The Higher Certificate in Christian Counselling is an outstanding programme for training lay counsellors. It is designed for pastoral counsellors and for lay counsellors serving in the context of churches or parachurch organisations.

Students enrolling for this programme will first need to complete the compulsory course for all SATS students: THE1120 Introduction to Theology.

Do I Qualify?

To register for the Higher Certificate in Christian Counselling, you need to have a school-leaving certificate. In South Africa, this is a National Senior Certificate (NSC). If you have an accredited tertiary qualification, we accept that in lieu of a school-leaving certificate.

If you do not have a school-leaving certificate, you may be admitted to the HCCC on the basis of RPL. You will be asked to complete the first five courses on probation as stand-alone subjects. If you pass them, demonstrating that the ability to study at this level, you may enrol for the HCCC.

If you complete the Higher Certificate in Christian Counselling and wish to enrol for the Bachelor in Theology, 60 credits from the HCCC may be transferred to the BTh.

What Textbooks Do I Need?

The SATS counselling programmes require the purchase of the following textbooks:

  • Collins, G. 2007. Christian Counseling – a Comprehensive Guide (Third Edition). Thomas Nelson.
  • Meier, Minirth, Wichern & Ratcliff. 1999. Introduction to Psychology and Counseling: Christian Perspectives and Applications. 2nd Baker Books.
  • Tan, S. & Scalise, E.T. 2016. Lay Counseling: Equipping Christians for a Helping Ministry (Revised and Updated).
  • Tan, Siang-Yang, 2011. Counseling and Psychotherapy: A Christian Perspective. Baker Publishing.

All four books are available on Kindle (Amazon) in Digital format for immediate download. Please acquire the textbooks before you start your first counselling course.

You will also need the following book. However, it is available in our library holdings and there is thus no need to purchase it:

  • McMinn, M. & Campbell, C. 2007. Integrative Psychotherapy – toward a comprehensive Christian Approach. InterVarsity Press. (Available on EbscoHost).

What Are The Courses?

Compulsory courses


HCCC Timetable

How Long Does It Take?

The minimum duration is one year, but the average completion time for part-time students is two years. You have a maximum of three years to finish.

Please note: You are required to complete 48 credits every twelve months, commencing with the date of enrolment.

Complete our online application form, or contact us.