The Centre’s history

Australia’s first centre for Biblical Counselling


The Centre has a long history that goes back decades. Many older graduates of PTC had some training in earlier forms of biblical counselling. Our teaching in the field was renewed in 2006 when Ed Welch, then Professor of Practical Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary and faculty member of CCEF, taught a well-attended week-long intensive at graduate Masters’ level, along with an evening public lecture. Intensive lectures such as these have drawn people from across Australia.

David Powlison teaching at Westminster Theological Seminary (with Karl in the background)


In 2011, Dr Karl Hood began teaching biblical counseling in pastoral care units and Ed Welch returned and again taught for a week, with a Saturday workshop on marriage. Biblical Counselling Australia beginnings date back to that week at PTC when Kurt Peters attended from Sydney and Karl and Kurt went out for pizza one night. Karl has taught every year since 2011.


Dr Mike Emlet taught live on campus for a week in 2017. 

Our program expanded by 2018 to cover a full year of biblical counselling units at undergraduate and masters’ level, with a mix of live lectures and recordings of lectures taught at PTC or in Philadelphia. CCEF kindly allowed us to use recorded lectures by David Powlison, the then Executive Director of CCEF

Mike Emlet from CCEF lecturing at PTC in 2017


In 2019, some PTC graduates and some CCEF trained counsellors joined together to commence Melbourne East Christian Counselling Centre at Donvale, a short drive from PTC. 

In 2020, we were first able to offer a full, two-year fully online program in biblical counseling with biblical and theological units of particular relevance to biblical counselling. Some of these units are in hybrid live and recorded online modes, allowing live on campus or live online attendance, along with recordings.


In 2022, we taught our first course in supervision for pastors and biblical counsellors, reinterpreting existing supervision theory, and bringing new biblical counselling perspectives to pastoral and counselling supervision. The course was run again in 2023. 

In 2023, MECCC moved to new, expanded premises adjacent to PTC, effectively creating a centre for biblical counselling in one place.

Ed again taught live on campus for a week in 2023.

Ed Welch from CCEF lecturing at PTC in 2023


In 2024 we have added a new marriage unit with lectures recorded by Aaron Sironi, faculty member of CCEF, and lecturer at WTS. We are grateful to CCEF for the provision of this material. We plan to have a practicum unit in place by the end of 2024. Units in biblical counselling for children and adolescents and in the area of domestic abuse are being explored for 2025.

Along the way, Karl has presented talks at conferences including: Oxygen, CMDFA National Conference, Fire on the Mountain, Belgrave Heights Men’s Convention, Geneva Push’s Multiply, Biblical Counselling Australia’s Residential Conference, and, of course, PTC’s own Ministry Conference. 

Our graduates and other friends at the adjacent Melbourne East Christian Counselling Centre have spoken at various BCA workshops and national meetings over the last decade or so.

Karl Hood speaking at the 2023 PTC Ministry Conference

God’s wisdom for abundant living in Christ

The National Centre for Biblical Counselling is a centre of PTC, a Reformed, evangelical Bible college training people for ministry and mission

ABN 89 276 382 053

© 2024 PTC