NASHVILLE — The American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC) will host its biennial World Conference at the Gaylord Opryland Resort on Oct. 9-12. The conference is the largest regular gathering of Christian mental health professionals in the world, including licensed clinical counselors, professors, psychologists, psychiatrists, church leaders and various other caregivers for a half-week of professional development, networking and inspiration.
This year’s conference, themed “Rise Up,” offers 225 workshops, including 50 preconference workshops, across 25 distinct counseling and coaching tracks focusing on psychosocial, mental and relational health. The workshops, which are led by seasoned clinicians and counselors, are designed to equip mental health professionals to better care for their clients. Continuing education credits are available for mental health professionals to maintain state licensure. Additionally, there are select workshops available for church leaders and lay counselors attending the World Conference.
The plenary sessions will be headlined by some of America’s leading mental health experts. Among these are communication pathologist and cognitive neuroscientist Caroline Leaf, Ph.D., Harold G. Koenig, M.D., of Duke University, trauma recovery expert Diane Langberg, Ph.D., and Stephen Taylor, M.D., who serves as medical director of the NBA anti-drug program.
“The AACC World Conference, in many ways, represents the beating heart of the global Christian counseling movement,” says Dr. Tim Clinton, president of the AACC. “There’s nothing like standing in that room of thousands of Christian mental health professionals who’ve given their lives to care for those in need. We will, once again, embark on four full days of intensive training in order to make sure our movement is pressing forward at the leading edge of research.”
Leaders of the faith community will also speak at the conference. These include John Ortberg, Ph.D., National Community Church pastor Mark Batterson, author and researcher Ed Stetzer, author Sheila Walsh, evangelist Greg Laurie, Free Chapel pastor Jentezen Franklin, and more.
The AACC will also welcome during Friday’s plenary session the U.S. Secretary of State, Michael R. Pompeo to address the essential role of the faith-based community in addressing trauma throughout the world.
“I am honored that we have a chance to host and hear from the U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo. He is a man of strong faith, and someone who is on the front lines of battling trauma and human trafficking, the effects of terrorism, religious persecution and more,” said Tim Clinton, president of AACC. “It’s fitting for a Secretary of State so at home in his religion to address one of America’s largest, Christian professional organizations.”
In addition to the plenary sessions, the conference will also host a training symposium on the national opioid crisis featuring the participation of the Department of Health and Human Services; and various commissions [working groups] on topics like Racial Reconciliation, Sexual Abuse, and the role of Interfaith Consortium’s in addressing the Mental Health crisis.
There will also be a conference-wide commemoration of Thursday’s World Mental Health Day.
Since 1986, the AACC has trained and equipped counseling professionals and lay caregivers to better serve and care for the emotional, social, spiritual and mental needs of people throughout America and around the world. The American Association of Christian Counselors is the largest Christian counseling organization of its kind.
The organization’s gatherings, publications and programs have played a pivotal role in shaping the modern Christian counseling movement, and it has remained on the leading edge of research at the intersection of faith and mental health.
Information on the conference, including schedule, keynote speakers and the full list of workshops, is available here.
MEDIA NOTE: Press interested in covering Friday’s plenary featuring Secretary Pompeo, email firstname.lastname@example.org by 2 pm ET, Thursday, Oct. 8.
About the AACC
The American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC) is the world’s largest and most diverse Christian Counseling association in the world. The AACC’s mission is to equip the entire community of care, including licensed professionals, pastors, and lay caregivers, with biblical truth and psychosocial insights so they can minister to hurting persons and help them move to personal wholeness, interpersonal competence, and mental stability. The AACC accomplishes this mission through its widely attended events, its educational programs, and materials available via Light University and the AACC’s publications.
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