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National Catholic Certification Program in Health Care Ethics

September Class — 2020 Academic Year Enrollment

Graduate credit available towards a Master's Degree



 Brochure Cover

Certification Program Brochure 



Registration opens May 1st, 2020 for the September Class.

For Information about the 2020 February Class see: 

 February Class Certification Program






1 Minute Video

Father Tad

Introduces the NCBC Certification Program:


Watch the Video  





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.



The objectives of The National Catholic Certification Program in Health Care Ethics include the training of those engaged in 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:


 Understand how the inherent dignity of the human person serves as the objective basis for the Church's moral tradition in health care.
 State the Church's moral teaching as expressed in The Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services to resolve 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.


Structure of the Program:

This course is designed for the busy professional, and is patterned on a web-based distance learning model. Participants must attend a two-day seminar held in the fall in either Philadelphia, Bismarck or a third city determined each year. 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 culminates with a required intensive one-day seminar of case studies at the NCBC offices in Philadelphia on May 4, 2019.


Who Will Benefit from the Program?

The Certification Program  is 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 centers for biomedical and biological research, universities, and government institutions involved in the shaping of public policy are among those likely to benefit. Additionally, lawyers, pro-life leaders, hospital administrators, and Catholic high school teachers in science and religion have found the program to be of great benefit. 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


Continuing Education Credit Opportunities

  • The National Association of Catholic Chaplains has approved this program for 144 Continuing Education Hours.
  • The Seminar component of the program has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Accreditation Requirements and Policies of the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) through the joint providership of St. Francis Hospital and  The National Catholic Bioethics Center.  St. Francis Hospital is accredited by MSSNY to provide continuing medical education for physicians. St. Francis Hospital designates this educational activity for a maximum of 12 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM.  Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
  • The Seminar component of the program has been approved for Continuing Nursing Education Activity  by Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, an approved provider of continuing nursing education (CNE) by the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association, and an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. A maximum of 12.0 nursing contact hours will be awarded for the Seminar. The participant must attend the entire Seminar to be eligible for full contact hour credit.


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. Please visit the Pope John Paul II Bioethics Center page at the Holy Apostles website for additional information and requirements.

— University of Mary

U of MParticipants may enroll for 10 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 Master of Science Degree in Bioethics. Please visit the website of the University of Mary for additional information and requirements.