The National Association of Nouthetic Counselors (NANC) has a brand new website. The new site includes a number of updates and helpful information as well as a new blog, authored by executive director Heath Lambert.
The most momentous change on the site is the announcement that NANC is seeking to change its name to the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC). The board of trustees has overwhelmingly approved the measure, and now it falls to the registered members at the upcoming annual meeting to approve it.
Lambert lists a number of reasons for the name change, but probably the one that is most obvious is the first one. People simply do not know what “nouthetic” means, and the ones that do sometimes misconstrue the purpose of the organization as only having to do with admonishment. Lambert writes:
The word nouthetic is a perfectly good Greek word, which most people simply do not understand. Most of us in NANC spend more time explaining the meaning of a Greek word than we intended to when we mention the name of our organization. Once people understand the meaning of the term it does not help us that much. The term means “to confront or admonish,” and this only describes a narrow slice of the kind of counseling endorsed by NANC. Of course, biblical counselors admonish people in their sin, but at NANC we also encourage our counselors to comfort the fainthearted, help the weak, pray, encourage, instruct, take care of their physical bodies, and 101 other things the Bible says to do. In its precise meaning the word nouthetic is a truncated expression of the many and varied counseling styles that God communicates in Scripture.
I think this is a wise move. There are many good reasons for NANC to approve this change, but the confusion around the word “nouthetic” is reason enough all by itself to warrant a rebranding. I for one hope to see this measure pass. There is a good bit more material on the new site, and I encourage you to check it out.