Training & Education

Published On 07/11/2011

The Center of Excellence in Faith & Health is an engine of training and education for congregations, religious leaders, communities, health professionals, community health workers, seminary and public health students, and Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare Associates. 

Using an ever-evolving creative blend of academic and experienced practitioners as faculty, all the learning if focused on building the capacity of all partners so that together we advance the healing and health of patients and communities. Nowhere is the partnership with local and global academic partners more visible than with our close mission partner, The Church Health Center.

Training Programs

Congregational Health Network: Training sessions for liaisons, clergy and the general public are seven week courses offered on Thursday evenings from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. at the Methodist University Hospital. These offerings are an integrated blend of “church” and education that are designed to enhance caregiving and skills to build capacity across our volunteer staff in the community (those who compassionately do the work for “love,” not money).

Hospital Visitation: Designed to help clergy and congregational members function comfortably while visiting patients within the hospital context and providing basic pastoral care.

Care for the Dying: Provides lay people with basic understanding of the natural dying process, as well as spiritual, emotional and mental aspects of life at the end-of-life. Also, this includes hospice education and ways to negotiate the legal and medical system when a loved one is transitioning.

Mental Health First Aid: Tailored to the Mid-South culture, helps lay people understand the basics of mental health disorders (depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, thought disorders, substance abuse, self-mutilation, eating disorders), as well as to “triage” those with these issues to traditional mental health services safely and effectively.

Hands on Caregiving: A course designed to provide lay people with practical knowledge of how to care for patients after they return home, especially for those who have experienced strokes, heart attacks or other debilitating illnesses. Information presented includes sessions on nutrition, moving or transporting those who are frail or elderly, medication issues, navigating the medical system for homecare and issues around communicating with medical personnel.

Collaboration with the Memphis Theological Seminary

The Center of Excellence in Faith & Health is a satellite campus for the Memphis Theological Seminary where classes integrating faith and health are offered. Masters, Doctoral and Continuing Education classes are available, such as the Doctor of Ministry in Faith and Healing. This Doctoral program is designed in partnership and taught by lead academics from the Center of Excellence in Faith & Health.

Life of Leaders: An integrated life and health 3 day leadership discernment process aimed at faith and health leaders. Life of Leaders is based on Rev. Dr. Gary Gunderson’s five Leading Causes of Life (connection, coherence, agency, blessing/intergenerativity, hope) and is assets-based. The process is designed to help these leaders engage at the intersection of their individual health, but then extend that integrated model into their own ministries, corporations or other organizations.

Leading Causes of Life Workshops: A two day interactive experience exploring the theory framework, science, pastoral care and practice implications of Rev. Dr. Gary Gunderson’s five Leading Causes of Life. These workshops are offered for and tailored to a wide range of faith health academicians and practitioners.

Contact Us

To find out more about joining our training and education classes, contact Liz Dover, 901.516.0553, Email: