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“The writing and research that was required in the Graduate Certificate in Addiction Counseling program helped me write a grant application to the city of Memphis so that the Hospitality Hub,  a hospitality and resource center for homeless persons in downtown Memphis, could expand a fledgling jobs program for homeless people This work is effectively helping people to permanently exit homelessness.” Kelcey D. Johnson

Associate Director, Hospitality Hub

This certificate program aspires to prepare Christians to offer competent counseling services to individuals, families, and groups who struggle with the effects of Substance Use Disorders. The program offers the number of educational hours that the Tennessee State Board of Alcohol and Other Drugs of Abuse Counselors requires for licensure as an Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor (LADAC). Mississippi and Arkansas are ICRC states, which means they have an Addiction Certification and our courses should meet these standards for certification. This is a one year program where students who complete all six courses receive the Graduate Certificate in Addiction Counseling Studies. Students have the option of focusing on just the certificate or if they meet the qualifications to be admitted as a master’s student they can attain a MACM degree with a concentration in addiction counseling. The MACM is a three-year masters program, to learn more click here.

The Addiction Counseling Certificate (ACC) program is a cohort style program which will include 3 sessions beginning with a mandatory orientation.  Each session consists of 2 evening classes, for 13 weeks. Classes will be from 6-9pm. All classes meet on the main campus in Memphis. 


A two-hour meeting with prospective/enrolled students in which they are made familiar with the (a) overall aim of the program/concentration, (b) the content of the program, (c) MTS policies regarding grades and attendance, (d) our expectations of their computer skills.

Session 1

AC10000 Introduction to Substance Abuse Counseling  (Mr. Jon Jackson, NCAC I, LADAC II, QCS, Instructor)

Introduction to the nature of substance abuse treatment including (a) and overview of the Eight Domains, (b) certain terms and definitions, including: substance use versus abuse as found in the DSM-5 language, (c) the stages of use, the stages of recovery, (d) recovery and spirituality, (e) selected theories of addiction, (f) fundamentals of substance abuse counseling, including certain skills, Seven Core Therapeutic Conditions, MI and MET. Class will meet on Thursdays 5:00-9:00pm

AC20000 Co-Occurring Disorders (Dr. Don Thomas, DMin, EdM, LPC/MHSP, Adjunct Professor of Pastoral Care)

Introduction to (a) the nature of common mental health disorders that co-occur with substance abuse, and (b) common approaches to evaluating persons for these disorders, as well as common management strategies in agency settings. Class will meet on Fridays 5:00-9:00pm

Session 2

AC30000 Counseling Theory for Substance Abuse Treatment (Dr. Jerry Harber, D.Min., LMFT, LPC/MHSP – Adjunct Professor of Pastoral Care)

An introduction to the use of (a) Cognitive Theories of treatment, (b) Crisis Counseling and suicide intervention theory, and (c) certain marriage and family theories, such as, General Systems Theory as it applies to Families, The Family Disease Model, and Bowen’s Theory of Family SystemsMost students will need to continue their education in these areas in order to develop proficiency necessary to function at a professional level. Class will meet on Thursdays 5:00-9:00pm

AC 40000: Domains of Substance Abuse Treatment – Part One (Mr. Jon Jackson, NCAC 1, LADAC, QCS, Instructor)  

An introduction to the Eight Domains of Addiction Counseling and the counseling skills needed for each domain. A specific emphasis on the first four domains including: Intake/Screening, Assessment, Treatment Planning, and Documentation. Class will meet on Fridays 5:00-9:00pm

Session 3

AC 50000: Domains of Substance Abuse Treatment – Part Two (Mr. Jon Jackson, NCAC 1, LADAC, QCS, Instructor)

A continuation of the Eight Domains of Addiction Counseling and the counseling skills needed for each domain. A specific emphasis on the domains of Case Management, Referral, Continuing Care/Discharge, and Ethics. . Class will meet on Thursdays 5:00-9:00pm

AC60000 Selected Topics in Substance Abuse Counseling (Instructor TBA)

To include; (a) Ethics in counseling, (b) treating special populations, (c) developing the philosophy of treatment, (d) application preparation, (e) testing preparation. Class will meet on Fridays 5:00-9:00pm

August 24 – Mandatory Orientation

Fall Semester 2018

  • August 30, 31-December 6, 7
  • Fall Break—Thanksgiving, November 19-23
  • Reading Week and Finals, December 3-14

Spring Semester 2019

  • January 31, February 1-May 2, 3
  • Spring Break, April 15-19
  • Reading Week and Finals, May 6-17

Fall Semester 2019

  • August 29, 30-December 5,6
  • Fall Break—Thanksgiving, November 25-29
  • Reading Week, Final Exams, December 2-13


Memphis Theological Seminary completed the rigorous process of obtaining recognition by the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC) as an Approved Academic Education Provider (provider #AP-020).

Ms. Shirley Beckett Mikell, Director of Certification and Education for NAADAC, observes that MTS is one of only twenty academic institutions in the United States that “hold the distinction of NAADAC recognition as an Approved Academic Education Provider.”

Courses offered by NAADAC Approved Education Providers meet the requirements of the National Certification Commission for applicants seeking initial certification as addiction counselors, or those re-certifying.  In addition, many states automatically accept training hours from NAADAC Approved Education Providers towards state certification or re-certification requirements.


We appreciate your interest in Memphis Theological Seminary. The MTS admissions staff is committed to supporting you in your theological journey. We are here to help you while you are discerning your call, considering degree and certificate options, and supporting you as you do ministry in the real world. At MTS we are committed to educating and sustaining men and women for ordained and lay ministry in the church and the world through shaping and inspiring lives devoted to scholarship, piety, and justice. Please don’t hesitate to ask how we can assist you along in your journey.

Admissions Associate

Rev. Byron Forester

Rev. Byron Forester

Admissions Associate

Byron is a graduate of Bethel University (1974) and of Memphis Theological Seminary (2007). He serves as pastor of Hopewell Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Benton Co. MS and as Coordinator of Ministries for West Tennessee Presbytery. He participates and serves in several ministries to people who are unsheltered. Byron and his wife, Michelle Brown have three daughters. They live five blocks from MTS.

Contact Byron: