NEW! Graduate Certificate in Catholic Bioethics

Jun 7, 2022

Offered by St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry, Rochester, NY, in affiliation with
The National Catholic Bioethics Center, Philadelphia, PA

Rochester, NY, & Philadelphia, PA: Through a special collaboration, St. Bernard’s School of Theology & Ministry (St. Bernard’s) and The National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC) are pleased to announce a new “Graduate Certificate in Catholic Bioethics” educational opportunity.

This unique program provides students with a Graduate Certificate in Catholic Bioethics, building upon the bioethics expertise of both the NCBC and the highly regarded St. Bernard’s graduate school. To receive the Graduate Certificate in Catholic Bioethics from St. Bernard’s, students are required to complete both the year-long NCBC Certification Program and two 3-credit courses in bioethics offered by St. Bernard’s.

The NCBC Certification Program offers a systematic formation and certification in bioethics so that dioceses, hospitals, and ethics committees will have advisors better qualified to apply the Catholic moral tradition to challenging contemporary issues in health care. St. Bernard’s extends this opportunity by offering 9 graduate credits to those completing the NCBC Certification Program and 6 credits for bioethics coursework done through St. Bernard’s. The completed 15 units comprise the Graduate Certificate in Catholic Bioethics.

“We at the NCBC are delighted to work closely with St. Bernard's on this unique program. It’s incredibly valuable to have 15 graduate credits available to students for certificate work completed with us and with St. Bernard's.”

- Fr. Tad Pacholczyk, Director of Education, The National Catholic Bioethics Center

Beginning in the Fall of 2022, two graduate bioethics courses, “Catholic Bioethics at the Beginning of Life” and “Catholic Bioethics at the End of Life,” will alternate between St. Bernard’s Fall and Spring Semesters. The courses will build upon and extend the rich foundation in theology and philosophy introduced through the NCBC Certification Program.

The “Beginning of Life” course will commence with a biological study of the beginnings of human life, leading to discussions of abortion, artificial contraception, in vitro fertilization, gamete donation, surrogate pregnancy, and fetal research issues.

The “End of Life” course examines a range of issues and controversies, from the determination of death itself, to euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide, advance directives, hospice and palliative care options, organ donation, extra/ordinary care, and artificial nutrition and hydration.

Additionally, cutting-edge bioethical issues such as gender dysphoria, artificial wombs, CRISPR gene editing, and COVID-related ethics, will be covered, alongside classic landmark ethical cases, and helpful narratives from the rich history of Catholic health care.

“St. Bernard’s is delighted to collaborate with the NCBC to offer its students the ability to further their training in Catholic bioethics through two innovative courses, leading to a Graduate Certificate in Catholic Bioethics.”

Matthew Kuhner, Vice President & Academic Dean, St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry

All issues are considered in a highly practical light, with emphasis given to real-world applications in health care, academic, and pastoral settings.

The Graduate Certificate will be of particular benefit to students considering further graduate studies or those seeking a deeper grounding in Catholic bioethical teaching. Once attained, the Graduate Certificate may be applied towards a Master’s Degree at St. Bernard’s or other accepting institutions.