Dr. Cecile Brennan discusses the Spiritual Wellness and Counseling Program with WEWS-TV anchor Leon Bibb.

John Carroll University’s Spiritual Wellness and Counseling certificate program is specifically designed for:

  • Pastoral care professionals of different faith traditions seeking additional training in recognizing and responding to mental illness and profound mental distress.
  • Mental health professionals seeking an enhanced understanding of the role of spirituality in their clients’ lives.
  • Medical professionals seeking a deeper understanding of how spirituality and mental distress can affect their patients.

The program brings together these professionals to broaden their understanding of the helping process, and to ensure they have a more nuanced understanding of spirituality, counseling, and the complexity of the whole person.


Program Outcomes

The certificate program helps students enhance their knowledge and abilities to:

  • Respond appropriately to individuals who express mental health and/or spiritual concerns.
  • Assist those who desire to integrate their spiritual perspective with their psychotherapeutic or medical treatment.
  • Discern when referral to another professional is needed and how to locate an appropriate professional for the referral.

The program also helps pastoral care, mental health, and medical professionals develop the skills needed to collaborate to best serve the interests of those they are endeavoring to assist. Students are admitted as a cohort that progresses through the program together, sharing their experience and expertise while learning from colleagues.

Admission Requirements

  • Details on the application process can be found at this link!

Program Options and Tuition

This program is being offered for degree and non-degree credit. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are available.

  • Graduate Tuition: $730 per credit hour
  • CEU/non-credit:  $5000 for the program ($1000 per course);
    $3750 (for those involved in ministry; $750 per course)

John Carroll is an approved provider for the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapists Board (provider #RCS030604; NBCC provider #4064), for the Ohio Psychological Association, and for the Ohio Board of Nursing.

Program Requirements

The certificate includes five three-credit courses taken over five semesters. Coursework focuses first on knowledge development and then on practical application.

  • Course I – Spirit & Psyche – investigates the role of spirit and psyche in the development of a healthy individual. Students will compare and contrast spiritual and psychological developmental theories, assess individual development from both a psychological and spiritual perspective, and compose a personal narrative of their own psycho-spiritual development.
  • Course II – Tradition & Theory – reviews major religious traditions and major psychological theories. Students will explore the religious traditions which have influenced their clients and/or patients, summarize and explain major psychological theories, and analyze potential conflicts between a particular spiritual tradition and a specific psychological theory.
  • Course III – Holiness & Wholeness – investigates religious and spiritual views of human wholeness, identifies impediments to spiritual and psychological growth, and distinguishes between
 a spiritual and a psychological crisis. Students will learn how to discern when an individual needs to be referred for either spiritual or psychological guidance.
  • Course IV – Enlightened Self-Centering – focuses on the responsibility for caregivers to attend to their own needs in order to avoid undermining their effectiveness, falling into ethical lapses, or suffering from compassion fatigue.
  • Course V – Encountering Each Other – students return to their professional settings in order to apply what they have learned by implementing a personally designed project or conducting a case study. Faculty and peers provide mentorship and support throughout this process. Concludes with students designing 
a personal development plan to continue their process of professional and personal growth.

Program Coordinator

Cecile Brennan, Ph.D.