Career pathways for Holistic Health Studies graduates
OUR GRADUATES say the Holistic Health Studies degree or certificate provides them with knowledge, expertise, and confidence that opens up new opportunities. Holistic Health Studies classmates and faculty members are part of a network of inspirational individuals who help you discover new possibilities for professional, personal and intellectual growth.
What career pathways are opened up for people who earn a master's degree of graduate certificate in Holistic Health Studies? Our graduates apply their research-based knowledge, entrepreneurial spirit, caring and creativity in a wide variety of ways:
- Many students are nurses, medical doctors, rehabilitative therapists, health technologists dieticians and other traditional healthcare providers who are seeking to integrate holistic and complementary skills into their practice. Because holistic therapies have become widely accepted in settings where traditional western medicine is practiced, health practitioners are well positioned with the skills and knowledge gained in this graduate program. Our graduates find new opportunities for career advancement in hospitals and clinics — and for improving health outcomes for individual patients.
- Other graduates are social workers, counseling psychologists, marriage and family therapists, chemical dependency counselors and other licensed mental health practitioners. For these practitioners, as well, this program opens up new pathways to improving care and expanding career potential.
- Educators and other human development professionals — health and wellness coaches, community health educators, K-12 and early childhood teachers, special educators, religious educators and others — also come to the Holistic Health Studies program to learn new ways to understand and improve the development and well being of their students and clients.
- Other students are independent professionals already working as, or seeking to work as, alternative and complementary health practitioners. In their own private practices, as consultants and in other roles and settings, these professionals are diverse and varying — energy healers, herbologists, eastern medicine practitioners, spiritual guides, wellness coaches and others.
- Still others have no immediate intention of tying their learning to professional outcomes. A key motivator for all students who enter this program is personal growth. This means application of the knowledge and awareness students gain is not limited to career settings — and it means some students choose to pursue the Holistic Health Studies master's or certificate purely for the benefit of their own growth and development. Students pursuing the program for avocational and personal purposes are welcome.
For the following students and graduates, the journey through the graduate program has shed new light on the compelling question, “What is my life purpose and calling?”
BENJAMIN KIMBALL ’12 worked as an engineer while spending his evenings and weekends developing a career that he says better suits his spiritual nature. Benjamin had started a seminary program but when he came across St. Catherine’s holistic health program, he says it “spoke” to him. “My path is a healing path,” Benjamin says. Earning St. Catherine’s dual master’s degree in holistic health and social work is helping him pave his way. He plans to infuse a counseling practice with insights about the healing properties of nutrition, meditation and other alternative methods of healing.
CAMILLE THOMAS ’09 was studying community health education as an undergraduate when she began to feel there was more to health than “measuring basil metabolism indexes and glucose levels.” The voice inside of her spoke loudly while she was on a study abroad trip in Ghana, Africa. “i was able to help people in a way that is different from what i’m doing now,” she realized. After finishing her undergraduate degree she immediately enrolled in St. Catherine’s MAHS program. Today she enjoys a career as a health and personal life coach. “When the holistic health program is done, you’ll know why you were called to be in it,” explains Camille. “Your life changes for the better, and because you put your whole self into it, you’re able to change other people’s lives.”
CONNIE FOURRE '10 was a high school religion teacher at Benilde-St. Margaret’s School in suburban Minneapolis when she entered the first cohort of students in the holistic health studies program in 2004. She simply wanted to enhance her understanding of health, but once in the program, she says, “I started to look at high school students’ lives differently.” She proposed a new position as a wellness director, and her request was accepted. “We now have a wellness class twice a week for juniors and once a week for sophomores and seniors. We involve them in disciplines such as centering movement, biking, meditation, fiber arts and cooking,” she says. She concedes that her wellness program raised eyebrows at first. Today Connie is happy to report that students are positive about it and parents recognize its importance. “I feel like we are on the front edge at Benilde-St. Margaret’s,” says Connie, adding: “I just turned 63. You’re never too old to learn and find ways to contribute.”