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the american academy of grief counseling

Christian grief counseling certification

christ behinde grieving girlThe American Academy of Grief Counseling offers comprehensive, quality, Certification and Fellowship programs for qualified professionals including, physicians, nurses, counselors, social workers, funeral directors, clergy and other professional providers practicing the specialty of Christian Grief Counseling.

This Certification Specialty is available ONLY to those who are currently Certified as a Grief Counselor in the American Academy of Grief Counseling.

Certification Program: Courses and Prices

Application for Certification

Grief Counseling Blog

Christian Grief Blog

Code of Ethics for Certified Members





CHRISTIAN GRIEF COUNSELING BLOG: Please visit our Christian Grief Counseling interactive web blog. Our blog contains articles, news, events and information related the Christian Grief Counseling field.


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The objectives of the AAGC for Christian grief counseling certification are:

  • Provide high quality programs of Certification and Fellowship for professionals practicing grief/bereavement counseling with a specialty practice in Christian based grief counseling.

  • Develop and support high standards of education and practice requirements for the attainment of certification, fellowship status, and recertification in Christian based grief counseling.

  • Provide a mechanism for the ongoing involvement of a peer advisory board of qualified professionals to oversee program development and requirements for certification and fellowship in the AAGC.

  • 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 recertification and re-fellowship of its credentialed members, attesting to ongoing education and skill attainment in the practice specialty of grief/bereavement counseling from a Christian perspective.

  • 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 professionals practicing grief and bereavement counseling with a specialty in Christian grief counseling.


Certified Grief Counselor with a Specialty Certification in Christian Grief Counseling requires attainment of the following certification criteria:


  1. Applicants must hold current Certification as a Certified Grief Counselor by the American Academy of Grief Counseling. To review all information on the Grief Counseling Certification program: access here.
  2. Completion of the continuing education program in Christian Grief Counseling offered by the American Academy of Grief Counseling. Upon completion of the six (6) core courses in Christian Grief Counseling, the candidate may then apply for official Certification. This program of education consists of core continuing education courses designed to meet the specific education standards as developed by the American Academy of Grief Counseling for the practice specialty of Christian grief counseling. All courses are offered by distance education, and candidates have two full years to complete the complement of courses. For full program information: access here.

    Once Certified, members must commit to adherence to the Code of Ethics for Certified Grief Counselors and adhere to their specific profession's Standards of Practice.

Certification - Identification & Credentials

Those applicants who become certified by the AAGC in the specialty of Christian Grief Counseling- shall be deemed "certified" and may use the initials/credentials:

"Certified Christian Grief Counselor"


(Christian Grief Counselor- Certified)


All certifications shall be for a period of 4 years from the date that the initial certification by the AAGC is granted.



doctor and a nurse 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. To access: click here



Certified members may receive recertification at the expiration of their four year term by one of the following means:

  • Obtaining 50 or more hours of continuing education within the four year period of certification . Click here: Criteria
  • Meet the practice requirements in Christian Grief Counseling for the three year period of initial certification.
  • Criteria for Recertification


Those applicants who have successfully achieved certification, or recertification by the AAGC will receive a large size official Certificate attesting to certification as a child/adolescent certified grief counselor, 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 recertifying receive a new, updated certificate.

Standards & Code of Ethics

The Code of Ethics for Certified Grief Counselors, Fellows of the American Academy of Grief Counseling and Certified Christian Grief Counselors may be viewed online by clicking here. The Code of Ethics is approved by the Governing Board and the Advisory Board of the American Academy of Grief Counseling.

Fee Schedule

  • The certification fee for Certified Christian Grief Counselors 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. Application is available on this website.
  • Application for Recertification 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 recertification. 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 Health care Professionals.

Achieving Fellowship Status

The AAGC provides for a Fellowship status for Certified Grief Counselors. Fellowship is

granted following the successful completion of all requirements as defined by the AAGC. Fellowship status is considered the highest form of professional recognition by a certification body, and attests to the Fellow’s ongoing commitment, knowledge attainment, skill, and practice experience in the field of professional Grief Counseling. Those who achieve Fellowship status are deemed a "Fellow in the American Academy of Grief Counseling ", and may use the initials, FAAGC. Fellows may also continue to use the initials GC-C as they maintain their initial certification along with their Fellowship. Certified Christian Grief Counselors may continue to use the initials CGC-C as they maintain that certification status.

Fellowship Information

Requirements for Advancement to Fellowship

  • Requires a minimum of three years in certification as a Certified Grief Counselor.
  • Applicants for Fellowship shall be required to successfully complete one of the following requirements:
  • Completion of a Project in Grief Counseling/Bereavement Therapy- this may include preparing actual cases for formal presentation in written format, according to project guidelines. Other types of projects may well be considered by the AAGC. Criteria for completion of the project will be available in the Fellowship Handbook as published by the AAGC in the year 2001.Those who elect the project option must submit a formal proposal and have the proposal approved by the AAGC.
  • Completion of a Thesis in Grief Counseling/Bereavement Therapy- submission of a formal paper (thesis) according to guidelines approved by the advisory board. Criteria for completion of the thesis will be available in the Fellowship Handbook as published by the AAGC in the year 2001. Those who elect the thesis option must submit a formal proposal and have the proposal approved by the AAGC. Applications are made at the time the candidate is ready to submit their thesis, or evidence of the required continuing education hours. Applications are available by request only to the administrative office of the Academy. Applications are only sent to those who are currently certified by the Academy.
  • Following submission and approval of the completed thesis, candidates are sent a written examination to complete, based on their thesis. Candidates have a time limit in which to complete the written examination and turn it in to the Academy.


Those applicants to Fellowship shall have three years from the date of application for Fellowship to submit their completed project, thesis, or evidence of continuing education hours. If the applicant does not produce such, they will be required to reapply for consideration of advancement to Fellow. Certified Grief Counselors must maintain their certification status with the AAGC while advancing to Fellowship status.

Fellowship Designation

Those certified applicants who successfully complete the Fellowship requirements shall be designated:

"Fellow in the American Academy of Grief Counselors"

And may use the initials : FAAGC

Timeline & Fee Schedules

Fellowship shall be for a 5 year period. Re-application is through evidence of continued education in Grief Counseling. Once a candidate for Fellowship is granted Fellow in the AAGC, they will pay a $ 250.00 fee for the 5 year Fellowship period. If the candidate has time left in certification (4 year period), then, the AAGC will prorate this toward their Fellowship fee.

For candidates submitting a project or thesis, there is a one-time fee required of $ 150.00 for peer reviews and processing. This payment is due at the time of submission of the project or thesis.

Reapplication Requirement

Reapplication for continued status as a Fellow requires 150 hours of continuing education over a 5 year period.

Review of Fellowships Projects - Thesis

The AAGC shall contract with two Certified Grief Counselors to review and grade all projects and papers and make recommendations for advancement to Fellow status. As such, applicants will pay a fee for application for project approval. Once the AAGC has granted a sufficient number of Fellowships, then the AAGC will contract with Grief Counselor Fellows to review and grade projects and thesis.


Click here to request more information

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Pastoral Thanatology Certification

The American Academy of Grief Counseling also offers a comprehensive program for "Pastoral Thanatology" Certification. Access information.

Online Application

Click here for the online application. Please print application and submit to:

The American Academy of Grief Counseling
2400 Niles-Cortland Rd. S.E. Suite # 4
Warren, Ohio 44484
Phone: 330-652-7776
Fax: 330-652-7575