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Education, Events & News

Education Opportunities

Faith Community Nurse Foundation Classes (Required)

Foundations of Faith Community Nursing Curriculum

Across the United States, 140 locations/universities/agencies provide the basic education required for a Parish Nurse/Faith Community Nurse.

Find a Faith Community Nursing Foundation's course by date, state or online.

In Minnesota, there are two organizations that provide the basic program:

  • Concordia College of Moorhead – Update: Jean Bokinskie is on sabbatical and will not be teaching for the next year. Visit website for more information.
  • Foundations in Faith Community Nursing Course - Faith Community Nurse Network of the Greater Twin Cities (FCNNTC) offers the International Parish Nurse Resource Center (IPNRC) certified course in a 36 CEU format taught by professional nursing faculty who are both educators and experienced faith community nurses representing an array of faith community nursing practice. For more information or questions about the Faith Community Nursing Course, please contact FCNN at 651-204-0904 or In 2017, the class will be offered at the following times. Download the following brochure (PDF) to learn more.
    • April 3-7, 2017
    • October 16-20, 2017

Upcoming Foundations Courses

Foundations of Faith Community Nursing Grow2Serve Online Course

Update: I received correspondence from Paula Lilja, who has been the instructor of the EFCA Online Foundations course the past 14 years. In Part, she writes: “I regret to say it's time for me to retire from teaching my FCN Online course…It's been a wonderful ministry for me these last 14 years. I've been blessed beyond measure. I will miss my time working with the students, but know there are others to carry on in my place”.

The previously scheduled course, to start in January, 2017, has been cancelled

Foundations of Faith Community Nursing Will Be Offered by Augustana University of Sioux Falls, SD

A class is being offered online Monday, Feb. 6, through Monday, March 27, followed by two days on-site April 27 - 28, 2017. Both parts are required for completion.

Both parts are required for completion. Registration deadline is Monday, Jan. 16, 2017. Contact or call 605-322-8815 for more information.

Faith Community Nursing Credentialing Process (Optional Advanced Practice)

Certification through portfolio

The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the Health Ministries Association (HMA) announced the launch of a new certification through portfolio for Faith Community Nursing. This new certification serves to validate faith community nurses’ unique knowledge, skills and contributions to patient care. ANCC supports HMA members and all faith community nurses worldwide in their pursuit to be certified in their specialty area.

Access the new certification program

Why I decided to apply for FCN Certification

Continuing Education: Required Ongoing Education

Parish Nurses are required to meet the Minnesota Board of Nursing criteria for continuing education which is 24 hours every two years. These continuing education programs may include both clinical nursing as well as courses that enhance the parish nurse role.

  • MN Board of Nursing contact hours (formerly referred to as Continuing Education Units or CEUs) are based on 50 minutes of learning. Continuing Education. Overview (CEU Rules & Requirements) from MN Department of Nursing Continuing Ed Link: MN Board of Nursing CEU Rules. Learn more at
  • Parish Nurses in the Diocese of Saint Cloud are required to complete the Diocesan Safe Environment Training and report the training to the parish office.

Scholarship Opportunities

  • The St. Cloud School of Nursing Alumni Association.
    The Alumni group budgets money each year for Parish Nurse Scholarships. Among the purposes in our Constitution and Bylaws are the objectives to promote fellowship and mutual support among the graduates of our (now-closed) School of Nursing and to provide continuing education opportunities to our alumni. Please call Elaine Prom, Treasurer, if you have any questions 320-253-7363.
  • The Central MN Parish Nurse Advisory Committee is offering $250 scholarships for persons intending to work as parish nurses in Central Minnesota. Conditions of the scholarships include:
    • The parish nurse role will be activated within 6-9 months of course completion.
    • In a brief letter (one page or less), please address how the above criteria will be met in your parish nurse ministry.
    • Reside in Central Minnesota or have approval from the Central Minnesota Parish Nurse Ministry Committee Officers.
    Contact Annette Jesh for a scholarship guidelines and application questions 320-249-0280.  Download the scholarship application (PDF)
  • The Catholic Education Ministries Grant generally covers about one third of tuition with the expectation that the parish and the awardee each pay one third. Application deadlines are Jan. 15, May 15 and Aug. 15. Processing and approval are usually completed within five weeks. Please submit the completed grant application to: Linda L. Kaiser, Director, Catholic Education Ministries, Diocese of St. Cloud, 305 7th Ave. N, St. Cloud, MN 56303, 320-251-0111. Catholic Education Ministries Grant Application (PDF)
  • Scholarships from Faith Community Nurse Network (FCNN) of the Twin Cities. FCNN is committed to increasing the number of faith community nurses practicing in the metro area. FCNN will award a limited number of $150 scholarships to Registered Nurses who live in the 11-county Twin Cities area (Anoka, Carver, Chisago, Dakota, Hennepin, Isanti, Ramsey, Scott, Sherburne, Washington, or Wright County).

    For consideration, the nurse must submit an initial $300 payment along with a letter of support from her congregation’s leadership (i.e. pastor, rabbi, church council) documenting (1) the congregation’s intent to initiate a faith community nursing program and their support of this nurse’s candidacy and (2) a statement of financial need. The nurse will be notified if a scholarship will be awarded within 2 weeks of receipt of all required materials. Learn more at

Funding Opportunity

Elim Care Faith Community Nursing offers up to $1,000 in matching funds to North Central District EFCA churches to assist in starting a Faith Community Nurse Ministry. Funding may cover education costs for a 36 hour FCN preparation course. For more information, contact:

Joanne Hall, RN, BN
Faith Community Nurse/Director of Faith Community Nursing
Elim Care Ministries
7485 Office Ridge Circle
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Parish Nurse Recruitment Samples

Parish Nursing is the specialized practice of professional nursing that focuses on the intentional care of the spirit as part of the process of promoting wholistic health and preventing or minimizing illness in a faith community. It is a part of a broader outreach health ministry. With parish nursing and a structured health ministry program, the parishioners find connectedness, encouragement, hope and love.

Download the following resources to help recruit other Faith Community Nurses and share information about its mission.

Sample Bulletin Announcement (PDF)
FCN Recruitment Letter (PDF)
Letter From Alison Jergens, FCN, on Her Ministry (PDF)
FCN Exploration and Implementation Packet (PDF)

Upcoming Events to Share With Faith Communities

Central Minnesota Council on Aging (CMCOA) Classes

The CMCOA has a number of classes available. Among them include sessions on:

  • improving balance
  • increasing physical activity
  • being aware of one's risk of falls
  • helping people live successfully with chronic pain

To see the schedule of upcoming classes and for more information, visit From this calendar, most classes have a flyer that you can print and post in your church and community.


Notes on the Westberg Symposium 30th Anniversary

Westberg conference

Annette Jesh, Bev Wiehoff and Rosemary Weiser were
honored to be present for the 30th Anniversary of the Westberg
Conference on April 8th and 9th in Chicago.

Rosemary Weiser, Bev Wiehoff & Annette Jesh were honored to be present for the 30th Anniversary of the Westberg Conference for the unveiling of the new name of Westberg Institute for Faith Community Nursing (formerly known as IPNRC & Church Health Center).

The keynote speaker was Martin Marty, colleague and friend of Granger Westberg. He was Keynote speaker at the first Symposium 30 years ago. At age 88, he was funny and brilliant. One of our Lutheran Parish Nurses said when I told her he spoke, “Oh, the famous Lutheran Theologian!” What an honor.

“Marty” is one of the most prominent interpreters of religion and culture today. Author of more than 50 books, he is also a speaker, columnist, pastor, and teacher, having been a professor of religious history for 35 years at the University of Chicago.

Notes of interest from the symposium:

  • Use this: “Registered professional nurses claiming the specialty of faith community nursing”. Finding new language for our specialty. We can call ourselves parish nurses or faith community nurses but that is what we claim!
  • Parish/Faith Community Nursing is the only specialty practice of nursing that is for the most part unpaid volunteer nursing.
  • Use term “Unpaid professional nurse” versus “volunteer”. Theme of giving our profession credit and an infrastructure for support and sustainability.
  • A new revision of Faith Community Nursing: Scope and Standards is coming out fall 2016 from ANA and HMA.
  • Striving for all FCN to receive a salary stipend or honorarium for their ministry – one that allows for continuing education and resources and creating a sustainable ministry.
  • Create a Paid professional role within the context of congregational staff. This is what Granger Westberg promoted from the start.
  • A new platform of Yammer started from Westberg Institute. We signed up. The platform is a virtual space intended for knowledge sharing. Essentially, it is an online forum where FCNs can discuss important topics, ask questions of the wider FCN community, make connections, form and join groups they are interested in, and download and share resources.
  • History Lesson: 15,000 parish nurses in US. International Faith Community Nursing Parish Nursing as a recent movement of the 20th century, has grown from the revival by Rev. Dr. Granger Westberg in the USA to its current practice in 23 countries around the world. While each country adapts the program to its specific culture, nursing practice and needs, the core model of faith and health ministry to body, mind and spirit remains the same throughout each of these countries. The movement into other countries occurred as nurses/clergy requested information and assistance to initiate programs in other countries, and when Parish Nurses in various countries shared it with other countries via missions or outreach. In the early days of Parish Nursing, leaders were invited to go to Canada and Australia to provide presentations on parish nurse practice. Once Canadians developed their practice, they took it to the Bahamas through their Canadian/Bahamian church connections. The countries practicing Parish Nursing today include: Australia, Bahamas, Canada, England, Germany, Ghana, Kenya, Korea, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa, Swaziland, Ukraine, USA, Wales, Zambia, Zimbabwe. Request at Westberg to use World terminology to note it is not a US only nursing capacity but people there from other countries.
  • Interesting fact learned: The word “Wholistic” is used to refer to this nursing practice of Parish/Faith Community Nursing, including Mind, Body & Spirit. The Research group of Westberg has tried to get the word included in Webster’s Dictionary and Wikipedia instead of “Holistic” and it has been declined up to this point. Any entry to Wikipedia that is made with word “Wholistic” is changed or declined. Try using it! And spell check will ask to change it.

Nurse Awarded Scholarship for Faith Community Nurse Class

Jessie Allen-Johnson

Kari Nelson (pictured in the lower right) and the members
of her FCN community class. Kari will work with on the
ministry team at the Waters Church in Sartell.

The Waters Church in Sartell, whose members are 1200 strong, is excited to welcome Kari Nelson, BSN, Faith Community Nurse to their ministry team. Kari joins over 15,000 Registered Professional Nurses in the Specialty of Faith Community Nursing in the world. This is a first for this expanding congregation and they are excited to see what a FCN can offer to their members.

Kari, who is a Medical Oncology nurse at St. Cloud Hospital, recently completed her FCN course through the Faith Community Nurse Network out of St. Paul. She was joined by 12 other nurses from the all over the state, along with an epidemiology nurse from Texas and a psych nurse from Colorado who heard the program was 'one of a kind.'

Kari is looking forward to beginning her FCN role where she can manifest God's love to people, all the while sharing her wealth of knowledge as a RN. Faith Community Nursing is an expanding role and it is Kari's hope that someday every congregation will be blessed with a FCN that facilitates the health of the spirit, mind and body. Kari received a scholarships from Great River Faith in Action and the Central MN Parish Nurse Committee. The three Parish Nurses from St. Francis Xavier Catholic Community in Sartell offered to be mentors.

Welcome to Jessie Allen-Johnson!

Jessie Allen-Johnson

Jessie Allen-Johnson (pictured 2nd from the right)
will work in her faith community at Immaculate
Conception Catholic Church in St. Anna.

Welcome to our newest Faith Community Nurse, Jessie Allen-Johnson of Immaculate Conception Church, St. Anna. Jessie met with Fr. Greg Mastey to see what is needed in her church. She will assist him in making visits to members. Jessie received a $500 scholarship from the Central MN Parish Nurses.

2015 CentraCare Foundation Spirit of Women Community Hero Award goes to Paula Woischke

Pictured are Paula Woischke, the late Todd Steinke, former Vice President of Philanthropy, and Marjorie Henkemeyer.

Paula Woischke, the late Todd Steinke, former Vice
President of Philanthropy, and Marjorie Henkemeyer.

Paula and Marjorie formed a new collaboration with Whitney Senior Center and Faith Community Nurses to make healthy aging classes available in faith communities and to let members of faith communities be aware of and participate in classes to support aging, in churches and other places in the communities they live in. Paula is best described by Marjorie as a woman passionate about working with older adults in all areas of wellness, including fitness, health and social support. She teaches multiple senior exercise classes and courses which encourage safety and help seniors keep active. With a Master’s Degree in Gerontology, along with certification as a Pilate’s Instructor, Group Fitness Instructor, Senior Fitness Specialist, in ACE Group Fitness, Matter of Balance Trainer, Tai Chi Instructor, Certified Advance Care Planner, Powerful Tools for Caregivers Educator, and I CAN Diabetic Educator, she is presenting options to help with the St. Cloud Area goal of “Aging in Place”.Faith Community Nurse, Marjorie Henkemeyer, St. Joseph’s Church, St. Joseph MN nominated award winner, Paula Woischke, Senior Health & Wellness Coordinator at Whitney Senior Center, in St. Cloud. Paula’s work embodies the St. Cloud Area Aging in Place priority.

With a smile on her face, Paula encourages senior citizens to keep moving and exercising to their individual potential. She is frequently heard reminding class participants that, “Motion is Lotion”. Her classes are presented at Whitney Senior Center, area churches and other places in the community and are backed with Evidence Based courses.

Marjorie shares that Paula’s love for seniors is evident as she leads all of her classes with humor and a caring attitude. Group exercises are also a great time for world and local event discussions. In response to “What makes Paula special?” Marjorie says, “Paula’s radiant smile, seemingly unending energy, gentle caring ways, knowledge of the process of aging, desire to keep learning and genuine concern for the aging population makes her so special. She is the spirit of healthy aging in the St. Cloud area. Paula’s classes can be found in the Whitney Whistler or by calling Whitney Senior Center.


Email the St. Cloud Hospital Parish Health Ministries Program.