Health Ministry

In addition to being places of faith and spirit, parishes are frequently called upon to respond to the physical and psychological health needs of their communities. Often, the pastoral workers on the front lines responding to such needs have not received formal courses or training on how to provide the best support. The Parish Health and Pastoral Care Certification scholarship program offers participants the practical education needed to increase their competence and confidence in responding to various physical, psychological, and spiritual health needs in their communities. Holistically, today’s parish seeks to be a place of wellness of mind, body and spirit, and to serve its parishioners accordingly.

This enriching educational opportunity is offered to people working in existing health-related pastoral ministries or those interested in creating new health-related ministries in response to needs expressed in their parish communities. For example, pastoral workers in ministries that serve those with addictions, assist people suffering from domestic violence, work with populations that have poor nutrition and physical health, or tend to the needs of parishioners who are sick or dying.

Some examples of individuals who should apply for this scholarship are:

  • Ministers of care
  • Pastoral Associates
  • Parish Nurses
  • Persons involved in social justice ministry
  • Health Care workers
  • Those caring for the sick and dying
  • Mental health first responders
  • Assistance for those troubled with abuse or addictions
  • Nutrition and health lifestyle support
  • Parish leaders looking to start new health ministries
  • Any other health related outreach

This program is open to any priest, religious, deacon, or lay person interested in enhancing his/her knowledge in health and wellness ministries. The program is primarily (but not exclusively) intended for parish-based workers who serve impoverished populations. Special consideration will be given to parish-based workers who serve minority populations. The program is designed for those who have significant pastoral experience, but may have no formal health training. Those with formal health training are also welcome. This certification is for first time individual participants only.

Total value of this Initiative for the Diocese per student: $4,725

Participants will be offered the opportunity to receive a Certificate in Health and Pastoral Care from the Institute of Pastoral Studies at Loyola University Chicago.

This one week intensive training and 12 months ongoing faculty support is available through Catholic Extension’s partnership with the Institute for Pastoral Studies at Loyola University Chicago.


WHEN: October 22-27, 2017
WHERE: Loyola University Retreat and Ecology Campus (LUREC) in Woodstock, Illinois (NOTE: This campus is 90 minutes outside of downtown Chicago.)
COURSES: Baptismal Vocation; Active Listening and Issue Diagnosis; Nutrition and Health; Theology of the Human Person Fully Alive; Ministering to Mind, Body and Spirit as Mental Health First Responders; Theology of Service; Nonviolence, Nonviolent Conflict Resolution & Peace Circles; Domestic Violence Ministry; Death, Dying, Loss and Transition; Physical and Spiritual Accompaniment; Parish Social Justice


Program Information:


  1. Read and review the Health and Pastoral Care Certification Offering Memorandum, linked above.
  2. Complete the online application form by the deadline of Friday, June 23, 2017 Updated deadline of August 15, 2017!


Quotes from past students:

  • “All sessions provided their own unique resource that I will definitely use in my ministry & will share with others.” 2016 Participant
  • “I really liked the Theology of the Human Person & Walking with My Dear Neighbor sessions. I was in need of these resources; one gave me the spiritual lesson and the other an example of the practice.” 2016 Participant
  • “The session on Domestic Violence raised my awareness about the severity of the problem. The session on Death & Dying pertains most closely to my current ministry and I will definitely read the recommended books. Theology of Baptismal Vocation was a great way to begin the work. In general, the networking during the week was very beneficial.” 2016 Participant



Contact Erika Cedrone, Senior Director of Mission, at 617-817-2907 or