Jay Adams entered into his eternal rest with his Lord on November 14, 2020. He was 91 years old.
Adams was best known as the founder of the modern Biblical counseling movement, launched with the publication of his groundbreaking book Competent to Counsel in 1970. He was a champion for the cause of biblical sufficiency and against the encroachment of secular psychology into the counseling rooms of pastors and Christian laypersons.
Early life and conversion
Jay Edward Adams was born on January 30, 1929, in Baltimore, Maryland. His father was a beat cop and his mother a secretary. Neither of his parents attended church, and he received no instruction in spiritual matters as a child.
Adams was a precociously bright youngster and skipped a year of high school to graduate when he was just 15 years old. His first consideration of any spiritual matter occurred when a neighborhood friend complained to him about a book he had been reading by a man who denied the Scriptures. Adams wondered why his friend, a believer, was so exercised about the Bible and decided to investigate. He found the Gideon New Testament his father had been given as a soldier in the Great War and began to read. By the time he finished reading the Gospel of John, God opened his heart and he came to believe what he was reading was true.
His friend invited him to his church where he heard the Scriptures preached by a pastor who was a skilled expositor, and he began to grow. Following graduating from high school, he asked his pastor where he could go to learn the Bible better. His pastor pointed him to the Reformed Episcopal Seminary in Philadelphia, where an exception had to be made so Adams could enroll as a 15-year-old student with no undergraduate degree.
The next three years were rigorous for Adams, who had no previous familiarity with the Scriptures. He learned quickly and soon developed a love for the study of the Scriptures in the original languages. Upon completion of his graduate coursework, he enrolled at Johns Hopkins University and majored in classic languages. Upon graduation in 1952, he was awarded both his undergraduate and graduate degrees on the same day.
During his Seminary and College days, Adams did street preaching and preached at country churches and rescue missions. He served as director of the local Youth for Christ chapter and sang in a men’s quartet. But most importantly, he met and eventually married Betty Jane Whitlock on June 23, 1951.
In 1952 Adams became the pastor of a United Presbyterian church in Eighty-Four, Pennsylvania, and soon became embroiled in denominational conflict. He opposed a proposed merger with a liberal denomination and was chosen to debate the merger’s leading proponent. The debate did not end well for his opponent, who tried to deny the existence of liberalism in his denomination. Adams had done his homework and caught his opponent in a number of lies by quoting back to him his earlier writings.
Adams pastored several other small churches while taking further studies at Temple University, where he studied homiletics under Andrew Blackwood, who impressed Adams deeply and instilled in him a love for preaching.
In 1958 Adams moved to Kirkwood, MO and became the director of Home Missions for the Bible Presbyterian denomination. While traveling, he often had discussions with pastors who asked about his understanding of eschatology. Because he was asked so frequently, he decided to put his view into a small book, which he entitled Realized Millennialism (a term he preferred over “amillennialism”). Most pastors in the denomination were premillennial, however, and his book generated a degree of controversy. Not desiring to be a cause of division, he resigned to focus on his Ph.D. studies at the University of Missouri.
By this time in his academic career, Adams had a mature grasp on his theology and was an accomplished Greek scholar. But his burden for the state of preaching he observed in churches grew, leading him to focus his Ph.D. work on learning to communicate effectively. For three years while he did his Ph.D. work, he preached on weekends, bagged groceries at a local market, read law books onto tape for blind students, and taught classes at the university as an intern.
Learning to Counsel
In 1963 he moved to New Jersey, became the pastor of an Orthodox Presbyterian Church, and was invited to teach homiletics part-time at Westminster Theological Seminary. As the newest instructor, he was assigned a course that none of the other teachers wanted to teach, a course entitled “Poimenics” (more commonly known as pastoral theology). As a part of that course, he was expected to teach something about pastoral counseling.
Adams had no experience teaching counseling and limited counseling experience as a pastor, so he simply taught the notes the previous teacher had given him. He found no theological substance in what he had been handed and determined to study and do better before he would have to teach the course again the next year. As he studied, however, he found nothing to help him. He pored over everything he could find written from a Christian perspective and found only Freudian and Rogerian dogma. He studied secular texts and sought to find useful material for the Christian counselor. “I began to conclude that I was too obtuse to understand what I was reading in those books,” he recalled later. “All the other seminaries were able to integrate these secular, pagan concepts in their curriculum, but I could not see how to do it.”
In 1965, Adams was offered the opportunity to accompany O. Hobart Mowrer for six weeks. Mowrer was a past president of the American Psychological Association and had written a book Adams had found to be provocative. In it, Mowrer, an atheist, asked the question, “Has evangelical Christianity sold its birthright for a mess of psychological pottage?”
Adams watched Mowrer confront his counselees about their actions, urge them to take responsibility, and not hide behind psychological labels. This was an unusual tack for a secular psychologist to take, but Adams watched Mowrer find far more success with it than his contemporaries. Mowrer was an iconoclast who challenged the common conclusions of those in his discipline. While Adams was grateful for the opportunity to observe Mowrer that summer, he stood far off from Mowrer’s behaviorism. “Mowrer was skilled at throwing stones through the psychologists’ windows,” Adams would later say, “but he had nothing to replace the broken glass to keep the bugs out.”
That summer with Mowrer was eye-opening for Adams. The reason he could not make secular psychological concepts integrate with the Scriptures was because they did not integrate! As a result of this epiphany, Adams was able to set aside the current psychological dogmas and focus on what the Scriptures had to say about people and their problems. Mowrer provided the bulldozer Adams needed to clear the site upon which he could build a counseling system from the building materials of the Scriptures. Adams began to schedule more and more counseling and used each session as an impetus to search the Scriptures for specific solutions to the problems that were presented. He invited students to sit in on counseling sessions and then debated with them how best to proceed after each session and how the Scriptures met the need. In 1968 he formed the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF) to serve as a kind of laboratory for his studies.
As he studied counseling issues, Adams began to form a counseling system. He knew every system of thought—theological, philosophical, mathematical—eventually got tagged with a label. He was loath to think that anyone would ascribe his name to his system in some way, so he decided to use an anglicized form of the Greek word Paul used for counseling and coined the word “nouthetic.” That system began to crystalize into a set of notes Adams wrote for his seminary class, which made their way into the hands of a publisher who asked Adams to work them into a book.
Before publication, however, the publisher arranged for Adams to forward his manuscript to a half dozen men who were teaching counseling in other seminaries and invite their critique. These men met with Adams at an airport hotel and reported their conclusions. Most were in agreement with Adams’ basic thesis, that secular psychological concepts had invaded the church, and that something should be done about it. Adams’ book, however, was not that something. It was too sharp, too accusing. The tone was all wrong and should be more irenic.
Adams weighed the criticisms carefully but asked himself, if these men agreed he was fundamentally correct, and that changes needed to be made, what were they doing to effect change? They all had platforms from which they could advocate change. What were they accomplishing? As a result, Adams concluded his manuscript was not sharp enough, and he worked to toughen it up even more.
Competent to Counsel
When Competent to Counsel was published in 1970, it turned the Christian counseling world upside down. In it, Adams demonstrated how the three primary secular psychological systems—those of Freud, Rogers, and Watson/Skinner—stood in opposition to the Scriptures and must be rejected by Christian counselors. He unpacked the Greek word nouthesia and demonstrated how the Apostle Paul engaged in the kind of counseling he was advocating, taking the title of his book from Paul’s statement in Romans 15:14,
I am convinced about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and competent to counsel one another.
The years that followed the publication of Competent to Counsel were a whirlwind of activity for Adams. Conservative pastors received his book enthusiastically, but those who were invested in the secular psychological systems Adams condemned savaged it. Invitations to lecture and explain his approach poured in, and because Adams was well trained as a public speaker, audiences found him to be a powerful advocate for the use of the Scriptures in counseling. Adams was glad to defend his views, but he quickly realized that while it was necessary to be polemic in Competent to Counsel, it would be necessary to provide solid, practical help with the many counseling issues that confronted pastors. To meet this need, he published The Christian Counselor’s Manual in 1973.
By 1976 Adams had traveled the world, explaining his views and exhorting pastors to minister the Word fearlessly in the counseling room. He continued to teach at the Seminary, he and his followers had formed the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors, and he had published fifteen other books. But it was a schedule that was taking a toll on his body. He developed heart problems brought on by exhaustion, and his doctors and family urged him to slow down. So he resigned from the Seminary, turned the administration of CCEF over to a co-worker, and moved his family to rural Georgia. He bought an old grist mill and went to work remodeling it into a home.
Adams continued to travel and teach, but at a much slower pace. For the next six years, he was able to devote much more time to writing. From the peace and seclusion of the Millhouse, Adams produced some of his most important works, including his translation of the Greek New Testament, which he published with extensive counseling helps as the Christian Counselor’s New Testament.
Back to the Classroom
In 1982 Adams accepted an invitation to establish a D.Min. program in Homiletics at Westminster Theological Seminary in California. Because he could teach his classes in week-long modules, he would have the freedom to travel and continue to write. Adams generally disliked the strictures of academia, but he found the freedom that Westminster offered to be compelling. As a final project, students were expected to write something busy pastors would find to be practical, and they were required to get their project published. As a result, many helpful books were published by Adams’ students, several of which are still assigned reading in other homiletics programs.
Adams gave Westminster a five-year commitment. He believed he could have the program established and would be able to turn it over to another. He stayed longer, but in 1990 he moved to the upstate of South Carolina, where a friend in the ARP denomination invited him to plant a church in a growing suburb of Greenville where the ARP church had secured a prime piece of property. His son-in-law, a recent seminary graduate, joined him, and together they planted the Harrison Bridge Road Presbyterian Church in Simpsonville. The Adams purchased a small rural acreage near Enoree, SC where they continued to live until his death.
Adams enjoyed the return to pastoral ministry, preaching every week, and doing regular counseling once again. Also, in partnership with a friend, he established Timeless Texts, a small publishing company whose primary purpose was to publish his books.
Adams retired from his church in 1997, at which time the Governor awarded him the Order of the Palmetto, the highest civilian honor awarded by the state of South Carolina. Retirement afforded him the opportunity to devote more time to writing, and Timeless Texts allowed him to get things into print much quicker. His Christian Counselor’s Commentary was a product of these years.
Retirement also afforded him time to teach. Adams’ son-in-law, who was now pastoring the Redeemer ARP church in Moore, SC, invited him to establish a counseling training center in his church. Requests quickly came for video and audio of Adams’ lectures. Rather than send out recordings in a haphazard way to all who asked, he decided to form the Institute for Nouthetic Studies (INS) and build a structured curriculum that would include all he considered essential in a training program. By then, new technology allowed him to make the lectures more readily available to students.
As the years took a toll on his body, Adams began to consider the future of his retirement ministries. Donn Arms, the director of INS, had developed a relationship with Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis and they approached Adams with the prospect of merging the Institute with the Seminary. This was accomplished in 2015. After Adams’ partner at Timeless Texts died, he assigned the copyrights to his books to INS, which began the process of bringing all of Adams’ books back into print.
Jay Adams, the Author
A wag once introduced Adams as “a man who has never had an unpublished thought.” With over 100 books to his credit, few authors have been as productive as Jay Adams over a lifetime. While many books dealt with counseling issues, other books covered a surprising spectrum of issues including theology, hermeneutics, Christian living, a devotional book, preaching (including a book for laymen on how to listen to a sermon), pastoral ministry, fiction, aging, guidance, eschatology, church conflict, and commentaries.
Adams labored to be clear when he wrote, a style that led critics to accuse him of being simplistic. For Jay, complexity was often the cover for error while clarity was the cousin of truth. Through its Institute for Nouthetic Studies, Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary is working to bring all of Adams’ books back into print so generations to come will be able to study and learn from Jay Adams.
Jay Adams touched the lives of millions of believers around the world through the students he taught, the books he wrote, the counselee’s helped by nouthetic counselors, and his lectures, podcasts, and videos. By God’s good provision, His church will be able to learn and profit from the ministry of Jay Adams for generations to come.
Please leave your tribute or message for the family in our comment section.
 He used the term “Christian” counseling rather than “Biblical” counseling as it did not occur to him that anyone would think Christian counseling could be anything other than biblical.
Words cannot describe his influence in my and no doubt the lives of many. I am grateful that a plethora of his wisdom has been preserved for the benefit of Gods people.
I am thankful for his vision and wisdom and how it has shaped my personal and professional walk with Christ.
He being dead yet speaks! What a life! What a God Jay Adams show-cased! God used his teaching to transform me in so many ways by the renewing of my mind in Christ. I thank God upon every remembrance of him. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.
I praise the Lord for Dr. Jay Adams and for his practical biblical teaching through his books and through the INS coursework – not only for my own personal life, but also as an older woman mentoring and counseling women in my church. Dr. Adams continues to be one of the greatest influences in my life; I will be forever thankful.
One of the first book purchases I made as a young pastor was Jay Adams’ book “The Theology of Christian Counseling”. It was the beginning of a journey that cemented in my heart the bedrock conviction that the Scriptures are indeed sufficient for “everything pertaining to life and godliness”. Jay’s voluminous writings helped shape me not only as a biblical counselor, but also a Christian man, pastor, and especially as a preacher. I pray that this generation of biblical counselors will faithfully carry the mantle of biblical sufficiency that submits to the authority of Scripture and boldly yet graciously rejects secular theories cause colossal harm to the Church.
My life and my role in ministry changed 180 degrees after listening to Dr. Adams. I know God was glorified by his ministry. I know that others will continue to use His books and teachings and his legacy will continue to flourish for generations.
His wisdom prepared me for a broader ministry. I am thankful for the legacy he left for Christians.
Thank you Donn for this wonderful tribute to Dr. Adams whose writings had a profound influence on my life as a Christian, counselor, teacher and pastor. It is my joy (and will be) to continue to pass on to my students and church family what God used Jay to teach me. Praise the Lord for a life lived admonishing and teaching every man, that everyman may have the hope of being presented to God as complete in Christ.
I was first exposed to the writing of Jay Adam’s by a friend who was the pastor of an Orthodox Presbyterian Church in suburban Columbus Ohio.
It opened up new vistas for me about the nature of counseling and the importance of the Scriptures in that regard.
May his family be comforted and his peers follow his example, “Soli Deo Gloria.”
God gave us a wonderful gift in the life of Jay Adams. I enjoyed his books while in Seminary, and was privileged to meet him several times and to have him as a speaker at a retreat I was able to organize. He gave me good guidance for my Pastoral ministry and in my counseling to students while I ministered as a teacher in a Christian School. He helped me to appreciate how the loving admonitions our Savior, given to us in His Written Word, guide us along the path that leads us to appreciate God’s unfailing promises and power as we strive by His grace to do all for His glory. Thanks to our Creator for the life and ministry of Jay Adams.
When I first started pastoring in Indiana in 1979 I knew I was a Biblical counselor but had no one else to talk to.
It was then I met Bill Goode at Grace Baptist in Gary and he introduced me personally to Dr. Adams. After they started the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors I took the training at Faith Baptist in Lafayette where
Dr. Goode had moved to pastor. I became certified and joined the group and have been a member ever since.
Dr. Adams writings have had a profound influence on my life personally and a tremendous impact on my counseling. He was without a doubt anointed by God to teach and train others in this much needed ministry.
I am so very blessed to have known him and so thankful to God for his vision to spread Biblical counseling.
In my view one of the most helpful theologians of the 20th and 21st Century.
He helped me see so much in the scriptures and what I admired was that he just did what the Bible said and discovered that it also ‘worked’.
All he learned while here on earth he now knows to be true and he sees face to face.
He being dead yet speaketh and may he continue to do so until His Lord returns again.
Dr. Adams life has been a blessing for Christ’s church and multitudes of believers within. He will be missed, indeed already is! His teachings and books have affected my Christian walk tremendously and have helped me understand and apply the Truths of God’s Word.
Dear Dr. Adams-Thank you for introducing me to the privilege and blessing of Biblical counseling. Through your ‘Competent to Counsel’ I have learned about God and about my heart and my relationship to the church. I have found your small counseling booklets immensely helpful in my medical practice as a physician to show people the Lord Jesus who is Wisdom for us. Through your counsel I have learned to be confident that in His Word God has given us everything that pertains to life and godliness. Your teaching on ‘putting off and putting on” applications to daily life have transformed my thinking and my behavior and I never tire of passing on these nuggets to my counselees. Through you I have fallen in love with our blessed Lord more and for that I owe you a debt I can never repay.
Our gracious Lord has kept you under the shadow of His wings Coram Deo and today you heard that Blessed voice saying to you: “Well done thou good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of my presence.”
The larger form of my tribute to Jay consists in the full text of the book Whole Counsel, which I was privileged to edit in his honor. The shorter form is a quote from Donn Arms’ chapter in that book, which he wrote but I polished until it made a lot more sense :)…
“With confidence we predict that fifty years from now, at the 100th anniversary of Competent to Counsel, our descendants will be reading and discussing Jay Adams and his book in the same way that we study and analyze the works of men like Augustine, John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Spurgeon, and C. S. Lewis.”
The Lord used Jay to change the direction of my life on two occasions. The first time occurred shortly after the publication of Competent To Counsel. I had begun an MA in counseling at Millersville State College. After completing the third course a fellow student said, “I’ll see in a couple weeks when we return to class.” My response was, “No, I’ll not be returning. I put everything I’ve read and heard into my theological sieve and it all ran out on the ground. There has to be a better way.” Several weeks later I read the book and concluded, “He is the man under whom I want to study.” And, nine months later the second occasion occurred, I began that journey three times back-to-back attending training seminar at CCEF. A year later Jay invited me to join the staff of CCEF part time. This worked into full time for a period of five years. These two actions on Jay’s part set the course of my ministry for these last fifty years. He started as my mentor, He became my coworker and my friend,. He became my encourager, by writing the forward to my first book.
I am forever grateful for Dr. Adams as he taught me to think biblically through his books and INS classes. May God comfort his family, friends and Dr. Arms.
I started reading books by Jay Adams back in 1976. I bought everything I could find and afford (tough times for a while). I still have them all. Those books are a treasure trove that I value highly. Jay Adams leaves a void that no one can fill. He was one of a kind. Thank you, Jay, for all you taught me in your books.
Still studying under Adams online. So thankful to have found his teachings – through a book John McArthur wrote. I have copies of many of his books – printed in the 70’s and are the most treasured books on my bookshelf. Such an influential person – with a phenomenal legacy. Thank you Lord for Jay Adams, please comfort his wife and family.
As a recovering addict, I found Jay’s Christian Counselors Manual in a box of donated books. It would soon change my life.
I was raised Christian but like many, I lost my way. After reuniting with Christ, the appointment of finding Jay’s manual meant I was able to find myself again. In this world you can not walk through it without knowing your identity. Thank you Jay for your manual of faith, hope, and truth.
I am eternally grateful for Jay and his clear, straightforward writing about counseling . . . after wandering in the “wilderness” of psychotherapy for far too many years! Love and blessings to Betty Jane and his family. Jay will be missed but I look forward to seeing him again in heaven. I can only imagine the reunion he is having with George “Skip” Scipione, another good friend.
I met Dr. Adams in 2006, at my first NANC conference . As a lay counselor, waiting to check out at the bookstore, I asked if he had any of his books translated into Chinese. He took down my name and address and said that he might still have a couple in his bookshelves. I received 4 books from him one week after the conference. His generosity and encouragement sure let to my decision to be certified. His love for the Lord ,the Word , and biblical counseling has inspired numerous people, and I am one of them.
THANK YOU for your devotion to the Word and its application in the counseling process.
Well done… rest in peace.
جی آدامز جنبهٔ عملی کلام را برای فارسی زبانان افشا نمود.
Jay Adams introduced the practical application of the Word of God to the Farsi speaking community:
خدا را شکر برای وجود او
Thank God for his Life
A true treasure and gift from God. Competent to Counsel influences me still.
I am grieving as I write this brief note. I met Jay in the early 70’s after growing up Catholic, studying world religions, being an atheist and getting saved! I knew the scriptures were sufficient through that journey and wanted to help others get saved and live better lives. I spent a couple years in deliverance ministry, then in charismaticism. I read most of the pastoral counseling books available in the early 70’s and was amazed that they were not scriptural! Then I read “Competent to Counsel’ and subsequently met Jay at the old summer Institutes at Gwnynedd Mercy in PA.
He changed my theology, and provided the wisdom to see the answers in scripture for every non-organic problem. He was my mentor in many ways and I’ve enjoyed spending time with him at his home and having him at mine twice when he spoke at our BCI annual conferences. Sorry this is longer than others (so far) but I miss him. May he enjoy hearing “Well, done, good and faithful servant” because he was exactly that.
I would not be where I am today if it had not been for Jay Adams. In 1984, the Lord called me to counsel, why I could not understand, but I knew that He was calling me. The first book that I ever read on Biblical Counseling was Competent to Counsel. It was the red hardcover book. I still have that book. Since that time, I have read every book that Jay Adams wrote. Today I have a Masters in Ministry in Biblical Counseling and a Doctorate in Theology, all due to the influence of Dr. Adams’s writings. I had taken many of the classes that he had written but never had the privilege of meeting Dr. Adams, now we will meet when I take my last journey and bow at the feet of Jesus. Thank you, Dr. Adams, you have made my life awesome, you showed me how to apply my faith.
IN HIS SERVICE
Dr. Linda Swafford
One of my greatest teachers, his work changed my life and enabled me to help many. I have had the privilege of traveling under the auspices of Godspeed Missionary Care helping missionaries and training national pastors in various locations around the globe. It was the foundation I received from Dr. Jay Adams that inspired my life and teaching. May Jay enjoy the presence of his Lord. Well done thou and faithful servant.
I shall remember and make note of this very important date today to remember Dr. Adams, though I did not know him personally, nor did I ever meet him face to face. However, his writings (books) and blog posts influenced my understanding of what is written in The Word. And, that, for me, is why I will remember him and the work he did all of these years. Condolences to all those closest to him!
Jay had a unique way to tie the Scriptures to the counseling sessions that removed much of the intimidation that most of us who felt inadequate to help people change.. Jay helped simplify what to most pastors and lay counselors deemed to be a daunting task of Christian counseling. His counseling material not only helped the one being counseled, but immeasurably helped the counselor in his own personal life. I will forever be grateful for Jay’s work!
I thank God for Dr. Jay Adams. His works invariably shaped and sharpened my life and ministry. I’m greatly blessed to be taught by him in counselling and preaching.
My first acquaintance with Dr. Adams was when, as a Bible college student, our curriculum book in Christian Psychology class was “Competent to Counsel”. That shaped my belief in the “sufficiency of Scripture” to address all of man’s inorganic (non-physical) needs. Like myriad others I’m grateful for Jay Adams’ life and ministry and for the many printed resources used so frequently in biblical counseling circles, past, present and future.
Thanks be to God for His gifts through Jay Adams which have been and still are so helpful and encouraging every new day. All glory to God alone!
Sorry for your loss and the loss to the world. Dr. Adam’s writings always pointed to the gospel and was a great influence for my spiritual growth.
So very thankful to God fir the life and ministry of Jay Adams. I and many others are in a vastly better place because of God Grace through him.
My life has been much influenced for the good by Jay Adams and his writings. I am eternally grateful.
Several books of Dr. Adams have been translated to German. Just yesterday we had a preacher’s meeting with instructions for the preachers. Dr. Adams was quoted many times.
His ministry lives on in many hearts and lifes – even in the distant and atheistic Germany. May the LOrd bless you!
I am very thankful that the Lord has used Dr. Adams’ writings to show me the need for Biblical Soul Care in the church.
He made counseling practical(and very effective) for the Christian minister and lay person, removing it from the exclusive role that the secularists essentially owned. He showed the world that the Scriptures are not just pious platitudes, but applicable to our daily lives-in so many different ways. Christendom will always owe him a debt of gratitude.
I was introduced to Jay Adams’ teaching at a critical point in my life. My husband of 20 years died and I was raising 2 young men, 12 and 17 yrs old. I enrolled in INS and completed the courses in 2013. I learned how practical the Scriptures are for daily life, therefore I had hope and endurance.
Thank you, Dr. Adams, for the encouragement you were to me and I hope has been to many others through me as I shared with them what I learned from you.
May God comfort your family as they rest in the perfect, completed work of Christ until they see you again on that day.
My husband and I just entered the world of biblical counseling this year. We have found Jay Adams work to be a virtually inexhaustible source of wisdom in this realm. May God continue to bless millions through his ministry!
In 1985, I was praying and looking for what God would have me do. Without realizing it, I was counseling church family who came to me with their problems – yet I didn’t realize what I was doing. This began to weigh on me and my wife because it was taking more and more of my time.
I met with my pastor, and told him what was going on. He asked, “Have you read any Jay Adams?” I told him I never heard of Jay Adams. He then said “You might read one of Jay’s books.” Shortly after, I saw a book with Jay’s name on it at a Christian book store and bought it. When I got home, I saw that the book was `Competent to Counsel!’ While reading the Forward I stopped and prayed, thanking God, for I knew this was the answer to my questions of what God wanted me do with my life.
I attended CCEF in 1990 and have been a Christian Counselor for the last 30 years. Though I’ve been physically distant and only personally interacted with Jay on 2-3 occasions, I have regarded him as my mentor and am grateful to God for his diligence in developing what had been dropped by too many pastors, the ministry of true Nouthetic Christian Counseling. I love you Jay and will miss knowing you’re `here,’ but one day… God does answer prayers; He used you to answer mine so many years ago. Thank you!
Clovis R Gentilhomme, Dir.
Christian Advocate Ministries
(A ministry of Counseling and Help)
Jay Adams has had a tremendous influence on my spiritual growth as a Christian and my ministry as a biblical counselor by his many published works. He is my most studied author. I find his writings extremely insightful, helpful, and hopeful, personally, and as I counsel others. I am deeply grateful for his clear teachings of Scripture with helpful steps of application that brings about true God honoring change.
Thank God for raising a standard in the defence of the faith in the area of biblical counselling based on the sufficiency of the scriptures. I have been studying and applying these biblical principles and practices and teaching them in our churches and bible colleges in Asia by the sovereign will of God. May we continue steadfast in the same spirit till our Lord returns. Rom 15:4
Dr. Adams impacted my life greatly through his books and INS. I wish I could have met him on earth. He is one of the great saints I will enjoy talking to and praising God with throughout eternity.
May God shower His peace on Dr. Adam’s family and friends as we all thank the Lord for blessing us with such a wonderful servant of God.
What a priviledge it was to study directly under Dr. Adam’s. His understanding of Scripture not only greatly enriched my life, but ministry as well.
I am so thankful to have read Jay’s books and to have known him personally. He reached out to me as a young church planter and was a great encouragement to me in the ministry. Whenever I called or emailed he was never too busy to respond. What a blessing he has been to me and to the church of the Lord Jesus! What a stalwart for the faith! What a diligent servant of the Lord!
Jay Adams had an incredible influence in my life— both as a one of the most incredibly gifted teachers in my life, and then for many years thereafter through his insightful and Christ centered books. We here on earth are so saddened by his parting, but what incredible rejoicing and celebration in heaven. Such joy for Dr. Jay Adams!
When asked to list the most influential books I’ve ever read, Competent to Counsel is always in the top 5, if not top 3 — along with Van Til’s The Defense of the Faith and Machen’s What Is Faith?.
Its specific impact on me was in approaching counseling and everything related from a Proverbs 1:7 perspective, beginning with the fear of Yahweh and not trying to mix and match human viewpoint with God’s word. Start with the Word, and stay with the Word.
Decades later, one of the great thrills of my life was having Dr. Adams read and positively review my books on the Gospel and on Proverbs. I read the first review while in Scotland, and was overjoyed that the man who had so influenced me found value in something I’d written.
What a wonderfully fruitful life Dr. Adams lived, what a dear servant of the Lord Jesus and His church. What a glorious rest he’s entered into, before the Lord he loved and served so faithfully.
May God raise up many, many more with Jay Adam’s heart.
Dr. Adam’s legacy in the field of nouthetic counseling is impossible to calculate. Above all, he brought the word of God to the people of God. I still remember a sermon he preached in the summer of 1984 on Phil 4 regarding anxiety and thoughts – “if you don’t know what true, noble, just, pure, and lovely things of good report to think about, then start a list of things to think about.”
Dr. Adams has finished the race well. His impact for the Kingdom of God will continue until that final day when we will see Jesus Christ forever. Another saint now sees the King of Kings, the Wonderful Counselor. Dr. Adams pastoral impact is vast for the church and for her purity and sufficiency of God’s Word in all that she does.
Each week, when I counsel, his impact in my life through his works, sermons, and pamphlets, illustrations and most importantly, my firm commitment to God’s Word being sufficient is a fruit of his faithful ministry to multitudes and to many who have taught and mentored me.
May we all continue to live to the glory of God, resting in Jesus Christ alone and wielding the Word of God with full confidence and hope that God will bring forth His fruit in our lives and our counselees. May we live CORAM DEO and glorify our King in all that we do.
My prayers are with his family and friends in this great loss on this side of Heaven.
I can’t express the gratitude I have for Dr. Adam’s. What a wonderful influence!
I’ve studied and used some of the counseling resources Dr. Adams wrote and published. Thank God for his ministry.
Obrigado Senhor pela vida do Pr Jay Adams. Que o Senhor console todos os familiares, a igreja e todos os que com ele convivia. Levante outros “Jay” para nossa geração. Pessoas que amam Tua Palavra e confiam em Ti. No nome de Jesus, Amém!
I loved reading his life story. I hope someone does a whole book on his life and the legacy he left.
I praise God for Dr Jay Adam’s. I did his counseling course online, it was very challenging and equipped me for a godly christain life and to help others.
I love you and am very grateful for your zeal for God’s truth.
Surely Dr. Jay Adams heard the words from his precious Lord and Savior, ” Well done. My good and faithful servant.”
What an incredibly gifted man. And he touched so many libes for Jesus, either directly or through the miriads of students and counselors that were blessed to be mentored by him. Not only was Dr. Adams one of the most intelligent individuals on the planet, he was also incredibly gracious, kind, and compassionate, And so humble.. He also was married to a precious woman who also manifests those same gentle qualities.. My iife was so greatly enhanced through the priviledge of sharing some of it with Dr. Jay Adams and his sweet bride, Betty Jane.
Your legacy lives eternally on, dear pillar and giant of the faith. Thank you for how you tremenfously nurtured and grew my own Christian pilgrimsge, as you also contributed so greatly to many many others.
Some of my fellow seminarians considered Jay simplistic and superficial, but his emphasis on Scripture and personal accountability always seemed right to me and help my parishioners more than anything else. I thank God for Dr. A’s wisdom and his ministry.
Ao receber a notícia do falecimento de Jay E. Adams, não resisti em vir escrever umas poucas e simples palavras sobre alguém que deixou um legado vasto e profundo.
Enquanto no século XX, a Igreja entregava o ministério de aconselhamento bíblico a profissionais guiados por princípios seculares e cheios de filosofias humanistas, Jay Adams, resgatava o ministério do aconselhamento bíblico centrado nas Escrituras.
Ele foi um profeta especialmente na área do Aconselhamento Bíblico, essa prática de vital importância para a Igreja, infelizmente abandonada por muitos.
Deixou um legado, um exemplo, um movimento e uma herança preciosa para a Igreja.
I was first introduced to Dr. Adams as a student 1975 at (Winnipeg Bible College) now Providence Bible College and Theological Seminary, Otterburne, Manitoba, Canada and Dr. Steve Masterson was the lecturer. ‘Competent to Counsel’ was my introduction to counselling and became the pivotal ground from which I learned further. Dr. Adams brief biography stimulates and challenges one to utterly invest their life in God. May his legacy strengthen the kingdom of God. To God be all praise and glory.
Thank God for Jay Adams, who had the gift to explain His Word applicable, livable for our times. The only way I can be a biblical counselor today – explaining God’s Word to counselees and helping them to experience the “Living Word” in their lives and live accordingly. I am always grateful!
Thank you Jay Adams. As a Pastor I knew many Pastors are missing the boat, counseling the flock. When I found Nouthetic Counseling, I found God’s guidance. May God bless Dr. Adams family and comfort them.
Around thirty years ago I had the privilege of attending a Christian counseling seminar in which Jay was one of the teachers. I was a cop at the time and since his father had been one also, we hit it off and had wonderful fellowship. About ten years later, I had the opportunity to teach at a prison chaplains conference in Lake Junaleska, NC with Jay. It was even more special to spend time with him and learn from him. He was a wonderful, down-to-earth individual who was unafraid to confront sin, incorrect thinking, and incorrect theology. He was truly a gift to the evangelical church.
I am so thankful I had the opportunity to sit under Jay’s teaching. His work and ministry made an indelible mark on my life and my ministry. So grateful for his writings that will be with us forever.
Rejoicing Jay has entered his rest.
Dr. Julie Ganschow
Great man, great ministry, greater legacy!
Well done Dr. Adams
Fresh out of seminary, I stepped into the pastorate of a small church in the summer of 1983. I was young and inexperienced, but enthusiastic about the ministry of the word of God. I soon encountered issues in the counseling room that were never discussed in the classroom. My seminary professors focused on biblical languages, exegetical methods, systematic theology, hermeneutics, biblical apologetics, and expository preaching. In those first years, I wondered if my education had been inadequate because we never spent time training in counseling theory and methodology. Then I read Competent to Counsel. Then the Christian Counselor’s Manual. I devoured The Christian Counselor’s Casebook soon thereafter. That was followed by What to Do on Thursdays and a long list of of other works by Dr. Adams. He helped me realize that my educators faithfully filled my “toolbox” with the only essential tools by which to engage in “the true care of souls.” Now, 37+ years later, I still pastor that same church and rejoice that I have been able to pass on to the Lord’s people confidence in the sufficiency of Scripture–not as an abstract theory, but as life-changing reality. I rejoice that Jesus’ prayer (John 17:24) has been answered in the life of our dear mentor, Jay Adams.
I thank God for the ministry of Dr. Adams and his courage to stand alone, at first, against the errors of secular psychology and its attempts to heal the soul, Though I never met him I have learned so much from him reagrding the practical application of the scriptures in pastoral ministry. Thank you Dr. Adams. I praise the Lord for how he used you.
I was introduced to Dr Jay E Adams and INS through Dr Kevin Backus when he was in SIngapore.
Through that event, my life in Christ and ministry has been nothing but a blessing of God.
I am thankful that I can still “fellowship” with Dr Adams through his writings and podcasts. In a sense, he is still with me.
Thanks to all for making the books and his lessons available.
My wife and I are very grateful for his service to the body of Christ. He taught the Scriptures boldly and plainly. He loved people well by actually helping them work through their problems in a way that honors God. He suffered reproach for being faithful to our God and challenging and correcting error and compromise. I am selfishly sad about the news but happy for him today!
Thank you for this write up on Jay Adams.
I’ve received reassurance and deeper convincing of the sufficiency of Scriptute in that The Word, Jesus Christ, “IS” the Answer for every problem that people have.
Thankful that Jay answered God’s call and glorified Him, helping and teaching numerous needy ones!
I am so thankful to have meet Jay E Adams through his books. He has enlarged my understanding as a pastoral counselor and pastor. My bookshelf is lined with some of his books. That I refer back to quite often. We , as the body of Christ has lost a great and gifted Man in the field of Christian counseling.
Praising God for the life and legacy of Dr. Jay Adam’s! I was in the last class to be certified as a NANC counselor, and I am so happy that is true. Neuthetic counseling changed my life as a counselee and it continues to change my life as an ACBC counselor. The counseling model endorsed by Jay Adam’s from 2 Timothy 3:14-17 is the one I continue to use.. God was indeed greatly honored through the life of Jay Adam’s. My sincere prayers are for God’s comfort and grace for his wife and family. I rejoice for Dr. Adams’ victory. His earthly race was finished with endurance in faith and obedience, modeling great love for God and others..
Love in Christ,
Dr Jay Adams had a profound influence on me since I discovered his books many years ago. It helped me to understand my own battles with persistent sins in my life. And it continues to inspire me to reach out to others who are suffering from the devastating side effects of psychology. Thank you Dr Adams – you sparked in me a love for God’s word and His simple yet powerful answers to our most complex issues.
So thankful for the life and work of Dr. Adams. In 1979 I was in a secular university Master’s level class. I had only been a Christian for about three years. I knew what I was learning was wrong, but didn’t know what was right! Thankfully, my sister (a believer) send me Competent to Counsel. I knew immediately this was what I was looking for, and at that point biblical counseling became my passion. I have been counseling for over 20 years now and am indebted to Dr. Adams for the helpful, practical tools he has published. He was a true pioneer, for which I am very grateful.
Not a week goes by that I don’t reflect on and thank God for the years we spent with Jay, Bill, Betty and Heather in Greenville. Besides his clear and insightful preaching of the Word, Jay was an incredible man to know–the real deal- the evidence of things not seen. His words will live on as the beacons of truth that they are as he rightly divided the word of truth. It is wonderful to think of him with Jesus–but hard to go on here without him.
Thank you Mr Adams. You have truly touched me in a profound way. Your knowledge of scripture and how to apply to counseling is immeasurable.
Um ícone que resgatou a suficiência das Escrituras! Ninguém pode duvidar que Jay Adams foi um instrumento de Deus para mostrar a nós Cristãos o fato de que estamos desprezando a Palavra de Deus. Deus formou tudo pela Sua Palavra. Jesus foi o verbo vivo. Rejeitar e desprezar a Palavra é igual a rejeitar e desprezar Deus. Foi por isso que Saul perdeu seu reinando e foi a ruína.
Obrigado Deus pela legado de seriedade e respeito pelas Escrituras que Jay Adams nos deixa.
Jay Adams. Pastor de muchos.Maestro que sobrepasó fronteras, idiomas y culturas. Pero sobre todo, instrumento del Espiritu Santo para aconsejar al creyente.
I was given a copy of the Christian Counselor’s Manual in the mid-1970’s while I was still in seminary at Bob Jones University. It clinched my commitment that this was how theology was to make a difference in the believer’s life. I began reading everything Jay wrote and had opportunity to visit with him from time to time through the years. I will be eternally grateful for his pioneer and ongoing works that laid the foundation for the biblical counseling movement. He love for his Lord, his Lord’s Word, and his Lord’s people was always evident. May God help each of us to be as clear and courageous about the sufficiency of the Scriptures for the development of Christlikeness in redeemed people.
Jay Adams was my homiletics professor at Westminster where I studied from fall 1965 to spring 1968. At that time I did not know of his interest in biblical counseling. Years later I became certified with NANC, and Competent To Counsel was foundational for my commitment to thoroughly biblical counseling. That is still true, and I have been disturbed by the denigration of Adams by some supposedly biblical counselors. I praise God for his influence in my life and for his foundational contribution to biblical counseling.
When I pioneered a residence counseling ministry for the young men and women at BJU in 1974, Jay’s first 2 books, Compotent to Counsel and CCM were my guides to keep me in Biblical counseling to help those young Christians. I am eternally grateful for the Lord’s leading Jay to provide the practical, biblical, systematic tools for counseling. May the Lord continue to raise up counselors that care eough to confront for Biblical change.
What a man full of God’s wisdom. His words “When is a door not a door? When it’s ajar!” Always made me laugh I and looked for his point in the conversation. Thank you Lord for giving him the wisdom to teach and publish so many great, useful books. He will be greatly missed!
Jay Adams was my homiletics professor at Westminster where I studied from fall 1965 to spring 1968. At that time I did not know of his interest in biblical counseling. Years later I became certified with NANC, and Competent To Counsel was foundational for my commitment to thoroughly biblical counseling. I praise God for his influence in my life and for his foundational contribution to biblical counseling.
My husband and I attended a couple NANC counselling courses in Oregon several years back & we were blessed ! God used Dr. Adams throughout his life & not just in the counselling areas …we will be glad to actually meet him up in heaven when our Time comes. We pray God’s peace and comfort for his family.
What a picture of enlightenment and illumination Jay Adams was given to display to the lower world. Forever passionately sharing through the record of scripture concerning Christ and His church . To be NANC trained and ACBC certified is a precious providence. Thank you God our Father for your fabulous servant Jay Adams!
Clearly, Jay was God’s man for what needed to happen in the 20th century post modern church, mired in a culture now saturated with psychology. Jay was called by God to put on his overalls, hook the plow up to the mule, and go out into the ecclesiastical field and break ground for the sake of our King and His authoritative, all-sufficient Word. It was hard labor, picking rocks, pulling stumps, but Jay was the man for the job. He was indefatigable. Even though he was up against an onslaught of opposition from psychologists and integrationists, I never saw an ounce of ‘fear of man’ in him; nor did I ever see any pride. Jay was a humble approachable, fearless, hard-working, biblical scholar. And I miss his humor. Jay was prolific. Regarding his many thin, succinct, straight-to-the-point books he used to tell us, “I’m only plowing the ground. The rest of you that come after me need to expand on the topics.” Well Jay, as I look around me to see the hundreds and hundreds of authors that have flourished since those early days, your prayers have been answered. The field you were called upon to develop is now grown with an abundance of fruit for all of us to benefit from. Thank you dear brother for all you were as a man of God and for all you taught us. Til we see you again!
A mentor — a friend — an encourager to me in my life and ministry,. Thank you, Gracious Lord, for Jay’s commitment to your Word!
I took a course on cults with Jay Adams beginning in January 1970.
It met in his home and he called it, “At Home with the Cults.”
It was perhaps the most entertaining and memorable course I ever took. He was a master communicator.
I read Jay’s “Theology of Christian Counseling” in 2011 and it led to be becoming a certified biblical counselor and leader in our church’s ACBC-certified training center.
All of his other writings that I have read have been helpful, too, and a joy to read. He was a lion for the faith and will be missed. Thank the Lord that there are others the Lord has raised up and continues to raise up in his footsteps. Praise God for Jay Adams.
I am saddened by his passing… but happy he is with his Lord! I learned so much from him. He was a great teacher, author, mentor and Biblical scholar. But most of all he was a great man of God!
Thankful for Jay for 48 years, even more thankful today. Prayerful for those with a temporary gulf in their lives.
God used Jay Adams to bless my life and counseling. I use the Christian Commentary all the time to prepare for counseling others. He gives such clarity and depth to every verse of the New Testament Scripture. His other books are also written in a practical manner making application very clear. Thank you Lord for the gifting you gave Jay Adams . He has been a great teacher and was a faithful servant. Praying for the family that is left behind as they grieve his absence until they meet again. May God strengthen them for each day.
As a USAF pilot stationed in Germany in 1978, we were “encouraged” to get a Masters Degree. I chose Guidance & Counseling from Ball State – totally secular. I came across Competent to Counsel which was my life line to give comparing views from a biblical point. The professors did not like this and one tried to eliminate me from the program. Somehow, I graduated. Since then my wife and I have gained our ACBC certifications and I received my MABC from Southern Baptist Theo Seminary. We counsel returning vets with PTS(D) as well as church and community folks. It all began with Adams’ book, his life style and example. He was a true warrior for the Lord!!
First time I met Dr. Jay Adams, I just know he could see the stars in my eyes as I approached at Westminster West… so he shattered the pedestal I’d already erected for him by adorning his face with a huge smile, reaching for my hand with both of his, and saying with gusto: “If I’d had a red beard, I’d have had it all!”
It was a perfect way to put the encounter back on the level of man to man, rather than worshipper to idol. Well done, faithful servant. Well done.
Jay Adams’ faithfulness and passion for God’s Word has permanently changed my life. I can’t say thank you enough. Diane Poff
I thank God for the ministry of Pastor Adams. He was truly a blessing!
✝️ I am privileged and BLESSED to be among the minions of those enriched by his ministry, wisdom, discernment, and prolific teaching. Matt. 25:21!
In 2007, i had a “nervous breakdown” and was placed on xanax for about a year. The next year, i found myself in the room of a psychiatrist who diagnosed me as someone with OCD and depression.
And then I met Dr. Jay Adams through his book, Competent to Counsel.
My mind was blown away. I could have gone mental had it not been for his booķ.
I met Dr Adams in 1983 in Potchefstoom, South Africa.
He had an enormous influence on my counselling: God has all the answers – in His Word!
I am so so grateful for Dr Adams’ life and ministry. Reading his books and interacting with him over the years brought deep blessing to me and my family. I pray the Lord will comfort his family and friends now.
So sorry for the loss of Dr Adams. Great teacher. I attended his class at Moore S.C.
I saw this and it was almost like a kick in the gut. As a Bible college student in the mid 70s I had Competent to Counsel as a textbook. I still have my copy.
Rest well, Dr. Adams. You’re now in the presence of the king!
I can’t number how many times I applied his principle of putting off and putting on. To put off without putting on will be temporary. Whereas to put on without putting off will be hypocritical.
What an amazing story of a man that did so much for the Lord. I”m so thankful for his work and his ministry and for all he taught me.
I know with his teachings and the love he had for the Lord that he will be hearing…. Well done, faithful servant. Well done.
Jay Adam’s was indeed a trail-blazer. RIP
May the gracious Lord bless his soul and his family.
There was a time I didn’t know how to do counseling by using Scriptures. I didn’t even know if it was possible! The books of Jay Adams changed all of that!
Dear Brother! See you on the other side of the river!
I am grateful for the work and ministry of Jay E Adams. I read his book “Competent to counsel” when I was a student in the 80’s and it made a lasting impression.
Our prayers are with you as his family and colleagues.
Prof. Barbara Louw, South Africa
I had bought into it all – that psycho mumbo jumbo. I’m so glad that Jay taught me that there was another way to see mental health issues and not as hopeless pathologies. Jay treated mental health like a boss but lived his life as a servant. His works and insight were original, true, and helpful. He sure didn’t waste his life.
Just a few hours ago, I was using Jay’s A-Thirst-For Wholeness to teach my congregation in Taichung, Taiwan! I admired him of his undaunted champion the Word of God as sufficiency for all areas of Christian living. Words cannot express how his impact was upon my life and ministry. I am also grateful that I can translate several of his books into Mandarin by the permission from INS. RIP.
To my departed distant mentor:
You may not, and will not ever, know me personally. I am one among the people here that was blessed by your ministry.
I have grown, like you, from an environment with a twisted knowledge about man – no sense of accountability and holding to many psychological systems. My eyes were opened from being a “behaviorist” under the tutelage of a known mentor. In fact, I used it to exalt Christ in my ministry back then. But I was terribly wrong – I did neither recognized nor used the sufficiency and authority of the Word of God.
Through you, I first learned that “counseling” is God’s way to restore people, just as mending nets, back to ministry. This is far different from what was taught to me. Reading your Casebook on Biblical Counseling is a written testimony of the richness of your counseling experience in various problems.
That is why I want to thank you for your outstanding contributions in Christ name. You may not read this anymore, but I am a blessed recepient, sharing the same gratefulness of those people you’ve helped distantly. You may not bring the accolades, but I believe that he greatest prize you would ever receive is the precious smile of our Savior, along with the singing angelic host, welcoming you as good and faithful servant.
I am glad that you left a generation, whose eyes were opened about what’s happening in the field of psychology and counseling. You have left us an example, just as how you imitated Christ. Here on this side of the world – Philippines – the work of Biblical Counseling might be as a small seed that is waiting to flourish, surrounded by the thistles and thorns brought by worldly systems. But you have left us something to remember and remind ourselves: That by the endurance and encouragement of the Scriptures, we might have hope (Rom 15:4), and we are competent to counsel one another (Rom 15:14).
Thank you, Dr. Adams.
Till Christ’s return.
Emmanuel I. Tamargo
Thank you Lord for using your servant, Jay Adams, to impact my life.
I was a student of Jay Adams in the years 1969-1972 at Westminster Seminary, Philadelphia, in the areas of Counseling and Homiletics (how to preach), and I learned a lot from him. I thank God for him and for what I learned! The beginning of true wisdom in these areas is not humanistic immanent (non-transcendent) thinking, but the clear teaching of the Christ-centered Word of God, the Bible! Lord, be with Jay’s family at this time of loss…
Jay Adams’ life is a testimony of how God works through His people and gives gifts that continue to bless others. I am thankful to Jay Adams and his ministry. May God give comfort and peace to those who were
close to him.
As a full time Biblical counselor, Dr. Adams has done more for my counseling clarity, direction, and foundation than any other teacher I have ever encountered. He taught me what it meant to “turn my face toward God”.
We promote nutethic counseling in the Russian-speaking world based on the work of Jay Adams and CCEF. From the bottom of our hearts we are grateful to God for the prophetic voice of Jay, which God so mightily used to develop the practical theology of biblical soul-care.
Jay and Betty Jane took my husband George Scipione and our five children into their home and hearts.
He was a big teddy bear, not the harsh dogmatic persona others declared him to be.
Jay was unafraid of what others thought of him. Only the Word was his guide.
I will miss you Jay.
By God’s grace and providence I became a Westminster student in 1974. Those of us that were interested in counseling understood that we were participating (as students) in the front end of a revolutionary movement in counseling. (There was no mistaking it: Dr Adams was leading the charge with unshakable wisdom and vigor!) Exciting, to say the least.
I’m extremely grateful to God for raising up Dr.
I was privileged to meet Dr. Adams in the 1970s and subsequently read COMPETENT TO COUNSEL. It was a book very helpful to me in 50+ years of teaching in high school. I am currently reading THE GRAND DEMONSTRATION and finding its truth and clarity amazing. Thank you for sharing about his life; it was a life well-lived and one that will live on in the here and now through his writings.
The counseling my wife Sharon and I impart to people we counsel is due to Dr. Jay Adams. If you love the Word of God and believe it its sufficiency and efficacy to address the whole of man through Nouthetic Counseling, then the body of Christ owes a debt of gratitude to this man and the ministry God has entrusted to him.
He [Dr. Jay Adams] being dead, still speaks (through his writings and sermons)!
May God’s grace and peace comfort and overwhelm the Adams family in their season of sadness and loss of their beloved.
Dr. Adams’ books were incredibly instrumental in bringing me out of a long journey from death, darkness, and despair unto life in the Spirit, from a darkness that was so thick and pervasive it’s a wonder that any soul could ever even continue to exist and not be completely obliterated into nothingness, to a life in Christ Jesus that is full of light, joy, and peace beyond anyone’s expectation and adequate description. Regrettably, even the church was unable to accomplish what Dr. Adams did through his writings. Praise God through Jesus Christ for His good and faithful servants! The church needs more just like Dr. Adams.
After 43 years I still have a burning desire to read every one of Dr. Adams’ books and to this day maintain a desire to push forward into a ministry of biblical counseling. Lord willing, I will do just that.
Thank you, Dr. Adams and may God continue to richly bless your work and your family.
Jay’s influence through his preaching, teaching, and writing had a life changing affect in my walk with the Lord. Praise the Lord! I will remember most how he preached and taught with confidence in the authority and sufficiency of scripture. I’m thankful that he has gained his final reward for a life so well lived. I will miss our talks, and his wit. He was my friend and I loved him.
While I never knew Dr. Adams, I felt as though I did. Few men have been so much of a blessing to God’s people.
Unless you were a theology student or pastor, it’s hard to relate just how much of a revolution “Competent to Counself” created. I met Jay as a seminary student in 1974. He was easily the most popular guest lecturer, and both grads and undergrads would flock around him. If you saw a group of students and professors standing in a circle, Jay would be in the middle. Later, he invited me into the doctoral program at Westminster, California, and was my initial faculty advisor for my dissertation. No one had a bigger impact in both preparing sermons and delivering them. He also taught me in counseling, and later mentored me in my own counseling situations that were difficult. He was a true prince, one of the finest men of God anyone could know. He was full of life, a true “force of nature”; and having known him, it will be difficult to imagine life down here without him. I now work as a pastoral trainer in China and Africa, sharing with pastors what he taught me.
All praise to God for Dr. Adams and his ministry in counseling and preaching and for the biblical approach to both that he taught me and many others! He was never half hearted about any of it and creatively plowed soil that had gone unturned in our times. I recall being surprised when he said his work on preaching was really the focus of his ministry, not only counseling! I’m thankful for Opportunities to study under him at both Westminsters!
Please tell George Hi from Ed Gross.
I was privileged to sit under Dr. Adams teaching at redeemer Presbyterian in South Carolina. Both as a teacher and as a friend he showed himself to care about me, about pastors, and about believers understanding the sufficiency of the word God for the work of God to the glory of God. His humor, his scholarship, his consistency, his trust in the Lord, allWe’re great examples! I hated to hear of his passing, but I’m so very thankful that he is in the presence of the One he served and who redeemed him for his purposes!
Thank you for your years of service and influence on my walk and life and thus those I’ve been blessed to minister to as well. Thank you to the family which shared him with us, that many other families would be blessed and grounded on the Rock as well!
I am a layman, one who has participated in a two (2) year course on Nouthetic Counseling. During this two years, I attended a seminar featuring Dr. Jay Adams and his teaching. Little did I know that God was preparing me to be of help for many (i.e., in industry and in prison ministry). Jay Adams is one of the giants that God placed upon this earth, to be a blessing in his Church and beyond. May he rest in peace.
As a young pastor, I knew that what was taught about counseling and what the Bible said were two different things. When I read Competent to Counsel, it was an affirmation of what I knew was consistent with the Word. Thanks for your faithfulness to accurately divide the Word and to help others to become more like Christ!
God has used the work of Jay Adams to enlighten many about the essential need and absolute superiority of Scripture for transforming lives. The biblical counseling community owes Jay a debt of gratitude for his prolific study and the impressive library he produced, but also for his remarkably humble strength. I knew him to be eager to talk about his conclusions, particularly with those who disagreed, so he kept growing in understanding and application of truth without sacrificing biblical authority. He encouraged all of us to grow in Christ. May all who name the Name of Jesus learn from his example!
I praise God for Jay Adams and his ministry. He made an important impression on my life and my thought. I am grateful that I was able to know him and sit under his teaching. Dr. Adams was a unique individual whom God marvelously used. Although we will miss him and his ministry here on earth, I rejoice greatly that Jay Adams is now in the presence of the Lord. “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. (Psalms 116:15)”
It was wonderful to
be connected to this Man of God. His books
were among the ones required for my studies. Thank God for his productivity.
As a psychology major and then a first year student in a liberal theological seminary, in God’s providence, I obtained and read Competent To Counsel. As a result the ‘lights came on’ in my mind and heart, I was changed, my theology refocused on what was Biblical and consistently taught in the Word, and I abandoned the attempt to blend psychology and the Bible into a counseling system that was ‘Christian’. I learned from Jay that the attempt to integrate those two opposing perspectives was like trying to combine oil and water. Because of his influence I read virtually all of his books, and have given them out to students, church members, and counselees over the years. He prophetically saw through much that was being offered by the secular world, and the resulting lack of Biblical hope they set forth. The urgency to make Biblical counseling and shepherding a vital part of pastoral ministry has forever changed my life and teaching. I was privileged to meet Jay and talk with him on several occasions. At his last public appearance at the NANC conference, members who wished to meet and have a picture made with him were scheduled. I told him that I was one of his many converts from secular psychology. We had a brief but great visit, and after the picture he looked at me and said with great enthusiasm, ‘Alright counselor, get out there and get after them’! Grateful he now enjoys the incomparable blessing of worship and unceasing fellowship with our Redeemer!
What a man…What a brother!
His humility and kindness were even greater than his gigantic Biblical acumen.
My Gratitude and Tribute to Dr. Jay
It is with respectful and humble regard that I voice my deep appreciation for the life and ministry of Dr. Jay E. Adams. He has been a mentor to me for years. I have had the privilege to be with him several times in various settings…many of those times were sitting in a little Italian restaurant in Enoree, S.C. enjoying a little food and a whole lot of wisdom as he responded to questions from a small group of eager, inquisitive pastors around the table. He would always get the plain cheese pizza by the way. We actually sat with him at that very table 10 years ago and celebrated his 80th birthday.
I have also had the privilege to sit under his teaching ministry on several occasions as well. Much of his influence, however, has been because of his prolific pen. He has the unique ability to specifically address the very issues faced by young and old pastors alike…not in theoretical, hypothetical, or merely academic ways, but in ways that bring the text to the milieu (one of his favorite words) of life and ministry.
His practical grasp of Scripture has been a constant resource and wealth of help to me over several decades of ministry. His ability to exegete God’s word accurately and explain it in a clear, simple, concise and useable form is exactly what I needed, especially as a young, growing pastor. As one has stated, it is easy to be hard to understand…it is hard to be easy to understand. Dr. Jay’s teaching is easy to understand. He puts the cookies on the bottom shelf so they are easily accessible.
One of the very first books I read was A Call to Discernment. Choosing that one first was providential. It was lying on someone’s desk. I simply picked it up and began reading. It was amazing to see the clarity with which he wrote. That was just the beginning of his influence in my life. Many of his works have become some of my “go to” resources, especially now that my focused ministry is devoted primarily to training the next generation of pastors.
One of the projects that Dr. Jay and I have done as sort of a collaborative effort is to produce and publish many study guides (student guides and teacher’s answer keys) to some of his most helpful works. These are available at churchliferesources.net. Also, Dr. Jay was more than willing to offer his suggestions to one of the books I wrote – Pastors Train Pastors in the Context of Pastoral Ministry. And he has granted permission to use some of his works in my current ministry…Equipping Nationals Worldwide. His generosity to share what he has labored to produce is both a blessing and a rebuke. He has given without asking for or expecting anything in return. Another case in point of his generosity is evident in the seminary where I have recently completed a doctoral program in theology and counseling. Two to three decades ago he and pastor Bill Goode set its counseling program up because the seminary wanted a strong, nouthetic model as their foundation. He essentially did it for nothing and allowed them to use and benefit from his labors and materials.
One of the criticisms that has swirled around through the years is that Dr. Jay’s counseling model is too behavioristic. It is focused on external function and doesn’t emphasize the inner man/the heart enough. Without going into an extremely long defense against that criticism, I’ll just say, whoever may think that about him simply has been either misinformed, has misunderstood his writings, has not paid good attention to his writings or has not read enough of what he has written. Of course, the driving motive for righteous living is to please God. Of course, the goal for living obediently is one’s love for God primarily. Of course, the believer, as he grows, makes it his ambition to please God with his thoughts, words, and ways. Of course, to honor God in a thorough way, one examines his heart considering Scripture. You can’t read Dr. Jay long without seeing his appeal for heart motivated thought and life. As a matter of fact, one of his most helpful books on preaching is titled: Preaching to the Heart, a subject I’ve never seen another author deal as directly with and as thoroughly as he.
One of the very noticeable, and much appreciated, attributes of Dr. Jay is his availability. He is approachable and touchable by the ordinary, average man. The little pastor can get an audience with him. He is easy to get to because he is willing to be gotten to. He has never played “Big Shot” or made himself too important to minister to the little guy in need of assistance, help or resources.
Once, while attending a conference in which he was speaking, I saw him walking alone down a hall. I asked what he was doing for lunch. He said he had no plans so I invited him over to my son’s home (where I was staying for the conference). This was much to the surprise of my daughter-in-law. However, she made it happen. We had grilled chicken and Dr. Jay was right at home…fitting in like he belonged there.
I don’t think I have ever known a more formally educated and practically astute man. In theological conversation, you clearly see and appreciate that. In fellowship, it is never a barrier or hindrance. He is for the pastor in every way.
Once in a conversation regarding writing, books, etc., he said to me: “There are many books out there written for the masses…lots of fluff being doled out. But my focus has been to write for the forgotten man, the pastor.” And I can honestly say from personal conversations as well as reading scores of his works, he does write with the pastor in mind. He is a shepherd to the shepherds. His influence will always be woven into the fabric of my life, family, and ministry.
He has spoken extensively and written several books on preaching. Preaching with Purpose being the first one of them I read. My article intentionally reflects, as a small way of honoring him, nuances of his ideas regarding homiletic structure. Much of his instruction in this area has been formative for me, is part of my own methodology and has become part and parcel of my training the next generation in this area of ministry. One of the most impacting components of his homiletical model is discovering the telic (purposive) thrust of the text (what is God’s purpose for giving this text and what He expects His people to do based on it), not merely the theme. One cues the pastor/teacher to preach the word, the other cues him to lecture. One presses the responsibility to embrace and obey the text to please God, the other tends to academically inform. One is a truth-to-life ministry of the word, the other tends to focus on dispensing information to be learned.
Thank you, Dr. Jay, for your life and ministry!
As a new believer studying Psychology at Ohio State, reading Jay’s Competent to Counsel changed the course of my life. As a professor of biblical counseling Jay regularly met with me and small groups of my graduate students, often handing out his books as gifts, always encouraging them in their commitment to Christ and His Word. I thank the Lord for using Jay to influence many lives, including mine.
What a privilege it was to be in the first class of D.Min. students under Dr. Adams at Westminster Seminary. I learned things from him that I put into practice for the rest of my ministry, and am now teaching to other seminary students. His Godly legacy will live on for many generations!
I was first introduced to Jay Adams through the books and counseling notes of my father. My father was pastoring in the late ‘60’s until 1982 when the Lord took him home. Of interest was the handwritten notes my father had of a seminary series Jay has given in the spring of ‘72. As a later attended the same seminary I still has my father’s books and notes. I am thankful to the Lord to be in the stream of the sufficiency of the Word (third generation).
Jay’s writings have always had a special place in my own heart as a lover of the Greek language. I’ve always appreciated Jay’s attention to the text. May the fire he tended continue to burn for generations to come!
May his family, friends, and the extended counseling community know the Lord’s comfort at this time (2 Cor 1:3-5)
As I continue to work on my teaching text…Jesus Christ. Lord of all Nations…there is one line of data input titled -God’s Interventions-…I believe that Jay has demonstrated considerable evidence that would lead me to include him in that category…God having used him to intervene in our lives with His all-powerful Word. May we all continue to grow in grace as we continue to study God’s Word through the works of Dr..Jay Adams.
Jay was the father of my counseling. Looking forward to chatting with him in Glory!
I met Jay Adams as a brand-new believer in January 1951. I was a second year Medical student at the University of Maryland Medical school. Two weeks after joining Chapelgate Lane United Presbyterian Church, Jay took me “street preaching” to sailors coming on shore at Baltimore Harbor. He taught me courage from day 1. Later in Pittsburgh, PA, he led a street teaching team from the seminary. Then he groomed me to lead the team the next while I was a second year seminary student. Again, lessons in courage and leadership. I shall be forever grateful for those early lessons, He was my model for years to come, especially as a missionary in Pakistan. I was two yers older than Jay, but gladly became one of his disciples. I am still in active in Ministry to Muslims, thanks to those early formative years In sharing Christ so boldly with Jay.
I only met Jay Adam’s once in real life but he was even more alive to me in his writings. His work started me on my journey in Biblical Counseling and I am so grateful to him for that. This statement in this tribute sums it up: “Mowrer provided the bulldozer Adams needed to clear the site upon which he would build a counseling system from building materials in the Scripture”. And what a building it has become! Thanks, Dr Adams, you did a great job!
Thank God for this man and his ministry! Prayers for his loved ones and closest friends, especially his wife. I heard him preach, teach and read much of his writings. I spoke with him personally and briefly once and he was so very humble and gracious to me and my husband.
I had the distinct privilege and honor of taking biblical counseling courses under Dr..Adams. in 2005 and 2006. I was a fairly new believer and his writings and teaching gave me a new confidence that God’s word really did have all of the answers for life’s problems. Our first year he was a bit tougher on us challenging us and challenging our understanding of the word. By the second year his demeanor softened a bit and he sat down in the classroom and it felt more like a grandfather passion on his wisdom to his beloved grandchildren. I learned so much in those two years and God has used those things mostly in my own life but also in my parenting, marriage and with a few others He has brought my way. I wept when I heard this precious man had died because we have lost a hero of the faith and it seems so few have followed in his footsteps, I wept for his family for I know they will miss him most of all. But for him I rejoice that he has finished his race and is on to his reward. Thank you God for this man and all you did through him.
Thank you Dr. Adams for rescuing me from Christian psychology, for teaching me that I had a “duty” to obey God and that I was not a victim of the past. Your teachings set me free to trust and obey!! You are one of my greatest spiritual heroes. There is no way to measure the impact you have had on my life. Enjoy your reward!!
My husband is a pastor. It is hard to find words sufficient to express the impact Jay Adams has had in our ministry. We first heard him at an ACSI conference over 30 years ago. Tom picked up his book Competent to Counsel and that was the beginning of changing our entire philosophy of counseling. I am so thankful to have sat under his teaching both at NANC Conferences and through the Institute.. His love of scriptures, his compassion for people, his unwavering commitment to rightly divide the Word of God, his humble spirit, his sense of humor, his honesty, the clarity of his teaching, his love for pastors and desire to help them in their ministries – all of these things and more stood as a blessing and an encouragement to us to follow his example of steadfast humble service. We will miss him. I cannot even imagine how much his wife and family will miss him. What a comfort it must be to know his influence will continue to impact so many thousands upon thousands down through the generations. Sharon Balentine
To the Adam’s family,
May Our Precious Lord be your comforter in hard times and be present with you.
Thank you for sacrificing so much over the years of Dr. Adam’s presence and allowing him to minister to us!
Decades ago I bought both C C and the counselors manual and very judgmentally decided he was lacking in love and put them back up on my shelf. ( I reluctantly confessed this to him years later when I got to meet him.) Maybe 20+ years later, Our pastor invited me to a conference and I realized my huge error. After that I bought everything I could and absorbed all I could. TY, TY, TY, my brother for sharing and opening our eyes in a way I believed but couldn’t use previously, of the complete sufficiency of Scriptures together with the Holy Spirit. We love you brother and look forward to spending eternity with you and our Lord. Again, Thank You!
He was a shining light to all of us. I am grateful that the LORD led me to discover Dr. Adams’ work. Nothing I can write can come close to express my gratitude and my wish to honor Dr. Adams. I am saddened by his passing. May the LORD open people’s eyes and led even more faithful to his teaching.
Condolences to the family for the loss. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. May he rest in peace.
I am so thankful for Jay and his service to God.
In High School, I was handed a copy of Competent to Counsel by an elder. At the time, I had no context for what I was reading, but was compelled.. As a student at Westminster Seminary California, I was able to study under Jay and his protege, George “Skip” Scipione. For the last 20 years, I’ve been pastoring that church in Eighty Four that Jay led out of the United Presbyterian Church. It is a PCA now. Jay preached at our 50th anniversary. He will be missed. I’m certain he and Skip are having their old conversations (and new ones). When we get to heaven, it won’t be hard to find Jay. His voice carries. To the glory of God.
Our one year study at Redeemer ARP counseling classes with Dr. Adams and others was and is today a great help in the ministry. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. Dr. Adams surely “fought a good fight.” May God’s blessing continue on the ministry.
Pastor Daniel G. Waters of Good News Baptist Church, Greer, SC
Jay’s books transformed my marriage. His assistance helped me and Hilton Terrell to establish our work in medical ethics. He published one of my books, and we did conferences together. He was a great friend, brother in Christ, and a vigorous encourager. With a few more, Christians would again turn world upside down and advance the Kingdom of God
Well, I am pleased and amazed at the large number of comments. Every word is deserved by this Godly man.
I have been a nouthetic counselor for ten years now and have often turned to Jay’s books for help. And! I have always found exactly what I needed.
So, Dr. Adams, and family, I wish you all God speed in your endeavors. I am certain that Jay is enjoying his chats with the saints in his new eternal home with Jesus..
I hope he doesn’t try to teach them to counsel. But I’m sure he could.
His work taught me, the least of these, and has provided a decade of adventure, heartaches, and joy,
Thank you Jay.
A fitting tribute, brother Bill. Depths of gratitude to Jay Adams, and also to the men who are faithful to Scripture in the counseling ministry. I owe a great deal to you as well for making me a third generation disciple of thoroughly biblical counseling. Second Timothy 2:2 at work..
The Lord called me to the field of Biblical Counseling in 2007 and when I began my studies in 2008, Competent to Counsel was the first text I interacted with. The Lord used Dr. Adams in a powerful way to guide His calling toward His Truth found in His Scriptures. God bless the continued influence of Dr. Adams and many others who have come after him!
I was led to the Lord by my first pastor in 1982 when I was 32. Having struggled greatly with severe depression for over a decade prior to salvation, I soon asked my pastor if he could help me learn how to deal with my depression. In my first counseling appointment, my pastor gave me Jay’s booklet on overcoming depression. It confronted me with truth that began to quickly transform my life as my counseling continued. One thing led to another and I have been now been our church’s staff biblical counselor for 18 years. And I still use the same depression booklet successfully with counselees. I am deeply grateful to God for raising up Jay Adams to be used so mightily in transforming countless lives for both salvation and sanctification. Only eternity will reveal the extent to which the Lord used him in setting people free from spiritual bondage.
My heartfelt condolences to the near and dear ones. I came to learn about Biblical counselling in 2012 and I was fascinated and wondered-Why did I not learn about it earlier? Who was the person who started the movement. I always had a desire to meet Jay E. Adams in person, but hopefully will meet him on the other side. I have been immensely blessed by Biblical counselling. I am thankful and grateful to Jay Adams who started this movement. He will be missed. May God comfort the near and dear ones who are grieving.
I was first introduced to Mr. Adams materials when I was fifteen years old and my pastor had me read “What To Do About Worry”, to help me prepare for my future in high-school and beyond. Twenty-two years later, I went through the complete Nouthetic Counseling after suffering an emotional breakdown when a major crisis turned my life upside down. Learning that my worry and anxiety was rooted in anger and pride helped me to learn to “take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ”. Words cannot express my bittersweet feelings that such a great teacher is no longer with us, yet I rejoice that he is now with our Lord Jesus Christ. Blessings to his family.
I became a Christian while incarcerated between 1992 and 1996. Dr. Adams became a mentor to me through his writings. I was a user and abuser but his writings gave me hope. I once remarked that it would be great if God could zap me, take away every sinful desire and enable me to live celibate. But Dr. Adams’s writings, and a counselor trained in his methods, led me to believe what would give God more glory was to make me into a husband and a father. After my release from prison, I started a website design company and I built one of the earliest websites for Timeless Texts. When I attended a NANC conference at Denton Bible Church, I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Adams face to face. I was a in a room surrounded by more than a thousand people who were being influenced by his work, and tens of thousands not present besides. In a back room were close to if not more than a hundred books he had written regarding Biblical counseling. I walked up to him with awe and quietly said, “Dr. Adams, you have no idea what your ministry has meant to me.” He spun and said, “Oh, go away with all that, you know I am a man just like you. I don’t even want to talk to you unless you approach me like you would anyone else.” His reply was intended to take him down off the pedestal on which I had placed him. But his words had the opposite effect: “All this and humble too,” I thought to myself. I approached him later and tried to explain how much his ministry had meant to me. He thanked me. I asked him if he would consider reviewing my book. He personally critiqued and endorsed my book, “Changed Behind Bars: The History of My Redemption.” Today, I am a husband, father, grandfather, author, teacher of the same truths that changed my life, and the founder of Hope Prison Ministries. The tagline for our ministry is “More Than Redemption.” Words fail to express my gratitude for his life and ministry, and I know I am not alone.
I have fond memories of Dr. Adams at Westminster Sem (Glenside). He was my prof for various courses. I look forward to seeing him again in glory.
I am thankful for Jay Adams’ writing ministry. His writings have had a profound effect on my life and theology. He was my favorite author.
Grateful to habe been touched by his persevernce of biblical nouthetic counseling
Blessings and peace to the family
I count myself privileged to have been taught by Dr. Jay e Adams. Though I didn’t have the privilege of meeting him face to face he nevertheless made so much an impact on my Christian life and as a marriage counselor in my local church in Lagos Nigeria.
My children, church members, and friends have come to know him as my teacher. His books are all over my bedroom. As numerous as his books are, there are a few of them I don’t have. I love the simplicity of his style of writing. I don’t get tired of replaying his recorded classes.
I was dreaming of a day that I will meet him facet face and convey to him how much I appreciate him and his works. He fought a good fight of faith. Jay was a unique and great Christian scholar.
Thank you for this memorial page and for allowing us to share our tributes to Dr. Adams and his amazing legacy serving the Lord. For my full tribute go https://www.biblicalcounselingcoalition.org/2020/11/16/pursuing-faithfulness-not-fame-my-tribute-to-jay-adams/
I am sooo sorry for the loss of a great counselor and man of God. My husband was the first to introduce me to Bro Jay Adams. He knew that was my passion, to counsel. He went to be with Jesus about 3 months ago. His too is a great loss too. My prayer is that family and friends will find the Comfort that only God Almighty can give. To Him who can do above and beyond anything we could ask or think. Blessings in Christ!
I owe my life to the gospel, but in large part, I owe a successful Christian ministry with people to the instructions of J.E. Adams which helped put flesh on the theological bones of my Biblical studies.
As many others have testified, Dr. Adams also had a great influence on my life. As a struggling seminary student his pamphlet on depression was a life saver. As a recent seminary grad I said to him, “Jay, I just want to find a church that’s not full of problems.” To which he, in his own inimical way said, “Why, then you wouldn’t be needed.” In that one short statement he put the ministry in biblical perspective for me. His influence continued down through the years as I pastored and came to see biblical counseling not just as an option, but as a mandate to shepherding God’s people faithfully.
I thank God for raising up a man with the gifts, strength, and tenacity to go up against one of the most powerful and influential institutions in our culture, the psychological establishment. God raised up other Godly men to stand with him, but Jay was the focus of the attack by those who disagreed with his approach to counseling. He was mocked, ridiculed, and demeaned, often by well known Christian leaders and publications. I thank God that He equipped Jay, and sustained him as he stood against the influence and inroads of vain philosophies and speculations raised up against the knowledge of God. I believe history will show Jay to have led the fight against one of the major attacks on the church in the 20th century and in rescuing many from the hopelessness of secular psychology.
May God continue to challenge those of us still in the fight and to raise up new generations of warriors to continue the legacy Jay so faithfully established.
May God sustain and comfort Jay’s family in the days ahead. And thank you Lord, for the privileged and blessing of knowing Dr. Jay Adams.
A remarkable man of God, my condolence to his family
Years ago he personally answered, in his own hand, two letters my wife wrote him from Finland. This was before she and I met. He wrote his answers next to her questions. She had written to others seeking answers and were simply referred to “my staff.” Truly a kind humble servant of our Master
The Christian Counselor’s Manual chapter, “Sin is the problem” helped me realize how sin spreads its influence into every area of our life.
“What to do on Thursday” helped me understand the repetition in the Psalms and the need to know our Bibles to find answers to questions that life throws at us? “How do I respond to COVID-19?” That is a question that the Christian can find answers to in the Bible. This book teaches us to trust God and use his Word to strengthen our faith.
“Self-Esteem, Self Love, Self Image” was a book that I remember reading for the first time about how we do some pretty horrific things to others and ourselves out of self love. I still remember how Dr. Adams pointed out the errors of the Christian Counseling movement which said, “If you want to obey God and love others, then you must first love yourself”.
I am sure that Dr. Adams is in a place where he is no longer worried about those who constantly criticized him and is in heaven with our Lord.
I was most honored to attend and be a member of Dr. Adams’ Harrison Bridge Church. I was privileged to visit with him a number of times and to benefit and profit immensely from his sermons and his testimony.
Dr. Adams also took special time to meet privitely with two of my family members who were wrestling with personal problems to which he helped to obtain Biblical answers.
I attended and later received a master’s degree in Christian counseling and we used Dr. Adams’ books in our classes extensively.
I am indeed honored and blessed to have known Dr. Adams and his lovely wife, Betty, as well as several of his fine family members.
Heartfelt sympathy to the Adams family. We wish you God’s grace in bearing your loss and cross, and pray that God Himself may fill the empty place for you, providing the strength and courage you need to continue on in the strength of the Lord God, making mention of His righteousness, even of His only (Ps. 71:16).
Jay Adams has had a profound impact on me and on my counseling and teaching for decades. Thanks to his influence and those able counselors and leaders that followed him, we at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary are on the cusp of opening a Biblical Counseling MA degree (both in-house and long distance) under the leadership of Dr. Mark Kelderman. I am deeply grateful to the Lord for His work in Dr. Adams, for his friendship, and for his pioneering the Biblical Counseling movement.
Jay’s writings, lectures, messages, and conversations have been of inestimable value to my life and ministry as he caused me to focus my heart upon the Lord. I am so thankful to the Lord for Jay’s wisdom and efforts in pointing me and the entire community of believers to God and His sufficient Word.
May the God of all comfort provide the necessary comfort to Jay’s family and loved ones!
Dr. Adams significantly impacted my life and ministry. I have taught the Nouthetic Biblical counseling principles in the USA and foreign countries. Each time I counsel someone these basic principles have brought deliverance time and again. May his reward be great!
I am grateful for Dr. Jay Adams’ preservative influence on the church through his emphasis on the sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures. He was truly a Martin Luther like man for the world of Christian Counseling for the late 20th Century and the early 21st Century. I thank God for the treasure trove of Bible saturated counseling resources that he has left us through his humble servant Jay Adams. Adams truly saw God as mighty and man as fallen and in need of God’s grace. He was convinced that God’s Spirit could transform hearts of those who were truly repentant. He was a David against the Goliaths of secular psychology and secular humanism. He served God in his generation. May he enter into the joy of his Master, the Lord Jesus Christ.
I am a pastor from India. I read Dr. Adams’ book, Competent to Counsel, in 2010. It taught me how to apply the word to solve my own problems and help others solve their problems. I am also thankful that I received more training from his student, George Scipione, who reinfornced in me all the lessons which I had learned from Dr. Adams.
While the modern counseling movement has done its best to marginalize his books and discredit his teaching, Dr. Adams’ books will speak for themselves and will stand the test of time.
I am very grateful for this great man of God. Thank you Jesus for Dr. Adams.
Some of my best childhood memories are of Dr. Adams. I still remember hiding under the counter in the nursery for a good cry because he was retiring! His books were some of the small stack I took to college with me, and their clarity and insight still inspire me today.
I know he will be missed…because he was so loved.
Hello Beloved in the Lord.
I am Dr. Brou Atche, pastor of the Centre évangélique la Rédemption Divine in Canada (Quebec).
An incontestable fact, all university believers who are interested in the Biblical counseling are convinced that Dr. Jay Adams has had a great influence on the Church regarding the modern Biblical counseling.
I have taken an online course with the Dr. Jay Adams’ Institute to improve my skills in Biblical counseling. In addition, his books (The Christian Counselors Manual, Competent to Counsel) helped me a lot in my doctoral studies. I am therefore grateful.
When I learned that he had left our world, it touched us because we are losing a great library of knowledge in modern biblical counselling. He also leaves a great heritage of wisdom for believers and Churches. We pray that his work continues to prosper in the name of Jesus.
As a Brazilian, so far way from Adams personal influence, I can tell how deep he influenced not only myself but many other here. Some of us had the opportunity to study under him, by going to US for studies. That, nevertheless wasn’t my experience. I received his powerful influences from his books. Later on by some videos and articles. It was dr. Adams who God used first of all to change the gears of my ministry. If nowadays I am a Ph.D. in Counseling, teacher of counseling and a counselor myself, all of this long path started with his lectures, classes and mainly his books.
One of my biggest dreams always was to study under him. Such never happen, never will. Although, his passion for Christ above all taught me that the most important thing is to know that we all gonna be there, under the Lordship of Christ Jesus, serving him wholeheartedly in heaven.
May God be glorified and honored by his life and work. He never thought he or his books was perfect or final. But now, finally, hi is.
Many blessings to the family and close friends!
Ed, George passed away in January. Another servant we all gonna miss while here.
I can not thank the Lord Jesus enough for Jay Adams, his friendship, and his influence in my life and ministry. I was a young struggling pastor who had been taught in seminary to refer the people, who struggled in my church, to Christian Counselors. When I discovered how bad (secular) the counseling was, I cried out to the Lord for help. He graciously answered and through dear friends, pointed me to the area of biblical counseling (Nouthetic). Most pastors are only trained on how to preach but are not trained on how to minister the Word of God privately to God’s people. What an eye-opener it was to receive biblical counseling training from Jay, personally and through his writings, and from others. My life and ministry have never been the same since. Jay was truly like a Martin Luther in the calling of the Lord’s church back to the sufficiency and practice of Scripture in the lives of His people. May we not become lax in our zeal for the Lord, His Word and His church (Rom 12:11). I rejoice with Jay that he is with his Savior and Lord but we will certainly miss him here on earth.
I first met Dr. Adams and his wife. Betty, on June 6, 1980 when he and Betty were host and hostess for the Wedding rehearsal dinner for my then Bride – to – be , Marsha L. Strimple, ( daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Robert B. Strimple) at the Strimple ‘s home in Escondido, CA. Though I never took a class of his while I was a student at Westminster Theological Seminary in California (Class of 1983). He and Betty were very kind and gracious hosts. Dr. Adams will be missed. I know that he is worshipping our Lord in heaven with my wife Marsha, who passed away this past March 15. God’s blessings and peace to all of Dr. Adams family.
— Request for a german translation —
Dear Sir or Madam, I would like to ask, if it would be possible to publish a german translation of this article on my blog glaubend.de. ON my Blog you will find different articles by e.g. John Piper, Ed Welch, Tom Schreiner and Carl Trueman, which our team has translated till now. This Article on Jay Adams, would be an enrichment for our blog.
I personally have been indirectly impact by Jay Adams as his right hand man, Donn Arms, was my supervisor during my ACBC certification. Furthermore, his books have also played an instrumental role in my counseling as well. Even as I am watching his memorial service, I am at the same time preparing for a counseling training session as I train other Biblical Counselors. Thank you Jay Adams and Donn Arms for shaping me into the counselor I am today. Your legacy stretches far and wide.
I am very grateful to God for modern technology that allowed me to go to Dr Adam’s Memorial Service. My heart overflowed with sadness – yet encouragement from the words spoken through this service – the remembrance of the hope which is for those who are in Christ Jesus.
My sincere condolences to Mrs Adams, her family and for all those in his circle. I am a relatively new candidate to the Institute of Nouthetic Counseling, yet I have been reading Dr Adam’s books for a few years now and at this moment, I am making my way through Proverbs, day by day.
Proverbs 15:33 – seems to fit him well – “The fear of Yahweh is wise discipline, and before honour is humility”.
Though I never knew Dr Adams personally, I was struck by his obedience to His Lord to commit to Scripture and his quest to show it’s absolute necessity to ‘life and godliness’.
All the praise and glory to God, that in fear of Yahweh, with wise discipline and in humility – by the Grace of God – Dr Adams gave Him all the honour due His name.
Blessed by those family and friends who spoke at memorial service. Clear Gospel presentation at the end.
I first met Jay years ago when he came to my church in Alabama to speak. I went on to attend WTS where he spoke a number of times before moving to Macon, GA. I moved there to teach school for a couple of years before getting a job with UPS. The afternoon leg of my route took me by the Millhouse where he and Betty Jane lived. It was there that I took a 15-minute break on countless occasions at his invitation. Those were really pleasant times with one who invested himself in people everywhere he went. Really sad to learn of his death, but I am glad to know he is in the home not made with hands and eternal in heaven.
Jay Adams impacted my life first when I was a high school student. I heard his talk entitled “You Don’t Have to Worry” on a Christian radio station in New Jersey. A few years later as I studied at a Christian college, I began to be “convinced” that Jay Adams made major errors because he was not a psychologist. This made sense to me as an impressionable college student, but I began to notice the psychology professors had no workable way to “integrate” the Christian faith with psychologically based therapy perspectives.
A few years later in seminary, I decided to major in pastoral counseling. I often found Jay Adams’ ideas more sound than anything I was studying. While in seminary, and then during my first pastorate, I worked in three psychiatric in-patient hospital settings, and still could not integrate. The straw that broke the camel’s back was when one of the members of my little country church got admitted to the psychiatric hospital where I worked. In desperation, I called Jay Adams, who did not know me. Within a few minutes, the receptions had me on with him, who gave me a half hour on the phone. He encouraged me to take a ten-week training course in nouthetic counseling. This changed my life! I ended up leaving the psychiatric setting and starting two biblical counseling centers, one in Connecticut and one in New Hampshire.
Years later, Jay encouraged me when I was struggling with my son’s Mormon upbringing. I had lost custody of my son in a divorce.
Jay encouraged me again by phone a few years later when I struggled with the “Sonship” program which had been brought into a church where I was an assistant pastor. He wrote me into the book he was writing without mentioning my name.
I cannot adequately express my gratefulness to God for the life and ministry of Dr. Jay Adams.
Jay was a mentor who taught me much about myself and the world. He never minced words and you always knew where he stood on whatever issue!
Amen! Thank you Lord for your work in Jay Adams. His gain to be in heaven and the church’s big loss. But as we speak you will raise other prophetic voices.
During the most difficult part of my life, I listened to a series of tapes by Jay Adams.
They helped me to live by my responsibilities
rather then my feelings.
” His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”
Well done my teacher. You have been a blessing to the Kingdom of God, and your many students. You have been a great blessing to me and my wife. I have used what you taught me in ministering in the Holy Land. We are going to miss you, but you are going to be with your master, Jesus Christ, whom you have loved and served. Here on earth, we will continue to carry the the torch till we meet again.
Rev. Nasser & Jackie Alawi
Dear Family of Jay Adams,
Very much of my life has been majorly positively influenced through the life of Jay Adams. Practical points of counseling have made life easier and doable, without worry. Jay’s attack on secular bastions has helped me rest in my faith. Preaching and marriage books he has written have given me usable handles that i can grasp and bless others with. The tapes from classes did the same. I felt a huge step forward using the Four Step booklet. A sermon he gave relieved me of a persistent fear. I am so grateful for Jay and i look forward to giving him a high-5 in heaven.