New offering: Sacred Practice

From Lab colleagues at Mount Sinai and Union Theological Seminary:

Sacred Practice

A Conversational Space for Interprofessional Health Care and Theological Students

Collaboration of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai


Union Theological Seminary


What is Sacred Practice?

Sacred Practice is a monthly online symposium where students in theological, clinical pastoral education, medical, and nursing programs discuss the intersection of spirituality and health. These symposia begin with a brief student-led spiritual practice to create the learning space and to help center all participants. Next, a student leads by reading their prepared two-page case study that describes a healthcare-related situation in which spirituality and health issues are prominent. After the case is read, small groups of interprofessional students meet in breakout rooms to discuss their personal and professional perspectives on the case presented. In the end, the whole group meets again to report out on themes that emerged in their discussions.

Why does Sacred Practice exist?

The program’s overarching purpose is to improve health (spiritual, mental, and physical) in our communities by increasing collaboration between health care leaders and spiritual leaders. By bringing together students in theological, medical, and nursing schools, this program addresses this collaboration at the formation level. By studying together in the presence of other professionals, students learn to appreciate and understand the different frameworks and goals operating in different professions.

The specific aims of this program align with the four core competencies for interprofessional collaborative practice:

  1. Work with individuals of other professions to maintain a climate of mutual respect and shared values. (Values/Ethics for Interprofessional Practice)
  2. Use the knowledge of one’s own role and those of other professions to appropriately assess and address the health care needs of patients and to promote and advance the health of populations. (Roles/Responsibilities)
  3. Communicate with patients, families, communities, and professionals in health and other fields in a responsive and responsible manner that supports a team approach to the promotion and maintenance of health and the prevention and treatment of disease. (Interprofessional Communication)
  4. Apply relationship-building values and the principles of team dynamics to perform effectively in different team roles to plan, deliver, and evaluate patient/population centered care and population health programs and policies that are safe, timely, efficient, effective, and equitable. (Teams and Teamwork)

Who leads Sacred Practice?

Sacred Practice is co-sponsored by the Rev. David Fleenor, Director of Clinical Pastoral Education and Assistant Professor of Medical Education at the Center for Spirituality and Health at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS), and Dr. Su Yon Pak, Senior Director and Associate Professor of Integrative & Field Based Education at the Union Theological Seminary (UTS). Supporting this effort is an advisory panel comprised of UTS and ISMMS students who help plan and lead each event.

When does Sacred Practice occur?

Sacred Practice occurs once per month. For a detailed schedule, please email

Where does Sacred Practice occur?

Sacred Practice is an online event that occurs over Zoom. Students in medical, nursing, theological, and clinical pastoral education programs are welcome to attend from anywhere in the world.