Advanced Specialty in Addictions Counseling

This specialty is for professionals who are working in the field and are seeking a certification in addictions counseling. It is a four course, 12-credit option that is completed in two semesters.

Individuals seeking the Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor certification (CADC) must have a minimum of a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university and meet the required 4,000 supervised work hours in the addiction field (6,000 hours for those with a degree outside of the behavioral sciences) to qualify for certification after completing the coursework at Waynesburg University. Students must be currently employed as a counselor at an agency providing addictions counseling and complete a formal application for the Examination for Alcohol and Drug Counselors through the Pennsylvania Certification Board (PCB).

Individuals who have a master's degree in counseling or a related field are eligible to enroll in the certification program regardless of employment status, but must have 2,000 work hours and 300 supervised hours in the addiction field to qualify for the Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CAADC) certification. In addition, students must pass the Advanced Examination through the PCB in order to attain CAADC certification.

All of the courses offered in this program are approved by the PCB as fulfilling educational requirements leading to CADC or CAADC certifications.

Course Curriculum

CNS 527 Pharmacology of Psychoactive Substances 3.0 credits
CNS 537 Addiction Counseling Techniques 3.0 credits
CNS 539 Addiction, Stress and Trauma 3.0 credits
CNS 558 Family Therapy in Addiction 3.0 credits

Advanced Specialty in Christian and Spiritual Counseling
  • 100% online!

This specialty is designed to train practicing counselors, counselors-in-training (post 60 credits), educators and/or other helping professionals to address issues of religion and spirituality in a variety of counseling and ministry settings including, but not limited to: private practice, hospitals, community agencies, faith-based organizations, churches and chaplaincies. It is a four course, 12-credit option that is completed in one semester and available 100% online.

In alignment with Waynesburg University’s emphasis on the connection between faith, learning and serving, the Advanced Specialty in Christian and Spiritual Counseling trains students to gain the awareness, knowledge, and skills necessary to effectively and ethically integrate faith with the service-focused profession of counseling.

Course Curriculum

CNS 509 Spirituality and Religious Values in Counseling 3.0 credits
CNS 515 Theories and Techniques of Christian and Spiritual Counseling 3.0 credits
CNS 547 Grief and Loss Counseling 3.0 credits
CNS 555 Advanced Issues in Christian and Spiritual Counseling 3.0 credits

Admissions Requirements

To be considered for admission into the Advanced Specialty in Addictions Counseling or the Advanced Specialty in Spiritual and Christian Counseling, you must submit the following:

  • A completed online application.
  • A current resume.
  • A faculty interview.
  • Personal statement/essay.

Students whose native language is not English must also submit an official report of TOEFL scores or other proof of competency in English.

Waynesburg University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, religion, age (over 40), or disability status as a Vietnam-era, qualified disabled veteran or other protected veteran, or status as a member of any other protected class under federal or state law in the educational programs or activities it offers, and is in compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

Academic Curriculum

Course descriptions for the Advanced Specialty in Addictions Counseling:

CNS 527 – Pharmacology of Psychoactive Substances (3 credits)

All major categories of drugs are addressed in this addiction specialized course. Learn the terminology, drug classification, physiological effects, psychological effects, withdrawal syndrome, drug interactions and treatment applications, and explore neurological commonalities of addiction as well as the hypothesized role of neurotransmitters and endogenous chemicals in addiction.

CNS 537 – Addiction Counseling Techniques (3 credits)

This addiction specialized course explores the evaluation, assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of abuse and addiction disorders. Learn ways of adjusting counseling methods to sensitively address age, sex, and cultural differences, co-occurring disorders, medical illnesses, criminal justice involvement, and disabilities in a variety of counseling settings.

CNS 539 – Addiction, Stress and Trauma (3 credits)

This course addresses the role of stress and trauma in the life of individuals with addiction, specifically investigating the role of stress and violence, and how addictive behavior is used as a maladaptive coping response to stress and trauma. Examine how repeated exposure to traumatic events affects development, interpersonal relationships, and neurological functioning and development.

CNS 558 – Family Therapy in Addiction (3 credits)

This addiction specialized course involves an exploration of family issues in abuse and addiction. Topics include system theory and family dynamics; codependency; abuse issues; the family life-cycle; developmental issues in families; the role of culture in families; co-occurring disorders, including medical and psychological disorders; and models of family therapy.

Course descriptions for the Advanced Specialty in Spiritual and Christian Counseling:

CNS 509 – Spirituality and Religious Values in Counseling (3 credits)

This course provides an overview of the ethical and competent incorporation of spiritual and religious values within counseling. Topics explored include: definitions of religion, spirituality, and counseling; counselor self-awareness; an overview of culture and worldviews related to various belief systems; spiritual and religious development across the lifespan; communication of spiritual and religious themes in the counseling relationship; and multicultural assessment, diagnosis, and treatment strategies that include consideration of the religious and spiritual domain.

CNS 515 – Theories and Techniques of Christian and Spiritual Counseling (3 credits)

This advanced topic course explores historical and current theories and techniques of Christian and spiritual counseling. Consideration is given to the application of the various theoretical approaches to clients across diverse populations and settings. Students will engage in applied practice of the presented theories and techniques to ensure competency.

CNS 547 – Grief and Loss Counseling (3 credits)

This course explores theories and techniques used in a holistic approach to bereavement and grief counseling. It also examines the relationship between religion and grief, including the role of faith communities in response to various types of grief. Consideration is given to the experience, conceptualization, and needs of clients experiencing grief and loss across diverse populations and settings.

CNS 555 – Advanced Issues in Christian and Spiritual Counseling (3 credits)

This advanced topic course prepares students to integrate Christian and spiritual counseling into their work as professionals. Advanced development of skills, knowledge, and awareness in Christian and spiritual counseling includes consideration of ethical and legal issues as well as collaboration and consultation with the community. This course includes a field experience component.

Graduate Counseling

James Hepburn

Program Director for the Master of Arts in Counseling-Program Director for the Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling Education-Professor of Psychology


Graduate Programs in Counseling