Center for Bioethics Certificate Program
Center for Bioethics Certificate Program

The Children's Mercy Center for Bioethics offers the only pediatric bioethics certificate program in the world. Students will become knowledgeable in pediatric bioethical issues such as the role of ethics committees, ethics consultations, futility and moral distress, end-of-life decisions, research ethics, and much more. View our brochure for information on our program and the location of our students across the globe. The syllabus for 2016-2017 can be viewed here; please note there may be syllabus changes for future years.

See a global map of where our student come from (pdf).

You can also read about the experiences alumni have had in the certificate program.

Program Highlights

The nine-month course begins and ends with an intensive three-day session in Kansas City, in September and May. For the rest of the year, students and faculty discuss assigned readings primarily via an online discussion board and attend periodic webinars. The program uses the online learning management system CourseSites and the webinar program WebEx. Technology requirements include access to a computer with high speed internet access, webcam and audio capabilities to be involved in webinars. 

Download the Program Booklet

2018-2019 Important Dates

Opening Session will be held September 13-15, 2018 at Children's Mercy Kansas City in Kansas City, Mo. Sessions are generally held from 1 p.m. on Thursday until 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Closing Session will be held over three days in May 2019 at Children's Mercy Kansas City in Kansas City, Mo.

There are several weeks off through the year including one week in the fall, three weeks in the winter and one week in the spring.

Applying for Course

Now accepting applications for 2018-2019. Our application deadline for 2018-2019 is December 15, 2017. Tuition for 2018-2019 is $10,000 for the nine-month interdisciplinary program. Applicants must cover travel expenses to Kansas City for the opening and closing sessions in September 2018 and May 2019 and the cost of books. For more information, e-mail Vanessa Watkins or contact

Certificate Application

Nursing Leadership Program

The Nursing Leadership Program is designed to identify nurses who are recognized leaders and who want further training in pediatric bioethics. If selected, two nurses (per program year) will receive: 

  • 50% discount on Certificate Program tuition 
  • $3,000/year for two subsequent years to develop or enhance nursing ethics in their home institution 
  • Ongoing mentoring by Certificate Program faculty and nursing leaders 

Students must be also accepted into the Certificate Program to be considered for this competitive program. Our application deadline for 2018-2019 is December 15, 2017. For more information or to apply, e-mail Angie Knackstedt or contact

Scholarships for Clinicians in Developing Countries

We have a limited number of scholarships for students in developing countries. In addition to sending in the program application and CV, scholarship applicants should send in two letters of recommendation and a one-page essay describing their interest in pediatric bioethics. Our application deadline for 2018-2019 is December 15, 2017. For more information, e-mail Vanessa Watkins or contact

Scholarship Information

Scholarship Application

About Kansas City

Kansas City is a vibrant metropolitan area. The Children's Mercy Bioethics Center is located in the Crown Center District and is connected to two adjacent hotels – the Crown Center Westin and the Sheraton Kansas City at Crown Center. Children's Mercy Hospital offers a discounted rate for our students to both hotels.

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