With permission, I am republishing the following article, written by Judy Santos.  Judy is a Master Certified Coach and the founder and director of the Christian Coaches Network (CCN).  This article was originally published in the Christian Coaches Network Member News June 2006.

Why CCN Aligns with ICF

We are sometimes asked why the Christian Coaches Network chooses to respectfully align with the International Coach Federation, a secular organization.  

Denominations and mega churches tend to write their own rules on the application of coaching.  Each is standing alone in establishing guidelines and applications within the framework of their world view.  Some are associating with other Christian organizations.  We can only hope that the name of professional coaching is not misconstrued.

The credibility and effectiveness of coaching always comes back to the same things: having programs led by well-trained, experienced coaches. Within the profession, no standard is more widely recognized or respected than ICF certification and accreditation of coach training courses.

We have to keep our focus on the big picture and look at how Christian coaches integrate into both secular and Christian settings.

ICF has over 10,000 paying members worldwide, after the recent changes in membership requirements.  That means at least 10,000 coaches agree to align to professional coaching standards and ethics set out by ICF.  This sets a professional standard.
The ICF has been in existence for more than a decade and is the professional umbrella organization that is respected worldwide.  It is ICF who has the highest standards for certifying coaches and also for accrediting coach training courses.

ICF has worked tirelessly to educate the public about the philosophy and benefits of professional coaching.  This is huge task, but one that bears fruit.  Most cutting edge corporations who hire coaches now have an ICF standard requirement.

CCN not only represents many denominations but also members who feel led to coach in the secular marketplace.  By aligning with ICF, we are adding credibility to what is still a new profession.

As Christian coaching turns corners, it is in the process of creating new avenues, formats and applications within parachurch organizations, denominations, seminaries and the local church.  It’s a very exciting time to be a coach involved in ministry organizations and the Lord is opening doors of opportunity to integrate coaching into ministry either formally or informally.

By aligning ourselves with the highest standards in the profession while serving Christ, we believe the credibility and effectiveness of Christian coaching is without bounds.

Article written by Judy Santos;  please see acknowledgement above.