Addictions Counseling Specialization

This specialization will prepare the counselor to engage counselees controlled by life dominating sins, temptations, and addictive behaviors, and provide hope and direction to them in the midst of their struggles.

Two Phases

(for the ACBC Certified Counselor)

  • Phase 1: Education

  • Phase 2: Examination

This Course is For Anyone

  • You do not have to be an ACBC Certified Counselor to complete the Education Phase online, right here. 
  • However, to proceed to the Examination Phase, you must have already obtained ACBC Certification


Instructions for ACBC Certified Counselors: 

  1. Sign up for and complete this online course.
  2. Start reading 1,200 pages from the approved reading list
  3. After the reading is complete, fill out the form within the course.
  4. Below the form, enter your ACBC ID. This concludes your Education Phase for ACBC Addictions Counseling Specialization.
  5. When all of these steps are complete, fill out this form from ACBC to request examination access. ACBC’s Examination Phase will include a multiple-choice exam and written exam. Please note that The Addiction Connection & Grace Counseling Center DO NOT provide the examinations from ACBC. 

Phase 1: Education

Online Training + Required Reading

Engage in high-quality, focused training. You have two options for completion: 


Also, you'll need to read 1,200 pages from the approved reading list.

Core Training Requirements

You will complete a minimum of 20 hours of instruction covering the following topics:

  • 1

    Theological Foundations of Addictions

    • Introduction to the Course

      FREE PREVIEW
    • Understanding Addictions Biblically

    • Origin of Addiction

    • A Biblical Foundation of Addiction Counseling

    • Understanding the Disease Model of Addictions

    • A Biblical Understanding of Twelve Steps Programs

    • Understanding and Evaluating Celebrate Recovery from a Biblical Perspective

  • 2

    Orientation to Addictions Counseling

    • Where to Begin with Life Dominating Sins

    • How to Change Patterns of Thought and Behavior

    • The Role of the Church in Helping Someone Who is Addicted

    • The Role of the Holy Spirit in the Change Process

    • The Practical Outworking of the Holy Spirit in Addiction Counseling

    • Understanding Temptation: A Framework for Counseling All Types of Addiction

  • 3

    Issues in Addictions Counseling

    • Medical Issues and Addictions

    • Counseling and Substance Abuse

    • Counseling and Gambling

    • Counseling and Sexual Sin

  • 4

    Addiction Intervention Strategies

    • Prevention Strategies for Addiction - Part 1

    • Prevention Strategies for Addiction - Part 2: Glorifying God Through Intentional Parenting

    • Counseling Families Impacted by Addiction

    • Counseling an Addict's Enabler

    • How to Conduct an Addiction Intervention - Part 1

    • How to Conduct an Addiction Intervention - Part 2

  • 5

    Completion of ACBC Addictions Specialization - Education Phase

    • Reading Requirements from ACBC

    • Prepare for ACBC Addictions Specialization Exams

    • Study Guide from ACBC

    • After reading 1200 pages from ACBC-approved book list, sign this form!

    • Enter your ACBC ID

Phase 2: Examination

Multiple Choice Exam + Written Exam

Be tested to verify your retention and understanding of the biblical truths presented and their applications. This is a two-part process including a multiple-choice exam and a written exam with in-depth case studies. Contact ACBC for more information.

Instructor

DMin, Biblical Counseling, ACBC since 2002, CADAC II

Dr. Mark E. Shaw

Mark is a certified biblical counselor and Founder of The Addiction Connection. As an author, speaker, teacher of the Word, and certified alcohol and drug addiction counselor, Mark has been involved in helping people who struggle with addictions since 1991. He serves as the Director of Counseling at Grace Fellowship Church in Florence, KY. He and his wife, Mary, have 4 young adult children.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who can take advantage of this training?

    Anyone can take this online course on Thinkific. You do not have to be an ACBC Certified Counselor to complete Phase 1 online, right here. However, to advance to Phase 2, you must be an ACBC Certified Counselor.

  • When and where can I obtain this specialization?

    Phase 1 of the training can be completed online, right here on Thinkific. All you need to do is sign up for the course below! You'll have access for 1 year. (One-time renewal fee for an additional year is $50 and must be requested by email to info@theaddictionconnection.org)

  • Is this course from an ACBC Certified Training Center?

    Yes! This course had been created by Grace Counseling Center (Grace Fellowship Church) in Florence, Kentucky, an ACBC Certified Training Center. This course is also supported and launched by The Addiction Connection, a ministry founded by Dr. Mark Shaw, who is the Director of Counseling at Grace Fellowship Church.

  • Is there a deadline to complete ACBC's Specialization process?

    ACBC Certified Counselors pursuing this specialization have one year to complete the entire process from beginning to end. This is also our suggestion for other counselors.

  • What happens/what do I get when I obtain this specialization?

    This specialization is further training in a specific area created for ACBC Certified Counselors. The specialization will be added to the online directory listing of every ACBC Certified Counselor who satisfactorily completes all elements of the specialization. Beginning in 2022, the Addictions Counseling Specialization will also count for Continuing Education Unit credit.

  • Is there any cost associated with earning a specialization?

    This online course only includes Phase 1 (open to the public) of the specialization. It costs $197. To complete Phase 2 (Multiple Choice and Written Exams) you'll need to contact ACBC and pay a separate fee of $50. Therefore, the total cost for the ACBC Specialization is about $250.00

  • Are specializations with ACBC required?

    At the present, this specialization is optional for ACBC Certified Counselors. In the future, it will be a part of the Continuing Education requirements for ACBC Certified Counselors.

  • I still have questions. Who can I contact?

    Please contact ACBC or visit their website: biblicalcounseling.com

Reviews

5 star rating

Great Course!

Bennie Bourn

This is an excellent, in-depth course to better equip someone for addiction counseling. I especially appreciated the thorough notes.

This is an excellent, in-depth course to better equip someone for addiction counseling. I especially appreciated the thorough notes.

Read Less
5 star rating

Addictions Counseling Specialization

Maggie Boggan

All material, both video presentations and corresponding notes, was outstanding. The objectives were clearly stated for each lesson, and the presentations we...

Read More

All material, both video presentations and corresponding notes, was outstanding. The objectives were clearly stated for each lesson, and the presentations were laid out in a logical format with clear biblical support for all areas. The comparisons made to secular and integrated counseling and counseling and treatment programs were eye opening, and hopefully this training material will be viewed by numerous local pastors and biblical counselors. This training even provides information on supplemental training available to strengthen skills as an addictions biblical counselor by becoming a commissioned addictions biblical counselor. It additionally provides information on biblical programs to help help both addicts and their families take their "next steps" biblically to be transformed, and is done within the context local church.

Read Less
5 star rating

Excellent Course

Anthony Law

Very thorough and informative. I highly recommend it for all ACBC members.

Very thorough and informative. I highly recommend it for all ACBC members.

Read Less
5 star rating

Excellent training on addictions

Terri Pols

Very well organized and extensive training in addiction. Greatly appreciated Dr. Shaw in his easy to understand lectures. Study notes were very helpful.

Very well organized and extensive training in addiction. Greatly appreciated Dr. Shaw in his easy to understand lectures. Study notes were very helpful.

Read Less
5 star rating

A Biblical Discipleship/Counselor Workshop for the Tran...

Jay Duffus

Dr. Shaw has written and presented an excellent "on-line workshop" to help further equip biblical discipleship/counselors for the rescue of mankind from li...

Read More

Dr. Shaw has written and presented an excellent "on-line workshop" to help further equip biblical discipleship/counselors for the rescue of mankind from life-dominating sins ("Addictions"). The syllabus he developed for this workshop provides discipleship/counselors with a very practical resource tool; revealing 30 plus years of Dr. Shaw's personal ministry experience along with favored biblical references he uses for counsel and from which he has developed effective ministry tools.

Read Less
5 star rating

Addiction counseling specialization

Michael Bartlett

Excellent course. Full of insight and very useful information. I would recommend this course.

Excellent course. Full of insight and very useful information. I would recommend this course.

Read Less

In Summary...

Addictions Counseling Specialization Requirements (For ACBC Certified Counselors)

  • Sign Up Below

  • Complete all lessons in the course

  • Read 1,200 pages from the approved reading list

  • Contact ACBC to request access to the examinations

Sign Up

Created in Collaboration with...

  • Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC)

  • The Addiction Connection (TAC)

  • Grace Counseling Center, a certified ACBC Training Center

ACBCT
TAC
GFC

Let's Stay "Connected"

(see what we did there?)

The Addiction Connection is a network of ministries who offer hope and healing for those struggling with addiction of any kind. Our network of biblical programs and ministries that stretch across America and the world exists to point people to Jesus Christ for answers. Members of our team are available for direction and wisdom for any of your addiction-related questions and needs. 

ACBC-Approved CEUs

Short on time? Sign up for one of these:

  • $33.00

    $33.00A Biblical Analysis of Steps-Based Recovery (3 Hours)

    Dr. Shaw critiques the disease model of addictions, twelve-steps programs, and Celebrate Recovery from a biblical perspective and offers a biblical alternative.
    Buy Now
  • $33.00

    $33.00Addiction Counseling: Where to Begin (3 Hours)

    Dr. Shaw gives the biblical counselor a foundational framework for all of biblical counseling and especially addiction counseling and applies it to different addiction issues.
    Buy Now
  • $33.00

    $33.00Helping Families Address Addiction Issues (3 Hours)

    Dr. Shaw describes the destruction of relationships typical in the addict’s family. This course will help you counsel and equip family members with resources to help them interact biblically with their addicted loved ones. It concludes with how to conduct an intervention for God’s glory.
    Buy Now
  • $22.00

    $22.00Heart Motives and "Addictive" Properties of Sexual Sin (2 Hours)

    Dr. Shaw gives an overview of the enslaving power of sexual sin using 1 Corinthians 6:15-20, communicates how the desires of the heart connect to this temptation, and offers counseling strategies for those in bondage to sexual sin.
    Buy Now
  • $22.00

    $22.00Medical Issues in Addictions (2 Hours)

    Dr. Shaw explains the purpose of medicine from Proverbs and the phenomenology of addiction. Withdrawal symptoms are described along with how the counselor can work with medical personnel.
    Buy Now
  • $33.00

    $33.00Role of the Holy Spirit & the Local Church in Addiction Counseling (3 Hours)

    Dr. Shaw brings clarity to addiction biblical counseling in the local church by teaching some essential truths that we believe about the Holy Spirit and the powerful Word of God which are the same truths that we need to minister to those struggling with addictions of all kinds. Practical resources to use in working with people caught in addictive lifestyles are given.
    Buy Now
  • $22.00

    $22.00Prevention Strategies for Addiction Relapse (2 Hours)

    Dr. Shaw introduces the five basic mentalities of “addictive thinking” and compares those to the five marks of a transforming Christian. Using these mentalities, counselors and parents can discern when a counselee is on the road toward relapse. How to glorify God through intentional parenting is emphasized and will help counselors both with parents and counselees.
    Buy Now
  • $33.00

    $33.00Theological Foundation of Addictions (3 Hours)

    Dr. Shaw lays a biblical foundation for addiction counseling in the local church, explaining the origin of addiction, habitual sin that becomes enslavement, addiction as idolatry and spiritual adultery, and passages from Genesis, Ezekiel 14, and Isaiah 44.
    Buy Now
  • $22.00

    $22.00Counseling a Gambler (2 Hours)

    Dr. Shaw describes the effects of gambling, communicates how desires of the heart connect to temptation, and provides counseling strategies with specific applications for those in bondage to gambling.
    Buy Now

Addiction CEUs

Stay current and keep up your counseling education with The Addiction Connection's continuing education units (CEUs).