Ministering to Grieving People


In the U.S., a person dies every 12 seconds. That person may have been someone’s grandfather, sister, high school teacher, or best friend. Inevitably, they’ll leave behind a hurting family, a devastated community, or a grieving congregation—people looking for support, assurance, and hope.

Despite its inescapability, we live in a culture that is uncomfortable with death. The most common reactions to grieving people are mixed and rarely helpful—from “they’re in a better place now” to “it’s time to move on.”

In moments of shared grief, how will you respond?


What You’ll Learn

  • The reality of grief in everyday life—even when we try to avoid it
  • Key differences between grief and mourning
  • How to use coaching skills as a way of ministering
  • The importance of story in the bereavement process
  • How to provide space and time for mourning without becoming disconnected
  • What creating an “End of Life Safe” church is all about


This workshop will help you cultivate community by improving your skills in deep listening, pastoral care, and the formation of life-giving relationships even in difficult circumstances.

Learn More

Course Agenda

  • Session 1:

    What is Grief?

    In this first self-guided session, you’ll become more familiar with the realities of grief—including how it’s viewed within our culture as well as in many churches. You’ll also learn the key differences between grief and mourning.

  • Session 2:

    How to Minister to Grieving People

    Even though you may have experienced how easy this is to get wrong, your second session will teach four important ways of getting it right. You’ll learn how to provide a safe place for grieving people, when to use coaching skills, how best to provide assurance, and what riding the rollercoaster of grief looks like.

  • Session 3:

    Hope in the Midst of Grief

    This third session provides a framework for walking through grief with another person—instead of pushing them through it or getting stuck there. You’ll learn the power of shared stories, the importance of time, ways to celebrate growth, and tools for discovering their new normal.

  • Session 4:

    Developing an “End of Life Safe” Church

    Zooming out from one-on-one relationships, your final self-guided session tackles the bigger questions of what a ministry to grieving people looks like when everyone is involved. That work includes everything from handling congregational losses to support groups and ongoing follow-up. In order to be end-of-life safe, the realities of grief can’t be avoided.

Meet the Instructors

Dr. Don Eisenhauer is the founder and president of Coaching at End of Life, LLC. In addition to doing end-of-life coaching and leading grief support groups, Dr. Eisenhauer served for 15 years as a pastor, having been ordained in the United Church of Christ, and he served for 19 years as a Hospice Chaplain and Bereavement Coordinator for a Hospice in Pennsylvania. An Eastern Pennsylvania native, he holds both a Doctorate of Ministry and a Masters of Divinity. He is certified in Critical Incident Stress Management and Clinical Pastoral Education, and is the author of several books, including “Coach Yourself Through Grief.” Dr. Eisenhauer currently lives in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania with his wife, Sue. They are parents of an adult daughter, Jane, who resides in the Boston area.

How it Works

Led by Dr. Don Eisenhauer, you’ll be able to work through this course at your own pace.

  • Prerecorded webcast sessions on your schedule

    As Dr. Eisenhauer expertly guides you through the course material, you’ll be able to start, stop, and pause whenever you need to.

  • Absorb the material in a whole new way

    With a self-guided course, you’ll have the ability to reflect in realtime—skipping back to something you didn’t fully catch or sitting with some hard truth.

  • Develop a better way forward

    By the time you’ve completed this course, you’ll have the tools you need to minister to the grieving people in new and powerful ways—as well as a vision for involving your entire congregation in this beautiful and necessary work.


Get access to the full course for just $55.

  • Four 60-minute webcasts (4 contact hours)
  • On-demand replay of the entire course
  • Experiments and assignments to try in context
  • A safe space to learn and grow