Covenant Health

Spirituality & health research

Spirituality is often a broad concept, referring to the human search for a sense of meaning, purpose and morality in the context of relationships with self, others, the universe and ultimate reality. Joint Commission on Accrediting of Health Organizations, 2005

Religion usually refers to an organized system of spiritual beliefs, behaviors, rituals and ethical principles shared by a community and conveyed over time. Canda & Furman, 1999

Spirituality is recognized as a factor that contributes to health in many persons. The concept of spirituality is found in all cultures and societies. It is expressed in an individual’s search for ultimate meaning through participation in religion and/or belief in God, family, naturalism, rationalism, humanism, and the arts. All of these factors can influence how patients and healthcare professionals perceive health and illness and how they interact with one another.  Association of American Medical Colleges , Medical School Objectives Project.

Throughout the last 20 years, there has been a surge of interest in t spirituality and health with an understanding that holistic health care involves the body, mind and spirit. Areas of inquiry have included:

  • The effect of spiritual and religious practices on health outcomes
  • spiritual needs of those receiving healthcare
  • the efficacy of spiritual interventions as part of health promotion and clinical treatment
  • spirituality of healthcare providers.

Covenant Health, in collaboration with St. Joseph’s College at the University of Alberta, seeks to further these conversations through dedicated research and education in the intersecting fields of faith, spirituality, health and healing. This occurs through sponsoring the Faith, Spirituality and Health Research Grants and hosting research and education events on Spirituality and Health.

Faith Spirituality and Health Research Grant Awards 2014 (pdf)
Faith Spirituality and Health Research Grant Awards 2013 (pdf)