G.D. in Catholic Bioethics

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  • General information
  • Teaching staff
  • Admission
  • Program requirements
  • Courses
  • Contact us

* This program will not be offered for the 2024-2025 academic year.

The Graduate Diploma in Catholic Bioethics is designed to meet the educational goals of individuals who are interested in understanding or who are likely to find themselves addressing contemporary bioethical issues in a manner that is consistent with ethical principles generally, and with Catholic moral theology specifically.

This program can serve as a stepping stone for a career shift by senior level health care professionals who aspire to becoming stronger leaders in their current organizations or elsewhere and to acquiring new skills to prepare them for future challenges surrounding bioethical issues in society.

It can also provide the theological and ethical foundations for those who are currently responsible for ethics in Catholic health care or other organizations but who lack the education appropriate for fulfilling the requirements of their positions.

Student Testimonial

The admission requirements are as follows:

  • Hold an honours bachelor degree in disciplines such as psychology, health sciences, nursing, practical theology or a related discipline with a minimum of B (70%) average.
  • Have a minimum of one year of relevant health care experience (in medicine, nursing, mission leadership, Research Ethics Board, health policy, spiritual care etc.) – the candidate should provide a confirmation letter from a third party, in which the nature and duration of the activity are described.
  • Provide the following documents:
    i. Two (2) letters of recommendation (from professors, employers, professional mentors, religious leaders, etc.) – for candidates who have graduated within the previous seven years, at least one letter must be from a university professor;
    ii. Undergo an interview with the program coordinators (to verify the candidate's goals and his or her suitability for the program);
    iii. A CV and letter of intent (500 words) reporting on the applicant’s career objectives;
    iv. Provide evidence of proficiency in either English or French (international applicants).



Compulsory Courses (15 units)

IPA6134 Ethical Issues at the End of Life (3u)
THO6110 Principles of Catholic Bioethics (3u)
THO6111 Topics in Bioethics Across the Continuum of Care (3u)
THO6112 Research Practicum in Bioethics (3u)
THO6113 Ethics, Philosophy, Theology and Public Policy (3u)

Duration of the Program

The Graduate Diploma is offered part-time such that it can be completed over 5 terms.

IPA 6134 - Ethical Issues at the End of Life

This course aims to provide training in bioethics, focusing on problems that may arise at the end of life. The course will examine the values that underlie bioethical dilemmas.

Prerequisites: IPA6151 and IPA6131 or be registered into the Graduate Diploma in Catholic Bioethics.


In-depth exploration of the foundational principles of Catholic moral tradition and Church teaching on bioethical issues.


Extensive exploration of current bioethical issues in health care from the beginning of life through to the end of life as well as the Catholic theological foundations which inform various positions.


Mentored hands-on capstone experience tailored to each student’s professional expertise and interests. Placement options include clinical bioethics, research bioethics, public policy and organizational ethics. Graded S/NS.

Prerequisites: THO6110, THO6111, IPA6134, and THO6113.

THO 6113 - Ethics, Philosophy, Theology and Public Policy

Study of the normative aspects of public policy and their ethical, philosophical and theological foundations. Challenges with public moral discourse and consensus, value identification and prioritization. Study of the conceptions of the public good, notions of human good and its structure, and the principle of human dignity.

Contact Us

Office of the Associate Vice-Rector, Strategic Enrolment Management
Room 148
Saint Paul University
223 Main Street
Ottawa, ON
K1S 1C4

Notice to gmail address holders, be sure to check your junk mailbox regularly, as due to your server's firewalls our email response to your application may end up there.

Telephone: 613-236-1393
Fax: 613-782-3014

Hours of Operation

Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Please leave your documents in the mailbox in front of room 148 when our offices are closed.

Information for future students

Saint Paul University

223 Main Street
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
K1S 1C4


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