James Arland Berg (born 1952) is a writer on biblical topics, especially counseling, discipleship, and Christian growth.
Berg was reared in a working-class home in South Dakota, where he did farm chores, worked in a restaurant, and learned to trouble-shoot machinery with his father. Many of his illustrations are taken from his varied life experiences. Berg earned an undergraduate degree in Bible (1974) and an M.A. degree in Theology (1976) from Bob Jones University, a Fundamentalist Christian institution. He received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Tabernacle Baptist Theological Seminary (Virginia Beach, Virginia). Berg has taught seminars on biblical counseling and leadership development organized by fundamentalist Protestant churches.
Berg served as Dean of Students at Bob Jones University for 29 years (1981-2010). Beginning in the summer of 2010, Berg joined the faculty of the BJU Seminary to teach courses, serve as a spokesperson for BJU at conferences, counsel pastors and members of the university family, and "provide resources for pastors who are facing issues beyond their training and experience."
Berg's book, Changed into His Image, has been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, German, Russian, and Chinese. Of it, Roy B. Zuck, editor of Bibliotheca Sacra, writes that "it is filled with extensive discussions of Bible passages dealing with various aspects of spirituality and with numerous practical illustrations of real-life situations. These evidence Berg's long-time ministry in working with college students and speaking in Bible conferences." Biblical Viewpoint notes that Berg "has done his exegetical homework" in Created for His Glory, and his "words are direct and simple."
In 2014 Berg's counseling of sexual abuse victims was criticized in report by G.R.A.C.E., an independent agency hired by BJU in 2012 to access its policies and procedures for responding to students who revealed they had been sexually abused or assaulted. BJU reviewed Berg's writings and determined that they were "faithful to Scripture," though it noted that his later works had had "the benefit of ongoing growth in, and mastery of, his subject matter." The University promised to "continue to use these materials in our courses and make them available in our campus store and through BJU Press.
Berg's wife, Pat, also teaches at BJU and assists him in his counseling ministry. They have three married daughters: Kirsten, Angie, and Michelle.
- Basics for Believers (1978) ISBN 1-57924-315-0
- Changed into His Image (1999) ISBN 1-57924-205-7
- When Trouble Comes (2002) ISBN 1-57924-812-8
- Created for His Glory (2002) ISBN 1-57924-809-8
- Quieting a Noisy Soul (2005) ISBN 1-59166-495-0
- Essential Virtues: Marks of the Christ-Centered Life (2008) ISBN 1-59166-883-2
- Voice of the Alumni [BJU alumni magazine], 83.3 (2010), 28; Greenville News, July 20, 2010.
- Bibliotheca Sacra 158 (October 2001), 486-87. "In the forward Ken Collier writes that he has used the...book to disciple new believers, instruct newly married couples, encourage new parents, help parents with wayward children and even explain to teenagers how to have meaningful devotions."
- Biblical Viewpoint 37 (November 2003), 102-03.
- http://netgrace.org/investigation/bob-jones-university/; http://www.bju.edu/grace/.
- review in Baptist Bulletin