Pastoral Supervised Immersion Experience

Experience what it is like to work as a pastoral practitioner in a hospital setting.

St John of God Health care Pastoral Immersion Experience.

We offer a Pastoral Supervised Immersion Experience as a experiential learning program at our WA and NSW services for students at The University of Notre Dame studying a Graduate Certificate in Liberal Arts (Pastoral Placement).

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What we offer

The Pastoral Supervised Immersion Experience offers students the opportunity to:

  • experience the depth and diversity of pastoral ministry in a Catholic health care setting
  • develop pastoral awareness and spiritual assessment skills
  • engage in reflective practice to support skill development and pastoral capabilities
  • demonstrate theological reflection in response to immersion experience.

The program

This program consists of 50 hours of supervised immersion in pastoral ministry at a St John of God Health Care division. The hours are completed in a minimum of four consecutive weeks and a maximum of up to eight weeks. Each student is assigned a supervisor/preceptor to guide them through the program. Students also receive a personal reflective journal from St John of God Health Care.

The modules covered in the program cover all aspects of the St John of God Health Care pastoral capability framework, and includes:

  • Leading the Mission – immersion program, orientation and pastoral care
  • Pastoral care in a Catholic hospital – pastoral relationships, developing pastoral identity and observation and engagement in hospital waiting areas
  • Pastoral practice in a hospital setting
  • Ritual and liturgy – sacraments in a Catholic hospital, rituals in pastoral care
  • Bereavement – grief and loss in pastoral care.


This program is available to students at The University of Notre Dame who have successfully completed two of the four required units towards the Graduate Certificate Liberal Arts (Pastoral Placement), one of which must be 500-level Pastoral Theology.

Participation in the program is conditional upon:

  • a successful interview
  • a copy a current Police Clearance and Work with Children Check (for non St John of God Health Care students)
  • completion of Student Undertaking Form
  • fulfilling immunisation and health screening requirements
  • evidence of completion of two pre-requisite units from UNDA 4110 Graduate Certificate Liveral Arts (Pastoral Placement) one of which must be 500-level Pastoral Theology
  • payment of scheduled fee.


Please complete our application form to apply to this program. Should your application be successful you will be offered an interview.

The interview will cover:

  • your application
  • your understanding of pastoral ministry and spiritual care in healthcare
  • past experiences that might affect your immersion experience.

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The fee for this program is $1,800. HECS is not available.

St John of God Health Care caregivers are exempt from fees.


The St John of God Health Care Pastoral Immersion Experience Validation Committee provides advice for the development of resources and general oversight of the program.