Health Minister Certificate

[Print out version]

(20 contact hours)

Target Audience: Faith Community Members, Lay Volunteers, Clergy, Seminarians, Allied Healthcare, Professionals

Purpose of Certificate: Faith communities have long been places of healing and health.  The Affordable Care Act has shed new light on how we access and look at health.  There is a greater consciousness of the need to improve personal and community health and wellness.  Congregations will need organized ways, possibly through health ministries, to navigate this complex new landscape to help their faith community members connect to and access resources and services.

The health minister certificate provides an introductory, educational foundation for individuals desiring core competency to serve as health ministers in a faith community setting.  The main goal of the health ministry certificate is to equip various audiences with practical ministerial skills such as active listening, theological reflection, and connector to community resources. 

A health ministry may already exist in a faith community in social justice, religious education, volunteer visitors, hospitality, and youth ministries.  A health ministry helps strengthen a faith communities’ communication and connections within and outside their faith community.   With the new healthcare legislation emphasizing population based care, health ministers can help their faith community link to health resources in new ways.  Health ministers working together with clergy, various ministries, and Faith Community Nurses in teams or committees can provide faith communities new ways to grow and adapt to change in its mission to serve the local community or its own members.     

Curriculum:   The Health Minister Certificate is based on the guidelines published in 2011 by the Health Ministries Association’s “The Health Minister Role: Guidelines and Foundational Curriculum Elements”.  This document encompasses common core elements found in various national best practice models for training and educating health ministers.

Faculty for Certificate courses:  Faculty teaching modules will have knowledge and skills in subject area and have a clear understanding of various faith and health terms.  Current Wesley Seminary faculty, Faith Community leaders, Faith Community Nurse or Health Ministry coordinators at hospitals, or established faith leaders will serve as faculty members for the modules. 

CORE Modules: 

1. Exploring the Definitions of Faith and Health
2. Training for Community Transformation:  Community & Congregational organizing around health
3. Theological Reflection
4. Starting a Health Ministry & Exploring Health Ministry Models
5. Exploring the Helping Relationship: Understand & Practice Active Listening Skills
6. Accountability, Professional Responsibility, Legal Considerations for the Health Minister


ELECTIVE Modules: (any 4 of the following modules, each module is 2 hours)

1. Affordable Care Act & Health Policy, Understanding & Navigating the New Healthcare System*
2. Asset Mapping: Connecting to Your Community
3. Mental Health*
4. Palliative Care & End of Life *
5. The Role of Religion Shaping the American View on Health* 6. Home & Hospital Visitation
7. Addictions & Health
8. FCN- roles/responsibilities/limitations (FCN Faculty will facilitate)
9. Advanced Health Ministry Team Building
10. Rural Health Ministry
11. More modules will be added as topics of interest grow

Note: Certificate credits are not transferable to any Wesley Seminary degree

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