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Deciphering Certification by Linda Hedberg

Apr 6th, 2009 | By | Category: Training & Certification


You’ve probably received SPAM in your email box that announces you can receive a Bachelors Degree or even a PhD with no substantial educational requirements.  You are invited to just “call the number,” pay the “very reasonable price” and you will be set with letters behind your name.  You’ve probably not taken advantage of this offer. 

In the same way you’d want a BA or a Phd to have meaning, you want a coach certification with meaning.  Deciphering the comparative meanings of the various certifications offered can be difficult.  

Coach training programs often offer “certification” to their students for completion of certain requirements. From program to program, the requirements vary greatly. There is no current “standard” for the certifications that programs offer.  Anyone can offer “certification” and name it what they please. For example, there are several certifications available, each from different organizations, called “Certified Christian Coach.” The requirements for each of these “CCC” certifications are different.  

Requirements for various certifications available may include attending classes (the number of hours widely varies), practicing coaching (again, the number of hours required varies widely), mentor coaching or “being coached” (hours and/or duration of time varies), reading and writing assignments, letters of recommendations, and knowledge and skills tests. 

The only clear comparisons of coach certification from program to program are the ACC, PCC and MCC’s awarded by the ICF. Where coaches from different programs receive these certifications, the coaches have met the same criteria even though they have taken different classes.  

Why is certification important? 

Well, increasingly it matters to clients – including churches and ministry organizations. Judy Santos, MCC, founder and director of the Christian Coaches Network, reports that even in the Christian community potential clients and hiring organizations are more frequently seeking coaches with ICF credentials.  As the writer of this post, I can report that my accredited training and coaching certification was a factor in landing my largest coaching contract.  

Also, many think that licensing of coaches will become required in the future as the profession matures.  So the training decisions you make now could have implications in the future regarding your ease and ability to gain licensing.  To dig deeper into this topic here at the Christian Coaching Center, view more information at  What is Coaching Certification? and  Do I need to be certified to be a coach? 

This post is adapted from The Complete Guide to Christian Coach Training by Linda Hedberg.  Linda’s broad knowledge of the field and her desire to see Christian coaches set a foundation for success if reflected at, where she provides resources, cleasses and coaching dedicated to helping prospective and new coaches thrive in business, ministry and life.

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2 Responses to “Deciphering Certification by Linda Hedberg”

  1. KatieBrazelton says:

    Linda, I just wanted to thank you again and publicly now for doing THE COMPLETE GUIDE! It’s an incredible product that makes so many facts manageable.

    May God richly bless you this Easter for all you have done for the Christian Coaching field,
    Katie Brazelton

  2. John Purcell says:

    I am helping some Egyptian Christians who want to add coaching of businesses to what they are doing, and they need credentials for the US aid that would help underwrite the cost. I think they probably need ICF certification, based on this. I also think they should get Christian coach training, based on their mission and who they are. What coach training would your recommend for them?



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