Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Narrative Health


Credits Per Trimester
2 trimesters
Trimester of Entry
Fall, Spring

COVID-19 PANDEMIC UPDATE: This program is enrolling students for the Spring 2021 Trimester. This program is offered completely online. All courses are offered online. Students are not required to come to campus for any course in any trimester.

The Post-Baccalaureate Certificate (PBC) in Narrative Health prepares students with the skills and knowledge needed to understand the patient/client narrative as part of the healing process and to use writing and appreciative inquiry methodologies to achieve health and wellness. MUIH’s program is one of only three graduate programs in the U.S. and is the only one to be offered online and with an integrative health approach. While practitioners may need to separate the phenomena of disease process from the patient/client’s story to treat disease, research now reveals that developing a coherent narrative is necessary for the patient to be able to develop the sense of wholeness that can lead to healing. This 12-credit program is offered completely online and it can be completed in two trimesters (8 months).

Your journey starts here. Programs now enrolling for Fall 2023.

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This program is a valuable and practical complement for several health and wellness, health care, medical, social services, ministerial/pastoral, care giving, and education practitioners and their clients/patients. It provides such individuals with the skills, knowledge, and framework needed to incorporate narrative health in their primary practices. Narrative health approaches can complement other health care modalities such as health and wellness coaching, social work, health education, meditation and mindfulness, acupuncture, herbal medicine, nutrition, yoga therapy, massage therapy, nursing, naturopathic medicine, osteopathic medicine, chiropractic, conventional medicine, physical therapy, and occupational therapy, among others. The program also supports individuals who serve populations that are renegotiating meaning and identity in life, after a death, divorce, job loss or other life-transitions.

Program Description

The PBC in Narrative Health program prepares students with the skills and knowledge to use narrative health as a healing process, diagnostic tool, method to prevent burn-out, and a form of care in itself. It does so in a highly personalized manner within the context of a holistic and integrative approach to health and wellness. The course work emphasizes the use of narrative health to build empathy and mindfulness in communication, and support practitioners in authentic relationship-based care and the development of healing presence. Students gain an embodied experience of narrative health by applying theoretical approaches to their own personal narrative and gain experience in honing their facilitation design and skills.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Identify and apply the primary themes of narrative theory.
  • Apply narrative health strategies to compose a meaningful personal narrative.
  • Develop narrative health strategies for individual and group work.
  • Facilitate individual and small group narrative health programs effectively.


Required Courses

The program consists of 12 credits of the following required courses:

  • NARR630 Narrative Theory (3 cr)
  • NARR631 Expressive Writing and Poetic Care (3 cr)
  • NARR632 Personal Narrative (3 cr)
  • NARR633 Group Facilitation (3 cr)
  • MUIH550 Academic Scholarship and Research (0 cr)

Course Descriptions

Course descriptions are available in the Academic Catalog.

Career Opportunities

Individuals with skills and knowledge in narrative health approaches will support the continued projected growth of healthcare occupations in the U.S. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics projects healthcare occupations to grow 14% 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. Healthcare occupations are projected to add more jobs than any other occupational groups in the U.S. This program supports the narrative competence professional standards of a wide range of licensed healthcare professions. Narrative health is also aligned with the growing trend toward integrative approaches and holism in health and wellness. The National Health Interview Survey indicates 59 million Americans spend $30.2 billion per year out-of-pocket for integrative health practices, and 33.2% of U.S. adults use integrative health practices.

View more about career opportunities.

Program Format & Schedule

Program Format

This program is offered in the online format. Click here to view MUIH’s definition of online, hybrid, and on-campus course and program formats.

Program Schedule

For trimester start and end dates, see the Academic Calendar.

The schedule for students starting the program in the fall 2020 trimester is shown below.

Fall 2020

  • NARR630 Narrative Theory (3 cr)
  • NARR632 Personal Narrative (3 cr)
  • MUIH550 Academic Scholarship and Research (0 cr)

Spring 2021

  • NARR631 Expressive Writing and Poetic Care (3 cr)
  • NARR633 Group Facilitation (3 cr)

Admission Requirements

Trimester of Entry: Fall, Spring
Application Priority Deadline: Application deadline by Trimester
General Requirements:
Program Specific Requirements: Complete Essay Questions in application:

  • What “care practice” are you currently engaged in (i.e. educator, health care provider, pastoral care, etc.) and how do you work with people in your profession?
  • When did you begin working with narrative in your care practice, and what benefits have you seen in your current use of writing/narrative?
  • What is your vision for integrating the material you learn at MUIH into your care practice?

Program Administration

Diane Finlayson, M.L.A.
Department Chair

Suzanne Zolnick, M.A.S.
Department Manager

Matt Mazick
Academic Advisor

An MUIH education is not just for living, but for life.