The Importance and Benefits of Thanatology Certification

november blog 2019

Thanatology is the study of death and dying. That is a very simplified definition because the subject matter encompasses a wide variety of disciplines, including scientific, religious, spiritual, and psychological. Death and dying are a part of life that greatly impact us as human beings, in every way possible. We often worry or avoid the thought of our own mortality and the process of easing loved ones into death can cause major trauma for those grieving.

Those who complete thanatology coursework learn a great deal about death lore, various traditions that are important to different ethnic and religious groups, the scientific and medical factors involved in a death, and tools of psychology that can help prepare loved ones and ease the process for those who are in the midst of the experience.

The Benefits of Certification in Thanatology

For funeral service professionals, a certification course in thanatology can be extremely beneficial. The knowledge and skills obtained through general and applied thanatology gives you a fuller knowledge base to work with the deceased and their family members. This can be an extremely emotional time for many families. The need to both honor their loved ones and find healthy ways to work through their own grief can be difficult.

The information available through a rigorous thanatology certification program allows you to better understand your clients and their needs. While thanatology is a very advantageous course of study for those in the funeral industry, it can also be an exceptionally beneficial knowledge base for other end-of-life professionals.

These are a few career paths and life situations where specialized training in thanatology can be of great use:

  1. Funeral Director. Thanatology certification offers a wealth of information to aid funeral directors in better serving family members and helping to honor the deceased.
  2. Family Caregiver. Often today, children and younger family members take the lead in caring for their elderly relations. Many families can't afford full-time health professionals and the bulk of the health and personal care needs fall to relatives. Thanatology coursework can help prepare family members for these last stages of life and give them good coping tools for the emotional and psychological process involved for their loved one as well as the extended family.
  3. Hospice Volunteers. Those who work with palliative care and hospice patients see the dying process first-hand, in an intimate way. Thanatology coursework can give you a mastery of the tools to help patients and their families as they make their final transition.
  4. Hospital Workers. Healthcare professionals deal with a wide range of patients. Thanatology coursework can help you better understand what terminal patients and their families are going through. It also improves your skills in helping families that are dealing with a sudden loss.
  5. Nursing Home and Long Term Care Professionals. For those who work in nursing homes and long term care facilities, a certification in thanatology allows for a better understanding of the process and more advanced tools to aid your patients and their loved ones.
  6. Spiritual and Ministry Professionals. Often spiritual and ministry professionals are the first people that grieving families turn to during these difficult transitions. While they are often very skilled in their own spiritual teachings, core knowledge of thanatology can give them more in-depth knowledge of the process in order to aid the members of their faith.
  7. Counseling and Mental Health Professionals. For those who work with mental health, thanatology provides a more in-depth look at the process of dying and the ways it will impact grieving family members.

Are You Interested in Certification Programs in Thanatology?

At Pierce Mortuary Colleges, we offer a certification program in thanatology that is specifically designed to provide the most inclusive knowledge base for end-of-life professionals. We believe the skills learned through these courses provide a wealth of empathy and information for professionals in a range of fields and that their patients and loved ones benefit from improved care.

Contact Mid-America College of Funeral Service today at if you'd like more information on our thanatology certification program.

Previous Blog Posts for Pierce Mortuary Colleges

  1. The Importance and Benefits of Thanatology Certification
  2. The Growing Need for Proficiency in Green Funeral Services
  3. Designer and Custom Caskets
  4. Time Management Skills for Online Degrees
  5. Day in the Life
  6. Grieving and Social Media: Does Posting About Your Anguish Hurt or Help?