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Practice

Certified spiritual care professionals practice within an institution or community-based program. They are theologically and clinically educated and certified as professionals by the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care/ Association Canadienne des Soins Spirituels (CASC/ACSS). They maintain active membership in CASC/ACSS, participate in regional and national activities and receive endorsements for spiritual care and counseling by their specific faith community.

Certified spiritual care professionals possess the knowledge, skills, judgment and experience to facilitate a spiritual care program, program quality assurance, spiritual care provision and ongoing professional development. Those certified as teaching supervisors train future professionals in the context of accredited CASC/ACSS clinical programs in established spiritual care settings.

The word "client" may include: patients, residents, family members and significant others, members of faith, religious and cultural communities, inmates, peers, colleagues, students and staff members – individually, in groups or in a whole organization. The practice context may include but is not limited to:  pastoral counseling centres, social service agencies, community health centres, private settings, health care institutions, correctional centres, educational settings, or religious/faith community settings.

Qualifications Required to be Spiritual Care Provider

  • Masters degree in a field of spirituality or theology from an accredited university with the Council for Higher Education and Accreditation (CHEA)
  • Completion of four units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) under the auspices of the Canadian Association of Spiritual Care (CASC)
  • Certification as specialist with the Canadian Association of Spiritual Care (CASC)
  • Endorsement by a faith group or a demonstrated connection to a recognized religious community
  • Demonstrated clinical competency
  • Completing annual continuing education requirements
  • Adherence to a code of professional ethics for health care chaplains
  • Professional growth in competencies demonstrated in peer review


Inter-professional Collaboration

The Spiritual Care Department at UHN offers a basic level Inter-professional collaboration (IPC) opportunity for staff and physicians from all departments and health care disciplines. This IPC in spirituality invites participants to engage in an adult learning, experiential/reflection model of education focusing on spirituality. 

The IPC in spirituality program provides an opportunity for participants to develop their ability to become more self-aware and identify and appropriately use spirituality, initially as a contributing factor to their wellbeing and later as a resource to enhance patient centred care. 

The program uses the experiences of the participants as the basis of learning, differentiates between spirituality and religion, and is supportive of individuals of any or no faith tradition. By defining, reflecting on and experiencing their own spirituality, participants may expect to develop the introductory skills necessary to address the role of spirituality in their lives. A weekly group will be offered for 6 weeks - 3.5 hours once a week for a maximum of 10 people. For the benefit of the participant and other group members, participants are requested to attend all sessions.

The goals of the Basic Level IPC in Spirituality are:

  • To identify, understand and define spirituality
  • To deepen the meaningful use of spiritual language
  • To foster self-awareness and self-development from a spiritual perspective
  • To provide an experience for spiritual exploration, the development of trusted relationships and identification of spiritual themes