamic Christian Spirituality and Mental Healthcare

    Ron Hawkins, D.Min., Ed.D.
  • April 9th
    Spirituality/Religion and Mental Health: Research and Evidence-based Practice

    David H. Rosmarin, Ph.D.
  • May 21st
    Self-forgiveness for You and Your Clients

    Everett Worthington, Jr., Ph.D.
  • June 11th
    God and Soul Care: The Therapeutic Resources of the Christian Faith

    Eric L. Johnson, Ph.D.
  • July 16th
    Mental Illness in Children and Adolescents

    E. John Kuhnley, M.D.
  • August 13th
    Reproductive Loss and Sexual Trauma

    Jared Pingleton, Psy.D.
    Kay Lyn Carlson, M.S.W.
  • September 3rd
    From Surviving to Thriving: Helping Victims Heal from Human Trafficking

    Shannon Wolf, Ph.D.
  • October 22nd
    Family Trauma: Assessment, Patterns, Adjustments, and Recovery

    Kathie T. Erwin, Ed.D.
  • November 12th
    When War Comes Home: Equipping Helpers for Effective Care for Military

    David P. Mikkelson, M.Div., Ph.D.
    Suzanne Mikkelson, Ph.D.
  • December 10th
    Restoring the Shattered Self: The Treatment of Complex Trauma

    Heather Davediuk Gingrich, Ph.D.

Register and learn more at Counseltalk.net

From the entire team here in Forest, Virginia, thank you for allowing us to be a part of your life! If not before, we hope to see you in October in Nashville.


Tim Clinton, Ed.D., LPC, LMFT
President, American Association of Christian Counselors