Interprofessional Train-the-Trainer Spiritual Care Education Curriculum (ISPEC)

Empirical evidence, patient and family experience, and theoretical frameworks support the critical role spirituality and spiritual care plays in the care of patients, particularly those with chronic and complex illness. Recent clinical guidelines recognize the ethical obligation of all ‎healthcare providers to alleviate pain and suffering, whether physical, psychosocial or spiritual. Health care providers acknowledge the growing momentum calling for patients’ spirituality to be addressed, but they ‎often note lack of training as an important barrier‎ to implementing these beliefs. To bridge this gap, The George Washington Institute for spirituality and health (GWish), in partnership with City of Hope, and the Fetzer Institute developed an Interprofessional Spiritual care training program entitled "Interprofessional Spiritual Care Education Curriculum (ISPEC)".

ISPEC is the first curriculum at the global level that offers a theoretically and research-grounded curriculum for teaching interprofessional spiritual care. This innovative training program builds on the investigators’ previous experience in developing the GWish Templeton Reflection Rounds, ELNEC Project, and online training programs. Curricular development forms the ‎basis of a train-the-trainer  program to build leaders, consultants, advocates, and ‎knowledgeable ‎clinicians who can educate, empower, and guide other healthcare professionals at their institute ‎in the ‎integration of spirituality in healthcare.‎ The ISPEC curriculum appropriate for interprofessional pairs of clinicians (e.g. physicians, nurses, social workers, psychologists, and other professions) and chaplains, and will prepare them to attend to patients’ spiritual needs and resources as an integral part of their practice.

Co-Directors: Christina Puchalski, MD, FACP, FAAHPM & Betty Ferrell, RN, PhD, FAAN, FPCN

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Clinicians from different professions (Medicine, Nursing, Social work, Psychology, Physical therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physician Assistant, etc.) who work with patients with chronic and serious diseases are eligible to apply.
  • Each organization’s team should include one clinician and one chaplain.
  • Pairs of clinicians/ chaplains from Pediatrics and Geriatrics departments are also welcome to apply.  

There will only be 60 participants (30 pairs) selected for this training program through a competitive application review process.

Registration Fee:

Selected participants are eligible for Discounted Fee of $390 per participants ($780 per team) that covers:

  • 2.5-day ISPEC Train-the-Trainer program
  • Free, unlimited, one-year access to ‎the ISPEC online course for their entire organization
  • 16.75 continuing education credits
  • 400+ pages course syllabus and resources
  • Continental breakfast, lunch, and morning and afternon snacks.


For more information about the application process, please review the Request for Applications. The deadline for applications is March 1, 2019. 

For more information, please contact Dr. Najmeh Jafari at

Tuesday, July 9, 2019 - 8:00am to Thursday, July 11, 2019 - 12:00pm

Ala Moana Hotel, Honolulu, Hawaii