For those looking to be a beacon of hope for people suffering from addiction, Seton Hall's Division of Continuing Education and Professional Studies in conjunction with the Archdiocese of Newark offers a can't-miss opportunity during the summer months.
From June 22 through August 12, the Division will run the summer cohort of its online iTHIRST Spiritual Companionship Certification Training Program. Classes will be held every Tuesday and Thursday, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Please visit the iTHIRST Spiritual Companionship Certification Training Program page to register.
The iTHIRST Program seeks to provide a spiritual remedy for the desolation, abandonment and guilt that are all "hallmarks" of the addicted life through specialized programs that students are trained to develop and implement. The iTHIRST Program also aims to provide support for treatment facilities and those incarcerated, and to develop an aftercare community for the afflicted and their families. Students enrolled in the program will offer spiritual consolation and recovery resource information to the afflicted and their families and will work with their pastors to develop or supplement a recovery ministry that fits the needs of their parishes. Upon completion, they will be academically certified through both iTHIRST and Seton Hall University and will receive 4.8 Continuing Education Units.
The program is led by Keaton Douglas, alumna of Seton Hall's Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology and founder and executive director of the iTHIRST initiative, which is an acronym for "The Healing Initiative—Recovery, Spirituality and Twelve steps." The initiative seeks to give people in recovery the spiritual tools they need to stay clean and lead the faith-based fight against substance-use disorders, especially opioid addiction. The iTHIRST curriculum has been taught in the Archdiocese of Boston at the behest of Cardinal O'Malley's Opioid Task Force; to seminarians in Heredia, Costa Rica; and at the Shrine of St. Joseph in Stirling, New Jersey.
"Addiction is a disease which is spiritual in nature. It's a desire to assuage a pain to fill a hole in the soul, and it has devastating physiological and psychological ramifications," says Douglas. "But if we really believe that addiction is a spiritual disease, then who was really offering spiritual remedy? The Church was not really doing anything systematically, and that truly had to change."
The program has already borne fruit for many. "The iTHIRST Program has exceeded my expectations. It is so relevant for our times when many people, families and communities are impacted by addiction, whether from substance abuse, video gaming, gambling or other unhealthy attachments," says Nancy H. from Boston, Massachusetts. "Offering interesting subject material presented in a lively, dynamic and interactive format and opportunities for small group discussion in a supportive environment, the program is a great resource for understanding the roots and nature of addiction and path to recovery."
About the Division of Continuing Education and Professional Studies
Continuing Education offers a wealth of opportunities for those who wish to enhance their education, expand their skillset or pursue new interests. The Division provides superior programs and training in cutting-edge subject areas and trending topics, either on campus, off-site or online. Continuing Education, with its diverse offerings of credit, non-credit, degree, professional certificate and training programs, helps job-seekers and truth-seekers alike to learn what works to enhance their lives, improve the world and achieve success in their careers. Its programs are taught by distinguished University professors and leading practitioners in the field. Schedules are flexible and designed for the working professional or the adult student with a busy life. The Division also offers corporate and small business training, small group and independent learning.