Our Mission

The Spiritual Competency Academy offers mental health professionals a selection of unique courses that provide you with the skills and knowledge to become more spiritually competent. Our foundational curriculum starts with a course on how to conduct an evidence-based and spiritually sensitive spiritual assessment. Other courses cover a wide variety of topics including self-compassion, mindfulness and forgiveness.

As a spiritually competent mental health professional, you can:

  • Build a Stronger Therapeutic Alliance with Your Patients

    This alliance is based on showing respect toward your clients’ deeply held beliefs and values. This quality is all the more important in light of the pandemic.

  • Improve Your Practice

    SCA's courses allow you new insights and techniques when working with the realm of spirituality and religion in your therapy practice.

  • Grow Your Client Base

    Expertise in spiritual competency is a key to more successful outcomes that can lead to more referrals.

  • Conduct Spiritual Assessments with Your Clients

    These groundbreaking ethically-sensitive spiritual assessments will address clients' spiritual strengths, beliefs, and problems.

  • Discuss Contemporary and Alternative Treatment Outcomes

    You will be able to have evidence-based and ethically-sensitive conversations with clients about how mindfulness, forgiveness and compassion practices could improve their recovery and treatment outcomes.

  • Share Your Knowledge

    Share mindfulness, forgiveness and compassion practices with clients through the use of free online resources including guided practices by leading mental health experts.

  • Understand Your Clients More Deeply

    Harness your clients’ religious and spiritual strengths.

  • Earn CE Credits

    SCA is approved by the American Psychological Association, California Board of Registered Nursing and other boards.

Meet Your Instructors

David Lukoff, PhD, is a licensed psychologist and  co-author of the DSM IV and DSM 5 diagnostic category Religious or Spiritual Problem which increased awareness of  spiritual issues in clinical practice. He has published over 80 articles on spirituality and mental health, many in peer reviewed journals such as Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, Schizophrenia Bulletin, Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine,  Journal of Humanistic Psychology Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, Psychiatric Annals,  Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, Spirituality in Clinical Practice.

Cassandra Vieten, PhD is a licensed clinical psychologist, mind-body medicine researcher, author, consultant, and public speaker. She is Executive Director of the John W. Brick Foundation, Scholar-in-Residence at the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination at the University of California, San Diego, and a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, where she served as President from 2013-2019. Her research has focused on spirituality and health, transformative experiences and practices, the development of mindfulness-based interventions for emotional well-being, and development of media technologies to inspire awe. She received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies, and completed her research training in behavioral genetics at UC San Francisco. She has authored three books, published numerous articles in scientific journals, and is an internationally recognized keynote speaker and workshop leader.

Gary Buck, PhD is a graduate of Meridian University’s Doctor of Psychology program and also holds a bachelor’s degree in Religion from Princeton University. He is a licensed psychologist and has participated in trainings led by Zindel Segal, PhD in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, by Richard Miller, PhD in Yoga Nidra/Integrative Restoration, and completed an internship with Saki Santorelli in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction at the U. of Massachusetts Medical School.

A Buddhist meditator of nearly 50 years, he currently practices in the Vajrayana tradition where his main interests are Mahamudra and Dzogchen. He is a former Buddhist monk in the Thai Theravadan tradition. Gary is a former Managing Director and Board member of the Insight Meditation Society in Massachusetts and a former Associate Director of Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Marin County. He is currently a psychotherapist in private practice in San Rafael and Petaluma, CA, where he sees child and adult clients.


Read An Article Abstract by Dr. Lukoff and Dr. Vietan

Testimonials

"The information and guidance in Dr. Lukoff's courses will soon be, if not already, mandatory for all health care professionals who choose to remain current and literate in their fields."

-Jeanne Achterberg, Ph.D. , Former Professor of Psychology at Saybrook Graduate School


"An excellent job of guiding people through the mental health resources."

-John Suler, Ph.D , Department of Psychology, Rider University Webmaster: Psychology of Cyberspace

"I am so excited to know that I am not the only one seeing the importance of this concept and how it would help to broaden the area of wellness and emphasis on the mind, body, and spirit/psyche/soul."

"This course has helped me to see the progression of the relationship between spiritual and religion. The section on the history of religion and spirituality was fascinating."

"The information presented here will help me demonstrate to my interdisciplinary colleagues that spirituality is foundational to human care...or rather is the foundation of human/holistic care."

"Learning about the SSOPP model will help me to further develop my assessment skills. It has helped me to organize my own thinking around how to administer tan assessment during both specific chaplaincy referrals and general hospitality visits.  Being better able to listen for R/S problems will help me to determine interventions depending on length of admission."

"The topic of R/S problems give me better insight on the issues our mental health patients may be facing whether they express them or not.  Thank you for this course...it really was 'right on time' considering how I am growing in both my consciousness and in my vocation."

"I found that the course was engaging as it used different ways of teaching...videos...reading...quizzes. You delivered important information essentially without dragging out with details."

"A good presentation, great selection of material and organization. This was a much more valuable use of my time than virtually all of the CEU courses I have to sit through."


View All Course Testimonials

SCA Continuing Education Courses

All courses available for free preview

 SCA courses provide approved CE credits through these accreditation agencies:

American Psychological Association:  The Spiritual Competency Academy is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Spiritual Competency Academy maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

California Board of Behavioral Sciences accepts CE credits for license renewal by LCSWs, MFTs, LPCCs, LMHCs for programs from CE approved sponsors of the American Psychological Association. LCSWs, MFTs, LPCCs, LMHCs from states other than California need to check with their state licensing board for approval.

California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN Provider CEP16887) for licensed nurses in California

National Board of Certified Health and Wellness Coaches. (CEP Number 100196)

Refund & Grievance Policies

For questions or additional information, contact David Lukoff, Ph.D.  Email  Phone: (707) 763-3576