Health Humanities


Contact Us

Andrew Stumpf
Assistant Professor
519-884-8111 x 28270


Welcome to the Diploma in Health Humanities


Why Health Humanities?


As the Covid-19 pandemic has revealed, training in humanities-based thinking and methodologies is vital both for policy-development and health-related communications. Being able to contextualize the present through lessons of the past, to consider the ethics of one’s strategies, to form strong arguments, to communicate clearly, and to inspire trust are skills that can help both health clinicians and public health practitioners to serve the public and, more broadly, can ease social discord and save lives. Furthermore, post-graduate programs in health-related disciplines, including medical school, increasingly expect candidates to show facility with humanities-related skills (including those related to effective reasoning and communication, narrative interpretation, and ethics).


Hosted at St. Jerome’s University, and offered in conjunction with the University of Waterloo, the Health Humanities diploma offers current undergraduate students and non-degree/post-degree community members, health clinicians, and public health practitioners a means of developing these competencies, so that they can grow as responsible leaders able to respond holistically to health-related questions and to guide and nurture action. The program enables students to distinguish themselves by providing them with a credential to showcase their training in humanities related to health. As a diploma, the program requires a relatively small number of courses (5), making it accessible to both current undergraduates and non-degree or post-degree students.


Courses offered this year (2024-2025):


Fall 2024

  • ENGL 108X: Literature and Medicine
  • HHUM 209: Canadian Medical History
  • HHUM/SMF 241: Caregiving, Illness, and Relationships
  • HHUM 307: Concepts of Health and Disease in Western Medical History

Spring 2025

  • RS 266: Death and Dying

Winter 2025

  • HHUM 101: Foundations of Health Humanities
  • HHUM 222: Health, Illness, and Narrative
  • HHUM/RS 288: Health, Medicine, and Spirituality
  • HHUM 311: Culture, Mental Health, and Wellness
  • PHIL 319J: Ethics of End-of-Life Care
  • HHUM/ENGL 372: Women and Medicine in Literature


Click on the links below to find out more about the Health Humanities diploma, and to explore whether it might be for you.