Classes taught by Dr. Hamilton.

18th Annual Course on Religion, Spirituality and Health

General Information

Our next 5-day research course on spirituality and health will be held on August 15-19, 2022.  Register early to ensure a spot.  The course has been over-subscribed every year (see photos and participant bios from prior classes below).  The course focuses 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 Emory will give presentations.  If requested, there will also be time to discuss individual research projects with faculty — participants will each have 30 minutes one-on-one with Dr. Koenig or with another course faculty 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.  Faculty for the course are Dan G. Blazer (psychiatry, epidemiology), Benjamin Doolittle (pediatrics, physician and clergy well-being/burnout), 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)
  • Family and personal issues relevant to religion-health researchers
  • 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, undergraduate college students, 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, in addition to FULL scholarships for those residing in developing countries (see below). For more information about these workshops, contact Dr. Koenig at e-mail: [email protected]

Qualitative Workshop

A qualitative research workshop, separate from the main workshop, will be held by Dr. Jill Hamilton (tenured full professor of nursing at Emory University) following the 5-day workshop on Aug 14-15.
This workshop will take place at the:

Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton
Durham North 1-85
1542 North Gregson Street
Durham, NC 27701

Those who wish to participate in this qualitative workshop on spirituality and health research will need to pay an additional fee of $300 at the workshop, but email or call Dr. Hamilton ASAP to let her know if you are planning to attend. Contact information: [email protected]; tel: 919.688.8880; fax: 919.688.8882. Click HERE to enroll.