Clergy / Lay Ministers Certification

The International Gambling Counselor Certification Board (IGCCB) provides a process for recognizing and certifying clergy and other faith-based workers who are proficient in gambling addiction prevention, education, awareness, and supportive outreach, non-clinical care.  With specialized training leading to national certification, knowledgeable clergy/faith-based workers, can offer guidance, educational materials, support, hope, spiritual care, and other resources, and help lead people to certified gambling counselors and recovery support groups. 

The IGCCB Clergy / Lay Ministers Certification is designed to provide basic knowledge about gambling addiction and treatment and recovery resources, to enhance the clergy person’s skills at recognizing at-risk, problematic and disordered gambling, and to provide information for the family on dealing with their loved one’s addiction. 
A program created in 2014, the initial Clergy/Lay Minister Training was implemented in New Jersey by the American Compulsive Gambling Counselor Certification Board.  With the 2016 merger of the International and American Boards, the Clergy/Lay Minister Certification (Non-Clinical) is now included with the new merged Board.  Training are currently in progress in Kentucky.  Certification fees have been waived until further notice. (with only a $50 Administrative Fee to be paid); and those wishing to enter the process are encouraged to enroll during the present year.       
The specialized 24-Hour Training for Clergy and Lay Ministers leads to IGCCB Certification (Non-Clinical). 
For more information on the Training Schedules and Registration, contact: Rev. Janet Jacobs at (812)290-3022 or

The Clergy/Lay Ministers Certification is granted by the International Gambling Counselor Certification Board and is of international certification status.  This certification is for pastors/clergy/Ordained Deacons and designated religious workers or Lay Ministers who will be trained in both clinical information and spirituality issues, along with parish application.  

  • There is a $50 fee which is the “Administrative Fee” for the International Gambling Counselor Certification Board’s administering the certification process of the applicant.  This includes the instruction, class materials, and any mentoring for the applicant by the instructors.  The actual Certification Fee of $185 is being waived for those applicants taking the training sessions (4 Modules) and doing the required project and oral examination (more of an interview as to what the applicant has learned throughout the certification process). 
  • The Re-Certification Fee, payable every three years, is $95 for the Clergy/Lay Ministers Certification.  Re-certification requires documentation evidencing completion of 18 hours of gambling-specific CEU hours earned every three years. 

The “Clergy/Lay Minister” Certification prepares those working and serving in parish settings to provide, for persons seeking help for problem gambling (directly and/or indirectly affected), initial intervention through education, referral assistance, support group referral and enhancement, and spiritual support (specific to gamblers and their loved ones).  All four Modules of the Clergy/Lay Ministers Certification include workable and practical application for parish outreach (and in-reach too).  Examples of this parish onsite approach are sermon topics, study groups, devotionals, materials for the parish on addiction and problem gambling, 12 Step information and the practical application of these Steps to Recovery, a “script” for initial contact with a gambler (and/or loved ones of gamblers), workshops, guest speakers for parish programs, etc.  

Moreover – and very importantly – this Certification will equip clergy/lay ministers to serve as the best First Responders to persons seeking help for problem gambling.  They will be able to provide knowledgeable consultation, be able to adequately refer individuals to Certified Gambling Counselors and Support Groups (specific to gambling issues) and provide (again) knowledgeable outreach and education to persons within (and outside of) the parish.  They will also be equipped to serve persons in a problem gambling-specific supportive way during the individuals’ processing through recovery. 

Core Curriculum:

  • The dynamics and psychology of addiction.
  • Problem gambling defined and described; pathological gambling defined and described; the scope of problem gambling in American society.
  • The impact of problem gambling on families; the components of effective support for the loved ones of gamblers.
  • The financial issues that gamblers and their families/members of the problem face.
  • The goals of problem gambling treatment; the options for treatment.
  • Spirituality and its significant role within the recovery process:the spiritual issues commonly encountered by disordered gamblers and their loved ones.
  • The unique role of certified clergy within the recovery care process.
  • Problem gambling support groups:  GA; Gam-Anon; Celebrate Recovery; others.

(Note: the clergy certification process does not train clergy to be therapists; rather, clergy will learn about treatment and what individuals in treatment may encounter as they go through the recovery process.)

The following is an outline of the requirements for Clergy / Lay Minister Certification:

The required 24-hour core level training will assist clergy persons in meeting the International Gambling Counselor Certification Board (IGCCB) Clergy Certification professional requirements.  The program’s emphasis targets (1) early intervention through prevention education, (2) awareness-outreach, (3) informed, supportive consultation to accompany referral care, (4) spiritual care and (5) recovery support.

  • Documented completion of 24 hours of IGCCB Clergy/Lay Minister Certification Training requirements
  • Adherence to a Professional Code of Ethics
  • Completion of the Recommended Readings.  (See included list of required readings.)
  • Attendance to at least one Open Gamblers Anonymous Meeting and one Open Gam-Anon Meeting including written reflections on both experiences
  • Successful Completion of Class Project/Paper
  • Completion of the Application for Certification and remittance of Administration Fee of $50.00
  • Passing score on Oral Examination based on the Core Training and Recommended Readings
  • Annual Accountability Attestation
  • Documented completion of 18 hours of gambling-specific Continuing Education hours every three years following initial Certification. 



  • Do not send the Application Form and Administrative Fee ($50) until all required work is completed and approved.  The first step in the certification process is to complete the required IGCCB Clergy/Lay Minister 4-Module Classroom Trainings.  For information on these Trainings, contact IGCCB at (202) 360-4552.

    The IGCCB Clergy/Lay Minister Certification is designated by the International Gambling Counselor Certification Board as one of national/international certification.

We Need Your Help

We continue to uphold the “gold standard” of  certified professionals across the globe. Donating to IGCCB helps ensure we can reach professionals everywhere. 

Why Donate to IGCCB?

100% of the proceeds goes directly into the development and maintenance of all certifications. 

Donate To a Good Cause

Help IGCCB support future counselors