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MHIKNET Toolkits: Spiritual Health Care

What is Spiritual Health Care?

As part of an interdisciplinary healthcare team, Spiritual Health professionals:

  • Provide a compassionate presence during health crises
  • Help individuals explore the meaning of illness in their lives
  • Help individuals draw on their own spiritual resources for strength, including the resources of their spiritual tradition or faith community
  • Provide spiritual care that is sensitive to culture and religion
  • Assist individuals in making treatment and care decisions
  • Work with a health care team in providing care for the whole person
  • Help individuals review their life stories and use their illness as an opportunity to celebrate achievements, rectify past mistakes and add something new to their stories

Spirituality in health care has been defined as:

A dynamic and intrinsic aspect of humanity through which persons seek ultimate meaning, purpose, and transcendence, and experience relationship to self, family, others, community, society, nature, and the significant or sacred. Spirituality is expressed through beliefs, values, traditions, and practices, including religious beliefs and practices.

Find Evidence

Use these free databases and websites to identify resources of interest. Fulltext articles that are not available for free can be obtained through MHIKNET Document Delivery

Training Programs

Clinical Pastoral Education

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) Programs are designed to assist the provider of spiritual care to become more effective in the practice of ministry. This form of theological education includes developing a better understanding of people, their difficulties and deeper spiritual experiences and achieving greater self-awareness in relation to spiritual care. This experientially-based approach provides:

  • intensive involvement with people in crisis
  • supervised spiritual health care
  • clinical conferences with other professionals
  • seminars, reading, ritual

These programs are designed for all persons interested in providing spiritual health care. Opportunities are available for qualified participants to move toward certification as a Specialist in pastoral practice and/or a teaching supervisor. 

This training is in accordance with the standards of The Can­adian Association for Spiritual Care. Academic credit is available upon application to qualified students through the University of Winnipeg.

Articles - General Spiritual Health