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ICI ‘CORAM DEO’ is a team of Ukrainian teacher-mentors who have become the first graduates of three-year Biblical counseling program of the Ukrainian Institute of Family (UIF) as well as the first members of its staff. The program – the first such program in the post-Soviet countries – was created and initially taught by Ron Harris, who served as UIF Academic Dean for 5 years. Ron Harris is a Canadian citizen, an ordained minister since 1986, and a member of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (NANC).

Ron strives to teach a counseling approach proposed by Westminster Theological Seminary and its partner Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF). This approach is known in the West thanks to the publications of Resources for Changing Lives. Teaching and learning based on the authority and self-sufficiency of Scripture is the main principle of Ron Harris’ work. For the past 35 years, Ron has been teaching Biblical Counseling to students in the USA, Canada, Russia, Belarus, Romania, and Ukraine.


Since 2002, Ron has been involved in the missionary work in Ukraine, helping equip pastors and church leaders of the Russian-speaking world with the knowledge and skills in the area of counseling. By 2010 more than 280 Christian ministers from Kiev, Lvov, Odessa, Kharkov, Rovno, Lutsk, Zhitomir, Sumy, Chernovtsy, Ivano-Frankovsk, Mariupol, Poltava, Kherson, and Krasnodar have successfully completed the program.

Throughout the years Ron continues to dedicate his heart, time, and efforts to develop and strengthen Ukrainian teams of teacher-mentors who themselves would be able to teach Biblical Counseling and multiply the teams of teachers in Ukraine and other countries. The team of Ukrainian teachers of ICI ‘Coram Deo’ is the first ‘fruit’ and heir of this vision. Moreover, in close partnership with ICI ‘Coram Deo,’ Ron Harris published six works, which have enriched the program and introduced it to wider circles. Catechism for Counsellors, Doctor’s Instruments, Soul’s Conflict, When Help Is Needed, Spiritual Surgery, and Arrows of the Almighty have become a valuable addition and resource for Biblical counselors.

Dr. Harris also trained emerging leaders of Biblical Counseling in the presence of the observers. Sharpening an Axe is a practicum designed to develop practical skills. Even today this resource supplements ICI ‘Coram Deo’ program, perfecting the mastery of ‘Coram Deo’ leaders and encouraging everybody involved to use Scripture in various counseling situations wisely and sensibly. There are no lectures; anybody who wishes can be present at these lessons.

During the few years before his retirement, Ron was involved in the development of a special resource – the series of video recordings of counseling sessions which would be used for training and developing practical ministry skills. Thanks to those efforts, beginning in 2008, the team of Ukrainian teachers of ICI ‘Coram Deo’, under the supervision and in close collaboration with Ron Harris, offers the local church a revised and improved program of Biblical Counseling.

After the departure of Ron and his wife Linda to Canada, the Institute has continued to develop and today the growing team of the Institute teaches not only in the countries of the former Soviet Union, but also in Germany, Israel, and the USA. The team of teachers and mentors of ICI consists of more than 50 people. Our students and graduates – more than 1,000 people already – teach this program in their local churches throughout Ukraine and beyond, transforming the lives of thousands of people.

Мария, Рон, Алексей, Людмила
Maria Vipna, Alexey Tolochyants, Ron Harris, Ludmila Munko

© 2022. International Counseling Institute "Coram Deo"