Syllabus: Course Description of the Sacred Passage Guidance Certificate Program

The Sacred Passage Guidance Certificate Program offered through the Conscious Dying Institute is a unique multi-phase End of Life Education program. It is structured as an experiential, aesthetic and intellectual journey that prepares medical and non-medical caregivers, clinicians, educators, leaders and families to be authentically present and use their innate healing gifts to support families and patients at end of life.

The programs curriculum derives from Conscious Dying Principles and Practices and the Theory of Human Caring. Throughout this program participants learn how to synthesize, integrate, and translate the philosophy, values, ethic and theory of Conscious Dying into authentic Ways-of-Being with self and others. A combination of innovative teaching-learning methodologies, self-reflection, authentic dialogue, and teachings from wisdom traditions are explored to assist the participants in living out Heart-Centered-Sacred Relation-Modeling Practices for self, other and systems. Individual personal/professional life goals are honored through the collective journey of the SPG learning experience. Participants are mentored throughout the program by leaders in the field of death and dying, Watson Caring Science Insitute and Conscious Dying Institute Faculty Associates.

Purpose of the Sacred Passage Guidance Certificate Program:

Is to educate caregivers in end of life care, self care, reflection, and heart centered healing practices in the form of 3, and 5 day trainings which increase caring literacy, enhance life and validate their challenging roles as medical and non-medical caring professionals. Through these educational events, we may direct caregiver awareness toward the sacred transformative portal surrounding death and improve quality of life for caregivers and clients along the way.

This end of life caring literacy program is NON-PROSCRIPTIVE. Students translate and incorporate program experiences into their practices according to their own unique gifts and healing abilities. A basic premise of the program is that by transforming our own lives, by increasing self awareness and loving presence, we increase our ability to guide and support others to have a sacred transition based in their own values, beliefs and end of life wishes. This program assumes that we learn everything we need to know as we grow in our own capacity to be fully present with people who are dying.

It invites us to explore our hopes and fears about dying in advance of the on-set of death. Exploring our relationship to death may increase self-knowledge. It may break down barriers between our selves and others when we most need comfort, communion, trust and safety. When we explore our feelings and thoughts about death, we learn more about our lives now. We come in direct contact with our spiritual beliefs, our life’s purpose, our unfinished business, what our bodies need or want, how we influence and are influenced by our environment and our relationships. We build a foundation of confidence upon which we may then talk about life and death with others.

By becoming confident in our ability to talk about death we may have more influence on how we live and how we die.  We might reduce harsh, costly interventions that threaten what we value most. We may reduce emotional and financial stress of our families, health care systems and nation. We might place our awareness and attention on our loved ones or on our spiritual life vs. living at any cost. We may be more available to life’s blessings, mysteries, miracles and unexplainable events.

The Shared Journey of Sacred Passage Guidance:

Conscious Dying Founder, Faculty Associates, SPG guide(s)/mentor(s) journey with the Sacred Passage student during the certificate program and beyond, mentoring, sharing, co-creating, and co-experiencing the transformative authentic personal/professional (intellectual-aesthetic-spiritual) growth toward depth and expansion of Conscious Living and Dying for all.

Course Structure:

The 3-Day workshop, Sacred Passage Guidance 1, is structured as follows:

  • Fri           9am-9pm         
  • Sat          9am-9pm            
  • Sun        9am-5pm            

The 5-Day workshop, Sacred Passage Guidance 2, is structured as follows:

  • Wed      9am-9pm            
  • Thu        9am-5pm            
  • Fri           9am-9pm            
  • Sat          9am-9pm            
  • Sun        9am-5pm            

These seminars are held In Boulder Colorado and at various sites throughout the United States. There will be breaks on each of the 12 hour days, allowing integration, reflection, and continuation of practice exercises either as individuals, pairs, or small groups. Participants who have attended previous programs may deliver presentations on special topics as projects guiding them toward Teacher Training.

Throughout the program, participants will gather in circle with others, learning aesthetic ways of knowing/being, ritual, ceremony, and celebration, framing the educational experience to affirm, consolidate and initiate participants into and through collective transformative Sacred Passage Journey. The caring circle of learning creates safe space, whereby participants can explore self-collective journey through intentional guided experiences and cultivation of loving–kindness, equanimity, compassion, forgiveness and gratitude that can be translated to end of life care and practices.

Course Requirements

  1. Attendance at prerequisite Sacred Passage Guidance Certificate Program(s).
  2. Commitment to fully engage in all learning activities, group/individual/partner exercises; conference calls, webinars, and social networking and to work with Faculty mentor/guides(s) in exploring concepts, ideas, personal growth and coaching experiences.
  3. Completion of all written assignments, as well as working toward personal growth through reflective practice/journaling and increased care of self.
  4. Required Assignments (Assignment details will be provided as needed.)
  • Complete the New Student Application before attending the program
  • Engage in personal reflective journaling consistently throughout Program on experiences that increase understanding and application of the Caring Theory/Caring Science.
  • Develop and demonstrate evolving Sacred Passage self and spiritual care practices.
  • Develop and implement an approved Sacred Passage Guide Project within a practice setting or a self-care project if applicable.
  • Complete and submit all CDE and Continuing Education Program evaluations.

Sacred Passage Guide Certification is the preparation we need to befriend life and death, surrender and trust deeply in each moment, and become supportive end of life companions. We expand from expertise in clinical practices to offer comforting care people want and need most.

Continuing Education Information

Teaching Methodology

This course has been designed using the principles of adult learning. PowerPoint images will be used to augment the speaker’s presentation and a supportive syllabus includes information for referencing after the course. Attendees will have an active role in discussion as well as opportunity to ask questions and share experiences.

Intended Audience

This continuing education activity is intended for anyone wishes to explore their own eventual death or serve at end of life, including nurses, caregivers, families and healing arts professionals who have met application requirements and been accepted for the Conscious Dying Institute (CDI) Sacred Passage Guidance Certificate Program (SPGCP).

Obtaining full credit for this offering depends upon attendance, regardless of circumstances, from beginning to end. Licensees must provide their license numbers for record keeping purposes.

The certificate of course completion issued at the conclusion of this course must be retained in the participant’s records for at least four (4) years as proof of attendance. 

Scholarships May be Available

We offer a limited number of full and partial scholarships each year.  Our scholarship program is offered as Work-Study. Scholarships are worked case by case based on matching student skills with the institute’s needs. In this way we create a group that Inspires and contributes to the growth of the program, believing that we each have very special gifts to offer.  Scholarship-work study amounts offered are based on trading skills and time commitment to the program you are attending.  

We look forward to being with you on this journey.  

To apply for a scholarship:

  1. Please read all of the information on the application form.
  2. Contact Tarron (phone and email available below) prior to applying -- scholarships may or may not be available for any given workshop.
  3. If scholarships ARE available, download the Scholarship Application Form -  ensure the completeness of your application and send completed forms to Tarron.