IT IS imperative for churches today to equip lay people who wish to serve as group leaders in a caring ministry in the church so that help may be rendered to those who need it before it is too late.
Though some Christians have turned to their churches for counselling, they have found that there are not enough trained Christian counsellors available for help.
Other Christians might have sought help from professionals but have always found that the problems have become too serious to solve.
In response to this situation in the Christian community, Oasis Family Life Education Centre (Oasis FLEC) gathered a group of like-minded professional Christian counsellors, family therapists and psychotherapists to set up a Christian Counsellors Training Ministry.
The aim is to train as many lay people as possible to serve as competent Christian counsellors, who will work alongside the pastors as full-time or part-time staff or volunteers.
This ministry also provides an opportunity to retirees and others who may want to acquire new skills in light of the economic downturn.
Oasis FLEC will offer four separate Certificates in Christian counselling courses: Certificate in Basic Christian Counselling (6 modules), Certificate in Basic Skills Training for Christian Counselling (40 hours), Certificate in Counselling Life Issues (6 modules), and Certificate in Mental Health Counselling (6 modules).
All those who complete the training programme will be eligible to be registered as members of ACCS (Association of Christian Counsellors of Singapore) and will be given a Diploma in Christian Counselling to be jointly awarded by the ACCS and Oasis FLEC.
Those interested in attending any of the programmes can submit their registration forms online to www.oasisflec.org.sg
The prospectus for the course will be sent to them upon their request through email: firstname.lastname@example.org or after the submission of their registration forms.
The first session for the Certificate in Basic Christian Counselling (6 modules), will begin on Jan 8, 2009 at 7.30 pm at the Oasis FLEC at 422A Telok Blangah Road.
The Rev Dr Francis Ngoi is the Director of Oasis Family Life Education Centre.