The Association for Death Education and Counseling® offers a two-level certification program for thanatology professionals. This program protects the public by creating a standard for thanatology practice while it helps professionals develop and demonstrate their mastery of knowledge of thanatology and thanatology-related issues.

In today’s competitive and challenging markets, it is important to identify individuals with qualified knowledge and advanced professional competency in thanatology.  ADEC’s foundation certification, Certified in Thanatology: Death, Dying and Bereavement (CT®), recognizes practitioners and educators in the discipline of death, dying, and bereavement who meet specified knowledge requirements measured through a standardized testing process. The advanced certification, Fellow in Thanatology: Death, Dying and Bereavement (FT®) recognizes those who have additionally demonstrated advanced levels of competency in teaching, research and/or clinical practice. The Certification in Thanatology and Fellow in Thanatology denote special education and training in the field. Obtaining and maintaining this certification makes no statement regarding the holder’s competency in practice, nor does it constitute licensure.

The Credentialing Council

In 2011, the ADEC membership voted to establish an autonomous Credentialing Council to oversee, administer and maintain the credentialing process for ADEC. The Council comprises at least seven voting members, representing the various constituencies served by the credentialing program: four credentialed members (with at least one of those holding the FT), a nonmember representing the general public, an individual representing the community of potential employers, and a council chairperson (who must hold either the CT or FT). The chair of the Credentialing Council is Helen Chapple, RN, PhD, CT, CCRN. 

The mission of the Credentialing Program is to verify and affirm expertise in the field of thanatology. As ADEC promotes excellence and recognizes diversity in the field, the Credentialing Program encourages a strong foundation for practice and recognizes professional achievement. Through this work, the Credentialing Program supports the advancement of thanatology and assists the public in identifying individuals who are qualified in the field of death, dying, and bereavement.


ADEC Certification Deadlines:
Application Deadline – September 17, 2014
CT/FT Examination – November 8, 2014

Learn more about ADEC Certification:

CT® Directories

View a list of individuals who currently hold Certification in Thanatology.

View a list of individuals who are currently Fellows in Thanatology.

Educational Events

See the Educational Events page for listings of courses and conferences in thanatology.

For additional certification information, including fees for CT®, FT® and recertification, contact ADEC's Credentialing Administrator.

Updated: July 8, 2013