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Program Standards


CCNI has identified several components as essential to quality training and skill-based development in the Christian coaching profession and have outlined the standards accordingly.  


Mission and Long Term Strategies

The program’s mission and long-term strategies are congruent with the purposes for which recognition status exists; to advance the level of professional coaching in the Christian industry.

Doctrinal Statement

There is strong alignment in the program’s doctrinal statement with the doctrinal statement of Christian Coaches Network International.

Financial Support

There is a commitment to providing financial support to ensure the quality and effectiveness of the program.

Faculty Support

Faculty is recognized as a body that can greatly influence and enhance the program’s curriculum and instructional design. Faculty must be included in substantive decisions regarding the program.   

Learning Environment Support 

Faculty and students must have access to instructional resources such as computers, libraries, learning communities, and other resources that will aid in rich educational experience. Technical support for distance learning environments is made available. Reasonable accommodations are made to assist faculty and students with disabilities or who are in a protected class.

Communication Support

Information about the program including the program’s recognition status, admission decision requirements and policies, admission practices, calendars, grading and skills assessment policies, fees, and withdrawal information, must be widely available on websites, catalogs, advertisements, publications and other electronic media such as email announcements and advertisements.


Where applicable, programs provide evidence that students are covered by professional liability insurance while enrolled in practicums and internships.

Access to Information

Students have access to program policies, Christian Coaches Network International recognition standards, and contact information for Christian Coaches Network International in case of a question or complaint.

Sponsoring Institutions

The sponsoring institution, if a body of higher education, must be duly accredited by an undergraduate or graduate degree-granting institution.



Faculty must be qualified to teach professional level coaching. This qualification is reflected in an industry standard credential, instructional competence, and practical experience in coaching a wide variety of contexts.

Professional Development

Faculty must continue their coach education and skill development. The ultimate goal is that all faculty are actively working to obtain a mastery level of coaching skill.

Teaching Excellence

Faculty have an opportunity to be evaluated by their students in a confidential manner. The results of which are provided to faculty on a regular basis.



The program’s curriculum leads to a solid understanding and application of coaching skills that adequately prepares the student to sit for professional credentialing through CCNI. It is to be understood and communicated to administration, faculty, and students that the CCNI program recognition or coach credentialing does not automatically satisfy the requirements of other credentialing bodies unless an express agreement has been created.
A quality training/educational program must:

  • Have clearly defined outcomes related to the student’s learning and performance.
  • Use a mixture of learning activities and experiences to help the student achieve these results.
  • Have an assessment process to show if the actual results meet the intended results
  • Use the findings to ensure quality improvement.

The program must show in their training/instructional materials where students learn and practice the skills and competencies of coaching. The program must provide opportunities for students to demonstrate knowledge in the following areas:

Content Areas

Core curriculum must include content on the competencies of coaching as defined by the International Coach Federation (ICF), including additional instruction in how the Christian worldview impacts the coaching conversation and relationship with the client. 
At a minimum, the curricula will:

  • Provide an understanding of the history of coaching.
  • Define the role of coaching in today’s environment.
  • Explain the impact of coaching on the Christian community.
  • Clarify the coach’s role and responsibility as it may pertain to “mandated reporting” or crisis intervention regulations.
  • Inform students of professional organizations that support coaching.
  • Provide options for professional credentialing.
  • Supply the ICF definition of coaching.
  • Supply the CCN definition of Christian coaching.
  • Convey the role of scripture and the work of the Holy Spirit in coaching.
  • Compare coaching to other helping modalities; pastoring, mentoring, discipleship, counseling.
  • Impart ethical guidelines & professional standards in coaching.
  • Instruct students on how to establish the coaching agreement.
  • Educate students on how to establish trust and intimacy.
  • Teach the importance of establishing coaching presence.
  • Incorporate training on active listening.
  • Integrate powerful questioning.
  • Include teaching on direct communication.
  • Contain information on creating awareness.
  • Foster students in helping clients to design actions.
  • Provide content on planning, goal setting, managing accountability and progress.
Supplemental Instructional Material

To help support a wider understanding of this emerging discipline, we strongly suggest adding supplemental modules or research assignments on how learning and human development impact coaching, the use of assessments related to human behavior, aptitudes and skills, the signs of common mental disorders, neuroscience research of coaching, and an introduction to calculating a return on investment in coaching.

Instructional Time

The program must dedicate at least 80% of its instructional time to basics of core coaching skills and how faith is integrated into the discipline. Instructional time includes the following activities; teaching/training/instruction, peer coaching, mentoring in a synchronous environment.

Practice and Application

Skill development for a student coach can be effectively observed as the coach applies knowledge of the competencies and the integration of faith in a coaching session. Each student must have ample opportunity to practice these skills in a peer format with observation and feedback given to the student by their peers.

The program must also build in faculty observed coaching sessions. For each 30 hour program, there must be three observed coaching sessions. For 60 hour programs, there must be 5 observed coaching sessions, two of which may be recordings sent to the instructor. The goal is for faculty to make suggestions for improvement that will better prepare the student to obtain professional certification.

Assessment of Learning

The program must assess the learning outcomes that address the knowledge and skills of the content areas listed above. The student must be aware of the content to be tested on, the examination method, performance evaluation criteria, exam grading criteria, and what constitutes a passing score.

Program faculty must report the results back to the student with suggestions for improvement.

Program faculty and administration must engage in program evaluation measuring the mission, learning objectives, and student learning outcomes, and use the results for program improvement. This includes the measure of impact post completion. Graduation rates, employment rates, credential examination pass rates are some examples of measures to be tracked.

Program faculty and administration must document the procedures for evaluating the quality and effectiveness of the program’s outcomes.

Students must have regular opportunities to formally and confidentially evaluate the instructional environment, faculty performance, and overall effectiveness of the program. 





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