“Dedicated to Continued Learning, Growth, and Achievement in Health Care Practice”
The objectives of the Spiritual Counseling Certification Program are:
- Provide a high quality program of Certification for those who are qualified and called to the practice of Spiritual Counseling and Care.
- Develop and support high standards of education and practice requirements for the attainment of certification.
- Provide a mechanism for the ongoing involvement of a peer advisory board of qualified professionals to oversee program development and requirements for certification.
- Provide society with a mechanism to ascertain the appropriate education, skills, knowledge and experience required by professionals who offer such services.
- Establish quality standards and requirements for the re-certification of its credentialed members, attesting to ongoing education and skill attainment in the practice specialty of Spiritual Counseling.
- Provide a comprehensive program of approvals for continuing education, seminars, offerings, independent study, and other related educational activities, to ensure high quality standards are met and that such programs are of value to those practicing Spiritual Counseling.
Spiritual Counseling Certification
Certified Spiritual Counselor – requires attainment and/or verification of the following certification criteria:
- Completion of an official, established education program to prepare individuals for the practice of Spiritual Counseling. Educational programs must have provided a minimum of 320 hours of lecture/study. Candidates for certification must present valid evidence of successful completion of such program. Candidates whose can demonstrate evidence of successful completion of such programs within a five (5) year period prior to the date of application for certification, are eligible to receive certification as a Spiritual Counselor. Such programs may include university and college based courses, continuing education seminars, retreats, and distance learning programs, etc. AIHCP offers a full online program of continuing education courses, that when successfully completed, meet the education requirements for application for Certification as a Certified Spiritual Counselor. Access information here. This curriculum is more broad-based without a specific religion focus.
- Certification Christian Option: the AIHCP also offers a full Certification Program in Spiritual Counseling with a “Christian Focus.” Candidates for Certification may chose this option of Certification: access here.
Prerequisite to enrolling in the Spiritual Counseling continuing education programs: registrants must meet at least one of the following;
- A registered nurse currently licensed to practice nursing.
- A licensed social worker.
- A health care licensed professional.
- A health care provider with a minimum of an associate degree.
- A licensed counselor or psychologist.
- Holds a bachelor’s degree or higher in psychology, human services, or other health related field.
- Works in health care chaplain ministry under the direction of a pastoral chaplain/clergy.
- Is in current practice as a minister (licensed/ordained) or is a crisis counselor.
- Is a certified addictions counselor.
- Is currently certified in grief counseling, stress management consulting, or pastoral thanatology.
If you would like to find out if you meet the qualifications for this certification program. Please submit an Inquiry Form at the following link: Access Here.
Certification – Identification & Credentials
Those applicants who become certified by the AIHCP in Spiritual Counseling may use the initials/credential SC-C, after their names: “Spiritual Counselor, Certified”
The Certification Process:
We have a dedicated page that provides a quick over-view of our certification process. It will provide you with good information about the process/phases of both the education courses and application for certification. Click here to access.
Certification Option: Christian Focus
Those applicants who become certified by the AIHCP in Spiritual Counseling and complete the CE education curriculum for Spiritual Counseling with a Christian Focus, may use the initials/credential SCC-C after their names. “Spiritual Christian Counselor, Certified”
To preview the Spiritual Christian Counseling CE Education Program: click here.
All certifications shall be for a period of 4 years from the date that the initial certification.
Certified members may receive re-certification at the expiration of their four year term by:
- Obtaining 50 or more hours of continuing education within the four year period of certification. Click here to view the Criteria for Re-Certification.
Those applicants who have successfully achieved certification, or re-certification receive a large size official Certificate attesting to certification, as well as an official letter of notification. The certificate is suitable for framing and details the official professional certification title, initials that may be used, and time frames for certification. Those re-certifying receive a new, updated certificate. Wallet size identification cards of certification are also presented.
- The certification fee for Spiritual Counseling is $200.00 for the four year term of certification. Payment in full is due at the time of application. If an applicant does not meet certification criteria, the application fee is refunded. A completed application must be mailed in to the with full payment to be considered for certification. Applications are available on this website.
- Application for re-certification is $200.00 for the next four year period. This is a one time payment and is required in full at the time of application for re-certification. A completed application must accompany the payment.
- Major credit cards are accepted. Check and money orders are to be payable to: The American Institute of Healthcare Professionals.
Education Programs for Re-Certification
Applicants may obtain education hours by completion of any type of formal program in specifically related to spiritual counseling, spiritual practices and spiritual care. Such programs include:
- University/College Programs and Courses
- Continuing Education Courses
- Distance Learning Programs
- Self-Study Programs that award CE credits
- Courses offered by Professional Associations
The AIHCP reserves the right to approve all such courses for consideration toward re-certification. For any courses to be considered, applicants must submit copies of all certificates of completion or transcripts verifying completion. Applicants who are using their degrees to meet partial fulfillment of the education requirements for certification must have official transcripts submitted from their University or College, directly to the AIHCP.
The American Institute of Health Care Professionals, provides a “Fellowship Program” for its certified members in Spiritual Counseling. Access Information
Click here for our the Code of Ethics for Certified Members.
Click here to view education programs that are approved by the AIHCP for Spiritual Counseling.
Click here to request more information.
Click here for the online application. Please print application and postal mail.
What is Certification?
“A certification is a third-party attestation of an individual’s level of knowledge or proficiency in a certain industry or profession. They are granted by authorities in the field, such as professional societies and universities, or by private certificate-granting agencies. Most certifications are time-limited; some expire after a period of time (e.g., the lifetime of a product that required certification for use), while others can be renewed indefinitely as long as certain requirements are met. Renewal usually requires ongoing education to remain up-to-date on advancements in the field, evidenced by earning the specified number of continuing education credits (CECs), or continuing education units (CE’s), from approved professional development courses. “ 1
Certification is an official recognition from a “Professional Organization” that one has met all of the established standards as determined by that professional organization to be conferred the specific “certification” by that professional organization. Certifications are most frequently established and conferred by “professional organizations.” Certification is thus a validation that a professional has thus achieved a high standard of knowledge, learning and skills in a specific specialty area of practice. It attests to an achievement in professional practice that is beyond that achieved for licensure. It is also specialty practice specific, rather than generic in nature.
Certification is distinctly different from ‘licensing.” Licensure is conferred /granted by the Government. In most all cases, licensure is the responsibility of the State Government. Every state has its own government agencies that oversee and confer licensure to professionals, i.e. the state boards of nursing. Licensure is established by “laws” and then specific rules and regulations which conform to the tenets of the state’s laws. Licensure is granted and over-seen by state agencies. Certification, on the other hand, is NOT licensure and is not established by any “laws.” Licensing agencies generally do not “oversee” professional certifications, unless their specific laws mandate a certain professional certification, in order to practice. An example of this would be: for a registered nurse to receive and be conferred a license as a “Nurse Practitioner” most states require that the RN also have Certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. So, in order to be licensed as a nurse practitioner, the nurse must hold certification from one of those two professional organizations. The State Board of Nursing does not oversee the certification, but rather requires it for nurse practitioner license.
Why Achieve a Certification?
“Professional certification shows consumers and potential employers that you are committed to your profession and are well-trained. It gives them confidence in your abilities and knowledge. Certification makes you more valuable to employers, so you can expect to earn more than someone without certification. Certification also offers advancement opportunities.” 2 Other compelling reasons to consider a specialty practice certification include: Acquire advanced knowledge and skills in a sub-specialty health care practice: 1) Achieve national recognition for attainment of knowledge and skills by meeting established standards of professional advanced practice, 2). Enhance and expand your health care practice, 3). Increase your marketability, 4). Be viewed as a credentialed expert in your practice specialty, and 5). Become part of a professional group and network of recognized and certified health care specialists.
Report findings published on Nurse.com revealed the following regarding Nurses that held certifications: 1). Certified nurses make more money, 2). Certified nurses have respect and recognition, 3). Certified nurses have validated competence in their specialty area, 4). Certified nurses are more marketable and hireable, 5). Certified nurses perceive they have more power in their organizations, 6). Certified nurses have more professional opportunities, 7). Certified nurses have standing among their professional peers, and 8). Certified nurses are more confident. 3
While these study finds were specific to the nursing profession, we believe such benefits are applicable to all health care professionals who hold practice specialty certifications, especially related to recognition, opportunities in employment and validated competency in their practices.
A major hallmark of quality Certification programs is the mandate that Certified Members commit to continued learning in order to maintain their certifications. This is most generally achieved by requiring a recertification process in which certified member’s document continued learning in their practice specialty by way of continuing education. Certifying bodies will establish quality standards for the requirements for its certified members to achieve contact hours of continuing education credits in order to maintain their certification status by the organization or association. 1, 2
The American Institute of Health Care Professionals upholds this high quality standard for recertification of its members by an established program of recertification via mandatory continuing education as well as clinical practice hours over a four-year time frame. Certified members may recertify their status upon meeting the standards established for recertification of their practice specialties.
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Professional_certification October 2018. Page 1.
- https://www.collegetransfer.net/AskCT/WhatisProfessionalCertification/ October 2018
- https://www.nurse.com/blog/2018/03/14/enjoy-the-perks-of-nurse-certification/ October 2018