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Bachelor of Science

The Substance Abuse Counseling Major is designed to equip the person entering the addiction recovery field and to meet the 270 hours of chemical dependency education required for licensure in the State of Ohio.

To be licensed in the field of chemical dependency counseling in Ohio, there are three requirements that must be met. They include: 

  • Completion of education specific to chemical dependency counseling. The BA degree program meets more than the minimum hours required. Ohio Christian University’s degree program is designed to meet this requirement of chemical dependency counseling education.
  • Appropriate supervision of chemical dependency counseling while employed in a treatment facility. For many students, this process begins after completion of the degree program.
  • Successful completion of the licensure test that is administered by the State of Ohio.

Students are eligible to apply to the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals board for Certified Chemical Dependency Assistant status (CDCA) once they have completed 40 clock hours (not semester hours) of chemical dependency training in specific areas.  The CDCA is required to seek entry level employment and to begin supervision required prior to taking the State test for licensure.   (Refer to www://  Click “Licensing” and scroll to “CDCD.”)

Those who live outside of Ohio or plan to relocate to another state, should contact the appropriate state licensure board to learn of requirements unique to that state. The names of the boards can be found online at the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium at 

Program Objectives

Students who complete the Substance Abuse Counseling major should be able to:

  1. Integrate Christian principles in critical thinking and decision making.

  2. Demonstrate awareness and improvement of thinking and learning strategies.

  3. Identify the needs of persons using assessment techniques, diagnostic criteria, and treatment planning.

  4. Utilize appropriate counseling techniques with individuals, families, and groups.

  5. Provide chemical dependency specific education to clients, families, groups and the community.

  6. Design and provide aftercare.

120 Semester Credits

  • 36 General Education
  • 36 General Electives
  • 48 Program Requirements

RS3000 Research and Professional Development Skills 3 credits 5 weeks

This course focuses on competency in digital research and writing skills that support academic and professional success. Students will also be introduced to online tools for practical, academic, and professional development.

CM3000 Christian Excellence 3 credits 5 weeks

This course focuses on the attitude of the individual and how it impacts the ability and willingness to strive towards Christian excellence.  Students will also be introduced to reflecting on personal value systems, analyze techniques to exemplify Christian modeling, and exploring the transition from success to excellence.

CD3100 Introduction to Substance Abuse 3 credits 5 weeks

This course gives an overview of fundamental concepts related to chemical dependency and addiction treatment. It includes views from science, sociology, criminology, and family studies, as well as a Christian and biblical worldview. Students will be encouraged to develop their own personalized view of chemical dependency, addiction and treatment.

PH3000 Transformed Worldview 3 credits 5 weeks

The course will explore ways in which the student can develop a positive relationship with God as he/she explores the role of general revelation (the creation), special revelation (the Scriptures), and experiences God at work in the modern world. 

CD3300 Psychopharmacology 3 credits 5 weeks

This course is designed to provide background, instruction, and practical understanding of substances with addictive or abusive potential. Current medical guidelines will be evaluated in light of biblical truth to allow for a holistic approach to patient care. The primary emphasis of this course will be on legal and illegal drugs that elicit a pharmacologic effect in the central nervous system. Both pharmacokinetic (e.g., drug absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion) and pharmacodynamic (e.g., psychotropic effects) will be discussed in a practical manner. Drugs will be categorized by common classifications to facilitate
learning and retention.

(Prerequisite: CD3100 Introduction to Substance Abuse)

CD3000 Ethical and Legal Issues in Counseling 3 credits 5 weeks

This course is designed to introduce the student to the interrelated concepts of professionalism, ethics, and legal issues that present themselves in the context of counseling, with particular emphasis on the area of substance abuse counseling. Students will examine and analyze professional issues in counseling from both a legal and an ethical perspective.

CD3500 Prevention Strategies 3 credits 5 weeks

This course focuses on the discipline of prevention. It will show the dynamics of prevention and how certain prevention programs are researched and science based. There will be both general and specific introductions to various forms and types of prevention programs and activities.


PS3600 Abnormal Psychology 3 credits 5 weeks

This course will explore abnormal behavior as defined by the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Students will analyze ideology and behavioral abnormality, and methods of therapy. Special emphasis will be placed upon cultural and demographic variables impacting mental illness.

TH4000 Introduction to Theology 3 credits 5 weeks

This course will be a systematic study of the doctrines of God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, man, sin, salvation and other related topics. These themes will be examined through various passages of scripture within the context of scripture.

CD3600 Diagnostic Evaluation and Personal Assessment 3 credits 5 weeks

This course gives an overview of the counselor functions of screening, intake, orientation, assessment and diagnosis. The processes of interviewing and assessment and related ethical, legal and professional issues will be explored. The course will also examine and practice the use of tests, assessment instruments and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in the process of Diagnostic Evaluation and Personal Assessment of a client. 

CD4100 Individual Chemical Dependency Counseling 4 credits 6 weeks

This course begins to develop skill in counseling through an analysis of various approaches such as Cognitive Behavioral, Rational Emotive Therapy, Gestalt, Control Theory, Reality Therapy, and Person Centered Therapy. A very important part of this course is to develop skills and practical approaches in order to be able to conduct individual sessions.


PS3000 Methods of Counseling 3 credits 5 weeks

This course gives an overview of several main concepts, practices and applications of counseling theories while looking at both ethical and professional issues confronting the counselor today. Constructs of how the counselor as a person prepares themselves and integrates theory with Christian and Biblical views will be examined. Throughout the course, case examples, DVD case demonstrations, group interaction and related self-study workbook exercises help prepare the students to develop their own personalized counseling style.

CD3700 Case Management 3 credits 5 weeks

Best practices are presented for case management common to various human services.  Topics include interviewing skills, documentation, cultural aspects, self-care, and ethical issues.


CD3200 Family Dynamics in Substance Abuse 3 credits 5 weeks

This course explores the impact of chemical dependency and substance abuse upon the family system.  Enabling as a dynamic that reinforces dysfunctional patterns will be examined.  Attention is given to treatment options and interventions for not only the family member with the Substance Use Disorder, but the other family members impacted by their use as well.  Additionally, substance use issues related to adolescents and children will be addressed. These dynamics will be addressed with a Christian and Biblical worldview.

PS4030 Spiritual Dimensions of Illness and Recovery 3 credits 5 weeks

This course explores the dynamics of spirituality and religion that can impact the counseling process. The material on ethical challenges and specific elements of spirituality is presented from a Christian perspective.

CD4200 Theories and Techniques of Group Counseling 3 credits 5 weeks

This course gives an overview of several main group theories, explains and demonstrates techniques associated with those theories and reviews the main theorists associated with each. Students develop skills associated with facilitating group counseling.  Additionally, these areas of study will be addressed with a Christian and Biblical worldview.

CD4800 Preparation for the State Test 3 credits 5 weeks

This course is designed to provide a general review of material that you have learned throughout your curriculum at OCU and to familiarize you with the content, construction, and requirements for passing the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professional Board’s State Licensure Examination.