Health, Spirituality & Religion Program



The program seeks to create opportunities for medical trainees and physicians to explore the intersections between health, spirituality and religion through lectures, research opportunities, and interdisciplinary training to enhance patient centered care and find personal meaning in the practice of medicine 


  • Develop spiritual competencies in all of our medical students. 
  • Provide opportunity for deeper discussion/education on this topic for interested students and other learners. 
  • Raise awareness of the intersection of spirituality, faith and religion with medicine in the health system at large. 
  • Ensure that our endeavors are open to all interested faculty, clinicians, nurses, chaplaincy staff and other health care professionals.
  • Develop a community of people at U-M who are passionate about this topic. 
  • Provide education on incorporating spirituality into professional and personal development. 
  • Improve patient care through these efforts.

You can make a difference

Gifts to the Program on Health, Spirituality, and Religion support efforts to reshape the culture of medicine. Your contribution ensures Michigan Medicine’s world-class research and education are influenced by the understanding that compassionate care must address the whole person.

The Woll Family Speaker Series on Health, Spirituality and Religion 

Upcoming Lectures

“The Priest, Philosopher, Scientist, and the New Age of Medicine”

SPEAKER: Benjamin Doolittle, M.D., M.Div.

Thursday, March 24
Noon-1 p.m.
Zoom info:

Upcoming Events

HSR Humanism Rounds
The Health, Spirituality, and Religion Program’s Humanism Rounds are intended to provide a community for medical students to wonder together about what it means to join a healing profession. As medical students, we have seen the immense suffering that plagues our patients, our communities, and, at times, ourselves. In encountering people confronted with suffering, we recognize that the sources of their pain extend far beyond the pathophysiological processes at play in their body. Pursuing healing that addresses this multidimensional nature of suffering relies both on the practice of excellent clinical medicine and an attentiveness to the interpersonal connections between the practitioner and patient. Within Humanism Rounds, we hope to advance interpersonal, whole-person care through attending to our own humanity. Through quarterly conversations geared towards and led by medical students, we will reflect together about where we find meaning in medicine. Through such reflections, we hope to not only address sources of existential burnout, which lead to a “a loss of meaning in medicine and an uncertain professional role,”1 but also, to grow in our professional identity formation through considering what it looks like to lead more full lives as healthcare practitioners. We believe that through exploring these questions, we will grow in our ability to recognize the humanity of ourselves and our patients and, in turn, to encourage others to lead more full, healthy lives.
If this is of interest to you, please fill out this Google Form and stay tuned!
1. Abedini NC, Stack SW, Goodman JL, Steinberg KP. "It's Not Just Time Off": A Framework for Understanding Factors Promoting Recovery From Burnout Among Internal Medicine Residents. J Grad Med Educ. Feb 2018;10(1):26-32. doi:10.4300/JGME-D-17-00440.1

Past Lectures

Click on individual lecture for access to the recording 

Dr. Grace Kim, “Faith-based Global Surgery,” February 9, 2023
Sarah Hurwitz, J.D., “A Spiritual Journey from White House Speechwriting to Hospital Chaplaincy,” January 19, 2023

Dr. Deborah Cook, “The Three Wishes Program: Integrating Spiritual Care, Critical Care and Palliative Care,” December 19, 2022
Rabbi and Bassie Shemtov, “Healing from One Soul to Another,” November 11, 2022 Dr. Warren Kinghorn, ““From Fixing to Attending: A Christian Vision for Whole-Person Mental Health Care,” October 25, 2022
Dr. Rita Charon, “Native Fusion: Creativity, Responsibility, Meaning,” September 29, 2022
An Evening Conversation with Srs. Priscilla Busingye and Gertrude Kabanyomozi, September 19, 2022
Drs. Kristin Collier and Joel Howell, “Pro/Con Debate: Sharing One’s Faith Beliefs with Learners,” May 12, 2022
Bhante Pemarathana, “Illness and Healing: A Buddhist Perspective,” April 25, 2022
Richard Harris, “Pain, a Conscious Pivot in Buddhism,” March 8, 2022
Lydia Dugdale, “COVID-19 and Re-enchanting Medicine, February 11, 2022
Sr. Helen Prejean, “It's All About Life and Dignity,” January 10, 2022
Dr. Emman Dabaja, University of Michigan, “The Muslim Pediatric Fasting Study”; Sara Journey, University of Michigan, “A Moral Imperative: Initiating Conversations about Spirituality and Cultural Background with the Pediatric Patient”; Reni Forer and Meridith Pensler, University of Michigan, “Shiphra and Puah: What Can We Learn from Our Biblical Matriarchs,” December 3, 2021
Kate Bowler, Duke University, “No Cure for Being Human with Kate Bowler,” October 18, 2021
Hedy Wald, “Holocaust and Medicine Education for Resilient Professional Identity Formation: A Holocaust Survivor's Daughter Teaches German Medical Students at Auschwitz,” September 23, 2021
An Evening Conversation between Emma Green and Charlie Camosy on Dr. Camosy's new book, Losing Our Dignity: How Secularized Medicine is Undermining Fundamental Human Equality, September 13, 2011
Devan Stahl, “From Medical Image to Icon: How Art Can Heal a Broken Body,” May 10, 2021
Sheri Garrison and Brad Garrison, “A Relationship Based Model of Care: Combining a Great Compassion and a Great Commission Ministry for Better Health Outcomes,” April 19, 2021
Dr. Christian Alch, U-M Medical School, “Barriers to Addressing the Spiritual and Religious Needs of Patients and Families in the Intensive Care Unit: A Qualitative Study of Critical Care Physicians,” third-year medical students Abbass Berjaoui, Ruth Bishop and fourth-year medical student Elie Ellenberg, “Assessing the Spiritual Needs of Patients Awaiting Heart Transplantation,” and fourth-year medical student Nabeel Salka, “Exploring Physician Identity from an Islamic and Contemporary Western Perspective,” March 18, 2021
Dr. Alan Jotkowitz, Jakobovits Center for Jewish Medical Ethics, “The Role of Narrative in the Development of a Jewish End of Life Ethic,” February 8, 2021
Dr. E. Wesley Ely, Vanderbilt University, “Dehumanizing during COVID-19: Resurrection of the Family as Part of the Patient’s Healing Plan,” January 15, 2021
Dr. Patrick Smith, Duke Divinity School, “African-American Health Disparities and Moving Towards a Beloved Community in Health Care,” October 30, 2020
Dr. Jeffrey Bishop, Saint Louis University, and Micah Redding, Christian Transhumanist Association, “Debate on Humanism,” March 20, 2020
Dr. Sarah Barton, Duke University, “Considering Disability: Religion and Human Limitation in Medical Contexts,” February 20, 2020
Dr. Michael Redinger, Western Michigan University, “Catholic End of Life Ethics after Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans,” January 16, 2020
Dr. A. Oveta Fuller, University of Michigan, “Getting to Zero: Religious Leaders as Trusted Messengers for Eliminating HIV/AIDS,” December 9, 2019
Dr. Daniel Sulmasy, Kennedy Institute of Ethics/Georgetown University, “Spirituality and Healthcare: Lessons from Fred," November 15, 2019
Dr. Len Mattano, “Celtic Crossing: A Literary Exploration of Spirituality and Religion in the Terminally Ill,” October 15, 2019
Dr. A. Oveta Fuller, University of Michigan, “Getting to Zero: Religious Leaders as Trusted Messengers for Eliminating HIV/AIDS,” September 26, 2019
Dr. Scott Stonington, University of Michigan, “Working the Mind-Body: Discomfort and the Pragmatics of Spirituality (in Thailand and the U.S.),” May 6, 2019
Dr. Kenneth Pargament, Bowling Green University, “Shaken to the Core: Understanding and Addressing Spiritual Struggles in the Context of Health Care,” April 29, 2019
Dr. Mara Buchbinder, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Dr. William Toffler, Portland, Oregon, “Debate on Physician-assisted Suicide,” March 25, 2019
Dr. Conor Lucas-Roberts, “Finding Purpose and Peace in Chaos,” February 25, 2019
Dr. Devan Stahl, Michigan State University, “From Medical Image to Icon: How Art Can Heal a Broken Body,” January 28, 2019
Dr. Richard Souza, University of Michigan, "Astronomy and the Quest for the Transcendental: How Faith and Astronomy Have Met Down the Ages," December 7, 2018
Dr. Jonathan Crane, Emory University, "Disclosing Demise: Judaic Perspectives on Telling Dying Patients the Truth," November 29, 2018
Dr. Ray Barfield, Duke University, "I Wasn't Trained for This: God, Miracles and Medicine in Complex Decision Making," October 15, 2018
Dr. Jeffrey P. Bishop, Saint Louis University, "Religion and the Birth of Osler's Humanism," September 24, 2018
Dr. Tracy Balboni, Harvard University: "Spirituality in Palliative Care: State of the Science," May 24, 2018  
Dr. Adam Baruch, University of Michigan, "Genesis 38: Through the Looking Glass" April 19, 2018 
Dr. Naomi Laventhal (University of Michigan) and Dr. Ashley Fernandes (Ohio State University), Debate on Conscience Protection, March 9, 2018
Dr. Samya Z. Nasr, University of Michigan, "Multiculturalism in Medicine," February 22, 2018
Dr. Charlie Camosy, Fordham University, "Should a Religious Physician Check Her Faith at the Door When Practicing Medicine?," January 30, 2018
Dr. John Cropsey, Kibuye (Burundi) Hope Hospital, "Broken Fangs, Wounded Healers: An Ancient Call for Justice and Mercy," December 7, 2017
Rabbi Rachel Shere, Jewish Hospice and Chaplaincy Network, "End of Life Care as Midwifery for the Soul," November 9, 2017
Dr. John Patrick, Augustine College, October 3rd, 12-1 "Meaning and Purpose in Medicine," October 3, 2017
Dr. Farr Curlin, Duke University, "What does Religion have to do with the Practice of Medicine?," September 11, 2017 


Relevant Articles

Religious Involvement, Spirituality, and Medicine: Implications for Clinical Practice
Developing Curricula in Spirituality and Medicine
Spirituality and Health: The Development of a Field
The Relationship between Medicine, Spirituality and Religion: Three Models for Integration 


HSR Facebook
Michigan Medicine Spiritual Care Department
Spiritual Assessment Tools 


An Academic Program for Exploring the Divine Healing Touch in Medicine (Church Life Journal), Sept. 18, 2018
U-M Medical School Launches Program on Health, Spirituality and Religion (Michigan Medicine Headlines), Aug. 21, 2017

New Faculty

We are excited to announce that Philip J. Choi, M.D., and Adam D. Baruch, M.D., have joined our program as core faculty. They will assist in efforts to guide student and trainee research projects in the domains of health, spirituality and religion, mentoring of students, and development of programming.

Michigan Medicine HSR Scholarship

Is it Time to More Fully Address Teaching Religion and Spirituality in Medicine?
Barriers to Addressing the Spiritual and Religious Needs of Patients and Families in the Intensive Care Unit: A Qualitative Study of Critical Care Physicians 
Addressing Spiritual and Religious Needs in Advanced Illness — A Teachable Moment 


Kristin M. Collier, M.D.
[email protected]
[email protected]