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Earn Certification

Thanatology Certifications

ADEC offers a two-level certification program for thanatology professionals awarding the credentials of:

  • CT® - Certified in Thanatology: Death, Dying and Bereavement
  • FT® - Fellow in Thanatology: Death, Dying and Bereavement

The Purpose of the Certification Program is to:

  • recognize individuals with specialized knowledge and professional experience in the field of Thanatology.
  • assist professionals in the mastery of issues related to death, dying and bereavement (loss, grief and mourning).
  • promote the recognition of certificants as leaders in their respective fields in countries throughout the world.

Who Should Pursue the Certification in Thanatology?

Anyone interested in being recognized for their knowledge and experience in thanatology, such as:

 Death Educators Funeral Directors/Personnel  Child Life Specialists
 Counselors  Hospice Personnel  Organ Procurement Personnel
 Therapists  Palliative Care Personnel  Ethicists
 Social Workers  ICU/ER/NICU Personnel  End-of-Life Specialists
 Nurses  Mental Health Practitioners Bereavement Personnel
 Physicians  Psychologists  Memory Care Personnel
 Clergy/Chaplains  Sociologists  

The Value of Earning a Certification in Thanatology

  • Recognition by Peers. Certification sets you apart from other individuals in the field, offering greater professional prestige among peers.
  • Recognition by Administrators. In a survey of employers in the field, more than half of responders said that certification is strongly considered in hiring and promotion decisions; a quarter indicated that credentialed employees earn a higher wage and have a wider scope of duties.
  • Recognition by the Public.Certification in industry-related fields leads to overall greater distinguished professionals in the chosen field.

What is the Difference between a Certification in Thanatology and a Certificate in Thanatology?

  • Certification requires:
  • coursework.
  • experience in the field.
  • successful completion of a standardized exam.
  • oongoing continuing education and professional development.
  • “Certificate” programs require coursework but:
  • do not offer standardized testing of knowledge.
  • do not require ongoing continuing education .



I don’t know of any other certification that offers greater breadth and depth than the CT.”

Wayne Leaver, PhD, FT, bereavement manager, Fort Myers, FL

“The CT isn’t easy to get; it’s a difficult test that requires a lot of studying. When our employees take the test and pass it, they know they’ve accomplished something significant.”

Kathie M. Green,MA, CT, clinical educator, Fort Myers, Fl"

Becoming certified in thanatology means you’ve mastered the body of knowledge and demonstrated that mastery through a comprehensive exam. It’s not a qualification, license or degree, but rather a reflection of an individual’s professionalism, persistence and commitment to the field.”

Helen Stanton Chapple, PhD, RN, MA, CT, assistant professor, Omaha, NE