Enhance your people-helping skills.

Volunteers, Professionals, Ministry Leaders

Learn how a person’s emotional hurts, relational issues, or bad habits are not the problem but the “symptom” of something deeper. They result from a person’s deficits in one of the four capacities of character structure: attachment, separateness, integrating reality, and adulthood. This experiential approach is both research-based and revolutionary and “cracks the code” for how deep and lasting change takes place.

This certificate is for those who have a Bachelor’s degree who want to increase their skill level of helping individuals, families, or groups in a variety of settings. It also is perfect for those who already have a Master’s degree in Counseling or a related helping profession including pastors, who want to learn Dr. Townsend’s unique approach to change, growth, and healing.


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Personally learn from Dr. John Townsend.

Program launches with 4-day kickoff conference

We believe there is great value in frequent real-time interaction with fellow students and your instructors. At the Kickoff Conference, you will meet Dr. Townsend personally as he conducts a series of trainings to jump-start your Certificate program. You will also go through 8 process-focused growth groups – you will not leave the same person.

Our Competence and Character Growth Model Certificate utilizes face-to-face real-time, online (video conferencing) learning sessions; and self-paced learning modules to encourage interaction among you and your homework partner, as well as faculty throughout each 7-week term.

  • 1-hour, interactive online session with Dr. John Townsend.
  • 3-hour bi-monthly virtual training + Q&A with Dr. Townsend and the Institute Fellows.
  • 150 training videos and podcasts by Dr. Townsend for the certification courses.
  • Draw on Dr. Townsend’s decades of experience through resources that help you grow.

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Hear students describe the power of learning at the Townsend Institute.

One-of-a-Kind Program

You may think online programs are isolating, boring, difficult to use, and that all you do is read and write papers by yourself. Dr. Townsend is a passionate visionary who reimagined a new kind of graduate training. He created the Townsend Institute and developed an online program that is highly relational, experiential, skill-focused, and academically excellent.

Utilizing the best in adult learning principles, the latest e-learning technologies, and gleaning from his decades of experience in designing effective trainings, we are confident this one-of-a-kind program can deliver a rock-solid, robust learning experience that rivals face-to-face programs. Below are some of these innovative features.


Experience the Extraordinary

  • Biblically Based. All truth is God’s truth. The counseling skills you learn are integrated with biblical principles.
  • Cutting Edge Neuroscience. Dr. Townsend and our faculty study and teach the latest neuroscience principles.
  • Marketable Skills. Practice over 20 counseling skills. Demonstrate a competency level that will improve your job and promotion opportunities.
  • Character Growth + Academic Learning. Research demonstrates the single most important factor for change in counseling is the relationship between you and the client, therefore your personal growth is a high priority.
  • Highly Relational. We learn better in a community of intimate relationships. Each week you will meet with a homework partner. You will also experience intimacy and safety in the unique community we are building in your online classes.
  • Experientially-Focused, Video-Enhanced Curriculum. Your professors model the skills, facilitate group discussions, present case studies, and help you apply the theory to your personal and professional life.
  • Faculty are Approachable, Experienced Practitioners. They are master practitioners with decades of “real world” experience. They are leaders who have contributed to their profession through peer-reviewed articles, books, and other scholarly works.
  • Flexible, Affordable, Accelerated. Learn at your own pace, in bite-size portions over time. If you move through your course of study faster, you can reach your dreams more quickly.
  • World-Changers. Be equipped to serve, lead, and impact the world in significant ways. Develop a “real,” relevant, engaging, and courageous lifestyle for living out your faith.

The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.

Proverbs 20:5

Enhance your capacity to bring growth and healing to others.

You can choose to earn a Professional Townsend Competence & Character Growth Model Certificate (4 courses) in a little over 5 months or the Advanced Townsend Competence & Character Growth Model Certificate (6 courses) in a little over 7 months. Students will take one 7-week course at a time. Learning activities will involve approximately 10 to 15 hours of your time invested each week.

Term Start Date
Summer/Fall 2020 August 3, 2020

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Townsend Fellows

A Deep Bench of Experience

When you make a choice to invest in your future by continuing your education, you want to be sure your time is well spent. That’s where our program offers a distinct advantage. In addition to top-tier Faculty, Dr. Townsend has assembled a world-class team of over 50 influencers, the Institute Fellows who have broad platforms and are widely recognized. Dr. Townsend offers his students personal access to New York Times bestselling authors and thought leaders, the heads of great organizations, leaders of leaders, and top researchers and clinicians. You will connect to these influencers and practitioners in Dr. Townsend’s bi-monthly virtual classes and at the Kickoff Conference.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The Townsend Competence & Character Growth Model includes a 4-day Kick-off Conference at Concordia University Irvine at the start of the semester where you will connect with your cohort in a guided-process group experience to earn your first three credits. Students will incur travel* expenses to attend this required live session.

Tuition/Fee Cost
Non-refundable Application Fee: Domestic $50
Cost per Unit $615

*Tuition and fees are subject to change without notice

*travel costs depend on market fluctuations of currency rates and actual costs

Learn More about Financial Aid

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Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, but we encourage you to have all documentation in early because there are a limited number of spaces available. If you have any questions about the admissions process or need any assistance, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Application Requirements

  • An application with nonrefundable application fee of $50
  • One official transcript from a regionally accredited college or university that shows your confirmed bachelor’s degree. Official college transcripts must be sent in a sealed envelope.
  • Must have earned a cumulative GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale.
  • Written essay (2 pages, 500 words) addressing the following items:
    • Personal, professional, and educational goals
    • In your experience, what is the best way that a person grows or changes?
    • What interested you in applying to the Townsend Institute as opposed to other programs?
  • Minimum of 1 professional reference required. Personal reference optional.
  • A current professional resume
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Get Started Today

Have questions about the Townsend Institute’s online Townsend Competence & Character Growth Model Certificate? Not sure how to get started? Fill out the form below, and one of our admissions counselors will get in touch with you.

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