Spiritual Journeys in Chronic Illness

Next session starts on October 29, 2019

Seminar Description

When facing chronic illness we must consider not only a patient’s physical care, but the spiritual and psychosocial impact of chronic illness on the individual, the family and the supporting community.

In this 8-week,16-session online seminar, we will explore spiritual issues related to illness, suffering and healing, particularly the existential questions that challenge our belief systems and our images of God. A Christian might wonder, “Why would a loving god let this happen?” or “Is God punishing me?” A person who identifies as spiritual but not religious (SBNR) might ask, “What am I supposed to learn from this experience?” An atheist might question whether painful events are truly random, or if there is some deeper purpose to our challenges and negative experiences.

We will look at chronic illness, suffering and healing through a unique spiritual lens focused on: how suffering invites us to shift our assumptions; family dynamics, caregiving and relationship issues; using sacred ceremony to work with emotional and spiritual pain; multi-cultural perceptions of suffering and loss; communicating with the medical establishment and the patient’s spiritual community

Take this seminar as part of the Certificate in Mental Health and Spirituality, or by itself to earn continuing education credits (CEs).

Registration Fee: $625


  • Understand how religious and spiritual diversity can be understood, addressed, and enriched during chronic
    illnesses and how it intersects with other forms of diversity.
  • Learn, practice, and develop best practices for palliative caregivers, medical practitioners, clergy and spiritual
    directors, pastors and chaplains, in dealing with issues of chronic illness, spirituality, and survival.
  • Learn ways for clergy/spiritual directors and mental health professionals to better collaborate to foster
    wellness in their patients and congregants.

Topics Include

Defining chronic illness, understanding different scenarios

Types of losses experienced with chronic illness

Spiritual issues such as suffering, prayer, discernment and clergy roles

Social / community issues including accepting/offering help, resources

Psychological issues of depression, suicide, guilt and isolation

Facing death - assistance, hospice, grief, cultural views of afterlife

Seminar Facilitators

Rev. Dr. Terri Daniel

Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, IATP; Certified in death, dying and bereavement, ADEC; Clinical chaplain, ordained interfaith minister and end-of-life educator

Karen Wyatt, MD

Physician, Author and Founder of Creative Healing LLC

Seminar Details

Seminar ID



$625 for the individual seminar.  Also, can be taken as a part of the Spirituality and Mental Health Certificate.

Alumni, Employee, and Group pricing available.  Inquire HERE


This seminar appeals to healthcare practitioners, clergy, spiritual directors, and others who work with patients, clients, and congregants experiencing chronic illness or working with others who have a chronic illness.


24 CEs available. CE credits for psychologists are provided by the Spiritual Competency Resource Center (SCRC) which is co-sponsoring this program. The Spiritual Competency Resource Center is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Spiritual Competency Resource Center maintains responsibility for this program and its content.  The California Board of Behavioral Sciences accepts CE credits for LCSW, LPCC, LEP, and LMFT license renewal for programs offered by approved sponsors of CE by the American Psychological Association.  LCSWs, MFTs, and other mental health professionals from states other than California need to check with their state licensing board as to whether or not they accept programs offered by approved sponsors of CE by the American Psychological Association. SCRC is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN Provider CEP16887) for licensed nurses in California.   For questions about receiving your Certificate of Attendance, contact tlai@sfts.edu. For questions about CE, visit www.spiritualcompetency.com or contact David Lukoff, PhD at CE@spiritualcompetency .com.

24 Contact Hours are available to Pastors, Pastor Counselor, Nurses, and Chaplains whose certifying agencies or organizations require CEU hours. To determine whether or not your seminar qualifies for CEUs, please consult with your certifying body. For questions about these CEU accreditations email info@appliedwisdominstitute.org

Learning Objectives
  • Describe categories of chronic illness and levels of functioning
  • List the various types of losses experienced by patients and families dealing with chronic illness
  • Describe different personal, social, and professional perceptions of chronic illness
  • Analyze the impact of chronic illness on family and community
  • Plan an interfaith conversation
  • Explain the possibility of post-trauma growth
  • Describe a variety of family dynamics in response to chronic illness
  • Discuss a variety of psychological responses to chronic illness
  • Assess limitations of traditional medical care
  • Analyze options for more effective medical care
  • Analyze our personal relationship with compassion
  • Utilize tools for enhancing self-care
  • Explain end-of-life care and hospice services
  • Compare end-of-life and disposition options
  • Assess grief as a factor in chronic illness
  • Assess a vast body of knowledge about chronic illness
  • Create a guide for those asking existential questions; those asked by the community as well as those experiencing illness
  • Critique approaches to chronic illness and suffering from diverse spiritual and cultural traditions
  • Describe why ritual, ceremony, and prayer are important for wellness
  • Explain why including spirituality in counseling is critical for working with loss

Seminar participants meet over the Internet using browser-based conferencing software.


OCT 29 – DEC 19 2019


Wednesdays, 4:30 – 6:00 pm PST
Thursdays, 4:30 – 6:30 pm PST


Seminars are delivered online through the Zoom conferencing system on the Internet. Meetings are live / synchronous. All participants are visible to each other and engage in the conversations through the system.

Ready to Bring Spirituality to Chronic Illness

Supported in conversation with people from all walks of life, each person who passes through an AWI seminar learns how to connect, engage and restore the person who needs the unique support that they alone provide.  Take this seminar as part of the Certificate in Mental Health and Spirituality, or by itself to earn continuing education units (CEUs) as you learn how ritual and spiritual journey helps in the care of those with chronic illness.