Empowering Compassionate Care: Christian Science Nursing Education at Arden Wood

Arden Wood provides a comfortable place for Christian Science nurses to live in a residential community devoted to healing and spiritual growth through skillful nursing care and training, inspired living and Christly service. Residents enjoy comfortable apartments, nutritious meals and snacks, weekly housekeeping services, lovely gardens and woodland pathways, fully-equipped libraries, metaphysical talks, Bible classes, hymn sings, and more. They have the freedom to delve deeper into the study of Christian Science unencumbered by daily activities and interruptions.

As a Christian Science nursing home, we accept Medicare and other insurance and provide financial assistance or benevolence grants to help patients who can’t afford full rates. In addition, residents can receive the Christian Science treatment administered by a qualified practitioner at their request.

Christian Science nurses are not nurses in the traditional medical sense of the word, but are practitioners of spiritual healing using the teachings and practice of Mary Baker Eddy as their guide. They do not treat physical ailments or disease, but rather use the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy to support the spiritual sense of each patient’s condition. This spiritual approach to nursing is unique in the world, and it is a vital component of the Church of Christ Scientist’s ministry of healing.

Like all CSNFs, Christian Science nursing education at Arden Wood to provide care to residents and guests. Often, these CSNs are foreign nationals who must be issued visas in order to work for a CSNF. In 1990, Congress created R-1 nonimmigrant classifications for religious workers and I-360 special immigrant visas for Christian Science nurses. These new categories have enabled CSNFs to hire foreign national CSNs and to bring them into the United States to work as Christian Science nurses.

In this case, plaintiffs Arden Wood, Tenacre Foundation and the Association of Organizations for Christian Science Nursing “AOCSN” allege that defendants CIS has denied their CSN applicants employment-based visas in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act and the First and Fifth Amendments to the United States Constitution. The complaint seeks declaratory and injunctive relief against defendants CIS, the Administrative Appeals Office and the Department of Homeland Security.

In early 2007 the PC asked several Christian Science nurses who were also volunteer Board members of the AOCSN to take over production of Vision Now!, the newsletter that had previously been published in conjunction with the biennial International Christian Science Nursing Conference. In March of that year, the Board wrote By-laws and incorporated as the Christian Science Nursing Communication Network, Inc. CSNCN. In December, the Internal Revenue Service granted CSNCN provisional tax-exempt status.