Syllabus - Exploring Mediumship Research

Instructors: Carlos S. Alvarado, PhD & Nancy L. Zingrone, PhD

About the course:

In this course students will be given an in-depth look at mediumship research, from teh 19th century to the present.  Among the topics will be: the history of mediumship, physical and mental mediumship, the medium in popular culture, and the impact of mediumship on theory-building in parapsychology, expecially on research into survial beyond bodily death.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of the course students will be able to:

  1. Describe the history of mediumship and how mediumship is expressed in at least one other culture.

  2. Name and describe some important mediums and the individuals who investigated them.

  3. Discuss how mediumship has been portrayed in popular culture.

  4. Describe the work of the Windbridge Institute and explain how their work illustrates both quantitative research and qualitative research into mediums and mediumship.


Weekly Topics

Week 1: Introduction to Mediumship Research (Alvarado)

Week 2: Types of Mediums 1: Mental Mediumship (Zingrone)

Week 3: Types of Mediums 2: Physical Mediumship (Alvarado)

Week 4: Mediums in the Popular Culture (Zingrone)

Week 5: The Psychology of Mediums (Alvarado)

Week 6: Methodology, Training and Verification of Mediums: The Windbridge Institute Research #1: (Zingrone)

Week 7: Qualitative Investigation of the Mediumship Experience: The Windbridge Institute Research #2: (Zingrone)

Week 8: Mediums and Survival after Death (Alvarado)

Class Materials

The classroom includes a Course Materials section. In it you will find assigned readings for every week. The course textbook will be Among the Mediums: A Scientist’s Quest for Answers by Dr. Julie Beischel of the Windbridge Institute. Click the title of the book to be taken to the book page on

Suggested readings (articles, books, and blogs), YouTube videos, experiencer websites, and links to other materials will also be listed on a week-by-week basis in the Course Materials book. Suggested readings are not assigned, but are provided for those who are interested in delving more deeply into some aspect of mediumship on their own.


Discussion Forums, Assessments #1 through #8

Each week will include a discussion forum. Students will be expected to complete one post of their own responding to the week’s question, as well as respond to at least one discussion post authored by another student. Each week’s work will have a maximum of 5 points.

Quizzes, Assessments #9 and #10

At the end of Week #4, Quiz 1 will become available. At the end of Week #8, Quiz 2 will become available. Each quiz will be 15 multiple-choice items, each item worth 1 point.

Presentation-Project, Assessment #11

By the end of Week #8 students will be expected to upload a 10-minute presentation or a 10-page term paper on some topic of the student’s choosing that is related to the course content with a potential maximum of 30 points.

Assessments will contribute to the overall grade in the following proportions:

Discussion Post Assessments: 40% of the grade

Tests: 30% of the grade

Presentation-Project: 30% of the grade

Students will receive a letter grade for their overall efforts. A grading rubric will be available in the Rhine Education Center classroom, and students will be able to check their points total as they go along.