The Word and Spirit Institute is offering a

Certificate Program

in Ministry for the Aging



Ministry for the aging is a certificate program for those involved in the care for the elderly. Many parents have to take care of and make decisions not only for their children, but also for their elderly parents. Ministers, elders and deacons visit the elderly in the congregation and beyond. Chaplains are daily involved with the elderly at their work-place. Christian professional caregivers feel the need to do more for the Christian brothers and sisters at work. All members of the congregation are called to care for ALL members of the congregation. The certificate program “Ministry for the Aging” gives inside in the lives of the elderly; the joys and the struggles they face, how to deal with one’s own aging, how to deal with one’s own joys and emotions in taking care of elderly (grand)parents and much more. The program is taught for and by Christians and adds a Christian perspective to all aspects involved in aging.


Honoring the elderly is a biblical mandate. How are we to face the elderly? How are we to face our own aging with faithfulness, peace and joy? Caring for the elderly is a concern of all members of the covenant community.


Since 2017 seniors outnumber children aged 0-14.
By 2030 one out of every 5 Canadians will be a senior.
By 2040 one out of every 4 Canadians will be a senior.
By 2050 seniors could outnumber children by a ratio 2:1.


There is much need and opportunity! Get involved and prepared by enrolling in the certificate program “Ministry for the aging”.


This Certificate Program will introduce a biblical and spiritually authentic approach to responsible, compassionate, and joyful care.


Those caring for aging (grand-)parents.
Congregational care workers working with older adults.
Elders and deacons in the church.
Health care workers and volunteers.
Those who are searching for further life purposes.
Early retirees.
Those who help and visit the elderly.
NB: administrators, pastors and chaplains could take individual modules for continuing education.


Develop and present a biblical & theological foundation for ministry with aging persons.
Relate demographic changes to social, political, and ecclesiological realities and understand difficulties involved in moving and downsizing.
Understand the stages of human personal and spiritual development, especially the latter stages, and respond appropriately.
Apply techniques of ministry practice, including visitation, edification, and outreach in institutional settings (i.e., worship, bible studies, devotional gatherings, small groups).
Develop their own ecclesiology of inter-generational community and ministry throughout all the stages of aging.


Dr. Tom McCormick (program leader): click HERE to find more information about Dr. McCormick
Rev. Matthew VanLuik M.Div. Pastor of Grace Church Brampton
Other instructors (experts in their field) are invited for individual courses


All courses are required to graduate from the program.
Each course will be finished in approximately 6-8 weeks.
This is a non-academic program; no previous degree is required for the Certificate Level.


One 6-8 hour conference.
100 pages of assigned reading.
10 hours of practical application.
One short written report.
A debriefing sessions.
NOTE: For the time being, the course will be taught in two 3-hour online sessions instead of the one full day session and one 3 hour online debriefing session.
Depending on the student body, online sessions will continue to be an option.


Students who wish to do a Bachelors or Masters level of study have to have a valid high school and/or a B.A. diploma and are required to register with the Miami Institute or Theological Studies (MINTS) via the Word and Spirit Institute.
Additional class time, reading assignments, a final course paper and an exam are required for a bachelor’s or master’s level of study. In order to receive a B.A or M.A. diploma, additional courses via MINTS are required.


Auditing the courses: $100.00
Certificate level $150.00/course (Chaplains $125.00/course)
If registering for entire course program:
Certificate level $750.00 ($650.00 for Chaplains)
Bachelors/Masters Level: Please email the Word and Spirit Institute for information about the Bachelor/Master level

COURSES OFFERED (click on each course to see the description of the course)

  1. Biblical Foundations of Ministries with the Aging
  2. Principles and Practices of Spiritual Care for Seniors (I)
  3. Aging, Stages of Human Development, and Spirituality
  4. Principles and Practices of Spiritual Care for Seniors (II)
  5. Reaching out: Institutional settings; Families and Caregivers for Seniors
  6. Reaching out: The Church and the Community; Families and Caregivers for Seniors
  7. Cultural Concerns, Global Aging, Religious Diversity & Gender


Please Contact the Word and Spirit Institute at for more information, to register and/or to request course-syllabi (note: currently, no future courses are scheduled; new dates will appear on the website as soon as they are available).

In 2021, the program was taught online; future courses may be taught in person again.