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Online Program Trains Students to Provide Spiritual Support to Those who Suffer from Addiction  

continuing education and professional studiesSeton Hall's Division of Continuing Education and Professional Studies, in conjunction with the Archdiocese of Newark, is launching a new online program that will empower students to answer the
Church's call to be a beacon of hope to those suffering from addiction.

The iTHIRST Spiritual Companionship Training Program seeks to provide a spiritual remedy for the desolation, abandonment and guilt that are all "hallmarks" of the addicted life through the development and implementation of programs designed to educate and prevent. The 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.

Running February 1 through March 24, classes will be held online every Monday and Wednesday from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Please visit the iTHIRST Spiritual Companionship Training Program page to enroll. 

The program will be 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. Douglas also serves as a consultant, educator, counselor and frequent guest speaker in the field of addiction and recovery, particularly as it pertains to the interface of Catholic spirituality and recovery.

"Now is a critical time to become involved in this ministry," says Douglas. "Overdose rates nationally are up 30-40 percent this year, and funds earmarked for recovery programs have been diverted to COVID-19 related needs. We as a church have an opportunity and responsibility to help fill in the gaps."

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.

Categories: Education , Faith and Service

For more information, please contact:

  • Continuing Education and Professional Studies
  • (973) 761-9087