National Catholic Certification Program in Health Care Ethics

Graduate credit available towards a Master's Degree

Download the 2015 - 2016 Certification Brochure (pdf) 
Download the 2015 - 2016 registration form

The National Catholic Certification Program in Health Care Ethics has been developed at the request of many bishops and administrators of health care facilities to provide a credible and systematic formation so that dioceses, hospitals and ethics committees will have advisors better qualified to apply the Catholic moral tradition to challenging contemporary issues in health care. The part-time, year-long program combines a theoretical component with a practically oriented component based on case studies.

Objectives: The objective of The National Catholic Certification Program in Health Care Ethics is to train those engaged in the health care ministry, and other interested individuals, to effectively represent the Church's moral teaching in their various institutions as it is summarized in The Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services.

Upon completion of the one-year program, students will be able to:

-   Begin articulating the Church's understanding of the inherent dignity of the human person as the objective basis for the Church's moral tradition in health care.

-   Have a sense of how to apply the Church's moral teaching as expressed in The Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services to effect the resolution of complex dilemmas encountered in clinical education, practice and research.

-   Identify some of the resources available to health care workers and others involved in the health care ministry which provide guidance for the resolution of bioethical issues.

Web-Based Distance Learning Program: This course is designed for the busy professional. Participants must attend an initial two-day seminar held in the fall in either Philadelphia, or Bismarck (click the city name for the respective schedules). Students then interact independently with an instructor through a series of four learning modules over the course of the one-year program of study. Modules are completed through weekly assignments which include readings and an assessment of each student's theoretical understanding and ability to make practical application of the module content. Students are also given the opportunity to interact  with their instructor, NCBC ethicists, and peers through a series of teleconferences and through an online discussion group. The program will culminate with a required intensive one-day seminar of case studies at the NCBC offices in Philadelphia on May 14, 2016.

Who Will Benefit From the Program?

The National Catholic Certification Program in Health Care Ethics was primarily designed for Church leaders, health care workers, those in the life sciences and ethics committee members. However, others interested in understanding and advancing the Church’s moral tradition, including professionals and specialists from a wide range of venues, including centers for biomedical and biological research, universities, legal, and government institutions involved in the shaping of public policy are among those likely to benefit. Additionally, Catholic high school teachers in science and religion have found the program to be a great benefit.

Continuing Education Credit

  • The National Association of Catholic Chaplains has approved this program for 144 Continuing Education Hours.
  • This Activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center and The National Catholic Bioethics Center. St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians. 11 CME Category 1 Award Credits have been approved for this activity.

    This Continuing Nursing Education Activity has been approved by the Northeast Multistate Division, an accredited approver of continuing nursing education authorized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

Attendees give high praise for NCBC offerings. Some of those who comment on our programming have said it: “provided [me] an in-depth understanding of the sound theological and scientific basis of Catholic bioethics;” and  “prepared me to deliver timely lectures and answer the many questions I receive in the classes I teach.” For more details and detailed evaluation responses, please contact our Department of Education

Graduate Credit Opportunities

-- Holy Apostles College and Seminary

Participants may enroll for 9 graduate credits through Holy Apostles College & Seminary, a fully accredited, co-ed Catholic undergraduate and graduate institution offering affordable educational programs true to the magisterium. The credits earned through dual-enrollment may be applied towards a Master of Arts Degree in Theology with a concentration in Bioethics from Holy Apostles. Please visit the Pope John Paul II Bioethics Center page at the Holy Apostles website for additional information and requirements.

 -- University of Mary

Participants may enroll for 12 graduate credits through the University of Mary, a private Catholic university based in Bismarck, North Dakota. Credits earned may be applied toward the University's groundbreaking Master of Science Degree in Bioethics. Please visit the website of the University of Mary for additional information and requirements.