5-day Summer Research Course on Religion, Spirituality and Health

General Information

We will be hosting a 5-day summer research course on August 15-19, 2016. This course will focus on how to conduct research on religion, spirituality and health, and how to develop an academic career in this area, and compresses training material that was previously taught during our Duke post-doctoral fellowship (which was discontinued in 2010). Leading religion-health researchers from Duke, Yale and Johns Hopkins will give presentations. There will also be time to discuss individual research projects with them if desired -- participants will each have 30 minutes one-on-one with Dr. Koenig and 30 minutes with another mentor of their choice (early registration will assure one of these mentorship spots). May include limited mentorship by Dr. Koenig to assist in implementation of research at participant's home institution. Anticipated faculty for the course are Dan G. Blazer (psychiatry, epidemiology), Benjamin Doolittle (pediatrics, physician and clergy well-being), Jill Hamilton (nursing, mental health, qualitative research), Warren Kinghorn (theology, psychiatry), Harold G. Koenig (psychiatry, medicine, nursing),  John P. Oliver (chaplain research, PTSD), and Redford Williams (behavioral medicine). Topics that will be covered include:

  • Resources for learning more about spirituality and health
  • Previous research on religion, spirituality and health
  • Strengths and weaknesses of previous research
  • Applying findings to clinical practice
  • Understanding mechanisms
  • Theological considerations and concerns (Warren Kinghorn)
  • Highest priority studies for future research
  • Strengths and weaknesses of religion/spirituality measures
  • Designing different types of research projects
  • Qualitative research (Jill Hamilton)
  • Biological and genetic mechanisms (Redford Williams)
  • Carrying out and managing a research project
  • Statistics and modeling
  • Writing a grant to NIH or private foundations
  • Where to obtain funding for research in this area
  • Writing a research paper for publication; getting it published
  • Presenting research to professional and public audiences
  • Working with the media
  • Developing research and academic careers in this area (Dan Blazer and Harold Koenig)

The course is open to all interested in learning about or conducting scientific research or academic work in this area, regardless of level of training. This workshop is specifically designed for established researchers, new investigators, and graduate students, including those in medicine, nursing, psychology, sociology, chaplaincy, theology, pastoral counseling, public health, or other related disciplines. Non-researchers including interested laypersons and clergy are also welcome. Basic and advanced materials will be presented, depending on the needs of participants. The course will take place in Durham, North Carolina, at a location about 5 miles from Duke campus. For those with serious financial hardships who are pursuing careers involving research in this area, partial tuition scholarships are available. For more information about these workshops, contact Dr. Koenig at e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

CME/CEU Information

If desired, psychologists, physicians, nurses, chaplains, social workers,and other health professionals will receive a certificate indicating that this activity is equivalent to 32.5 hours of credit, although the participant will have to obtain approval from their local institution or national certifying body for these credits.

Faculty Biosketches (PDF)
Dan G. Blazer, MD, PhD
Verna Benner Carson, RN, PhD
Benjamin Doolittle, MD, MDiv
Jill Hamilton, RN, PhD
Warren Kinghorn, MD, ThD
Harold G. Koenig, MD, MHSc
John P. Oliver, BCC, DMin
Redford Williams, MD

Tentative Schedule and Curriculum (PDF)

Recommended Pre-Workshop Reading List (PDF)

Tuition and Registration (PDF)

Directions to Location of Workshop (PDF)

Recommended Accommodation (PDF)

Scholarship Information (PDF)

Facebook Page (exclusively for workshop participants)

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