American Association of Christian Counselors
American Association of Christian Counselors

Gerontology and Aging 101

Counselor Training Programs
Click here to purchase Caring for Seniors 101
Click here to purchase Caring for Seniors 201
Enroll in Caring for Seniors God’s Way 101 and/or 201 for only $349 per course (Regularly $800 per course).
Dear Friend:

Getting older. Health concerns. Retirement. Caregiving. End of life issues.

One of the most significant and challenging counseling populations over the next 20 years has to do with… aging. What some call the golden years… and others call the not so golden years. It’s the study and practice of gerontology.

There are more people over the age of 65 alive today than any other period in history. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that the number of older people will surpass the number of children within the next decade. By the year 2030, U.S. adults 65 and older will more than double to over 92 million. In response to this increasing need, it is critical that Christian counselors and life coaches be equipped to help assist the elderly.

At the AACC, we are extremely excited to announce our new specialization program and certificate courses in Gerontology and Aging. If you work with, have influence on, or have family members in their later years, these dynamic and robust courses are for you!

Caring for Seniors God’s Way 101 and 201 will help equip you to respond to the growing needs of your clients and provide them with competent and compassionate care at every stage of life. Our goal is to help you understand the tough issues the elderly wrestle with today and confidently use the Bible when working with those who need clear direction, support and encouragement. These new, distant learning courses are video-based training programs and feature some of the world’s leading experts.

Enroll now and enjoy our Scholarship Savings opportunity. Regular tuition for each new course is $800, but the AACC Executive Committee is making available to you a $451 scholarship. Each course includes the complete set of 12 video lectures and a comprehensive work text complete with detailed study notes and exams.

When you successfully finish this program (more than 200,000 students have enrolled in a Light University course), you will earn a Certificate of Completion.

Don’t wait! Enroll now and enjoy the best savings we have to offer. I can’t wait to see what God is going to do through these BRAND-NEW programs!


Tim Clinton, Ed.D., LMFT
President, AACC and Light University
Tim Clinton

Each Course Includes:
12 Video Lessons on DVD
Comprehensive Worktext
Study Notes
Caring for Seniors God’s Way 101
Introduction and Core Issues
GERO 101: Introduction to Gerontology and Aging
Kathie Erwin, Ed.D. and Dwight Bain, M.A.
Gerontology and aging is a study of our future. As the aging population increases in the United States and worldwide, there is a growing need for counselors, coaches and caregivers with training in aging issues. This overview of aging identifies the significant issues and needs of a new generation of elders.

GERO 102: Demographics of Aging: Life Expectancy and Social Issues
Rick Caracciolo, Ph.D. with Jennifer Cisney Ellers, M.A.
The population is increasingly growing into a society that encompasses a large amount of elders. The aging population impacts society greatly. Family members, friends, and churches are just some of the areas that are affected by the aging population. Adaptations need to be made to accommodate this aging population because of the mental, physical, emotional, and social impairments that are common among the elderly. By preparing to end life well and making life adjustments as necessary, the aging person’s life can be more enjoyable.

GERO 103: Multicultural Issues of Aging
Elias Moitinho, Ph.D.; Melvin Pride, Ph.D.; Gemma Sohn, MSW; and
Eric Scalise, Ph.D.
The unique characteristics of different cultures affect the ways in which the elderly are cared for. The roles of family members and expectations for caregiving differ among cultures, impacting clients and the helping process. This session discusses beliefs and values for Hispanic, Asian, and African-American cultures.

GERO 104: Quality of Life and Health Assessments
Dwight Bain, M.A.
Quality of life decisions must be made when an elderly individual experiences stroke, heart disease, terminal illness, Alzheimer’s disease, and many other causes of impairment. In such situations, the role of a coach or counselor is to come alongside caregivers as they attend to the needs of their elderly family member. This session explains the CARE model, which helps clients make quality of life decisions.

GERO 105: Acute and Chronic Illness in Aging
Tim Jennings, M.D.
The impact of aging can be slowed and illnesses reduced based on the decisions that are made over a lifetime. Through healthy diet, exercise, avoiding toxic substances, and maintaining a healthy spirituality, aging decelerates. This session provides an action plan to slow the aging process and minimize the risk of illness.

GERO 106: The Aging Brain and Related Memory Loss
Daniel Amen, M.D. with Jennifer Cisney Ellers, M.A.
Alzheimer’s disease is the number one preventable cause of death in the United States. Many Americans live unhealthy lifestyles, thereby increasing the chances and severity of this disease later in life. This session teaches how lifestyle choices can help the aging brain and reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

GERO 107: Behavior Challenges and Personality Changes with Alzheimer’s and Dementia
Kathie Erwin, Ph.D.
Unpredictable behaviors are part of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, causing great concern for family members. Often, caregivers’ responses to these behaviors are inappropriate. This session discusses behavioral and personality changes characteristic of Alzheimer’s and the ways in which caregivers can develop positive, compassionate responses to such challenges.

GERO 108: Short and Long-term Disability in Aging
Tim Jennings, M.D.
Unhealthy beliefs, chronic stress, sedentary lifestyles, and dysfunctional relationships are just a few of the primary causes of accelerated aging. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is crucial for minimizing the impact of the normal aging process. This session teaches how to formulate an action plan to reduce the risk of disability and maximize functioning in later life.

GERO 109: Assisted Living and Long-term Care
Rick Caracciolo, Ph.D. with Jennifer Cisney Ellers, M.A.
There are over 50,000 assisted living options in the United States. However, many misconceptions about these services exist, causing confusion and less informed caregiving when it comes to decision making. This session explains long-term care options and provides guidelines for choosing a nursing home or assisted living facility.

GERO 110: Financial Issues of Aging: Estate Planning Basics
Stephen D. Lentz, Esq., J.D.
The American elderly are faced with numerous issues related to healthcare concerns, personal asset preservation, Medicaid and Medicare eligibility, retirement, and competency. The importance of planning, as opposed to reacting, is the key to protecting one’s assets. This session discusses the many options available for critical estate planning needs.

GERO 111: Ethical Issues and Elder Abuse
Eric Scalise, Ph.D.
There are millions of reported cases of elder abuse every year. Psychological, social, and deteriorating mental and physical capacity are factors that make elders more vulnerable to abusive situations. This session provides insight into the forms and prevalence of elder abuse, and teaches how to take appropriate action.

GERO 112: Faith and Spirituality in Aging
Michael Parker, D.S.W.
People are now living longer than ever imagined. Because of this, the Church has a pivotal role in rebuilding and preserving communities and lives. This session describes how spirituality has recently been incorporated into models of successful aging and how, through the inclusion of faith, counselors and coaches may help the elderly find their sense of purpose.

Click here to purchase Caring for Seniors 101
Enroll in Caring for Seniors God’s Way 101 for only $349 (Regularly $800).
Caring for Seniors God’s Way 201
Grief, Loss and End-Of-Life Issues
GERO 201: Multiple Losses in Aging
Kathie Erwin, Ed.D.
In the latter years of life, older adults experience a series of losses and role-exits. These may be by choice or circumstance and often affect every aspect of life. This session explains common role-exits older adults frequently face and the impact these can have on a person’s sense of purpose.

GERO 202: Loss of a Spouse
H. Norman Wright, M.A.
The loss of a spouse often leaves a person feeling alone, with the concept of “until death do us part” suddenly becoming reality. This session discusses grief and the many emotions associated with losing a spouse, as well as the ways in which caregivers can minister to clients during this period of transition.

GERO 203: Elderly Suicide and Homicide
Linda Mintle, Ph.D.
Suicide and homicide are significant and complex issues when treating the elderly population. Primary care physicians, community interventions, and senior peer counseling programs can be implemented to help minimize these tragic events. This session discusses prevention strategies, as well as warning signs for suicide and homicide.

GERO 204: Life Review and Aging
Michael Parker, D.S.W.
Life review enables individuals to recall the past and examine their lives, improving overall life satisfaction and wellbeing. The Christian community has a unique opportunity to capture the stories of elders, which is a late life antidepressant. This session emphasizes Erikson’s model of development and provides advice on how to document elders’ stories and experiences.

GERO 205: Financial Issues of Aging: Long-term Care
Stephen D. Lentz, Esq., J.D.
Long-term care considerations require advanced planning and allow individuals to maintain an optimum level of independence in later life. This session explains the various types of long-term care, the risks associated with specific options, and how the current Affordable Health Care Act affects elderly care.

GERO 206: Financial Issues of Aging: Medicare, Medigap and Medicaid
Stephen D. Lentz, Esq., J.D.
As people age, it is important to help them, as well as their family members, better understand the different types of available insurance programs for meeting the health related needs for elders. This session discusses the key components, coverage, and limitations of Medicare, Medigap, and Medicaid.

GERO 207: End-of-Life: Family Issues and Decision Making
Linda Mintle, Ph.D.
Throughout our lives, we typically anticipate and prepare for significant events and transitions. However, many neglect to plan ahead for the end of their lives. This session discusses the importance of making decisions in a timely manner and explains critical tasks families must address regarding end-of-life needs and planning.

GERO 208: Palliative Care and Dying

Jack Galle, D.Min.
Palliative care and hospice aim to relieve suffering and help a person live meaningfully and with dignity. Before addressing others’ needs to plan for the end of life, we must consider our own death and wishes. This session provides a framework for how palliative care treats physical, emotional, social, and spiritual pain associated with the end of life.

GERO 209: Grief, Loss and Family Bereavement
H. Norman Wright, M.A.
Everyone experiences grief and loss throughout life, especially the elderly. This session discusses eleven different kinds of loss, the dynamics of the grieving process, and how to effectively counsel and provide caregiving to a family or individual who has experienced significant loss.

GERO 210: Family Caregiving: Illness and Disability
Jennifer Cisney Ellers, M.A.
Eighty percent of long-term care in the United States is provided by family members. This caregiving process is one of the most stressful things a person can face, and often results in health problems, decreased social interaction, family conflict, and spiritual pain. This session provides practical tools for helping caregiver clients.

GERO 211: Family Caregiving and Resources in Alzheimer’s and Dementia
Jennifer Cisney Ellers, M.A.
Family caregiver stress can be higher when working with Alzheimer’s patients due to the duration of the disease, erratic behavioral and personality changes, and the role-reversal of the parent-child relationship. This session describes the unique challenges caregivers face and teaches how counselors and coaches can provide support.

GERO 212: Caregiving, Compassion Fatique and Self-care
Eric Scalise, Ph.D.
Caregiving often results in burnout and stress, which can cause health problems, decreased intimacy in relationships, and compassion fatigue. This session explains the differences in burnout and stress, the neurobiology of stress, and challenges counselors and coaches to develop a personal stress prevention plan.

Click here to purchase Caring for Seniors 201
Enroll in Caring for Seniors God’s Way 201 for only $349 (Regularly $800).

World-Class Faculty
Daniel Amen, M.D., is a physician; double board certified psychiatrist, teacher and five-time New York Times bestselling author. He is widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost experts on applying brain imaging science to everyday clinical practice. Dr. Amen is the Founder of Amen Clinics in Newport Beach, San Francisco, California; Bellevue, Washington; Reston, Virginia; Atlanta and New York City. Amen Clinics have the world’s largest database of functional brain scans relating to behavior, totaling 73,000 scans on patients from 90 countries.
Dwight Bain, M.A., is a pioneer in Christian coaching with more than 25 years of experience. He is a Certified Life Coach who has worked with executives, pro-athletes and business owners facing complex situations that required managing significant change. Dwight is a best-selling author, media personality and communicator who has worked with corporations like Disney, Toyota and Bank of America; as well as organizations such as Florida Hospital, the American Heart Association and the U.S. Army.
Rick Caracciolo, Ph.D., is a certified occupational therapist and pastoral counselor with extensive experience in assistive technology and rehabilitative therapy. He is the founder of Aging by Design Ministry and has a passion to educate counselors, patients and families on aging issues and the aging process. Dr. Caracciolo is the author of Aging Grace – Advice for Pastors, Counselors, and Families of Aging Relatives and Putting Your House in Order: A Vital Tool for Properly Managing Your Estate.
Jennifer Cisney Ellers, M.A., is director of Professional Relations for the American Association of Christian Counselors. She has worked in the field of Christian counseling since 1994, specializing in issues of grief, crisis, and trauma. Jennifer currently serves as Coordinator for AACC’s National Crisis Response Team and is a Trained Trainer through the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation.
Kathie Erwin, Ed.D., is an Assistant Professor at Regent University, a National Certified Gerontological Counselor, National Certified Counselor and Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Largo, FL. She is the author of five counseling books, an ethical thriller novel and an award-winning screenplay. Dr. Erwin’s latest book is Group Techniques for Aging Adults, 2nd Edition.
Jack Galle, D. Min., currently serves at the Lebanon, PA, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, where he works in behavioral health. Prior to entering active duty, Jack was the Associate Pastor at First Brethren Church in Buena Vista, VA and then was the Pastor at Grace Brethren Church in Hope, NJ. Chaplain Galle began his career in the Navy as a drilling reservist at Willow Grove Naval Air Station, PA, and then spent twenty years as a Navy Chaplain. During this time, he also served as the bereavement coordinator for the medical center.
Tim Jennings, M.D., is a Christian psychiatrist; master psycho-pharmacologist; author; international speaker; radio personality; President-Elect of the Tennessee Psychiatric Association; Adjunct Faculty at the University of Tennessee, College of Medicine; Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association; Board Chairman of Regents Southern Psychiatric Association; and has a private practice in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Dr. Jennings obtained his M.D. degree from the University of Tennessee, College of Medicine in Memphis, TN and completed psychiatric residency at D.D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center in Augusta, GA.
Stephen Lentz, Esq. J.D., is a graduate of Marshall-Wythe School of Law, College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. Mr. Lentz has extensive national and international business and marketing experience and works closely with faith-based clients, local churches and ministry organizations. He is the founder and senior partner of Stephen D. Lentz & Associates, PLC in Virginia Beach, Virginia and serves a variety of clients worldwide.
Linda Mintle Ph.D., is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and a national expert on relationships and the psychology of food, weight, and body image. With 30 years of clinical experience working with couples, families and individuals, she brings her common sense approach to people who want to live in positive mental health. Her academic appointment at Eastern Virginia Medical School, Department of Pediatrics, keeps her abreast current research in her areas of expertise.
Elias Moitinho, Ph.D., is Director of the M.A. counseling licensure programs, Director of clinical training, and an Associate Professor of counseling at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. Dr. Moitinho has many years of pastoral ministry, counseling, and teaching experience. He has worked in various roles such as pastor, counselor, seminary professor, and director of a Christian counseling center. Prior to joining Liberty, he served as the Hope for the Heart chair of Biblical counseling at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX.
Michael Parker, D.S.W., is a retired Lieutenant Colonel and his military honors include the Order of Military Medical Merit and The Legion of Merit. Dr. Parker holds a B.S. in economics, an M.S. in psychology from Auburn University, and a Doctorate from the University of Alabama. He is currently a Professor of Social Work and Center for Mental Health & Aging at the University of Alabama (UA) and Associate Professor of Geriatric Medicine and Palliative Care and Center for Ageing at the University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB).
Eric Scalise, Ph.D., is the Vice President for Professional Development with the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist with over 32 years of clinical and professional experience in the mental health field. As the former Chair of Counseling Programs at Regent University, Dr. Scalise provides academic oversight as the Vice President for Academic Affairs with Light University Online.
Gemma Sohn, MSW, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the Commonwealth of Virginia and a Clinical Supervisor in the state of Maryland, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Ms. Sohn holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Duquesne University and a Master’s Degree from Catholic University of America. She is currently working on her Ph.D. in Professional Counseling at Liberty University. Ms. Sohn has many years of experience as a social worker in the foster care field.
H. Norman Wright, M.A., is a Licensed Marriage, Family, and Child Therapist. For many years, he taught in the Graduate Department of Biola University and was in private practice for over thirty years. Mr. Wright is a graduate of Westmont College, Fuller Theological Seminary (M.R.E.), and Pepperdine University (M.A.). He has received two honorary doctorates, D.D. and D.LIT, from the Western Conservative Baptist Seminary and Biola University.
Click here to purchase Caring for Seniors 101
Click here to purchase Caring for Seniors 201
Enroll in Caring for Seniors God’s Way 101 and/or 201 for only $349 per course (Regularly $800 per course).
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