CoRE Conference to address counseling and mental illness

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CoRE Conference to address counseling and mental illness

This year’s CoRE conference will tackle the important yet sometimes controversial issues of psychology and mental illness as well as their relationship to biblical counseling.

Sponsored by BJU’s Seminary the counseling conference is scheduled for Feb. 12 and 13 as part of the Bible Conference Week activities.

Dr. Jim Berg, member of the seminary faculty and the spokesperson and coordinator for the event, said the goal of the conference is to help a Christian audience understand biblical counseling and to show to what degree biblical counseling intersects with psychology and mental illness.

Berg said the conference is relevant to Christian attitudes toward psychology. “Biblical Christianity has always welcomed scientific study and scientific data if it’s properly interpreted,” Berg said. “And unfortunately, even in the Christian realm, people have far more confidence in findings of psychology than is warranted.”

Occurring the Monday and Tuesday before Bible Conference begins, this year’s CoRE Conference features several notable speakers from the biblical counseling profession.

Dr. Jeremy Lelek, president of the Association of Biblical Counselors, and Dan and Pat Gannon, certified biblical counselors and medical professionals, will be the primary speakers for the conference covering issues from “Psychology and Biblical Counseling: A Brief History” to “How Do Biblical Counselors View Psychotropic Drugs.”

Dr. Greg Mazak, School of Religion faculty and professor of counseling classes who is presenting a workshop at the conference, said it provides a concise, focused format. “It’s essential for anyone who hopes to be in any type of vocational Christian ministry,” Mazak said.

The conference is available to the entire student body, faculty and staff. Students will be admitted with their ID cards. Seminary and some other classes that occur during conference hours will be canceled, and service absences are available to those who register to attend any one or all sessions, according to information emailed to students by the School of Religion.

“I hope it will be a compassionate, eye-opening, faith-building experience for students, and I hope it will drive people to God and His Word in new and fresh ways,” Berg said.

BJU published its “Philosophy of Biblical Counseling” statement in 2016 as part of a normal program review of the biblical counseling program. Berg said the biblical counseling philosophy had not been formally stated before.

A committee of external advisers from many areas of ministry was brought together to help define biblical counseling. The booklet was sent to leading members of the biblical counseling community, and their endorsements can be found in the front of the book.

“This conference is part of that articulating what biblical counseling is,” Berg said. “We are hoping the program will really build through all of this.”

A PDF of the “Philosophy of Biblical Counseling” is available online at More information on the 2018 CoRE Conference can be found at