Parish Nurses/Health Ministers

A Health Minister is a person who wants to live out the commandment to love God and your neighbor as yourself through the integration of faith and health. Health Ministers can be health professionals, but most are lay persons who feel called to use their unique gifts, talents and their compassion to serve the sick, homebound and bereaved. They promote wholistic health to those in their congregations and surrounding communities, encouraging them to take responsibility for their own health so that they can receive the gift of abundant life God so longs for each of us.

A Faith Community (Parish ) Nurse is a health minister who is an RN who practices wholistic health for self, individuals and the community using her/his nursing knowledge and professionalism, all while centered in the spiritual dimension of caring.  


The Western PA Conference Health as Wholeness Team offers assistance to congregations who want to start a health ministry. Contact Barbara Lewis, chair, at


Training Opportunities

  • The Mercy Parish Nurse and Health Ministry program will offer the Foundations of Faith Community Nursing, a new curriculum with two new modules, this fall at UPMC Mercy in Pittsburgh. The course has online modules and classroom presentations.  Dates are on Sept. 11, 12 and 26 and Oct. 2 and 3 (times vary).Get details on course and annual symposium set for Oct. 24.
  • Glenwood UMC in Erie will host a six session Foundations of Faith Community Nursing course beginning Sept. 25 and ending Oct. 24. It’s offered by Gannon University’s School of Nursing and St. Vincent Hospital.   See brochure.
  • Lakewood UMC in Erie will host Health Ministry training from 7-9 p.m. every other Wednesday evening from Sept. 2 – Oct. 14. It’s for those who want to start or expand health ministry in their congregation. The leader will be Barbara Lewis, RN, coordinator of the WPAUMC Health As Wholeness Team and EUMA Health Care for the Homeless program. The cost is $15 per session or $50 for all four sessions. Get brochure.