2021 Foundations Course Information

We typically publish the application and dates in January each year. 

Foundations Course

The Health Ministries Network (HMN) Foundations Course prepares state licensed RNs for faith community nurse (FCN) ministry and other caring individuals for health minister (HM) service in their respective congregation or faith community. The next course will be offered over eight weeks beginning April 2021.

The Foundations Course has 15 modules (providing 38 contact hours) designed to help participants care for the whole person by integrating mind, body and spirit wellness, with an emphasis on elements of spirituality in caring for the health needs of congregations and communities.  The 15 modules align with Faith Community Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice (2017, 3rd edition) published by the American Nurses Association and the Health Ministries Association. 


The course is open to people of all faiths and religions.  Scholarships available.  Please ask.


This faith community nursing and health ministry foundations course embraces four study areas:

I: Spirituality

Central to faith community nursing health ministry process

II: Professionalism

Historic roots of professional nursing, emphasizing health and healing


III: Holistic Health

A dynamic process that includes spiritual, psychological, physical and social dimensions of each person


IV: Community

Forging a partnership with both a faith or spiritual community and with the larger community


This course fulfills the educational requirement for board certification in faith community nursing from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). RN participants receive 36 contact hours.

This Foundations of Faith Community Nursing course is based on the curriculum developed through the Westberg Institute for Faith Community Nursing, which is owned by Church Health Center of Memphis, Inc., 1350 Concourse Ave., Suite 142, Memphis, TN 38104. 

All graduates receive a symbolic health and healing lapel pin, joining the Westberg Institute international consortium of faith community nurses and health ministers.

This course is a partnership with Western Washington University's Continuing Education and the online coursework will be hosted on the WWU platform, Canvas. 

Graduates also receive benefits from our coordinated services agreement with PeaceHealth.


Thanks to our partnership with PeaceHealth, anyone who completes the Foundations Course ​will receive: 

  • access to St. Joseph’s Medical Center (SJMC) and Medical Library with badge, and 

  • an annual flu shot, through the SJMC flu shot clinic.

Bill 2019.jpeg

Bill Lonneman, DNP, RN

Bill Lonneman is an assistant professor and interim director of the RN-to-BSN program at Western Washington University.  He became a nurse in 1982 and has worked in hospice, neighborhood health centers, and primary care as a family nurse practitioner.  He received his Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from Madonna University and also holds a Master's degree in Theology from Xavier University in Cincinnati.  He currently serves as chaplain for Francis Place, a ministry of Catholic Community Services that provides program-supported permanent housing in Bellingham for people who were chronically homeless.

Instructor and Coordinator

Carol Nicolay, Ed.D

Carol Nicolay is a retired registered nurse who is active as a Health Minister at the First Congregational Church of Bellingham and as a Westberg Institute instructor. Previously she held positions as Director for Professional Studies (WWU), Assistant Director for Academic Programs (UW), and Manager of Continuing Education (SPIE). She earned her doctorate in Educational Leadership at Northern Arizona University and holds a graduate degree from University of Phoenix and under-graduate degree in Adult Education from Grand Canyon University (Phoenix.) She and her husband Neal have lived in Bellingham for over 20 years.

Format, Dates and Location

Class of 2021 - Applications Now Open

From 10 April-12 June, Health Ministries Network is offering a distant learning Foundations for Faith Community Nursing for active and retired nurses and a parallel Foundations for Health Ministry course for lay members of faith communities.   The course includes pre-course orientations, weekly online curriculum, and monthly Zoom webinars, providing a total of 38 hours of supported instruction and introduction into a welcoming health ministry community.  The Foundations Course is open to all religions, faiths and beliefs.  Nurses and health ministers serving diverse communities are encouraged to apply for scholarships. 

Diversity Scholarship

The Diversity Scholarship promotes racial, ethnic, and religious diversity within HMN. This scholarship is open to residents of Whatcom, Skagit, San Juan and Islands Counties.


A full course scholarship is valued at $375. Please consider asking your congregation to support your costs before applying for a scholarship.


$375 per person for in-person and online contact hours. Includes course materials, light meals including a family/friends reception. 

Note: the cost is $425 for students who reside outside Whatcom, Skagit, Island and San Juan counties. 


A $50 non-refundable deposit is required with each completed application.


Group rates: $350 each for two or more persons (up to three). 


A completed application will include: Commitment Statement, Course Application, References, and Confirmation. Applications may be completed online or scanned to PDF and emailed to csnicolay@gmail.com, or by mail to the address below:


Health Ministries Network

800 E. Chestnut St., Suite 1A

Bellingham, WA  98225


A nonrefundable $50 application deposit must be submitted with your application. You may submit your deposit online at www.healthministriesnetwork.net/donate or by check made out to “Health Ministries Network” and mailed to the address above.


You are required to complete the PeaceHealth conviction/criminal history information background check which is attached to the end of the application packet and is available online at https://bit.ly/3ahh3Hm. Your background check can be submitted by PDF emailed to csnicolay@gmail.com or by mail to the address above.


As part of the application process, course applicants will receive a call from Instructor and Course Coordinator, Carol Nicolay. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and clarify the course objectives. 

For more information please contact:

Carol Nicolay, HM, Ed.D.

HMN Foundations Course Coordinator


Call or Text: (360) 510-9797