(For the latest information about our 2017 Parish Nursing Education Program, click here.)

Faith Community Nursing Education,

Foundations of Faith Community Nursing Curriculum

This curriculum of the ICHM Canada Basic Parish Nurse Preparation Program is developed by, and purchased from, the Church Health Center of the Westberg Institute for Faith Community Nursing in Memphis, Tennessee. The curriculum is reviewed every five years by an international review panel of experts. It has been augmented with modules developed by ICHM to provide content appropriate to Canadian nursing standards and context. The Canadian context is further addressed through a Canadian Appendix of literature resources.

About the Church Health Center

The Church Health Center, through their teaching, seeks to reclaim the church’s biblical commitment to care for our bodies and our spirits. ICHM ministries, similar to the Center’s ministries, promote healthy bodies and spirits for all.

To learn more about the Center, visit www.churchhealthcenter.org.
To learn more about the Church Health Center magazine on health ministry, Church Health Reader, visit www.chreader.org.


The faculty members are chosen for their expertise in theology, nursing, health promotion, spirituality, communication and related fields to provide contemporary and contextual relevance.

The 2014-2019 revised curriculum arrived in December 2014.

2015 PN Grads

2015 Parish Nursing Education Program graduates attend the Service of Recognition and Blessing at Emmanuel College.

The Curriculum Modules


    • Health, Healing and Wholeness
    • History and Philosophy of Parish Nursing
    • Prayer
    • Self-Care
    • Spiritual Care *New*


    • Beginning your Ministry
    • Communication and collaboration
    • Documenting your Practice
    • Ethical Issues
    • Legal Issues

Wholistic Health

    • Behavioural Health *New*
    • Family Violence
    • Health Promotion
    • Loss, Suffering and Grief


  • Accessing Resources
  • Advocacy
  • Assessment
  • Care Coordination

Our Educational Partners

Emmanuel College, Victoria University in the University of Toronto
Waterloo Lutheran Seminary, University of Waterloo
Saskatchewan Lutheran Theological Seminary, University of Saskatoon

Practicum and Mentor Relationship

Classroom theoretical content is followed by a 6-month practical experience within the congregational setting for each parish nurse taking the program. During this practicum, each student has access to an experienced parish nurse who acts as their mentor. This support is key to the student having a meaningful, positive experience as expressed by former parish nursing students themselves. This relationship is effective in collaborative problem solving and the day to day ‘how to’ of building a trust relationship with members of the nurse’s congregation.

The mentor and mentee meet as often as necessary. Frequently these partnerships continue on after the student completes her parish nursing program.

Professional Practice Group

The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) recognizes parish nursing as a specialty form of nursing. Thus, parish nurses and student nurses in the education program attend geographically located Parish Nurse Professional Practice Group monthly meetings. These groups, an integral component of the education program, provide ongoing professional support; are an avenue for resource sharing; problem solving; and offer spiritual support for each nurse’s parish nursing practice.

Skype Meetings

Parish nurses who are geographically dispersed attend a monthly meeting via Skype meeting technology.

Program Delivery Models

The configuration of program delivery varies with our affiliates across the country. Some programs deliver three modules per weekend (Friday evening and all day Saturday). This is the format in Saskatchewan.

In Ontario, the program is delivered at Emmanuel College, University of Toronto. It is currently being revised as a one-week program/retreat. The general format remains the same at each site with a practicum, a mentor-mentee relationship followed by a service of recognition and blessing at the completion of the program.

Learning through the Use of Technology

In an effort to make the education program more accessible to students living at a distance from the Toronto program, the Ontario program has been offered, for the last two years, through the use of computer technology. Thus far, two thirds of the modules are now available by video-conferencing techniques. Students distant from Toronto have access to simultaneous transmission of the classroom teaching and discussions.

The documentation module is offered online making it convenient for students to take it at a suitable time.

Phase One

Following Phase One, the nurse participates in a six-month practicum experience of at least four hours per week. The first initiative is usually to work with the church’s health committee to begin establishing the ministry. It is very helpful if clergy and health committee members have attended some of the classes. After this first phase, the tasks are clear and the work of analyzing the needs of the congregation and creating a profile for the ministry can begin. This is when the parish nurse candidate benefits from advice from her mentor on how she approached the beginning of her work with her Health Committee.

Phase Two, Phase Three

In the second phase, the parish nurse candidate is working effectively with her mentor, clergy and health committee members. She continues to seek support and guidance from her respective mentor and her specific professional practice group members. ICHM staff is also available for support and problem solving to individual students. Through ICHM staff, connections can be made across professional practice groups for idea sharing and support for specific, possibly unique, situations that a parish nurse may confront.

The clergy, health committee and congregation have access to the resources and consultative support of ICHM staff throughout the education program and beyond.

Click here for a PDF on the specific details of the program.