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The Westberg Institute is going on the road again, and we want YOU to join us in New Mexico!


2020 Westberg Symposium:
Advancing Spiritual Care Across Faith, Culture, and Geography
April 20-22, 2020
Santa Fe, New Mexico


The Westberg Institute, in partnership with the Nursing Division of the Spiritual Care Association, is proud to present the 2020 Westberg Symposium at the Caring for the Human Spirit® Conference April 20-22, 2020 in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

DID YOU EVER WONDER about how other faiths provide spiritual care or how people in other places and of different cultures incorporate spirituality into their everyday lives? The 2020 Westberg Symposium at the Caring for the Human Spirit® Conference will provide many opportunities for you to experience a variety of faiths and cultures and expand your understanding of spiritual care form around the world. The Symposium will be held in beautiful, historic Santa Fe, New Mexico with Father Richard Rohr as the Granger Westberg keynote speaker. Participants will be able to choose from both nursing and chaplaincy hosted workshops, along with pre-conferences and day trips to experiences a variety of faiths and cultures. Plan to attend and bring your friends. Santa Fe and the surrounding area offers much for families to enjoy so continue your cultural emersion by planning vacation time after the conference!

Program Outcomes:

1. Describe spiritual care from the perspective of various faith traditions
2. Evaluate best-practice aspects of spiritual care from a multi-cultural perspective
3. Compare the concept of spiritual care from a geographical viewpoint; rural/urban, state/national, USA/world-wide

All participants of the Westberg Symposium will have full access to the Caring for the Human Spirit® Conference at absolutely no additional cost! Over the years, the Westberg Symposium has become the premier gathering and networking event for faith community nurses from across the globe. Participants develop supportive connections and gain new ideas and skills as distinguished speakers share techniques and experiences for the benefit of the professional practice. The symposium is the ideal place for FCNs, along with others, to share their experiences, latest approaches, and best practices to plan, prepare, and respond to communities and individuals.

There are opportunities for exhibitors and supporters. Click here to learn more!

Click here for details on other Symposium activities.

Attendees can register not only for FCN-specific content but for any of the programs offered at the Caring for the Human Spirit® Conference.


Granger Westberg Keynote Address

Tracking the Perennial Tradition Creates an Alternative Orthodoxy

Fr. Richard Rohr

Keynote Summary:

When we look at the history of spiritual care and healing, the same themes keep emerging across religions and cultures. They are issues of how to move from doctrinal belief into actual practice. One primary theological application method is the practice of cultivating a contemplative mind.

Upon completion of this keynote address, you will be able to:

  • Consider the concept of praxis commonalities across religions and cultures 
  • Describe the practice of cultivating a contemplative mind 
  • List options for integrating a contemplative mind into personal and professional practice 



Fr. RICHARD ROHR is a globally recognized ecumenical teacher whose work is grounded in Christian mysticism, practices of contemplation and self-emptying, and compassion for the marginalized. He is a Franciscan priest of the New Mexico province and founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, where he also serves as academic dean of the Living School for Action and Contemplation. Fr. Richard is the author of many books, including the bestsellers Falling Upward, The Divine Dance, Breathing Under Water, and, most recently, The Universal Christ. His work has been featured on Oprah’s SuperSoul Sunday, Krista Tippett’s On Being, and in the New York Times.

Anne Marie Djupe Memorial Plenary Session

The Essence of Providing Spiritual Care

Michelle O’Rourke, RN, MA – Consultant, Educator and Facilitator, Henri Nouwen Society


Plenary Summary:

Reflecting on the works of Henri Nouwen and others, this session explores the concepts of care, compassion, spirituality, spiritual care, and spiritual distress. Highlights include a review of Shane Sinclair’s work on compassion and the health care provider model of compassion, the work of Tervalon and Garcia regarding cultural humility vs. cultural competency, and Henri’s Nouwen’s work on being a wounded healer and other supporting information. It also looks at the work of Dr. Christina Puchalski and the FICA tool, other assessment tools available for spiritual care, and resources available including the Health Care Chaplaincy Cultural and Spiritual Sensitivity Module.

Upon completion of this intensive, you will be able to:

  • Have a deeper understanding of the concepts of care, compassion, spirituality, and the roles of presence, silence, inquiry and assessment in providing spiritual care to diverse populations.
  • Recognize the need for ongoing self-reflective practice and increased self-awareness in order to provide objective and unbiased spiritual care to diverse populations.
  • Become aware of resources, including assessment tools and opportunities for ongoing learning in this area.

Michelle O’Rourke, RN, MA, has a background in emergency nursing, parish nursing, and hospice palliative care. She also enjoyed many years with the Roman Catholic Diocese of London, Ontario, working in parish ministry and helping to develop a national education program for Parish Nurses in Canada.  

Thesis work for her graduate degree in ministry reflected her interest in spirituality and palliative care and was subsequently published. Befriending Death: Henri Nouwen and a Spirituality of Dying has sold over 6,500 copies worldwide. Studying Henri’s life and writings impacted her deeply, leading to her second book, Embracing the End of Life: Help for Those Who Accompany the Dying, a Catholic Press Association award winner.  Her newest book, Reflections on Caregiving is a 2020 release. 

More recently, Michelle helped to design, build and open, a ten-bed residential hospice, retiring in 2018 to focus on speaking, writing and self-care. She remains involved in hospice care and works closely with the Henri Nouwen Society’s caregiver support initiative.  

Helen Westberg Panel Plenary Session

Nursing and Clergy: Collaborating to Support and Care for Congregations

Jennifer Dagarag, RN – Faith Community Nurse, St. Ireanaeus Parish
Marion Butler Harris, MSN/ED, RB, BSN, PHN, Faith Community Nurse – Adjunct Professor, Samuel Merritt University
Cheryl Track, RN, AD, RN-BC – Faith Community Nurse, First Presbyterian Church


Plenary Summary:

Pastoral support is vital to the faith community nurse (FCN). Advocating for the FCN as a professional position allows for increased accountability, collaboration, and optimization of health. FCNs utilize the nursing process (assessment, diagnosis, plan, implementation, and evaluation) to serve the needs of their faith community. Coupled with evidence-based practice and in collaboration with clergy, we are able to meet the holistic needs of those served. Often a spiritual crisis is precipitated by a life stressor, such as a medical need. Working collaboratively, the pastoral staff focuses on spiritual needs and the FCN assists with navigation and resolution of the precipitating crisis.

Upon completion of this intensive, you will be able to:

  • Describe a model of nursing and Clergy structure in a congregation
  • Describe a model of a Faith Community Nurse and Chaplain in a congregation:
  • Describe a model of a Faith Community Nurse in a team-based congregational health ministry

Jennifer Dagarag, RN, Faith Community Nurse

Mrs. Jennifer Dagarag is a board-certified Registered Nurse working within the Saint Irenaeus Parish Community to promote health and prevent or minimize illness. Twenty-two years of professional experience in the care of both pediatric and adult populations includes emergency department, hospice, home health, and critical care (both ICU and cardiac ICU). Passion to provide holistic care to patients and families has fostered a pursuit of education regarding mental health issues and grief support.

Marion Butler Harris, MSN/ED, RN, BSN, PHN, Faith Community Nurse

Marion has been a registered nurse for over 40 years. In 2001, she became a faith community nurse and a member of the Health Ministries Association. For over 18 years as a professional and a volunteer, her work has focused on addressing health disparities in underserved communities through faith communities. She’s also been active in educating and mentoring Registered Nurses as faith community nurses and lay leaders in health ministry in faith communities in the San Francisco Bay area to provide interventions to individuals and families that promote healthy lifestyle choices and actions. Collaborating with organizations wishing to work in faith communities, she has served as the co-chair of the University of California San Francisco Comprehensive (UCSF) Cancer Center Faith Committee Abundant Life Health Ministry program since 2006. UCSF awarded Marion the UCSF Abundant Life Health Ministry Leadership Award in 2013. As a two-time breast cancer survivor with the BRCA2 gene, she enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to participate in two community-based participatory research projects in faith communities.

Cheryl Track, RN, AD, RN-BC, Faith Community Nurse

After graduation from nursing school in 1988, Cheryl went straight to the ICU, where she worked for 24 years. Moving from Michigan to Washington to California, and currently living in Sarasota, Florida, she has worked in several hospitals and enjoyed each experience. When the ICU was slow, she worked in GI lab, cath lab, ER, burn unit, oncology, and outpatient surgery. When Cheryl joined First Presbyterian Church in 2005, she knew she wanted to use her nursing skills at the church in some special way. In 2007, Cheryl and another nurse with the same vision started a health ministry. Cheryl left the hospital environment in 2012 and worked in home health for five years. She currently has a paid position at First Presbyterian Church as a faith community nurse. Cheryl holds an AD in nursing from Schoolcraft College in Livonia, Michigan. She obtained her faith community nursing certification in 2017.

Pre-Conference Intensives

Sunday, April 19

2020 Faith Community Nurse Research Forum

Sponsored by Faith Community Nurse International (FCNI)

Sunday, April 19 | 12 –  4 p.m.
Cost: $75


Intensive Summary: 

A half-day research forum hosted by the FCNI’s Research Committee will be held once again as a preconference session at the 2020 Westberg Symposium in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This forum provides current information and activities related to research and initiatives with relevance to faith community nursing practice. The agenda features recently published research presented by representatives from both the International Journal of Faith Community Nursing and the Journal of Christian Nursing. Participants will have opportunity for open discussion, Q&A, and reflection on the translation of research into faith community nursing practice.

To learn more about this research forum and the continuing education credits offered by FCNI, visit www.fcninternational.org.


Awakening the Spirit Using Art and the FAITH Process

Pamela Castles, RN, MSN, MA – Castles Spiritual Direction

Sunday, April 19 | 5 p.m. –  9 p.m.
Cost: $125


Intensive Summary:

Life transitions often bring questions regarding the presence of God and the purpose of life. Applying the FAITH process can enhance exploring these questions. During this workshop, participants practice the FAITH spiritual care process beginning with a focused topic. Adding art activities, individuals reflect on the activity as it relates to the topic. A guided discussion explores how God is present during these activities and how each person might apply this understanding to a personal faith journey and professional practice. Finally, participants open their hearts to one another and God to experience health, healing, and wholeness through authentic prayer.

Upon completion of this intensive, you will be able to:

  • Describe the FAITH process for spiritual care
  • Assess the use of art to enhance spiritual care
  • Explain how this process can be applied to patients, family and staff


Cultural Immersion Experience

Sunday, April 19 | 9 a.m. –  6:30 p.m.

Intensive Summary:

Join us for an exciting all-day, three-stop cultural immersion experience! A luxury motor coach will make the following 3 stops:

  • The Poeh Center and Museum: Located in Pojoaque, New Mexico, the Native American museum is devoted to the arts and culture of the Puebloan peoples, especially the Tewas in the northern part of the state.
  • Loretto Chapel: This beautiful chapel is known for its unusual helix-shaped spiral staircase. The Sisters of Loretto credit St. Joseph with its construction.
  • Our Lady of Guadalupe Abbey: The land on which the monastery now exists was originally deeded by Charles II, King of Spain, to Juan de Dios Peña in 1815. Today, the abbey is now part of the Benedictine Olivetan Congregation. In Benedictine tradition, all guests are received as Christ.

What is included:  Transportation to/from hotel, entrance to all 3 site and boxed breakfast
What is not included: Lunch (there will be lunch options at the Loretto Chapel)
Time: The bus departs the hotel at 9:00 am and will return at approximately 6:30 pm


Early Bird Rate: $249 per person (by Jan. 31, 2020)
Regular Rate: $309 per person (after Jan. 31, 2020)
Deadline to register: February 28, 2020


Whether you register for the Westberg Symposium or the Caring for the Human Spirit® Conference, you will be able to attend sessions from either conference at no extra cost to you. The Westberg Institute and The Spiritual Care Association have worked diligently to bring more value to the participants of both events, resulting in a more robust spiritual care conference experience. 

To view all workshop offerings for the Westberg Symposium at the Caring for the Human Spirit® Conference, please visit the Spiritual Care Association’s conference registration. 

World Forum

The Westberg Institute World Forum is a network of all those from countries outside of the US who have taken the Foundations of Faith Community Nursing course, are interested in teaching it, or are helping to support it outside the US. Nurses from over 30 countries are now part of this network, and there are regional resource centers in various continents. The meeting at Westberg Symposium each year brings greetings and news from various countries, look at the resources being made available through the Westberg Institute specifically for international use, and welcomes contributions from various countries that add to the knowledge gathered around the theology and practice of faith community nursing/parish nursing. The World Forum is also a way to make making new international contacts.

Anyone who is planning to come to the symposium from countries outside of the US should contact Helen Wordsworth, International specialist, at wordsworthh@churchhealth.org. Helen is planning the program for the World Forum session. If you’re from the US, come to this session and be inspired by what is happening elsewhere!

Symposium At a Glance

Browse the conference schedule here. 

  • Several preconference intensives
  • Opportunity for a cultural immersion
  • Fr. Richard Rohr as Granger Westberg Keynote address
  • Michelle O’Rourke, recognized Henri Nouwen expert and author
  • Expert panel on developing effective nurse and clergy relationships
  • FCN coordinators and leadership meeting
  • Educators breakfast and network session
  • Opportunity for over 24 hours of nursing education credit
  • International World Forum event
  • Silent auction featuring southwestern themed items
  • Networking and fellowship opportunities
  • Nurses Wall of Honor
  • Exhibitors
  • 2 conferences for the prices of 1! Check out Caring for the Human Spirit offerings.

Conference: Rates

The following are the rates for the 2020 Caring for the Human Spirit® Conference to be held April 20-22, 2020 in Santa Fe, NM. For questions about the conference please email us at: events@spiritualcareassociation.org.


Attention Westberg Symposium Attendees:

Your rates are the same as the SCA Member rate.

SCA Members & Westberg Symposium attendees

Early Bird Individual 

(Before January 31, 2020)



    Early Bird Group

    (Before January 31, 2020)


    Regular Individual 

    (After January 31, 2020)


    Regular Group 

    (After January 31, 2020)


    Pre-Conference Intensives: Rates 

    The following pre-conference intensives are optional add-ons to your registration:

    2020 Faith Community Nurses Research Forum Hosted by FCNI

    See intensive description above.

      Awakening the Spirit Using Arts and FAITH Process, hosted by the Westberg Institute

      See intensive description above.

      Cultural Immersion Experience

      See intensive description above.

      Early Bird: $249

      Regular Rate: $309

      Exhibitors & Sponsorships 

      There are opportunities for exhibitors and supporters. Click here to learn more.

      NEW this year!

      We are pleased to be a part of the Caring for the Human Spirit® Conference!

      Two conferences for the price of one!

      Whether you register for the Westberg Symposium or Caring for the Human Spirit® Conference, you will be able to attend sessions from either conference at no extra cost to you. The Westberg Institute for Faith Community Nursing and the Spiritual Care Association have worked diligently in order to bring more value to the attendees of both events, resulting in a more robust spiritual care conference experience.

      Questions? We’re here to help! Please email Bryana Polk at polkb@churchhealth.org with any questions about the Westberg Symposium.

      Upcoming Events

      Tue 25
      Tue 25

      Foundations of Faith Community Nursing Online Course

      January 19 @ 8:00 am - April 26 @ 5:00 pm UTC-5
      Tue 25

      Lees-McRae College – Foundations of Faith Community Nursing

      January 31 @ 8:00 am - March 29 @ 5:00 pm UTC-5
      Lees-McRae College
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