Health and human services professionals throughout the United States will benefit from Western Michigan University's unique online graduate certificate in spirituality, culture and health created to address the needs of people who serve an increasingly diverse population.
The program is based upon a cultural understanding of the body, illness and health, and emphasizes practical tools for addressing religious, spiritual and cultural diversity in health and human services settings. The curriculum promotes an advanced understanding of the impact of culture, spirituality and religious belief on patient-provider relationships, and on the process of healing in the context of the current health care environment in the United States.
The coursework for this certificate can be completed entirely online. Upon completion, individuals will be able to act in a consulting role within their organization. Students will become more culturally competent, able to forge meaningful relationships with patients and their families through an understanding of the patient’s religion. Individual courses will also be available for students who are interested in electives that will add to their competence in this area of study.
Students who are interested in combining a graduate certificate in spirituality, culture, and health with a Master of Arts in Comparative Religion in the Department of Comparative Religion at WMU can do so within the 33 credit hours required for the M.A. Students can apply for admission to the M.A. program at any time during the process of completing the certificate program.
Admission requirements for the graduate certificate
To apply to the program, applicants must have:
- A completed bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
- A letter of intent stating their specific interest and their academic and professional goals
- Two letters of recommendation from people able to evaluate their potential for graduate study
- Completed a graduate application for the graduate certificate program (to take a few classes without pursuing a degree, complete the graduate non-degree application under the other forms section)
The spirituality, culture and health certificate requires the completion of 18 credit hours.
Required courses (12 credits)
- REL 5100 - Religion, Culture and Health: Cultures from the East (3 credits)
- REL 5100 - Religion, Culture, and Health: Cultures from the Middle East and West (3 credits)
- REL 5100 - Survey of Literature: Spirituality and Health (3 credits)
- REL 7120 or HOL 6700 - Field Practicum (3 credits)
Elective courses (6 credits)
Students may choose six elective credits from the list below. Not all classes are available every semester. Students in the program will be notified as additional elective courses are made available.
- HOL 6910 - Spirituality and the Therapeutic Process (3 credits)
- REL 5100 - Death, Dying, Culture, and Belief (3 credits)
- REL 5000 - Religion and Alternative Medicine in the United States (3 credits)
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