SFTS News & Events
SFTS Offers New Certificate Program in Trauma and Spiritual Care
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Beginning February 2014, San Francisco Theological Seminary is offering a new certificate program in Trauma and Spiritual Care. This program will provide working professionals in both clinical and pastoral settings with the skills to incorporate spirituality into the healing counsel they provide to trauma victims.

Traumatic experiences impact people and communities in very particular and complicated ways. In addition to physical and psychological impacts, trauma can also shatter the foundations of peopleís spirituality Ė their senses of trust and hope. This program highlights the spiritual understandings of trauma and healing, giving caregivers a more comprehensive set of skills to help trauma victims recover from their experiences.

The certificate includes four courses, each of which will be taught four weekends each semester. These are:

a. Dynamics of Trauma: Demographics and Psychology of Trauma (Spring 2014)

b. God and Human Suffering (Fall 2014)

c. Restorative Justice, Trauma and Forgiveness (Spring 2015)

d. Spiritual Care and Healing of Trauma (Fall 2015)

For enrollment information, please clickhere. For questions, please contact Ruth West with the Program in Christian Spirituality at 415.451.2838 orrwest@sfts.edu, or the Registrar, Susan Lawlor, at 415.451.2820 or slawlor@sfts.edu.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the dates of the first course?

The first class,Dynamics of Trauma,will be offered this spring 2014 as follows: February 21-22; March 21-22; April 25-26 and May 16-17. The location will be the SFTS campus and the approximate times are Friday evening, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with a break for lunch.

Who are teaching these classes?

SFTS faculty will be teaching all of these courses within the certificate. The instructors are recognized scholars in the fields of spirituality, theology, social justice and pastoral care.

May I take only one course? Do I have to take all the courses in the certificate?

Yes, courses are designed to stand alone, but there will be a cumulative effect on your learning as more courses fill out the understanding of trauma and various responses to it. All four required courses have to be taken to receive the certificate.

Who will be in the courses?

Persons who work with trauma or who are interested in learning more about the impact of trauma on caregivers will take this course. Students from a variety of traditions and backgrounds are welcome. The richer the diversity, the broader and more inclusive the discussions.

I donít want to be a minister. Can I take these classes?

By all means. These courses are open to a variety of persons who deal with trauma. In fact, we seek laypersons whose work places them on the front lines of trauma and trauma care.

Iíve been traumatized (suffer from PTSD, etc.). Can I take these courses?

The content of these courses may bring back your traumatic experiences. Please consult those in your support system to see if the timing is right for such learning experiences. The seminary does have some referral sources should you need them in an emergency.

Are there any limits or caps on the courses I can take? 

The certificate consists of the four required courses. Students are welcome to contact the SFTS registrar to discuss taking additional courses (outside of the certificate program) as a special student paying regular tuition. Each instructor determines caps on the number of students; however, preference will be given to certificate students, SFTS degree students and non-SFTS degree students, in this order.

Is financial aid available?

There is no financial aid available for certificate students at this time. Degree students are subject to the financial aid policies and awards of SFTS or their respective institution

Iím an M.Div. student and I want to take one of these courses for my M.Div. Can I do that?

Yes. The certificate courses make excellent electives for anyone preparing for ministry.

I noticed that the courses are Friday and Saturdays on campus. Can I stay overnight on campus? 

Yes, participants can contact Conference Services at SFTS to arrange for overnight accommodations.Normally, a modest student rate is charged for overnight lodging on campus.

How about meals? 

SFTS will not be providing meals, apart from Saturday morning hospitality.Commuter students are encouraged to bring a snack lunch and enjoy SFTSís lovely environment.Overnight accommodations on campus do not include meals either, but small kitchen units are available if students want to bring food for Saturday breakfast and lunch.




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San Francisco Theological Seminary
105 Seminary Rd
San Anselmo CA, 94960
Phone: 415.451.2800
email: info@sfts.edu