Advancing Spiritual Care Through Research

Integrated Spiritual Modeling Into Education: A College Course for Stress Management and Spiritual Growth

Educators from grade school to college have long taught about religion in fields such as history and social studies. By affirming the importance of religion and spirituality (RS) in the lives of people worldwide, such RS teaching may support and reinforce student assimilation of virtues and character strengths from their families or other committed sources of RS. Growing evidence for health benefit from RS practices has recently encouraged some physicians to support patients in using RS methods of coping with illness. We describe an integrated college course about RS and well-being. Using a social cognitive and spiritual modeling approach, the course includes not only standard academic content but also a practical component, analogous to a laboratory section or to training in applied professional skills. We discuss how this approach could be adapted to various academic or applied settings. Course effectiveness is supported by empirical outcome studies reported elsewhere.