Understanding World Religions for Birth & Death Doulas


In this self-guided course, Amy Wright Glenn combines her studies as a scholar of comparative religion with her work as a birth and death doula. Understanding World Religions for Birth and Death Doulas is open to all interested in the study of our world’s great wisdom traditions.


The doula’s role can be powerfully strengthened and supported with a clear understanding of the basic tenets of five of our world’s religions:


 This course is particularly crafted with great love for, and dedication to, the transformative role birth and death doulas play in our society.

Amy’s World Religion class, accompanied by the book required, has been an invaluable bridge of knowledge. It took what I already knew and enriched it beautifully. Beginning each class with a meditation was a special way to stop the day, and bring my attention to our time together. Her lovely composure made it easy to listen and feel included.
~Martha Heymann, End-of-Life Doula and professional grief coach

Four hours of webinar time are devoted to each of the five of the world’s wisdom traditions covered in this course. Participants examine the following:

*Teachings and beliefs about the origin of the world, creation myths, and rituals around birth.

*A clear understanding regarding the purpose of life according to each traditions with an emphasis on holy texts and sacred ritual.

*The diversity of faith expression, including debates/disputes, within each tradition when it comes to questions of modernity, gender, and the interpretation of tradition.

*Teachings and beliefs regarding the end of the world, end-times myths, and rituals around death.


For over a decade, author, hospital chaplain, and birth/death doula Amy Wright Glenn taught in the Religion and Philosophy Department at The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey. She was an award winning teacher and inspired her students to explore, understand, question, and come to respect the diversity of our world’s wisdom traditions. A 30-hour certificate of completion will be offered to all who listen to the 20-hours of pre-recorded webinars, complete the required reading, and write a final essay.


Certificates of Completion issued by the Institute for the Study of Birth, Breath, and Death are offered for all who complete the training/workshop. Participants have open access to complete the training requirements, as long as the course is active on the Institute’s website. Once purchased, participants have life-long access to course materials ~ as long as they are available in this format. 

In ten short weeks Amy introduced us to five main religions – Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Diving deep into the motivations behind the development of each religion, we explored perennial questions humans have asked themselves for ever…what does it mean to be born?…what does it mean to die? The exploration was fascinating. Amy skillfully offers a multi-media experience investigating religion’s role in both ancient and modern times. Through her deep knowledge of the subject and personal experience, Amy was able to lead us to a personal experience of our own, that can inform how we choose to apply this knowledge along our various paths.
~ Elizabeth Wasserman, 500RYT and end of life doula in training

This class has fed my soul. I am so grateful to Amy and all she has shared during our classes and in her book. Her knowledge and experience add to the reading helping to broaden, and add depth and feeling to each religion. I am looking forward to more classes with Amy.
~Venessa Angell, doula, author, and yoga teacher




Participants are required to read:

The Illustrated World’s Religions by Huston Smith


Holding Space: On Loving, Dying, and Letting Go by Amy Wright Glenn