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Starts at $9.98 per contact hour
Min. Hours $$/Hr
4 hours $8.98
8 hours $7.98
12 hours $6.98
20 hours $5.98
30 hours $4.98

Spirituality, Religion, and Children

2.2 Contact Hours
Target Audience: Nurses, healthcare professionals, and interested individuals
Purpose/Goal: The outcome of this course is for the learner to describe the spiritual and religious development in children. The relationship between the phases of psychosocial development and spiritual development in all ages of children are explored. Characteristics of spiritual distress in children, methods of providing spiritual care to children, and specific care concerns for children with a chronic or terminal illness are also presented.
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Spirituality is a dynamic, evolving process that begins in infancy and continues throughout life. The spiritual development in children is especially important because of its impact on the rest of the child’s life.

Upon completion of the course, you will be able to do the following:

  • Describe the development of spirituality and religion in children.
  • Identify the relationship between the phases of psychosocial development and spiritual development in children according to Fowler, Piaget, and Erikson.
  • List the characteristics of spiritual distress in children.
  • Explain methods of providing spiritual care to children of various ages.
  • Describe specific care concerns for children with a chronic illness or for those who are dying.

Proud new parents gently hold their infant as their priest pours water over the child’s head. A congregation of friends and neighbors witnesses the baptism and welcomes the infant into the Christian community. A Buddhist mother brings her child to a monk for consecration. On the eighth day after birth, a Jewish couple presents their son for his circumcision rite.

The acts described in the preceding paragraph represent specific rites of passage unique to a particular religious or faith community. While they often signify the beginning of a spiritual journey for the new family member, they do not guarantee that a child will follow that faith.

Just as the physical and emotional aspects of an individual need to be nurtured, the spiritual dimension of a person also needs “care and feeding.” This care and nurturance often begins during infancy or early childhood (Betz, 1981). Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (1997) writes:

All human beings are different, even before they were here. And then they are here to share this world with us, and all human beings have different lives, different experiences. . . . Has anybody ever thought about the trillions of possibilities that life offers each one of us? (pp. xii–xiii)

We are biologically wired for spiritual connection. Miller (2015) states it is a biological and psychological imperative for our species from birth. Through the support of family, friends, and a community of faith supporters, children are taught and guided as they travel on their own personal spiritual journey. “Teaching children to work with the spiritual laws . . . will bring them the gifts of peace, confidence, and joy, which will enable them to weather the storms of life” (Jenkins, 2008, p. xiii).


The development of personal spirituality is a dynamic, evolving process that occurs over a period of time. During this process, individuals become increasingly aware of the meaning, purpose, and values in their life. Faith, too, develops over time. It is an outgrowth of and a prerequisite for spiritual growth (Fulton & Moore, 1995). Spiritual growth has traditionally been linked with religion and religiosity but they are not the same. Religiosity is a spirituality that is clearly referenced to religion and is often associated with religious behavior such as attending church/synagogue, frequency of prayer, involvement with the faith community, etc. Spirituality is more difficult to define but is associated with a link to nature, the Divine or Ultimate, and the relationship between one’s self, others, nature, and the concept of transcendence (Grajczonek, 2010). Another notion is that concept of child spiritual health, defined by Michaelson and Hannah (2016) as the capacity for awareness of the sacred qualities of life. Child spiritual health is experienced via four domains—relationship to self, to others, to nature, and to the transcendent.

Complete the course post exam (CE Test) with a score of 80% or greater. Complete all fields of the course evaluation form. Certificate of Completion is provided once the course post exam is passed per criteria above.

  • American Board of Managed Care Nursing
  • ANCC - American Nurses Credentialing Center
  • AOTA - American Occupational Therapy Association
  • ASWB - Association of Social Work Boards
  • California Board of Registered Nursing
  • California Department of Health, Aid, and Technician Certification Section
  • District of Columbia Board of Nursing
  • Florida Board of Nursing
  • Florida Board of Nursing - Certified Nursing Assistants
  • Florida Board of Respiratory Care
  • Florida Council of Dietetics and Nutrition
  • Florida Council of Licensed Midwifery
  • NAADAC - The National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors
Course Expires:

January 01, 2020

  • Cyndie Koopsen, RN, BSN, MBA, HNB-BC, RN-BC, HWNC-BC
  • Caroline Young, MPH
Jurisdictional Requirements:

Continuing education (CE) licensing requirements vary by jurisdiction, are not well defined, and may change. These CE requirements may vary in terms of the number of hours required to the types of courses that must be taken. ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC recommends you contact your licensing board or accrediting organization for the latest continuing education requirements of your state or territory. Compliance with CE requirements is the responsibility of the individual health care provider. Health care providers must understand the CE requirements in their jurisdictions, and be sure they are up-to-date on any rule changes that affect their license. For further information, please see our Accreditation Information.

Accommodations for Disabilities:

Every effort will be made to accommodate your special needs. To request accommodations, please contact us.

Conflicts of Interest and Relevant Financial Relationships:

The authors/planning committee members have no conflicts of interests or relevant financial relationships to declare relevant to this activity.

Commercial Support:

No commercial support has been received for this activity.

Non-endorsement of products:

Accreditation refers to recognition of continuing nursing education only and does not imply ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC approval or endorsement of any commercial product.

Off-label Use of Products:

None of the authors intend to discuss off-label uses of drugs, mechanical devices, biologics, or diagnostics not approved by the FDA for use in the United States.