Spiritual Care Series

The benchmark for contemporary pastoral and spiritual care volunteers in Australia is the Spiritual Care Series.

Program contents

The project delivers a volunteer education and formation program, which ensures the participants:

  • Develop a broad understanding of the pastoral and spiritual needs of older people
  • Understand spirituality and its connection to quality care of older people
  • Provide the key practical knowledge required to undertake pastoral and spiritual care within the aged care sector including residential aged care and home care

Topics covered:

Episode 1: Understanding the Ageing Process

Episode 2: Spirituality in Ageing

Episode 3: Good Communication

Episode 4: The Power of Story Telling

Episode 5: Dementia

Episode 6: A New Home and a New Way of Life

Episode 7: Grief, Loss, Death and Dying

Episode 8:  Roles, Boundaries and Self-care

How do I begin?

To access the Spiritual Care Series, please contact Altura Learning Customer Service on 02 9450 2992 or customerservice.apac@alturalearning.com


go directly to Andrew Ricker at HTN: aricker@htn.edu.au.

The package is available to Meaningful Ageing Australia members at a discounted price. If you require assistance with starting or maintaining an effective spiritual care volunteer program, please get in touch with Meaningful Ageing Australia.


Meaningful Ageing Australia partnered with the Altura Learning (formerly ACC) and Health Television Network (HTN) to produce a series of programs for volunteers to gain key practical knowledge to offer quality pastoral and spiritual care. The title is the Spiritual Care Series. The series offers the opportunity to redefine what good pastoral/spiritual care looks like within the context and banner of spiritual care. Broadcaster and Aged Care Presenter, Leigh Hatcher is the host and facilitator of the series. Prof John Swinton was the expert advisor for the project.

The Spiritual Care Series (SCS) Volunteer Training Course has been developed in the wake of a highly significant development in the way Australia cares for older people: the release of ‘National Guidelines for Spiritual Care in Aged Care’ in 2016.  One of the key messages in the National Guidelines is that spiritual care is everybody’s business. The spiritual needs of the older person must be attended to, not only by one person such as a spiritual care specialist, but that everyone across the older person’s care team needs to be sensitised to looking after people’s spiritual needs.

The future of aged care depends on care providers being able to demonstrate that they have a deep holistic understanding of the older person and are paying attention to the fullness of that person within that context. By paying attention to spiritual care and building that into an organisation’s mission, we are sensitising the whole organisation to holistically understand the older person, thereby making the older person’s care experience a positive one.

The 16 hour SCS volunteer training course is sector endorsed and is an initiative of the Health Television Network. The SCS is made up of eight high quality video episodes, featuring Professor John Swinton. Each two-hour session is practical as well as highly relevant. Apart from the video content, the course is supported by a 200-page participant workbook and 150-page facilitator manual, as well as group discussions, practical exercises, individual activities and online assessments. The SCS is suitable for a wide range of volunteers from industry standard aged care homes to multi-faith care providers. The SCS is also designed for flexible learning from large to small group facilitated settings.