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Funeral Directing

Certificate of Specialization (FP)

The Funeral Directing program is a 27-credit-hour program that prepares students for licensure as a funeral director and entry-level employment in a Missouri funeral establishment, as well as other states with similar licensing requirements (e.g., TexasIdaho, etc.). Funeral directing courses are available to students who have been admitted to the Funeral Directing program and/or have departmental approval. The curriculum consists of two semesters of courses that are offered in the evening at the Forest Park campus and distance learning via the college’s Internet website. The certificate focuses solely on funeral directing, with no courses in embalming. It is a non-technical certificate, geared toward the business and public relations aspects of operating a funeral home.

Funeral directors use counseling skills to assist families in coping with grief, adjusting to new situations and making appropriate funeral arrangements. The successful funeral director possesses emotional stability, the desire to serve others and good physical health to withstand the irregular working hours and obvious stresses of the job. Good grooming habits are essential, as the funeral director must reflect the high standards of care the families will receive at the funeral home. Prior coursework in public speaking, accounting and business are helpful for students interested in this program.

An Advisory Board of funeral directors, embalmers, members of the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors, and officers of the Missouri Funeral Directors and Embalmers Association works with St. Louis Community College at Forest Park to ensure that the curriculum keeps pace with the employment requirements of the field. The Department of Funeral Service Education is also a member of the University Mortuary Science Education Association. The program has been approved by the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors, and it is the only such certificate program offered in this state.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment of funeral directors is projected to increase more slowly than average due to the slow growth in the death care services industry. Available jobs will come from the need to replace funeral directors who retire or leave the occupation.

This academic program is designed to meet specific state or professional needs. It is not accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (3432 Ashland Avenue, Suite U, St. Joseph, MO 64506, Office: 816-233-3747). Students graduating from this program are not eligible to take the National Board Examination or any state board examination for which graduation from an ABFSE accredited program is required.