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Religion and Spirituality in Medicine Scholarly Concentration

In the Religion and Spirituality Scholarly Concentration, medical students will be introduced to major spiritual traditions, spiritual concepts in health, and the ways they interact. These include religious traditions such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism and also non-religious spiritual traditions such as feminist spirituality, western humanism, and secularism. Spiritual concepts include personhood, belief, hope, meaning-making, compassion, cure/healing, and suffering. Course sessions will be led by a spiritually diverse faculty, with discussion of spiritual traditions preferentially led by leaders within those traditions.


All coursework is offered virtually. Scholarly project locations vary by project.

Curriculum and Timeline

Students completing the Religion and Spirituality concentration fulfill the same core curriculum as students in other concentrations. The didactic components provide a strong academic and experiential foundation in religion and spirituality that will be vital for completion of the core curriculum project and product.

Recommended Pathway

Students determine if a concentration pathway will fit in their schedule by contacting concentration co-directors. 

Scholarly Project Topic Examples

Students work with faculty to complete a project in a relevant topic based on student interests. Students are welcome to come up with their own project idea. Potential project topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Interprofessional spiritual care in pediatric hematology/oncology
  • Various project ideas from interprofessional spiritual care work
  • Palliative care in Muslim contexts
  • Caring for Jewish patients and families
  • Spiritual resources for addressing resilience and burnout in medicine (projects may include a longitudinally developing an interfaith spirituality reader for resilience)
  • Intersections between Christian theology and the philosophy of medicine


Students should reach out to co-directors with any questions about this concentration.

23413-Lion, Alex

Alex Lion, DO, MPH

Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics

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MD Student News

In their words: Scholarly Concentration Q&A with Religion and Spirituality co-directors

Alex Lion, DO, and Mona Raed, MD, share details on the new Religion and Spirituality Scholarly Concentration, in which medical students will be introduced to major spiritual traditions, spiritual concepts in health, and the ways they interact.

IU School of Medicine  |  Sep 08, 2020