Counseling Courses & Schedule

Graduate Certificate in Addiction Counseling Studies

Foundations of Chemical Dependency Counseling

Purpose:  To examine the prevalence and etiology of alcohol and other drugs of abuse on individuals, families, and society.

Course Objectives:

1.   To address the pharmacological properties and physiological, psychosocial, and cultural aspects of psychoactive substances;

2.   To learn about the assessment and classification of alcohol and other drugs of abuse disorders and characteristics of diverse population groups, and;

3.   To gain knowledge of the Twelve Primary Functions of addiction counselors, as well as systems theory and several other theories of helping persons with addictions.

Required Texts:

Rasmussen, Sandra. Addiction Treatment: Theory and Practice. Sage Publications, Inc., 2000.

Smith-Acuna, Shelly. Systems Theory in Action. Wiley, 2010. [Also available as a Kindle Edition.]

Recommended Reading:

Ray, Oakley and Ksir, Charles. Drugs, Society, and Human Behavior. McGraw Hill, 2004. ISBN: 0-07255743-5 [Available used on]

Ellis, Albert, et. al. Rational-Emotive Therapy with Alcohols and Substance Abusers. Pergamon Press, 1988. [Available used from]


Pastoral Care and Addictions

Purpose: To facilitate the development of a theology of pastoral care with addictions (primarily substance abuse) for use in the parish ministry.

Course Objectives:

1.    To educate theological students regarding different types of psychoactive substances and in the concept of addiction;

2.   To show how family (both addicted and non-addicted) dysfunction, shame and substance abuse are often related;

3.   To develop a coherent theology of recovery, utilizing Christian theology and the twelve-step tradition, and;

4.   To address pastoral care concerns regarding the practical application of these theological insights in the practice of parish ministry.

Required Texts:

Kurtz and K. Ketchum, The Spirituality of Imperfection.  New York: Bantam, 1992.

Weaver, Andrew, Hosenfeld, Charlene and Koenig, Harold, Counseling Persons with Addictions and Compulsions: A Handbook for Clergy and Other Helping Professionals.  Cleveland: The Pilgrim Press, 2007.

Recommended Reading:

Stephen Arterburn and Jack Felton, Toxic Faith: Experiencing Healing from Spiritual Abuse.  Colorado Springs, CO: WaterBrook Press, 2001.

Patrick Carnes, Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction.  Minneapolis: CompCarePublishers, 1983.

Merle Jordan, Taking on the Gods: The Task of the Pastoral Counselor Nashville: Parthenon Press, 1986.

Gerald May, Addiction and Grace.  New York: Harper & Row, 1988.

Linda Mercadante, Victims and Sinners: Spiritual Roots of Addiction and Recovery.  Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1996.

“The Big Book”.  Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, 1976.

Counseling Theories for Addiction Counseling

Purpose: To introduce students to major theories of counseling and psychotherapy with special emphasis placed on the use of these theories in addiction counseling.

Course Objectives:

1.   To evaluate various helping theories on their own merit as well as from a faith perspective;

2.   To identify the specific techniques associated with the theories;

3.   To demonstrate the ability to research information about the theories and draw conclusions, and;

4.   To demonstrate a tentative personal approach to addiction counseling based on the theories.

Required Texts:
(select one from the following choices)

Burl E. Gilliland, et. al., Theories and Strategies in Counseling and Psychotherapy. Prentice-Hall, Inc. Englewood Cliffs, NJ [May need to buy this edition used since it has been updated, however it is adequate for our purposes.]

Richard James and Burl Gilliland, Theories and Strategies in Counseling and Psychotherapy, 5th ed. Prentice-Hall, Inc. Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 2003 [This is an updated version of the text above.]

Recommended Reading:

Gerald Corey, Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy. 9th ed. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole Cengage Learning, 2013, 2009.  [Available from Amazon in a Kindle edition as well as print book.]

Stanton L. Jones and Richard Butman.  Modern Psychotherapies: A comprehensive Christian appraisal. InterVarsity Press, 2011

U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services. Addressing Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors in Substance Abuse Treatment.   [This book can be downloaded free of charge from]


Counseling Techniques and the Helping Relationship for Addiction Counselors

Purpose:  To introduce the student to a myriad of counseling techniques that will allow the student to become more effective when providing addiction counseling, use counseling techniques that will build confidence in the client where life experiences become building blocks instead of limitations, develop an aptitude that is theologically sound for creating a safe and wholesome milieu where growth can occur, and learn the ethical principles that protect the substance abuse client and the clinician.

Course Objectives:

1.   To define professional ethics and how it relates to substance abuse counseling;

2.   To describe and demonstrate (4) advanced counseling techniques;

3.   To utilize counseling techniques that promote common attributes that are most effective in positive change from addiction behaviors;

4.   To establish trust between the counselor and client, which is the foundation of any process of counseling technique that affords the relationship to move forward;

5.   To teach the client how to break the addictive cycle and establish total abstinence from all mood-altering drugs, and;

6.   To support and guide the client through trouble spots and setbacks that might otherwise lead to relapse.

Required Texts:

Thompson, Rosemary A., Counseling Techniques: Improving Relationships with Others, Ourselves, Our Families, and Our Environment, 2nd Edition. Routledge Publishing, 2007.

Corey, Gerald and Corey, Marianne Schneider. Becoming a Helper 6th edition. Cengage Learning, 2010.

Corey, Gerald and Corey, Marianne Schneider. Theory and Practice of Group Counseling, 8th Edition, Cengage Learning, 2011.

Recommended Reading:

O’Hanlon, William. Do One Thing Different: Ten Simple Ways to Change Your Life.

Small, Jacqueline. Becoming Naturally Therapeutic: A Return to the True Essence of Helping.


Special Topics in Addiction Counseling: Ethics, HIV/AIDS, Screening, and Orientation

Purpose: To introduce students to programs and leadership involvement in HIV prevention.

Course Objectives:

1.   To identify religious and theological principles that support HIV prevention;

2.  To understand the potential roles and activities that faith leaders may undertake in HIV prevention, and;

3.   To identify strategies to facilitate partnerships between public health and faith communities in support of HIV prevention.


Advanced Formation for Addiction Counselors

Purpose:  To guide the student on how to develop a case study for a potential client, to discuss the importance of a case study and how it relates to the ongoing treatment for the client and the significance to the agency, and to craft a philosophy of treatment by utilizing the addiction theories and techniques, in terms of efficacy within each circumstance.

Course Objectives:

1.   To develop a realistic client case study;

2.   To analyze the best philosophy of treatment approach for a newly established treatment program;

3.   To complete a convincing mission and vision statement, a set of written bylaws, and the creation of a board of directors, including an advisory board, and;

4.  To present a newly-established treatment program.


The current schedule of classes follows:

Sept 5-Nov 8, 2014
Sept 4 –
Nov. 7, 2015
AC 10000 Foundations of Chemical Dependency Counseling
AC 20000 Pastoral Care and Addictions

Jan 9-March 14, 2015
Jan 8-
March 12, 2016
AC 30000
Counseling Theories for Addiction Counseling
AC 40000 Counseling Techniques and the Helping Relationship for Addiction Counselors 

May 15-July 25, 2015
May 13-
July 23, 2016
AC 50000 Clinical Evaluation
AC 60000 Advanced Formation for Addiction Counselors

For more information about this new educational opportunity at Memphis Theological Seminary, please contact Melissa Malinoski, Admissions Associate at (901) 334-5857.