Chaplaincy Specialty Certificate in Palliative Care

Chaplaincy Palliative Care EducationPalliative Care Chaplaincy Specialty Certificate

Do you ever wonder if the support you provide to those served by your organization is effective? Does each individual’s plan of care reflect his or her goals, values and beliefs?

HCCNLogoPalliative care focuses an interdisciplinary exploration and understanding of the physical, psychosocial and spiritual aspects of each person, which informs the development of evidence-based interventions to improve patient outcomes in alignment with their goals. The California State University Institute for Palliative Care and HealthCare Chaplaincy Network developed an online course designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of chaplains and other spiritual care providers regarding the delivery of palliative care.

Chaplaincy Certificate in Palliative Care Brochure

Register for the brochure on this course by clicking HERE to sign up.


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What are the benefits of the Palliative Care Chaplaincy Specialty Certificate?

  • Evidence-based – learn best practices in the delivery of palliative care
  • Practical and relevant – learn it today, use it today
  • Highly interactive – you’ll engage in meaningful discussions with faculty and fellow students
  • Flexible – integrate your education into your busy life
  • Very affordable – Considerably less costly than attending an out-of-town conference

“I reviewed a lot of things I already knew, but I did so in the context of engaging other chaplains all over the country.”

Chuck Butler


The Institute and HealthCare Chaplaincy Network have teamed up to create this 32-page eBook for chaplains, social workers and others interested in spiritual care related to palliative care or hospice. Sign up by clicking HERE or the image of the eBook.


Facilitated by leading palliative care experts, the course allows you collaborate with and learn from fellow students and faculty who are working in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, hospices, large health systems and clinics.

Fast Facts

Begins: September 14, 2016
Lasts: 9 weeks
Is taught: Completely online and is available 24/7
Offers: 72 hours of continuing education credits and a certificate of completion
Costs: $829
Requires: Students have computing skills sufficient to complete graduate work
Is taught by: Leading experts selected by the Healthcare Chaplaincy Network
Is ideal for: Board Certified and non-board certified chaplains as well as other care providers interested in spirituality practice in palliative care
Provides: Preparation for specialty certification as a Palliative Care Chaplain as offered by professional chaplaincy membership organizations

“It was fabulous. It was fabulous doing it, it’s fabulous now, I find it helpful in my work”

Arthur Rosenberg

Created by a team of national experts, the nine-week curriculum enhances your ability to provide the highest quality of palliative care. Each week of the online course you’ll learn the essential domains of palliative care spiritual practice and be able to apply what you learn through learning activities and class discussions. Based upon applicable areas of the National Consensus Project’s Clinical Practice Guidelines for Quality Palliative Care and the National Quality Forum’s National Framework and Preferred Practices for Palliative and Hospice Care Quality, this course provides a strong foundation in palliative spiritual care that will strengthen your ability to help patients.

“It was flexible for my schedule, it was affordable, and the credential is respected professionally.”

Carl MaGruder

Course Information

DATE: September 14, 2016
COST: $829

Contact Us About This Course

Register for Palliative Care Education

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Learning Objectives/Outline

The curriculum builds an essential knowledge base for professionals who deliver spiritual care, in a palliative care context, in order to improve the quality of care delivered to patients and families and meet accreditation requirements for expertise in the area. The course is a fully online, text based program, delivered in a continuously available and easily accessible format that allows chaplains greater flexibility in balancing work responsibilities with furthering their education.


The program is comprised of the following nine individual modules developed by experts in palliative care. The program will be taught by HealthCare Chaplaincy Network faculty.

Learning Objectives:

Each of the nine course modules includes multiple learning objectives, rich content on the week’s topic and learning activities that allow the learner to apply the new knowledge. The following are selected, representative learning objectives.

At the conclusion of the Palliative Care Chaplaincy Specialty Certificate program, students will be able to:

  • Articulate and integrate current evidence for the provision of chaplaincy/spiritual care in palliative care.
  • Provide patient-centered, family-focused spiritual care that understands and respects diversity in all its dimensions.
  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of ethical and legal issues in palliative care.
  • Foster and enhance interprofessional and team relationships within all levels of the organization.
  • Incorporate awareness of, and respect for, professional boundaries when providing spiritual care.
  • Incorporate family systems theory in the practice of palliative care on a team, patient/family, and institutional level.
  • Articulate important spiritual, existential and emotional concepts for patients and families in palliative care, including faith, hope, forgiveness, meaninglessness and remorse.
  • Identify how psychology and social meaning overlap in spirituality research.

Course Outline:

1) History and Philosophy of Palliative Care

2) Spiritual, Existential and Emotional Issues

3) Family Systems and Group Facilitation

4) Ethics and Common Palliative Care Issues

5) Social and Cultural Influences on Palliative Care

6) Chaplain Leadership as Mentorship

7) Ethics/Critical Reasoning Using Cases:

8) Professional Wellness While Working in Palliative Care

9) Palliative Care: Science and Religion Together Again

Course content developed in consultation with experts including

Course Authors

  • Betty Ferrell, RN, PhD, FAAN Prof. and Research Scientist at the City of Hope National Medical Center
  • Christina Puchalski, MD Director GWish Professor, Depts. Medicine and Health Sciences, George Washington University School of Medicine
    Gary E. Myers, MDiv, PhD Deputy Director, Continuing and Professional studies at HealthCare Chaplaincy Network
  • Shirley Otis-Green, MSW, LCSW, ACSW, OSW-C, Sr. Research Specialist Division of Nursing Research and Education Dept. of Population Sciences City of Hope National Medical Center
  • The Rev. Sue Wintz, BCC HealthCare Chaplaincy Network Consultant, Chaplaincy Care Practice Managing Editor PlainViews,Past President, Association of Professional Chaplains
  • The Rev. George Handzo, BCC, CSSBB HealthCare Chaplaincy Network Senior Consultant, Chaplaincy Care Leadership & Practice Past President, Association of Professional Chaplains
  • Rabbi Nathan Goldberg, BCC HealthCare Chaplaincy Network Association for Clinical Pastoral Education Certified Supervisor, Columbia University doctoral student – Adult Education
  • Martha Rutland, D. Min., BCC, ACPE, Director of Clinical Pastoral Education at VITAS Innovative Hospice Care
  • Linda L. Emanuel, MD, PhD, HealthCare Chaplaincy Senior Vice President, Research & Education Director, Buehler Center on Aging, Health & Society-Institute for Public Health and Medicine Northwestern University

Course Information

DATE: September 14, 2016
COST: $829

Contact Us About This Course

Register for Palliative Care Education

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Program Endorsements

“All people facing serious illness deserve a team of palliative care professionals working together to provide the best care. This online certificate program is an exciting and important move forward in the field of palliative care. Promoting and recognizing the expertise of professional chaplains is good for patients and families, and highlights the key role and unique contributions of spiritual care specialists.”

– Michael W. Rabow, MD
Director, Symptom Management Service & Professor of Clinical Medicine
University of California, San Francisco

“Spiritual care is an essential aspect of palliative care and therefore chaplains are critically important members of palliative care teams. This program will enable chaplains to serve as equal members of the palliative care medical teams and most importantly help provide compassionate centered care to patients, families and fellow team members.”

– Christina Puchalski, MD
Director GWish
Professor, Depts. Medicine and Health Sciences,
George Washington University, School of Medicine

“The delivery of quality whole-person palliative care requires a team approach. Education is urgently needed to prepare chaplains for their critical role in providing competent, compassionate and comprehensive collaborative care to all those in need.”

– Shirley Otis-Green, MSW, LCSW, ACSW, OSW-C
Senior Research Specialist
Division of Nursing Research and Education
Department of Population Sciences
City of Hope National Medical Center

“This course is a valuable contribution to professional education and a major step forward to improving the quality of palliative care. Spiritual care is central to all patients receiving palliative care and their families and chaplains are the spiritual care experts supporting patients and the interdisciplinary team.”

– Betty Ferrell, RN, PhD, FAAN
Professor and Research Scientist
City of Hope National Medical Center


Endorsement from a leader in professional health care chaplaincy:

“The field of professional chaplaincy has lagged in the distance-learning field for some time. This program with its online platform is a huge leap forward for our profession.”

– The Rev. Dr. David C. Johnson BCC
President-elect of the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education
Past President of the Association of Professional Chaplains


Endorsements from students who completed the pilot version of the course:

“The training I gained from the pilot program of the course has proven invaluable as our palliative care program is seeking Joint Commission certification.”

– Libby Caes, M.Div., BCC
Oncology and Palliative Care Chaplain
University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, Madison, WI

“As chaplains in the growing field of palliative care, we simply must be savvy and well-versed in the concepts that undergird the field. This program offers a curriculum targeted to the particular needs and skills of chaplains while also bringing in a broad range of interdisciplinary experts. Participating in the pilot program for this course, I found myself continually energized to learn more, read more, and engage in new conversations with my palliative care team. It was inspiring to be a part of such an exciting new educational forum.”

– Holly Gaudette
Staff Chaplain

NYU Langone Medical Center

Course Information

DATE: September 14, 2016
COST: $829

Contact Us About This Course

Register for Palliative Care Education