HLT4710 Spiritual Caregiving and the Terminally Ill

Course Overview

Educational Level: Upper undergraduate, Bachelor
Credit Hours: 3 Credits
Instructor: Dr. David Simmons

Course Description:

In this course, students will examine the challenges facing the terminally ill and how to give care to those facing the experience of dying. Looking at the physical and spiritual dimensions of dying, students will examine their own fears around death, gain understanding of the dying process, and how to be effective caregivers to those facing end of life.

How This Course Benefits Students:

Students interested in serving God through the work as a medical professional or social worker or hospice caregiver must have an essential understanding of terminal illness, the experience that accompanies it, and the end of life issues that trouble the terminally ill. This course will help students involved in the health care field develop skills and expertise in ministering to an aging society.

Why This Course Is Important:

For well more than a century, death has been professionalized and institutionalized, leaving the dying with little personal experience with the dying process and the possibility of dying without peace and assurance. Spiritual caregivers help the dying face eternity, grieve losses, tend to regrets, take account of their lives, and much more. In this course, students will examine the dying process and what it means to die well. Students will also confront their own fears around death and how that impacts being present with the dying. Due to the professionalization of death and dying in the modern age, many live their entire lives without observing the dying process closely. This often leaves the terminally ill and their caregivers with fear and dread around the natural course of dying. This course will equip spiritual caregivers with insights into the dying process and the spiritual work associated with dying well. Students will develop their own spiritual care philosophy and practice in tending to dying persons.