Training with the Spiritual Care Series


Benefits of the Spiritual Care Series Training

It is often challenging to access high quality education for volunteers in pastoral and spiritual care. The Spiritual Care Series has overcome that challenge by providing volunteers with a facilitated training experience that is accessible and high quality.

The objectives are to provide you with an educational and formative program which ensures that you and other participants:

  • Develop a broad understanding of the pastoral and spiritual needs of older people
  • Understand spirituality and its connection to quality care and quality of life of older people
  • Receive the key components of practical knowledge required to undertake pastoral and spiritual care to older people including those in residential care or receiving advanced home care

The series offers the opportunity to redefine what good pastoral care looks like within the context and banner of spiritual care. It features eight high quality video episodes featuring Professor John Swinton, a world-renowned expert in dementia and meaningful ageing, and the founder of the University of Aberdeen's Centre for Spirituality, Health and Disability. Professor John Swinton is also a registered nurse for people with learning disabilities and a registered mental health nurse.

Practical benefits of the Spiritual Care Series training: 
  1. Self-awareness - like many others, you may benefit from taking the course by broadening your understanding of the ageing journey and how it will, or is, directly impacting you. We do not often take the time to ponder the personal impacts and changes that are part of the ageing process.
  2. Caring for Family Members or Friends - you may presently be the primary caregiver to relatives or friends. The Spiritual Care Series training will provide you with an enhanced understanding of how the ageing journey is impacting those you are providing care.
  3. Churches or Parishes - if you are part of a faith community you know that your people are ageing. Not all churches or parishes have well developed programs to assist those who are growing older. Some members are no longer be able to attend services on their own. Others need practical help with household chores like cleaning, yard work or home repairs. This program will help your church or parish address the challenge faced by those whose needs are increasing as they age.
  4. Community Service - our society is ageing rapidly and the opportunities for parishes, churches and individuals to serve the older people in their communities continues to expand. The Spiritual Care Series will help members of parishes or churches understand the needs of the ageing right in their own faith communities and in the broader communities in which they live. Research shows that many ageing people feel alone or isolated. Members of the parish or congregation can be equipped with the necessary knowledge and tools to provide for the personal needs of those who are ageing in their neighbourhoods.


Spiritual Care Series Content 

The Spiritual Care Series is sold as a bundle which includes 10 Participant Guides, 2 Facilitator Guides, 1 DVD and access for all participants and the facilitators to the online videos for review after the structured training sessions. After each online video a 5 question quiz, highlighting key learning objectives can be answered to ensure participants understand core concepts. Online access is available for one year after the course is initiated. A bundle costs $920 plus applicable taxes and shipping. At this price, taking the course is roughly $6 per hour for professional instruction.

For groups of less than 10 people, you may provide the initial training for smaller groups of people, and then provide another subsequent training with additional participants up to a total of ten within one year. Some churches have partnered with other interested churches or organizations to provide this training.

For groups of over 10 people, you may purchase additional Participant Guides and online access for $85 each.

If you are interested in ordering the Spiritual Care Series, please click the button below:

Order the Spiritual Care Series


Development of the Spiritual Care Series

The Spiritual Care Series Volunteer Training Course was developed in the wake of a highly significant development in the way Australia cares for older people: the release of 'National Guidelines for Spiritual Care in Aged Care' in 2016.  One of the key messages in the National Guidelines is that spiritual care is everybody's business. The spiritual needs of the older person must be attended to, not only by one person such as a spiritual care specialist, but by everyone on the care team. Each person in the care team needs to be sensitised to looking after people's spiritual needs.

Baptist Housing and Health Television Network (HTN) share a vision to promote and pursue excellence in the provision of pastoral and spiritual care for the benefit of older people, their significant others and their carers. Baptist Housing has partnered with HTN to bring the Spiritual Care Series volunteer training course to Canada. For over 15 years, HTN has produced high quality evidence-based educational programs, which promote and respond to the physical, mental and spiritual needs of our ageing population. Baptist Housing has been providing housing and spiritual care to seniors in Canada since 1964 and is currently using the Spiritual Care Series to equip volunteers to provide Spiritual Care to residents. The Spiritual Care Series is designed for volunteers, family and friends of older people to equip them with the practical knowledge and skills required to offer quality spiritual care. The Spiritual Care Series provides people with a recognised standard for delivering pastoral and spiritual care to older people, particularly those living in Long-Term Care settings.

The future of aged care depends on care providers being able to demonstrate that they have a deep holistic understanding of the older person and are paying attention to the fullness of that person within that context. By paying attention to spiritual care and building that into an organization's mission, the whole staff is being sensitised to have a holistic understanding of the older person, helping to make the older person's care experience a positive one.

With the Australian government's support, Health Television Network worked with other organizations to produce the SCS. Broadcaster and Aged Care Presenter, Leigh Hatcher is the host and facilitator of the series. Professor John Swinton has been the expert advisor for the project.

2 Leigh Hatcher is one of Australia's most respected and experienced broadcast journalists. He's had a career of 40+ years in radio and television. Leigh has a deep and intimate knowledge of Australian politics, having worked in the Canberra press gallery. He worked at the Seven Network in a range of capacities, including Canberra correspondent, Chief Olympic correspondent and European correspondent, based in London. Leigh was also a senior presenter at Sky News for 13 years, as it led the whole emergence of 'the 24-hour news cycle'. For the last three years he has worked on 'the other side' of media as Director of Public Affairs, and senior consultant for Hammond Care. He has authored 3 books including the Australian best-seller, 'I'm Not Crazy, I'm Just a Little Unwell'.
3 Professor in Practical Theology and Pastoral Care. (Personal chair). Honorary Professor of Nursing, Centre for Advanced Studies in Nursing, University of Aberdeen. Professor John Swinton is a world-renowned expert in dementia and meaningful ageing, and the founder of the University of Aberdeen's Centre for Spirituality, Health And Disability. Professor John Swinton is also a registered nurse for people with learning disabilities and a registered mental health nurse.