Biblical Counseling Conference
April 17-18, 2015
| Clarks Summit, PA

$45 Registration Fee

Eventbrite - DESIRE Biblical Counseling Conference

Desire . . . it is the cry of our hearts to long for . . . to want . . . to need . . . something, or someone, beyond ourselves. In fact, we were created to desire more than we have. If we are not careful, the desires we have will often rule and reign over us. They turn into unquenchable thirsts, demanding more and never being fully satisfied. This is the state of humanity . . . to want . . . to desire . . . to even demand that which we cannot find in ourselves. Peace. Rest. Comfort. Strength. Hope. Love. Joy.

In the DESIRE Biblical Counseling Conference, we will be looking at many different places we turn to have our desires met, be directed to the One who meets every true heart's desire, and be challenged to desire Him more through the Spirit's work in us.



Friday, April 17, 2015

  •  5:00 PM - Registration

  •  6:00 PM - Worship & Plenary Session

  •  7:00 PM - Breakout Session #1 (Jacoby, Silverstein, or Akers)

  •  8:00 PM - Breakout Session #2 (Yeckley, Valencia, or Cathers)

  •  9:00 PM - Worship & Closing

Saturday, April 18, 2015

  •  7:45 AM - Registration

  •  8:45 AM - Welcome, Worship, & Plenary Session

  •  10:00 AM - Breakout Session #1 (Akers, Dykas, Silverstein, or Evans)

  •  11:15 AM - Plenary Session

  •  12:00 PM - Lunch

  •  1:15 PM - Breakout Session #2 (Valencia, McGinnis, Vernick, or Evans)

  •  2:20 PM - Breakout Session #3 (Valencia, Jacoby, Emlet, or McGinnis)

  •  3:10 PM - Break

  •  3:30 PM - Plenary Session

  •  4:30 PM - Closing



Distinguishing Biblical Counseling from the Others (Jacoby)
What's the difference between "Psychotherapy," "Christian Counseling," and "Biblical Counseling?" How do we know that we are referring to the best counselor? Isn't all counseling the same and lead you towards healing? In this session, we will take a closer look at these three types of counseling – the approaches, the goals, the similarities, the differences, and the potential outcomes of each approach – to better understand how we may approach our own counseling or referrals.

Addictions: Enslaved by Desire (Silverstein)
So what makes an addict an addict? Are we talking about alcohol, drugs, or prescriptions medications? Is this bondage genetic, generational, physical, biological, heredity, a choice, spiritual, or nature verses nurture? Can the enslaved find recovery, freedom, deliverance, or victory? Addiction, codependency and dysfunction appear to be accepted common norms of our day. Is the answer medical to be solved by the physician, spiritual to be addressed by the pastor, or psychological to be solved by the psychiatrist/psychologist? The Scriptures speak to these competing and conflicting desires. Life in Christ is a war with trials and tribulations, testings, temptations and troubles. Yet God’s offer for freedom, victory and the abundant life in Christ is very real and possible. This offer is not easy, even really hard. Yet God wants us to discover His joy, peace and rest.

His Desires, Her Desires: The Heart of Marital Conflict (Akers)
"What causes fights and quarrel among you? Don't they come from the desires that battle within . . ." In this session we will take a deeper look at how unmet desires cause conflict within the marriage relationship, how to manage these desires God's way, and how to restore oneness between spouses.

Biblical Counseling & The Local Church (Yeckley)
Is the local church a safe place for those who are suffering and struggling? What does your church do with people who are facing unique challenges? The aim of the session is to explore a biblical model for counseling within the local church and for the local church. By the end of our time together I hope to affirm the churches unique calling to provide care through the public and private ministry of the Word.

The Physiology of Emotions: Understanding How and Why I Feel (Valencia)
Where do my emotions come from and why do I feel them? This session considers the primacy of emotions in helping us understand who we are ourselves in relation to self, others, and God. Guest will walk away with a better understanding of the physiological role emotions play within our lives and relationships.

Living with Unmet Desires (Cathers)
What happens when our longings, wants, and wishes are not being fulfilled? Struggling with unmet desires can bring about destructive decisions and despair. We can respond by taking the road that leads to a life of peace in the Spirit or the road that leads to suffering and consequences. This seminar will explore different ways that adults and children respond to unmet desires and provide practical strategies and techniques for leading others to the freedom and joy of full submission to God's desires.

Pornography: Finding Victory over the Desires of the Flesh (Silverstein)
"From movies and television, to printed media and the internet, men are constantly faced with the assault of sensual images. It is impossible to avoid such temptations but, thankfully not impossible to confront them and gain the victory over them." The war against lust is hard, but you can have victory. Were you properly prepared for the pure and sacred sexual relationship God intended? God created us as sexual beings to be fully satisfied and content in a mutually intimate love relationship. God has a plan for sex to be sacred. When we replace false and unrealistic expectations with God's truth we can find the fulfillment and gratification God intended.

I'm Gay . . . I'm a Gay Christian: Biblical Clarity for Confusing Labels (Dykas)
When someone in your family or congregation declares "I'm gay . . . I've always felt this way," what are you to say? Is their gay identity defined by their desire? Is a gay identity a biblical concept? Is it merely a personal choice that doesn't have significant ramifications on one's faith? God's Word speaks with clarity, compassion and hope into this controversial and relevant topic. Scripture does speak about identity issues, and gives compassionate guidance for understanding people who experience same-sex attraction and temptations. This workshop will give you a biblical framework for understanding sexual identity and orientation, and how to engage people in discussion on this divisive topic.

Victimized by Desire: The Impact of Sexual Trauma & Hope for its Victims (Evans)
Sexual Abuse. Sexual Exploitation. Sex Trafficking. Terms that are increasingly familiar and prevalent in our world, country, local regions, and even impact our church communities. How does scripture help us understand the causes and impact of sexual trauma and exploitation? What is the hope of Christ our Redeemer for those broken and impacted by sexual trauma? What is the role and necessary response of the church and caregivers in coming alongside these victims?

Emotionally Destructive Marriage (Vernick)
Based on her book, The Emotionally Destructive Marriage, Leslie shares the destruction inside of marriages when desires become demands, and when demands turn abusive. How can a spouse respond biblically to someone who is being emotionally abusive? Pray for them? Leave them? Turn the other cheek? Or maybe the best way to love them is to hold them accountable for their action. Leslie will explain how to help people find their voice and reclaim their hope in Christ.

Sex In Marriage: Igniting Intimate Desires (McGinnis)
We feel it . . . but we aren't quite sure what to do with it or think of it. Is it good, bad, disgusting, dirty or nasty? In this session we'll explore what God thinks about sexual desire and what we should do with it. The divine answer may surprise you.

OCD: Freedom from Obsessive Fears and Desires (Emlet)
Checking. Cleaning. Doing it over again and again to relieve the anxiety stemming from rampaging fears and desires. What does it look like to break free from this obsessive/compulsive cycle? This session will provide a biblical understanding of OCD that takes seriously the roles of the body and the heart, and will describe a practical approach for helping strugglers find freedom in Christ.

Mood Disorders: The Emotional Roller Coaster (Valencia)
What is wrong with me? In this session we explore a set of key mood conditions and how they inform us about the state of our relationships and attachment to God while preserving a sense of stability in the midst of a fast-changing and uncertain society and world.

The Desire to Die: Lessons from the Jailor and Job (Jacoby)
"I can't take it anymore!" "I wish I was dead." "I wish I was never born." These are the statements of those who are struggling in life and simply want their suffering to end. Are these cries of suicide or a cry for help? What hope is there for those going through such suffering and simply want it to end? Scripture is not silent in the suffering of His people. We'll take a closer look at Job's cry for relief and the Jailor's need to escape from suffering to provide help and hope to the hurting.



Mark Akers, MA
Mark Akers is a graduate of Biblical Seminary (2009) and a counselor on staff at Foundations Christian Counseling Services in the Allentown and Palmerton offices. Mark's passion is to help people grow in the Lord and counsels couples and men. He has served as a Worship Pastor and presently serves as Pastor at Freedom Community Church in Lehighton, PA. Mark has been married for 14 years and is the father of two children.

Alyssa Cathers, MA
Alyssa Cathers is presently a Biblical counselor at Foundations Christian Counseling Services. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and Elementary Education from Moravian College, graduate level work in Education at East Stroudsburg University, and a Master's Degree in Counseling and Certificate in Advanced Professional Counseling from Biblical Theological Seminary. In addition to her present work as a Biblical counselor, she was an elementary school teacher, Christian preschool teacher, and Director of Christian Education and Youth in the church setting. Alyssa is married to Glen, and they are blessed with four children. Alyssa enjoys leading a "True Women Bible Study" at her church and cherishes the privilege of homeschoolingher three youngest children!

Ellen Dykas, MA
Ellen Dykas serves at Women's Ministry Coordinator for Harvest USA, (www.harvestusa.org), a national ministry focused on partnering with and equipping the Church to minister the gospel of grace into the lives of those impacted by sexual sin and brokenness. After missionary service in Romania, she spent 6 years on staff at her home church as Missionary Care & Equipping Coordinator. She received her MA in Biblical Studies at Covenant Theological Seminary (1999) and a Graduate Certificate in Biblical Counseling (2006) through the Christian Counseling and Education Foundation. She has written articles for The Journal of Biblical Counseling and The Christian Research Journal and co-authored a small group resource for women, Sexual Sanity for Women: Healing from Relational and Sexual Brokenness.

Mike Emlet, M.D., M.Div.
Mike Emlet is a faculty member of CCEF and holds an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Divinity degree from Westminster Theological Seminary. Mike has counseled for many years and has published CrossTalk: Where Life and Scripture Meet, which explores the use of Scripture in Counseling. He worked as a family physician for twelve years before joining CCEF. Mike is married to Jody, and they have two children. He is active in his urban church and, when he has time, creates beautiful pieces on a potter's wheel! Areas of interest/experience include OCD, anxiety, depression, and pastoral struggles and burnout.

Heather Evans, LCSW
Heather Evans is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a private counseling practice in Coopersburg, Pennsylvania. She has over 14 years of experience providing individual, marriage, and family therapy to children, adolescents, and adults in inpatient, outpatient, nonprofit and residential settings. She has extensive training and experience with women's issues, particularly sexual trauma. Her training includes sex trafficking and aftercare of its victims. Heather is Co-founder and Chair of Aftercare Team of VAST (Valley Against Sex Trafficking) Coalition in the Lehigh Valley, PA.

Fred Jacoby, MA
Fred Jacoby, MA is the Founder and Director of Foundations Christian Counseling Services and Pastor of Development & Discipleship at Cornerstone Community Church in Kunkletown, PA. Fred received his MA from Biblical Seminary and has counseled individuals and couples struggling in marriage, relationships, with anger, depression, anxiety, grief, and many other issues. As a speaker, Fred has given seminars on marriage, parenting, depression and anger and trains the mentors of Truth for Women in the Lehigh Valley. He is married to Andrea and together have twin boys.

Dr. Mark McGinnis, PhD
Dr. McGinniss is the Associate Professor of Old Testament Literature, Language and Exegesis at Baptist Bible Seminary. He and his wife, Joy, have been married for 35 years and have five children; three daughters-in-law; two grandchildren, one son-in-law and no pets! His areas of special interest are OT Theology, OT Poetry, the Song of Songs and the theology of sexuality. Mark authored the Contributions of Selected Rhetorical Devices to a Biblical Theology of the Song of Songs. He has written articles concerning the Song of Songs and several pieces on personal suffering. He is a frequent guest speaker at churches, conferences and couples' retreats. He received his Ph.D. and Th.M. in Old Testament from Baptist Bible Seminary, a M.A.B.S. from Dallas Theological Seminary. He blogs at http://outsidemydoor.wordpress.com/.

Dr. Steven Silverstein, D.Min., LPC, LCADC
Dr. Steve Silverstein has received the Doctor of Ministry degree in Counseling from Westminster Theological Seminary. Dr. Steve is an Approved Clinical Supervisor and Licensed by the States of Pennsylvania and New Jersey as a Professional Counselor (LPC). He also holds LCADC (Addictions) in New Jersey and is the author of Help for the Hurting Heart. Dr. Steve is speaker and network counselor for New Life Ministries and Focus on the Family, an active member of the South Jersey Christian Counseling Consortium, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. Website: http://alternativesincounseling.webs.com/.

Dr. Gerlin Valencia, M.Div., Th.M., PhD
Dr. Gerlin Valencia is an Assistant Professor of Graduate Counseling Ministries at Baptist Bible College & Seminary. He teaches Ethnicity, Families, and Counseling, Applications of Biblical Counseling, Methods of Biblical Change, and Marriage and Family Counseling. Dr. Valencia earned his M.Div., Th.M., and Ph.D. at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His goal for his students is to have them develop a more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.

Leslie Vernick, LCSW
Leslie Vernick is an author, licensed clinical social worker and life coach with a private counseling practice in Pennsylvania. She has over 25 years of experience helping individuals, couples and families heal, rebuild or grow their relationships. Leslie is the author of six books, including the bestselling, The Emotionally Destructive Relationship and Lord, I Just Want to be Happy. She is also featured in three of the American Association of Christian Counselor video teaching series including ExtraOrdinary Women and Marriage Works.

Jeremy Yeckley, MS
Jeremy Yeckley, MS is the Program Director of Foundations Christian Counseling Services, and the Director of Career Services and Associate Professor at Baptist Bible College & Seminary. Jeremy came to FCCS from Scranton Counseling Center where he had served in Behavioral Health Resources, Crisis Intervention, and as The Assistant Coordinator for Case Management. As a husband, father, and student of the Word, Jeremy's passion is to bring Biblical Counseling to the church to help people struggling personally and spiritually in their marriages and lives.





















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