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SC 610 Spiritual Counseling for the Elderly Information


This course is self-paced. The goal is to learn about counseling the elderly of multi faiths, cultures and spirituality. In addition, the student will learn about various dimensions of commitments and religiosity. The student will review the objectives and course content, then attempts to answer the multiple choice test.

Course Code: SC 610.

Contact hours of continuing education = 35.

This course is particularly designed for those who would like to apply for Certification as a Certified Spiritual Counselor by the American Institute of Health Care Professionals, Inc,.

Instructor/Course Author: R. Hope Ishak, Ph.D, MS, BE

Link to Resume: Resume


There are three (3) papers to study and one textbook required for this course

  1. Koenig, H. G. (2009). Religion, Spirituality, and Health, in Older Adults. Center for Spirituality, Theology, and Health. Duke Medicine. Free copy is provided here retrieved from
  2. Daaleman T. P., Perera, S., and Studenski,, S. (2004). Religion, Spirituality, and Health Status in Geriatric outpatients. Annals of Family Medicine. Free copy is provided here retrieved from
  3. Erichsen, N-B. and Bussing, A. (2013). Spiritual Needs of Elderly Living in Residential/Nursing Homes. Hindawi Publishing Corporation. Free copy is provided here retrieved from
  4. MacKinlay, E. (Ed) ( 2010). Ageing and Spirituality across Faiths and Cultures. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London and Philadelphia. ISBN 978 1 84905 006 7  eISBN 978 0 85700 374 4

TIME FRAME: You are allotted two years from the date of enrollment, to complete this course. There are no set time-frames, other than the two year allotted time. If you do not complete the course within the two-year time-frame, you will be removed from the course and an “incomplete” will be recorded for you in our records. Also, if you would like to complete the course after this two-year expiration time, you would need to register and pay the course tuition fee again.

GRADINGYou must achieve a passing score of at least 70% to complete this course and receive the 35 hours of awarded continuing education credit. There are no letter grades assigned. You will receive notice of your total % score. Those who score below the minimum of 70% will be contacted by AIHCP and will be permitted one more attempt to retake the online examination.

BOARD APPROVALS: The American Institute of Health Care Professionals (The Provider) is approved by the California Board of Registered Nurses, Provider number # CEP 15595 for 35 Contact Hours. Access information

Course Refund & AIHCP Policies: access here


  • Examination Access: there is link to take you right to the online examination program where you can print out your examination and work with it. All examinations are formatted as “open book” tests. When you are ready, you can access the exam program at anytime and click in your responses to the questions. Full information is provided in the online classrooms.
  • Student Resource Center: there is a link for access to a web page “Student Resource Center.” The Resource Center provides for easy access to all of our policies/procedures and additional information regarding applying for certification. We also have many links to many outside reference sites, such as online libraries that you may freely access.
  • Online Evaluation: there is a link in the classroom where you may access the course evaluation. All students completing a course, must, without exception, complete the course evaluation.
  • Faculty Access Information: you will have access to your instructor’s online resume/biography, as well as your instructor’s specific contact information.
  • Additional Learning Materials: some faculty have prepared additional “readings” and /or brief lecture notes to enhance your experience. All of these are available in the online classrooms.

COURSE OBJECTIVES: Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  1. To focus on the needs, for the elderly, for spirituality in contrast with religiosity,
  2. To better understand, for the elderly outpatient, of their health status and relation to spirituality,
  3. To better understand, for the elderly in residential and nursing homes, of their spiritual needs,
  4. To discern the needs, for the elderly, in multifaith and multicultural communities,
  5. To better understand the interrelationship of spirituality, culture, and community,
  6. To better understand the need of pastoral care for ageing Christian,
  7. To better understand the Judaism position about ageing and how it is developing,
  8. To better understand how the role played while ageing can affect the quality of life,
  9. To better understand Islam’s position of ageing,
  10. To better understand the needs of the Budddhist ageing and dying,
  11. To explore an approach to care from Hindu and Buddhist perspectives,
  12. To explore a successful home case for elderly care and their families which includes their spirituality,
  13. To discover a lively spirit for older people with the Orthodox faith,
  14. To learn about the various faiths in multicultural lands like in North America or Australia,
  15. To study an integrated support for veterans in aged care homes,
  16. To promote high quality care and spirituality for the elderly,
  17. To suggest future directions for  process in ageing and spiritual and pastoral care,


A brief abstract of content:

  1. Spirituality and health for older adults (Koenig)
  2. Use of religion to cope with sickness and disability (Koenig)
  3. Subjective health status as correlated with higher religiosity (Daaleman)
  4. Subjective health status as correlated with higher spirituality (Daaleman)
  5. The need for giving is of highest relevance (Erichsen)
  6. Can a Christian deliver spiritual care to other faiths. (Mackinley)
  7. When is a religion a source of comfort ? (Mackinley)
  8. Is sharing meals encouraged ? (Mackinley)
  9. Spiritual assessment is used to design spiritual strategies (Mackinley)
  10. The difference between cultures, traditions, and faiths (Mackinley)
  11. In Judaism,  aging and honor are reviewed (Mackinley)
  12. In Judaism, who was least affected by losses in old age (Mackinley)
  13. In Judaism, institutionalization honors the weak and vulnerable (Mackinley)
  14. In Islam, these are the principles for the purification of the soul (Mackinley)
  15. In Islam, the principles of honoring and worshipping (Mackinley)
  16. A Buddhist perspective: Spiritual needs of the Aged (Mackinley)
  17. Basil: A successful spiritual care for the aged (Mackinley)
  18. When there are no Hindu nor Budhist pastoral care (Mackinley)
  19. For veterans, guidelines for elderly spiritual care. (Mackinley)
  20. Why is it important to provide culturally appropriate residential aged care and services (Mackinley)

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