Dying Well Course: Exploring the Spirituality of Dying

About the course:

Facing the mystery of death can be overcome with emotions of fear, anxiety, depression and anger.  Yet we are truly spiritual beings to the end of our lives.  Through our stories and experiences we can find purpose, meaning and our life’s legacy to transform our spiritual existence to the end to make death a purely sacred process.  The wisdom gained from this class will help construct a renewed sense of our spiritual dimension to gain a sense of freedom from the negative emotional hold of facing death.

This class is designed to create a sense of community and to engage on a deep personal level to talk about dying.  It is active engagement from the participants to reconcile with any lost spiritual components in their lives and to develop their own unique purpose and meaning in life by naming their legacy through stories and events.  The class is also designed to assist the participants to identify their spiritual blocks and find a way through them to ultimately move to forgiveness of self and others.

Each of the class sessions is designed to be completed in 3 hour segments.  In addition, there is work each participant will need to complete outside of the class environment.  The class is designed to be a safe and secure place to share and process spiritual (faith) questioning and life’s most difficult circumstances.

Everyone dies so the class is designed for people of any faith or non-faith.  The common core is that we are all spiritual beings regardless of belief system.

Why do adults take this course?

Participants take this class for a variety of reasons.  Some have a diagnosis, death is more imminent and want to develop spiritual practices.  Others may want to prepare for the inevitable and know that learning to die well is a journey to live well.  Still others are practitioners who work with the dying and seek to develop additional tools to working with the dying.


Dying Well is a dynamic, introspective intensive that provided me the framework for approaching my death with dignity and empowerment.”

Dying Well is a fantastic class!  It gave me tools to face my own death as well as the death of others.  The respectful way in which such a difficult topic was approached made it easier to bravely face such a personal and inevitable end that awaits us all.”

Dying Well has taught me to live well.  This class has opened my eyes to planning my end of life desires.  I am thankful for the sharing and intimacy. “

Course Objectives

  • We will explore the mystery of dying and connect to your spiritual foundation.
  • This class focuses on the process of dying and the challenges we encounter.
  • The dying process will be demystified and we will develop skills for the emotional spiritual aspects of dying.
  • Create a spiritual practice for overcoming blockages to dying well.
  • Class participants will spend time designing their own death experience.
  • Overcome any fear about the mystery of death and the sacredness of dying.
  • Create community with others who are experiencing all that comes with the dying process.
  • Establish practices for working with your support/care circle.
  • This class does NOT explore the legal or financial aspects of death.

Class Structure:

Classes are a mix of education, practice and sharing stories.  There is also work to be completed outside of the class environment.

** Please watch for our next class — Coming Soon! **

Flyer from the Winter 2019 Cycle:

Click here for a printer friendly flyer

About the Facilitators

Carla Cain, MBA, MDiv.

Carla is a pastor and trained End-of-Life Doula.  Her current work is consulting with congregations on strategic planning, conflict transformation, church leadership and a focus on working with the dying.  Carla discerned her call to ministry after spending 30 years in the corporate world where she was involved in business development, human resources and cultural transformation work.   Carla has an expertise and passion for personal mastery that leads to living well and dying well.



Diane McClanahan, M.Div., Director of Leadership and Spiritual Life at the Center

Diane McClanahan, B.S.N., M.Div, is the Director of Leadership and Spiritual Life at the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center. She is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church as well  as a spiritual director, clergy coach, church consultant and conflict mediator. Her interest is in providing spiritual and educational programs and consultation to assist spiritual leaders and their congregations to meet the needs of their communities.

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