Certificate in Trauma & Spiritual Care


The Certificate in Trauma & Spiritual Care provides working professionals in both clinical and pastoral settings with the skills needed to adequately care for and help people during life’s most difficult situations.

Focusing on the spiritual understandings of trauma and healing, this intensive program combines crisis intervention training and trauma counseling education to give caregivers a comprehensive set of skills to help trauma survivors recover from their experiences.

Traumatic experiences affect people and communities in particular and complicated ways. In addition to physical and psychological impacts, trauma also can shatter trust and hope, which are the foundations of spirituality.

The certificate is comprised of four courses: Dynamics of Trauma, Trauma Care Resiliency, God & Human Suffering, and Collective Trauma, Collective Memory. Generally, one course is offered each fall and spring term over four weekends (Friday evenings and Saturdays during the day). Summer courses are offered as a week-long intensive. Each course is 3 academic credits or 40 contact hours of continuing education. Courses may also be taken on an individual basis but all four trauma courses must be completed in order to receive the certificate.

Summer 2019 Course:

Dynamics of Trauma: A Spiritual Care Approach to Theory & Practice course consists of an in-depth practical-theological exploration of spiritual care ministry in trauma situations. It includes principles (dependable guides to practice) and tools (special resources for practice) for prevention, early intervention and recovery, in light of a vision of spiritual wisdom and of faith communities as ecologies of care, healing and wholeness. Those whose service or ministry focuses on the spiritual nature and care of God’s people in a variety of settings, including church, para-church, community organizations, and health centers, will find the course useful in terms of their ongoing personal-spiritual, academic, and professional-ministerial formation.

Dates: This is a one-week intensive from June 17-21 from 9am-5pm

Fall 2019 Course:

Collective Trauma, Collective Memory: Systemic Issues of Trauma explores the dynamics of trauma as a set of social patterns and relationships constructed through conditions that legitimate hostile imaginations, feelings, and actions. Using race as the central category for systemic issues that exacerbate collective trauma and collective memories of trauma, this course will examine socially traumatic events, and social constructs that lead to collective memories of collective traumas. From the pastoral care, spiritual, and psychological fields it will identify the epidemiology of collective trauma and uncover roots of racial, gender, and class social injustices, such that social realities that create and reinforce collective trauma may be identified and eliminated.

Dates: Every Friday evening from 6:30-9:30pm and Saturday from 9am-4pm on September 13-14, October 11-12, November 8-9, Dec 13-14.

Instructor: Professor Greg Love

The other certificate courses:

God and Human Suffering deals with issues of theodicy—how we make sense of evil in a world that is supposed to be under the care of a good God while providing pastoral care in relation to those who are suffering. This course explores the relationship between human suffering and the human spirit.

Trauma Care Resiliency: Developing Transformative Emotional Intelligence (EQ) applies the principles of transformative learning to foster EQ growth. This approach requires sufficient time for implicit learning to occur, space for self-reflection and questioning one’s own assumptions, and an environment which supports, confronts and clarifies.  In this class, students will learn critical care competencies for trauma care-giving including self-awareness, self-management and impulse control, empathy and the ability to attune to others, flexibility, creativity, decision-making and problem-solving, and the ability to engage and inspire others.

Instructor: Rev. Dr. Laurie Garrett-Cobbina

Apply Now!

For more information, please contact:

Rev. Paul Gaffney, Program Manager of Education, Community Relations & Spiritual Care Services
Shaw Chaplaincy Institute for Spiritual Care + Compassionate Leadership
paul_gaffney@redlands.edu | 415.451.2882

Trauma and traumatic loss affects individuals, their communities and the systems and structures that surround them. As spiritual caregivers, we endeavor to be helpful resources of recovery and healing for persons who have experienced trauma.
– Rev. Ruth T. West, Program Manager, Advanced Pastoral Studies

Read Rev. West’s blog post about the Certificate in Trauma and Spiritual Care here.