Clergy Training


Addiction Survival Kit for Clergy: Core Competencies

According the 2001 study, “So Help Me God” from the National Center of Addiction and Substance Abuse of Columbia University:

  • 94% of clergy surveyed consider substance abuse to be an important issue they face.
  • 38% find alcohol abuse involved in half or more of the family problems they confront.
  • 12% of clergy report any education on substance abuse in their seminary training.

The faith community can play a vital role in prevention and recovery. But conversations about alcohol and drug use, misuse and addiction are rare and uncomfortable in most congregations. Though one family in four has direct experience with someone with an addiction experience, a subtle taboo keeps the subject in the closet until a crisis occurs.

An understanding clergy, supported by committed and trained members of the congregation, has a tremendous opportunity to serve by addressing addiction problems in very early stages.

A ministry of prevention and recovery support offers real hope. This session will help equip clergy with the information to effectively address addictions in their congregations. It will help them create healing places through in-reach and outreach in their community, places where addiction recovery is valued and supported.


Participants will be equipped with knowledge and skills that build confidence and commitment to initiate and support prevention and addiction recovery ministries within the congregation.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this class, participants will be better able to:

  • Recognize the impact of addiction on individuals, families, and congregations.
  • Utilize opportunities to educate and support those suffering from addiction.
  • Demonstrate essential self-care skills when working with these ministries.
  • Identify effective prevention strategies in the life of the congregation.
  • Illustrate how clergy and laity successfully work together in this vital ministry.
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