Are you competent to counsel? The question is not irrelevant either to pastors, elders or laymen. All believers should counsel.

It’s true that, informally, this is a task of every Christian (Colossians 3:16; Romans 15:14), as he encounters a brother caught in sin (Galatians 6:1). And it is the task of an elder to formally counsel the members of the flock by virtue of his office (I Thessalonians 5:11, 12). All believers are required to counsel.

The word “counsel” may not appear in your version in these verses, but where they translate “admonish,” or some similar word, the term is noutheteo, which, in Paul’s usage, means “to counsel.”

Now, if you are deficient in your ability to counsel, know that you are, and want to do something about it, I encourage you to consider the program that INS offers on this website. I know of no other program—let alone a distant learning program—that offers so many hours of training. Moreover, you can be certain that the instruction you will receive is truly Nouthetic. I say that because you can no longer be sure that this is so just because someone uses the word. I’ve noticed in recent days that the counseling that some groups offer on the internet, though they may say that they are “Nouthetic,” is as far from being so as pure eclecticism is. Here at INS, however, you can be certain that you’ll receive the real thing.

When I coined the term, I had no idea that Nouthetic Counseling would become a movement with wide-ranging ramifications. So, I didn’t copyright the word. Now, all sorts of people are using it—many of whom, I’m sure, think they’re Nouthetic, but have only a slight understanding of what that means.


  1. don’t come knocking at my door if what was called Nouthetic turns out not to be so—I’ve warned you;
  2. if you want training that’s authentic, then turn in here where we’ll open the door to the genuine article!



Originally Posted on August 1, 2009

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