Five Things About Christian Coach Training by Linda HedbergOct 14th, 2010 | By Linda Hedberg | Category: Featured Content, [None]
Seven years ago, when I decided to pursue a career in coaching and started looking for coach training programs, I didnt realize it would be such a challenging project! After becoming a coach, I found – like many established Christian coaches – that prospective coaches contacted me with questions about the field, and coach training in particular. Since then, Ive authored an ebook, The Complete Guide to Christian Coach Training, to help Christians who are considering entering the field to make informed decisions that are uniquely best suited to them.
For those starting this journey, here are five things to know about Christian coach training.
1. There are a variety of Christian coach training program options. Even after searching the web or asking an established Christian coach, people regularly call me wondering if there are options. After looking on the web, you will likely identify a handful of Christian coach training programs. But not all are easily identified. After researching on the web and receiving recommendations from known leaders in Christian coaching, the latest edition of my ebook features 15 programs. These programs teach classic coaching, from a Christian perspective.
So, yes, there are options! Some programs are approved by the International Coach Federation (ICF) or the International Association of Coaches (IAC). Some offer niche-specific training such as career, cross-cultural or life purpose coaching. In addition to introductory courses, there are advanced courses as well. Some programs are more geared toward coaching in Christian organizations and others focus on coaching individuals. There are various options in delivery methods and price range. For anyone considering Christian coach training, it is important to learn the options and choose the best match for the unique vision God has set before you.
2. Christian coach trainers express a compelling desire to honor Christ and the authority of Bible in their training. This is true of all the programs featured in my ebook. Some programs use spiritual language and biblical references more profusely than others in their marketing materials. But all acknowledge the centrality of Christ and cite the Bible as the authoritative word of God.
Integrating Christian faith and biblical principals with coaching concepts and practices is the focus of Christian coach training programs. As you read marketing materials and review programs you may want to know more about how a particular program integrates Christian precepts with coach training. Maybe you have questions about how a program uses scripture or views the work of the Holy Spirit in coaching, for examples. Contact programs directly to ask these types of questions and allow program directors to speak for themselves. If you have these types of questions, base your evaluations of programs on your direct communication with representatives.
3. Questions about certification and accreditation are probably not the most important ones. At least, they are not the first questions to ask. Most importantly, make your initial questions about what your unique vision is and how to clearly identify what youve been called to do. This is a great time for you to work with a coach. Determining what you believe God has called you to do will reveal your answer to other questions like whether certification and accreditation are important for you.
Sorting out the meaning and value of the various types of certification offered, and that of accreditation of schools, is challenging. It is primarily important to know that the terms certified and accredited mean different things in different conversations. So expect to confront a learning curve if you decide to evaluate this for yourself. Many schools offer proprietary certificates and titles with widely varied requirements amongst schools. The current professional standard for certification and accreditation is found with the International Coach Federation (or ICF at www.coachfederation.org).
There is no one size fits all answer to the questions about certification and accredited training. One can point out that its possible to be a coach without certification and without attending accredited training. That is very true. Furthermore, there are examples of successful coaches who have never had formal coach training of any kind.
To offer you a personal example, the ICF accredited training I took mattered to an employer who contracted with me for coaching and consulting services. The Christian coach training I chose was part of the fulfillment of the vision God had for me. The question for you then becomes, what training (accredited or not) and then what certification (if any), is necessary for you to fulfill the unique vision to which God has called you?
4. Coach training curriculum will teach you coaching skills, challenge you to apply coaching to yourself and train you in business start-up skills. To be successful at starting up a business or ministry you will need knowledge and skills in each of these areas. Each program will address these areas in different ways and to different extents. Some will offer a basic introduction to each of these things in one class while others offer separate classes for each topic.
Based on your background and what you know about your own experience, plan your training accordingly. For example, if you have no experience with starting up a business and you plan to start a coaching business, you will need training in this area. Ideally the coach training program you choose will cover all you need to know about creating a business. But if the curriculum in your training program is not thorough with the business start up information you need, you may have to supplement your training in other ways for example with alternative business-focused workshops and/or mentor coaching.
5. Coach training is key, but not the only answer for your success as a coach in business or ministry. Of course, first and foremost your success is defined by Gods call and work in your life. And most likely God will use your coach training as key to the success to which youve been called. But he will also use other factors in your success as well. Completing an excellent Christian coach training program will not be the sole factor. Other factors God may use include your previous business and technology expertise, your established network of contacts, your personal community of support, ongoing mentor coaching, and your investment of time, money and hard work.
Before you invest your money, time and heart into coach training, become familiar with options. Even before you evaluate your options, get very clear on your unique God-breathed vision. Use that vision as a guide for choosing the training you will take. Then follow Gods lead as you make the best use of your training and resources to step into the coaching vision to which youve been called.