Dissertation Projects

Date of Award


Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry


Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary


Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

James J. North, Jr.

Second Advisor

Peter Swanson

Third Advisor

Jo Ann Davidson



With little or no formal grief support provided at Florida Hospital, an intentional bereavement facilitation program was needed. Many of the problems individuals face can be traced back to unresolved loss. The grief support program at Florida Hospital provides numerous avenues for the grief process to take place. This study describes the development and implementation of a comprehensive grief support program at Florida Hospital designed to enhance the bereavement process for those in grief and to provide assistance to care-givers involved in bereavement facilitation.


There were various methods used to evaluate the effectiveness of this program. All 219 students who completed the weekly Grief Recovery program were invited to complete an evaluation. Two hundred twenty clergy who attended the 2003 and 2004 Clergy Bereavement Conference were invited to complete an evaluation. Thirty-five students who attended the 2003 and 2004 NAD Bereavement Facilitation Training were invited to complete an evaluation. The Hogan Grief Reaction Checklist was administered to two Grief Recovery support groups in 2002. The Grief Pattern Inventory was administered to two different Grief Recovery support groups in 2003.


The results showed the positive effect that the grief support program has had on the community that Florida Hospital serves. This community includes the staff, patients, their families, and the broader central Florida community itself. Death education and support to the bereaved and to those who support the bereaved were shown to impact our society and the individuals in our society spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically. Scores in the Hogan Grief Reaction Checklist showed dramatic improvement. Evaluations indicated positive benefit and personal growth as a result of attending the support group or training seminar.


The grief support program at Florida Hospital is an effective program that provides necessary support and education to those who utilize this service. Until Jesus comes, there will continue to be a need to provide support to those who experience loss. The various pieces of the overall program at Florida Hospital work together to help build a necessary network of support for the community it serves.

Subject Area

Florida Hospital (Orlando, Fla.)--Chaplains; Grief therapy; Bereavement--Psychological aspects; Church work with the bereaved--Seventh-day Adventists



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