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Earn Certification

Certification in Thanatology

“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

In today’s competitive and challenging markets, it is important to identify individuals with qualified knowledge and advanced professional competency in thanatology.

The Association for Death Education and Counseling offers a two-level certification program for thanatology professionals, Certified in Thanatology®, the CT®,  and Fellow in Thanatology®, the FT®. The certification program aims to protect the public by creating a standard for thanatology practice, while helping professionals develop and demonstrate their mastery of knowledge of issues related to death, dying and bereavement.

ADEC certificants are recognized across disciplines as leaders in their respected fields, in many countries around the world. The next certification exam will take place on November 3, 2018. Applications must be in by September 7, 2018.

Learn more about:
Certification in Thanatology® (CT®) 
Fellow in Thanatology® (FT®)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) 
Maintaining Certification 
Certification Exam 
Pre-Approved Programs

Who should pursue certification in the field of thanatology?


Funeral directors Clergy
Physicians Nurses
Hospice personnel
Hospital and mental health professionals
Social workers Psychologists

And anyone interested in demonstrating their knowledge of thanatology, documenting their professional and educational achievement, and willing to fulfill the prescribed standards for certification.


What's the value of earning Certification in Thanatology?


What's the difference between Certification and a Certificate in Thanatology?

Certification involves not only coursework, but also requires experience in the field, successful completion of a qualifying exam, and ongoing continuing education to maintain. Certificate programs offered by many colleges, universities and other non-profit organizations require applicants to obtain continuing education credits, but do not offer a test of knowledge and do not require ongoing supplementation of one's body of knowledge. In this, ADEC's credential is unique.

Obtaining and maintaining this certification does not constitute licensure. ADEC makes no statement regarding the holder’s competency in practice. It is ADEC’s policy to take action regarding any known misrepresentation of the CT by a certificant or by others.

Please contact ADEC Headquarters for questions about certification.