Trauma Certificate FAQs

Got questions? We have answers!

What are the benefits of the trauma certification?

Trauma-informed care is now a necessity in schools, churches, mental health centers, prisons, trafficking organizations, domestic violence organizations, re-settlement programs…everywhere. The Trauma Certificate offers many personal and professional benefits such as personal growth/insight; increased awareness of and sensitivity to trauma and common after-effects; enhanced ability to serve as a trauma consultant; improved awareness about the theology and science of trauma and potential avenues for healing; and an amplified clarity on pursuing an advanced degree in a trauma-related field, etc.

What opportunities are available with the Trauma Certificate if I am not a clinician?

There are increasing numbers of domestic and international organizations that are aware of the need for professionals who are trauma-informed. Some of our Trauma Certificate graduates have accepted trauma consultant positions while other alumni are using trauma-informed knowledge and skills to train employees working directly and indirectly with individuals affected by trauma. The Trauma Certificate program can also enhance awareness of and sensitivity to trauma after-effects and treatment paradigms, and uniquely position graduates to provide informed feedback to individuals, families, organizations, or communities as they pick up the pieces after a traumatic event. Being a leader does not mean you have all the resources and answers but rather that you wisely point others in the direction of the best resources and answers.

When are Trauma Certificate courses Offered?

Visit our website to see the current schedule.

I want to take the summer Trauma Certificate course the summer before entering a Wheaton graduate program. Is this possible?

Yes! Full-time Wheaton graduate students will want to speak with their advisor to determine if they can use this course as a required elective and to determine if they are eligible for federal aid during the summer months. If students have completed the Trauma Certificate application, Admissions will need to be notified that the student plans to start the Trauma Certificate in the summer.

How do I register for either the summer online or hybrid TRMA 652 Trauma Certificate (3) class?

Classes are listed by program.

For the TRMA 652 Disaster, Crisis, & Trauma class

  1. Search under “Trauma Certificate” in the course search.
  2. Select “TRMA 652, Disaster, Crisis, & Trauma Int.”
  3. Select “View Sections.”

How many classes does the Trauma Certificate program entail?

Three classes:

  • *TRMA 632 Introduction to Trauma (3 credits)
    Dr. Tammy Schultz
  • TRMA 635 Advanced Trauma-Focused Assessment & Intervention (3 credits)
    Dr. Adam Dell
  • *TRMA 652 Disaster, Crisis, & Trauma Intervention (3 credits)
    Dr. Jamie Aten

*MAFT students can substitute MAFT 643 for the Trauma Certificate course: TRMA 632.

*HDI students can substitute HDI 654 for the Trauma Certificate course: TRMA 652.

How much do Trauma Certificate classes cost?

Tuition for all Wheaton M.A. and certificate programs are the same (including online/hybrid courses). See tuition information.

Can I use financial aid for Trauma Certificate classes?

You can use financial aid only for graduate degree required program courses (and required program electives).

What times of day do I have to be on campus for the hybrid/online formats?

Online classes are asynchronous, meaning that students can complete their work according to their personalized timetable. Faculty give students a timeframe for assignments (typically a one-week window). Hybrid classes include synchronous days, meaning that students are present (on-campus) at the same time to participate in lectures, discussions, and presentations. The hybrid classes will continue online afterward and include synchronous and asynchronous formats.

Can I start Trauma Certificate classes during any term?

The TRMA 652 Disaster, Crisis, & Trauma Intervention class that is offered in an online/hybrid intensive format begins in May each year. Students can take the TRMA 652 class as the first, second, or third Trauma Certificate course. The TRMA 632 Intro to Trauma & Crisis Counseling class (offered both on-campus and online during the fall semesters) must precede the TRMA 635 Advanced Assessment and Intervention course (offered both as a hybrid or fully online class during the spring semester) as TRMA 635 builds on the knowledge acquired in the TRMA 632 Intro to Trauma & Crisis Counseling course.

The Advanced Assessment and Intervention course sounds highly clinical. Will it be helpful to me as a non-clinician?

While this course is designed to provide mental health clinicians and other licensed clinicians with familiarity with the latest trauma research, it is also designed to assist non-licensed professionals in a variety of other fields (i.e., spiritual directors, educators, art therapists, professionals in the humanitarian field, missionaries, resettlement workers, etc.). These individuals who care for/journey with individuals who have experienced trauma can help demystify the underlying mechanisms responsible for therapeutic change for trauma survivors and provide instruction about numerous trauma interventions, posttraumatic growth, and moral injury.

While this course and the Trauma Certificate as a whole do not prepare non-clinicians to conduct therapy, they assist individuals who are trauma caregivers to engage with vulnerable populations or those who have been through trauma.

Can I audit the Trauma Certificate classes and still get the certificate?

No, you must enroll in and successfully complete the courses to receive the certificate.

Will my M.A. qualify for admission?

If it is in a mental-health-related discipline, yes. Examples include clinical mental health counseling, social work, humanitarian action, international development, and public health. If you are unsure if your degree qualifies, please contact a graduate admissions counselor on the Graduate Admissions page.

Why are the online courses twice as long as the hybrid ones?

Hybrid courses provide students intensive days of education with indepth interaction with classmates and instructors. For the online courses to deliver the same level of meaningful engagement with both content and peer-to-peer interactions, a longer format is required because the content is necessarily delivered at a slower pace. To accomplish this, the online courses offer lower intensity but a longer duration of engagement.

I prefer classes that are in-person/on-campus. Do you offer that?


  • TRMA 632 The Introduction to Trauma is provided in-person/on-campus during the spring semester only. (It is also offered entirely online during the fall semester.)
  • TRMA 635 Advanced Trauma-Focused Assessment & Intervention is offered in a hybrid version, including three days on campus followed by seven weeks online (Also offered entirely online during the spring semester).
  • TRMA 652 Disaster, Crisis, & Trauma Intervention (3 credits) is provided in a hybrid version, including three days on campus followed by 7 weeks online (Also offered entirely online during the summer semester).

Who is my advisor for the Trauma Certificate?

Dr. Tammy Schultz is the advisor for students who are solely taking the Trauma Certificate. Students who are enrolled in other Wheaton College graduate programs continue with their graduate program assigned advisor. However, students can also contact Dr. Tammy Schultz with specific Trauma Certificate questions.

Is there a time limit to completing the Trauma Certificate program?

Yes! Students have a limit of five years to complete the Trauma Certificate.

Who do I contact in the graduate Registrar’s office if I am having difficulty registering?

Registrar's Office:

Who do I contact if I have billing questions?

Tristan O’Brien, Manager of Graduate Student Financial Services

Can I get CE’s/CEU’s for Trauma Certificate classes?

You will need to review your state-determined continuing education criteria. For example, Illinois Approved Continuing Education (CE) for counselors states the following: “CE credit may be earned through postgraduate training programs (e.g., extern, residency or fellowship programs) or completion of professional counseling related courses that are a part of the curriculum of a college, university or graduate school. Courses that are part of the curriculum of a university, college or other educational institution shall be allotted CE credit at the rate of 15 CE hours for each semester hour or 10 CE hours for each quarter-hour of school credit awarded.”

How do I access Library Resources for the Trauma Certificate?

You will find information about resources for your Trauma Certificate Program in the Counseling and Family Therapy guide linked from the library home page under research guides or accessed directly on the library website.

In the subject guide, you will find general instructions on how to search the library and library databases such as PsycINFO and you will also find some information specific to trauma resources under Recommended Resources -> Trauma Resources. The library has general resources as well as resources specific to an area of trauma, such as PSTD, in our journal articles and books both online and in print. Please reach out to your subject librarian, Mr. Steve Oberg, if you need help with planning and organizing your research, locating resources, and answering library questions. You can make an appointment online or contact Steve Oberg.

Some additional information for graduate students on the Wheaton College Library website may also be helpful.

How do I get started with my application?

1. Review the Trauma Certificate Application requirements

2. Create your application on the My Wheaton Application page.

If you have any questions, please contact the Graduate Admissions office for more information.