Religion, Spirituality and Aging Award

The Religion, Spirituality and Aging Award recognizes outstanding individuals, programs and services in religion, spirituality and aging, in an effort to inspire more spiritual exploration in the aging services field. Nominees should be a member of both ASA and FORSA, and they will be evaluated on how long they’ve worked in the field, what contributions they have made to the religious and spiritual needs of older adults in the areas of health, research, education, policy planning, advocacy or congregational activity.

Nominees should be leaders in the field of religion, spirituality and aging, and be able to demonstrate effectiveness in meeting religious and spiritual care needs of elders. Their work should have had an impact locally, state-wide and nationally—even internationally—and they should have spent time passing on their knowledge.

The winner will be featured in the Aging in America Conference program book and in AgeBlog as well as on this page. The award is typically presented during the FORSA program at the ASA annual conference.

The deadline to submit a nomination has passed. Please revisit this page in May 2020.


2019 Religion, Spirituality and Aging Award Winner

Marita Grudzen

Marita Grudzen has been a strong supporter of chaplains in the medical system and a mentor to many in the field of spirituality and aging. Grudzen is the retired deputy director of the Stanford Geriatric Education Center and has been course coordinator at Stanford’s Center for Education and Research in Family and Community Medicine. She received a Templeton Award for the medical school curriculum, “Spirituality and Meaning in Medicine,” and has made a career of writing and mentoring faculty trainees in Ethnogeriatrics and Spirituality in End-of-Life care. An ASA member for many years, she has presented at multiple Aging in America conferences, on topics such as cultural competency in end-of-life care. She also was co-founder of the Center for Aging and Spirituality in Cupertino, California, and is involved in the interfaith program “Path to Peace Kenya.”