Parish Nursing

In the fall of 1998, St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute became the first theological school in North America to offer graduate-level courses in the area of parish nursing.

Parish nursing, now also known as faith community nursing, is “the specialized practice of professional nursing that focuses on the intentional care of the spirit as part of the process of promoting holistic health and preventing or minimizing illness in a faith community” (American Nurses Association, The Scope and Standards of Faith Community Nursing). It can be practiced either in a congregation or parish or in a traditional health-care setting. Parish nurses deal with a spectrum of health concerns, including healthy lifestyle choices, blood pressure, substance abuse, violence, risk-taking behaviors, and terminal illness.

Admission to these certificates is open only to R.N.s. who possess a regionally accredited bachelor’s degree. (A limited number of R.N.s without the bachelor’s degree are admitted to the basic certificate program as auditors; auditors may not pursue the advanced certificate.)


Required courses:

  • PT651 Parish Nursing I
  • PT652 Parish Nursing II


Required courses include:

  • TH601 Introduction to Theological Study, Research & Writing
  • PT651 Parish Nursing I
  • PT652 Parish Nursing II
  • PT781 Advanced Parish Nursing
  • MT721 Medical Ethics

One of the following two courses:

  • PT/SP602 Pastoral and Spiritual Care
  • PT622 Introduction to Pastoral Counseling

One of the following two courses:

  • PT742 Ministry to the Ill and Dying
  • PT/SP780 Health, Disease, and Spirituality