The Refugee Experience

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Gain understanding of the trauma and challenges refugees experience before, during and after resettlement, through a biblical lens. Perspectives from refugees in their own words will expand your insight and ability to minister to this population.


August 22 – October 16, 2022

What you’ll learn

  • Explain similarities and differences between displaced people, immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers.
  • Describe refugee and resettlement experiences, processes and procedures.
  • Evaluate refugee and immigrant experiences from a biblical perspective.
  • Develop strategies for improving awareness of refugee experiences, resilience and service needs.


This course is Part 1 of 3 in the Refugee Ministry Certificate series. By completing this and the other two courses in this series with a demonstrated 80% proficiency, you are eligible to apply your Certificate of Completion for 3 academic credits in a graduate degree at Crown College.

You can register for ANY course in this series; they do not need to be taken consecutively.


Refugee Ministry Series

Refugee Issues + Interventions

Understand how trauma impacts refugees emotionally, psychologically, physically and spiritually, and engage a framework for care and healing.

Starts October 17, 2022


Caring for Refugees in Crisis

Understand challenges facing refugees and best practices for helping in this free 3-session webinar from the Refugee And Immigrant Network.

Starts Today

Refugee Ministry Series

Refugee Resilience + Recovery

Explore a framework for helping refugees heal from emotional, psychological, physical and spiritual trauma.

In Progress

Sigmund, Cathy Headshot

Your Instructor

Dr. Cathy Sigmund

Dr. Sigmund, PhD, CWM, CCTP, is a licensed psychologist and licensed minister (C&MA), She is passionate about integrating faith with professional practice, research and consultation. She specializes in studying and working with people of other cultures who have been victimized by violence and trauma. Dr. Sigmund is a consultant and academic instructor based in the Greater Pittsburgh area.


  • Kottler, J. A., Banu, S., & Jani, S. (2020). Handbook of refugee experience: Trauma, resilience, and recovery. San Diego, CA: Cognella. [ISBN: 978-1516526741] Parts of this book are used in the other courses in this series.

Additional readings are provided in the course.


Course Syllabus