RISEN: Reinvesting Spirituality and Ethics in Our Networks

RISEN is a nationally-recognized program of applied spirituality for health care organizations.

Created in 1982, the Re-Investing Spirituality and Ethics in our Networks (RISEN) program continues to impact the health care professional in a meaningful way. Over 12,000 clinical and administrative professionals have participated in the program in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois, Maine, Virginia, North Carolina, Connecticut, & Oregon. The overall objective of the program is to enable participants to become more conscious and committed to their own spiritual growth in order to facilitate the healing process in others. The program :

  • Raises consciousness of the power of the human spirit for health and healing;
  • Integrates spirituality as a resource for personal and professional growth.;
  • Assists in creating a "community of spirituality" in the workplace.

Time Commitment for Participants

Phase I Mentor Training - 2 eight-hour days
Phase II Spiritual Health - 4 eight-hour days plus a practicum of 6 one-hour sessions


Phase I Mentor Training
This phase includes 16 hours of on-site education by two faculty. The major objectives of the phase are to identify personnel with the interest and ability to function as mentors to participants, and to orient the mentors to the mentoring function. Another objective of this phase is to administer and interpret the Myers Briggs Type Indicator as a coaching tool.

Phase II Spiritual Health
This is the most intensive phase of RISEN involving 32 hours of classroom presentation, 6 hours of practicum consultation, and a two hour graduation program. This phase explores the educational-spiritual dimension of human health. It provides the participants with insight into and appreciation for their spiritual potential and facilitates the development of professional skills in diagnosing the spiritual needs of patients and the treatment of those needs. This phase is presented by two faculty and includes administration of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator to all participants with an interpretation of their responses. A three-month practicum follows the on-site presentation.


Sister Rhea Emmer is the co-creator and Director of the RISEN program for The Center To BE, an inclusive spirituality center in Fond du Lac, WI. Sister Rhea holds a Doctorate of Ministry Degree in Creation Spirituality from the University of Creation Spirituality in Oakland, CA. She also earned a Master’s Degree in Christian Spirituality from Creighton University, Omaha, NE. and a B.S.N. from Marian University in Fond du Lac, WI. Her work experience includes clinical nursing, nursing administration and nursing education. Her doctoral work has broadened her focus to include spiritual development of leaders and organizational spirituality. In addition, she has a private practice in spiritual companioning, pastoral counseling and body energy therapy.

Margarett Anne Schlientz is a consultant and president of her own consulting firm. Dr. Schlientz obtained a Ph.D. in Psychiatric Nursing from the University of Pittsburgh and a Master's Degree in Psychiatric Nursing from the University of Maryland and a Master's degree in Christian Spirituality from Creighton University. She has held positions in nursing administration and nursing education, both at the Baccalaureate and Masters level and has worked as a clinical specialist in psychiatric nursing. Presently, she is an internal consultant working with the needed behavioral changes in health care systems.

Nickijo Hager has served Mayo Clinic Health System – Franciscan Healthcare, La Crosse, Wisconsin, as Vice President for Mission and Organizational Development since 1994. Nickijo has experience in critical care nursing, nursing management and leadership, education of health care professionals and program development. Currently her work centers around values integration, organizational team development, strategic planning, spirituality and presence, and end-of-life decision-making. Nickijo holds a Bachelors of Science in Nursing from the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, and a Masters in Science of Nursing from Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In addition, Nickijo is certified in Labyrinth Facilitation, RISEN faculty, Spiritual Direction by the Center for Spiritual Guidance in Minneapolis and Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High.

Certification Program
RISEN may be purchased by a local facility or health care system and faculty prepared through a Certification Program. Potential facility-based faculty are required to experience the RISEN Program prior to certification. The Certification program is a four-day intensive seminar dealing with spirituality. An additional day for the ethics portion of the program is optional.

Summary of agreement terms upon request.

Comments from Participants

"The RISEN experience helped me integrate the technical aspects of care with the intangible or spiritual needs. That in turn helped me to empower the clients to participate in their own healing process." (Staff Nurse)

"RISEN gave me the confidence to cut through the stress of my daily activities, especially in our fast-paced x-ray department. Active listening allows me to approach the client's anxiety and fears directly. A lot of care can be given in a short period of time." (Manager, Radiology Department)

"We have been trying to find a better way for our employees to own the values and mission of our hospital. In order to have a corporate spirituality we need them to claim their own personal spirituality and RISEN explores that in a well-organized fashion." (Hospital CEO)

"The ethics portion of RISEN helped open my eyes to the human story as the context for applying the ethical principles. I feel a confident excitement about 'doing ethics' now." (Director, Infant Intensive Care)

"The challenges for the direct care giver are going to escalate. RISEN is an important in providing insight, skill and support to care givers to help them be responsible for meeting their own need (for balance) while improving the quality of their work life." (Hospital COO)