S & A Certificate Program

A Certificate Program for working with older adults that teaches:

○  The vital connection between aging and spirituality

○  Engagement strategies for bringing spirituality to work with older people

○  Integrates spirituality into the development stages of aging.

The Spirituality and Aging Certificate program, developed in tandem with NTSWest enables participants to gain an understanding of the essential role of spirituality and how spirituality enhances the efficacy of other health care and congregational services to and with older adults.

Programs today targeting older adults often rely upon outdated models, paradigms that do not reflect current cultural trends, or an incomplete understanding of the deeper issues faced by persons in the later stages of life. What is frequently lacking in older adult programming is an emphasis on spirituality.

As an affiliate of the NTSWest, the Coalition on Spirituality and Aging program has developed an online, master’s level course on the interplay between spirituality and the experience of aging.  Our mission is to engage professionals, community members, and faith communities in creating vibrant programs that support and celebrate older adults by empowering leaders with current knowledge about aging in the context of spirituality.  Each of the classes is taught in a manner that is wholistic, sensitive to spiritual formation, and illustrates how it is integral to human development.  

To apply, please click here to register.

To download a PDF flyer click HERE.


  • Knowledge of ages and stages of older adults
  • Familiarity with biology of aging
  • Ability to integrate spiritual development into ages and stages
  • Working knowledge of contemporary thought leaders
  • Knowledge of pastoral and therapeutic issues in aging
  • Practical application for work from Course Project

Course Schedule:

Orientation: Saturday, October 8, 2022
Course 1: Saturday, November 5, 2022
Course 2: Saturday, December 3, 2022
Interim January Discussion – Courses and Project:  TBD by students and mentors
Course 3: Saturday, February 4, 2023
Course 4: Saturday, March 4, 2023

  • The Orientation is a 4-hour Zoom call.  All other dates are 1.5 hour Zoom calls.
  • Each virtual class meeting will use the Moodle course management system and contain power point presentations, recorded videos, assigned readings and other resources prepared by the leaders of this program.
  • Coursework will be done independently before and between the virtual class meetings on the dates listed above.
  • Projects will be due in April 2023.



“This course really expanded my knowledge of how aging and spirituality interact and impact each other. This has allowed me to introduce some new spiritual enhancement activities and revise the content of our existing chaplaincy activities to the benefit of our residents.”

— The Reverend Chris Craig-Jones, Carlsbad by the Sea Retirement Community

“The seminary leaders teaching the class greatly enhanced my written communication skills, brought a deeper connection to content experts and prepared me well for this time of covid.”

— Terri Murru, Seminary Student

“I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to take part in this class. Too often we work in isolation, and the sense of community was enlivening.
All of the speakers were of very high quality and integrity, and I learned from each of them.
The Older Adult Interviews assignment gave me an excuse to ask probing questions of two people who are very important to me. Although I thought I already knew them well, I learned many new things about each of them. Thank you for that!
The readings provided a good foundation for this area of study. The reflection papers were straightforward and enjoyable. I have been a lifelong journal writer. I appreciated your interest in our inner experience.
I was honored to have a mentoring relationship with Stephen. His insight, poetry, and commitment to hospice chaplaincy were each gifts to me personally.  I very much appreciated receiving the class materials both in print and electronically. I’m sure that was a lot of extra work on your parts. It forms a great record, one I will refer back to often.”

— Rev. Laura L. Mancuso, MS, CRC, Vista del Monte Retirement Community

Continuing Education Credits Information

The Certificate provides continuing education credit for:
  • BRN
  • BBS
  • RCFE
  • LMFT
  • Denominational Continuing Education

For more information about registering for this Certificate Program, contact us:

  • Phone: 626.765.9500
  • Email: info@ntswest.org
  • Website: www.ntswest.org

To apply, please click here to register.