David Powlison Memorial Grants

The growth of biblical counselling in the UK has been exciting in recent years. We’ve seen the appearance of Biblical Counselling UK; the launch of annual conferences; the growth of the Certificate Course and an increasing number of churches becoming passionate about connecting the riches of Scripture to the (often painful) realities of life.

We’ve seen around 1,000 students undertake some level of basic training in biblical counselling and a few have gone on to study at more advanced levels. As a community we’re beginning to wrestle with some of the big topics of our contemporary world. But it takes time to grow the thought leaders in any discipline. And it’s an inescapable fact that in the more cutting edge areas of counselling methodology and practice, we’ve still got some growing to do.

So, from 2022, each year, Biblical Counselling UK is going to be offering 2 grants of up to £2,500 to encourage people to engage in more advanced study. Study that will equip individuals and the wider biblical counselling community to extend expertise and refine practice.

What they are not
The new grants are not for basic training. They can’t be used to fund studies on the UK Certificate Course or any other course that offers initial training in the biblical counselling field.

And they’re not for people working overseas. These grants are specifically designed to progress the thinking of biblical counsellors in the UK context.

What they are
Rather, the grants are designed to help fund advanced training that will help build new expertise. They could be used to help fund:

  • Postgraduate theological training where the research element has a firm focus on biblical counselling or the application of Scripture/doctrine to pastoral care.
  • Secular training in counselling in a specialist area (such as family therapy or trauma therapy etc) where the wisdom gained can later help biblical counsellors grow in this area.

At their heart they’re designed to help biblical counsellors engage with new, advanced thinking.

Who are they for?
Applicants will be expected to have already undertaken basic training in biblical counselling (eg the Certificate course) and be active in biblical counselling in the UK (as a practitioner – formal or informal – tutor or writer). They are for people with a clear vision of what they want to study and how that study could help the wider biblical counselling community. And they’re for people who really want to help the rest of us grow.

Why the name?
There are many names we could have given to these grants but we’ve picked the David Powlison Memorial Grants because David’s heart was so much in tune with what these grants are designed to do: help biblical counsellors grow! Many of us will remember him – and his teaching – so fondly and with a deep sense that his Christ-centred words have formed us in wonderfully biblical ways. It is with a deep gratitude for all that God accomplished through him (and with the permission of his lovely wife, Nan) that the grants have been named after him.

How to apply
For more information and an application form, please contact Helen Thorne on grants@biblicalcounselling.org.uk. There will be 2 application points a year – one with a closing date at the end of February and the other with a closing date at the end of June. Up to £2,500 will be awarded in each round.

Whether or not these grants are for you – please do pray for this new initiative. That God will use it to grow us, sharpen us and equip us for all he is calling us to in the years ahead.