Tyndale’s New Pastoral Thanatology Program

Friday, June 21, 2019

an elderly person's hand being held by a younger person's hand in sympathy

Tyndale Seminary is pleased to announce the addition of the new Pastoral Thanatology Program beginning in the fall semester of 2019. The study of Thanatology revolves around the multifaceted aspects of the end of life process including grief, bereavement, death and dying. Thanatologists examine the process of grieving as well as the attitudes towards death from a cultural, gender specific and social context. Other areas include the rituals and ethical issues surrounding death and the biblical and spiritual resources to help those experiencing this phase.

The Pastoral Thanatology Program can be taken as a concentration within an MDiv, MTS or Diploma. Tyndale graduates may wish to take these courses which, in addition to their degree, could lead to certification. The program was designed by Dr. David Sherbino, Professor of Spirituality and Pastoral Ministry, after observing a need in this area. Having conducted research, written and taught in the field of thanatology, Dr. Sherbino realized that a graduate program on this topic did not exist in Canada. “Many people who graduated as pastors or as counsellors are not trained in grief therapy. The reality is people are dealing with grief in the church,” he shares. He began a certificate program on death, dying and grief and decided to make it available for credit.

Tyndale will be offering 6 courses that will comprise the concentration, and an internship working in a grief related setting such as a hospice, in palliative care, counselling program, chaplaincy or church with grief recovery. Students in this program will be able to work towards a CTPS – Certified Thanatologist Pastoral Specialist designation granted by the Canadian Council for Professional Certification (CCPC) Global Inc. Full program details can be found on the Pastoral Thanatology program page.