Understanding World Religions for Birth and Death Doulas

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: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. A special emphasis will be placed upon the teachings of birth and 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.

In this course, Amy 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 but it is particularly crafted with great love for, and dedication to, the transformative role birth and death doulas play in our society.

Self-guided, recorded, 30-hour course


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.

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.

Participants are required to read Huston Smith’s The Illustrated World’s Religions as well as Holding Space: On Loving, Dying, and Letting Go by Amy Wright Glenn.

All are welcome. Contact Amy for registration information.


*Members of the Institute for the Study of Birth, Breath, and Death, INELDA, NHFA, Quality of Life Care, Lifespan Doulas, and graduates of the Maui-based International Death Doula Training pay $150. Scholarships available.


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
Imagine being in the midst of another persons deepest hour of sorrow, a final breath close, and not knowing in which faith,if any, they laid their heart. As an end of life doula, servicing anyone who wishes for my presence regardless of anything, having an understanding of where they live from is profoundly important to me. I can’t be the support they deserve otherwise. 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