Evidence Based Spiritual Care

Session: Spring
Type: Asynchronous
Units: 3
Academic Year: 2019 - 2020
Approval Required: No

From the “Bedside to the Lab Bench”. Is ministry an art or a science? How do we explain our goals and outcomes as spiritual caregivers? What happens when our duties to serve human need face the challenges of the biomedical system? What do emerging technologies mean for how we understand oppression and the care of communities? Scientific literature recognizes that religion/spirituality is an integral dimension of well-being and makes a difference in the lives of individuals and communities. However, the measurement of religion/spirituality continues to invite public and scientific debate and meanwhile, scientific advancements raise questions about theology and justice. This course provides a foundation in the growing fields of spiritual care research and the biopolitics of science meeting religion. Students will learn to understand the evidence, develop the experiments and investigate the ethical and social implications of their ministry and caring practice. The course includes a significant “laboratory” component, in which students take their spiritual caregiving from the bedside to the lab bench to: test new interventions in spiritual care; create measurement tools to understand their practice of ministry and leadership; and respond to the effects of new scientific technologies on marginalized communities.

Online, asynchronous, with possible synchronous meetings. Low residency.

Relates to Threshold 5, MFC Competencies 2 and 7.

[A pastoral care/counseling course or prior CPE preferred; 30 max enrollment]

Instructor: Rev. Dr. Megan Visser