College of 21st Century Services in Key West, FL

ICCFA University’s College of 21st Century Services
January 7-11, 2013 The Pier House • Key West, Florida •

Information regarding the 2013 session coming soon!

Schedule  |  Registration  |  Hotel  |  About the Program  |  Professors & Curriculum  |  About Key West



Coming soon!



  • Training to become a certified celebrant
  • Continuing education credits (vary by state)
  • Breakfast and lunch Monday through Thursday
  • Dinner Monday and Tuesday
  • Breakfast Friday



Seating is absolutely limited!
This curriculum was sold-out five weeks before the ICCFA Unversity in July 2011 and space is limited. Register today!

What's the big deal about the program?

First offered in 2008, this curriculum has often been described as “a life-changing experience.” It stands as another industry landmark, educational opportunity exclusively from ICCFA addressing the growing number of 21st century death care consumers who elect to have NO service. Often they are not active members of a place of worship and consequently see no need to involve clergy at the time of a death. They have been unimpressed with what our industry serves up as “traditional” funeral options and consequently perceive little to no value in purchasing a service or memorialization for which they perceive no meaningful value. Do not register for this program if you resent these consumers. 

In 2005, George Will wrote that according to the American Religious Identification Survey, Americans who answer “none” when asked to identify their religion numbered 29.4 million in 2001, more than double the 14.3 million in 1990. If unbelievers had their own state—the state of None—its population would be twice the size of New England’s six states, and None would be the nation’s second largest state: California 34.5, None 29.4 and Texas 21.3.

Register today to become a better provider. Enhance your community’s perceived value of your firm. As a graduate, you will earn the title of  Certified Celebrant, a person who meets the needs of families during their time of loss by creating a tribute service that is personalized to reflect the deceased. This curriculum addresses: Establishing the consumer-driven rationale for certified celebrants; understanding the concept of non-religious services; defining the role of a certified celebrant; requirements for implementing a celebrant service option; mechanics of creating a celebrant service; and educating consumers about celebrant options.

NOTES: 1) Professors include Doug Manning, Glenda Stansbury, Tim Lancaster, Allen Dave, Mark Krause and Ernie Heffner. Dr. Alan Wolfelt is not available to participate in the January program. 2) The College of 21st Century Services is a part of ICCFA University. Attending the Key West session of this college will be counted toward ICCFAU's four-year graduation program. For additional information on ICCFA University, visit or call 1.800.645.7700.


Doug Manning and Glenda Stansbury

Celebrant Training
The keystone of this curriculum is the certified celebrant training with the attendee gaining full understanding of and appreciation for the concept of offering contemporary consumers a celebrant service option. Read all about celebrants and celebrant services at

Tim Lancaster
70% of Services Conducted by Eternal Hills Staff—Not Clergy!
You’re kidding? Absolutely not! Want to know how that came to be? Think there is any connection between Eternal Hills’ 60% market share against three competitors and their approach to providing meaningful services? In a market with a cremation rate ranging from 55-68%, professor Lancaster will lead you through a process that has resulted in 70% of consumers choosing to have Eternal Hills professionals conduct the service rather than clergy. This evolved from an effort to develop meaningful offerings that would resonate with cremation consumers yet has transferred into 21st century service for both cremation and burial consumers. The real key and focus is not on product but rather on communication. According to customer surveys, Eternal Hills has exponentially greater satisfaction when Eternal Hills’ staff conducts the service than when they leave their business and future in the hands of a preacher. They also found that in spite of charging $200 for “Celebrant Services,” families still try to give the celebrant a gratuity personally after the service. Critically important is the attitude and approach of the arranger which leads to consideration of permanent memorialization being important to the customer. This success story is not just theory, but real how-to instruction on “why we do what we do” and “how we have applied these theories.” And, finally, in the case of more traditional denominations that hold services at Eternal Hills, the staff acts as the MC and incorporates the traditional clergy into the service rather than just handing him or her the reigns.

Allen Dave
$27,000 Average Wedding v. Your Final Celebration
At the 2007 ICCFA College of Cremation Services, professor Julie Burn stated that according to the July 2007 issue of People Magazine, annually there are 2,155,000 weddings with an average cost of $27,690. Learn how Allen Dave made the transition from wedding planner to final event planner, bringing wedding planning practices and hospitality to death care service. Want to hear how his lack of preconceived notions and lack of constraints in “we always did it this way” rationale put him ahead of his competition and gained him customers in a highly competitive market? Should death care be looking at what it takes to make a $27,000 wedding a perceived value on which consumers willingly spend significantly more than on death care service?

Mark Krause
What Casket Do You Want With Those Chicken Wings?: Receptions, Hospitality, Options & the Contemporary Funeral
Including the 41% of their customers who select cremation, Krause Funeral Homes & Cremation Service finds that up to 80% of their customers opt for the hospitality of food in their plans for final tribute. Want to know how that evolved? Want to see exactly what Krause offers? Interested in the additional revenue from this consumer-driven service enhancement? Learn how Krause discovered the connection between food service and death care service and then designed and delivered what his customers wanted. Included will be additional service enhancements that help to create a meaningful tribute.

Ernie Heffner, CFuE
Consumer Educational Seminars: Connecting Celebrant Ceremonies, Cremation and Hospice
Educating the public requires a comprehensive plan, a meaningful message, a system for consistent implementation and thoughtful preparation. Heffner will review:

  • The correlation between no ceremony cremation and a celebrant option
  • How celebrant ceremonies can boost market share
  • Investment required for training and educating the public
  • Operational logistics and time commitments for celebrant ceremonies
  • Where to expect pushback and who may need attitude adjustments
  • Creating presentation for public seminars and subject matter to include
  • Seminar time commitments, invitation options, best times and locations
  • Who should be the speakers; staffing, equipment needs and handout materials

This curriculum provides the outline for taking a proactive approach to 21st century death care service and specifically better meeting the needs of families who choose cremation.


The following airlines fly to Key West daily: Delta, AirTran, U.S. Airways and United/Continental. Check or for possible discount fares.

When You Arrive
The Key West Airport is about 10 minutes from the Pier House, which is arguably the most convenient location in Key West. A car is not necessary in Key West. Everything is walking distance from the Pier House. Visit

Dress Code & Weather
This is an island so the dress code is very casual. No formal attire. Even the hotel bellmen wear shorts. Pack a swimsuit. The Pier House has a private beach and 24/7 pool with hot tub. Dress for island comfort. The finest restaurants require nothing more dressy than a collared shirt or polo shirt. Shorts, sandals or sneakers are fine too. Temperatures will NOT be in the 90s, but rather low 70s during the day and 60s in the evenings—still warmer than many parts of North America in January. So while you won't need a parka in Key West, you might feel more comfortable in the evenings with long pants and a wind breaker or light sweater.

Food Options & Evenings
Great food is everywhere with countless excellent restaurants all within walking distance of the Pier House. So, pamper your puppies with comfortable shoes or sandals. Bring a camera and enjoy the sunset overlooking the waters of world famous Key West and Mallory Square.

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