Mercy In Action Midwifery Academic Intensive School

3-month Academic Midwifery Intensive Session


Immersion experience with room and board included. Choose Spring or Fall session. 

September 1 - November 24, 2014  

February 16-May 8, 2015

August 31-November 23, 2015

This program in an intensive, immersion 3 month academic session held in Boise, Idaho every spring and fall.  It is twenty modules worth of midwifery academics compressed into an immersion experience, with reading both before and after you attend.  This system of immersion learning works very well for women who are not working full time or raising children. Elements of guided research, lecture, demonstrations, reading, writing, and student review will all contribute to an in-depth midwifery education in a short time-frame. During this time, students complete academic foundations of midwifery knowledge to be prepared for an eventual clinical apprenticeship, with the goal of  qualifying to become a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) through the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) through the PEP process route. This program is recommended for midwifery students who do not have young children, as it involves 8-10 hour days of intensive school work for the three months. But for those who are pre-or post- children raising, it is an excellent way to immerse in the study of birth, and meet important requirements for gaining academic midwifery knowledge. It is also a real bonding time with fellow students and teachers. The only pre-requisite is being 18 years of age or older, and having finished high school or earned a GED. This is an academic course only; if you plan to be certified or licensed, you will need to find a clinical preceptor separately for an apprenticeship either before or after attending this course. 

Instructors are

Rose Penwell, CPM, LM, BSM, BS*

Ian Penwell, CPM,LM,ASM,DIM&PH **

Vicki Penwell, CPM, LM, MSM, MA***

*Rose: Certified Professional Midwife, Licensed Midwife, Bachelor of Science in Midwifery, Bachelor of Science in Sociology 

**Ian: Certified Professional Midwife, Licensed Midwife, Associate of Science in Midwifery, Diploma in International Medicine and Public Health

*** Vicki: Certified Professional Midwife, Licensed Midwife, Bachelor of Science in Midwifery, Master of Science in Midwifery, and Master of Arts in Inter-Cultural Studies.

As soon as you are accepted, you will be sent a book lists to begin the reading requirement. You can complete the reading anytime; it does not all have to be completed before attending the Intensive Academic Midwifery Session, which is held just twice per year in the spring and fall.




Midwifery Academics at a Distance:

Distance Learning can be completed in your own time frame; average is 12-18 months:

Mercy In Action also offers distance learning academics for midwifery education, which can be used to prepare for the the NARM PEP process toward becoming a Certified Professional Midwife, or for independent study regardless of where you will practice. This is something prospective midwife students or doulas can do at home in your spare time, and is a program especially beneficial to mothers with small children. You order the modules to work on as you have time, paying as you go; there is never a deadline. There are 18 modules covering the foundational academic knowledge necessary for midwifery practice, from fetal development through postpartum; normal first and then complications in each area. A quiz follows the completion of each module.  A certificate of Completion for Academic Midwifery is awarded at the successful completion of all 18 modules with a score of 80% or above.   

Optional: Upon successful completion of all 18 modules, we will give you two more modules free of charge for learning about midwifery and newborn issues in the under-developed areas of the world.

Assignments are graded, and written comments given, by Certified Professional Midwives who act as Midwife Mentors. Each month students log on to a live webinar to discuss any questions they have and interact with each other. Upon final completion of all modules, students  will have an academic foundation of midwifery knowledge to be prepared for an eventual clinical apprenticeship, with the goal of  qualifying to become a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) through the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) through the PEP process route. 

There is no pre-requisite for the distance program. This is an academic course only; if you plan to be certified or licensed, you will need to find a clinical preceptor separately for an apprenticeship. 



For a comparison of the two academic programs, go to our FAQ page:



NARM Study Retreat Or Online Course

The NARM Study Retreat is held two times per year in person, in February and August, and is available year round as an Online Study Course. This retreat or course is beneficial to take anytime in your last 3-6 months of study before taking the NARM Exam.  

The retreat is five days of focused review and practice testing to find your weak areas, taught in a retreat setting with no distractions. Or maybe you are interested in our new NARM Online Study Course; Both courses have you take over 700 practice multiple choice questions on computer (the way NARM tests you) along with Mind Maps, Brain Downloads, and Flash Cards, and both the retreat and the online course are guided by Vicki Penwell, a midwife with experience preparing literally hundreds of students to pass NARM using this proven method. While there are no guarantees, a  high percentage of students who took the retreat with Vicki have passed NARM the first time.

Click here for the NARM STUDY RETREAT



Mercy In Action International Midwifery and Disaster Preparedness Course

Training in third world midwifery best-practices following the International MotherBaby Childbirth Initiative. Cohort trainings held twice a year in the Philippines




Online Courses:

Cultural Competency and Respect in the Provision of Maternity Care. A cultural competency course is required for all student midwives and CPMs for registration or renewal. We highly recommend our course, taught by midwives who have lived and worked cross-culturally in Asia and the USA for decades. This course is good for CPM’s, CNM's and LM's and other health care workers who serve women of different ethnic or sub-culture groups in America OR who may volunteer in developing countries where maternal mortality is high and respect for women is low. The needs of women in the area of culturally sensitive and respectful care is actually a life and death matter; women of color die in childbirth and lose their babies at birth at rates much higher than white women, everywhere in the world.

Click here for more information


A word about midwifery school:

If you are studying midwifery in America, there are many routes to becoming a Midwife. If you will train direct entry to become a Certified Professional Midwife through the Portfolio Evaluation Process, you need to carefully read the NARM website, as well as any state regulations that may apply to you. At Mercy In Action we offer a-la-carte midwifery educational components, but it is your responsibility to research and find out what you need for any particular state or country's requirement. The NARM Study Retreat will be helpful to anyone, in any program, PEP or Accredited school. It is most helpful to attend the retreat anytime in your last year of study, in order to prepare for your eventual board exams.

NOTE: All our programs are stand-alone academic midwifery educational programs for those students doing the Portfolio Evaluation Process (PEP) with the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM). It is up to you to research what your state requires for midwifery education.
You can choose an apprenticeship for clinical experience anywhere you desire after completing a Mercy In Action Academic Midwifery program. It is very important before you write to us with questions that you read the full NARM website to understand all the components that go into the PEP route to becoming a CPM; academic, clinical, and skills check-0ff. If you are not from North America you are welcome to join this study course to learn academic midwifery regardless of your plans to certifiy in any particular country.


Blessings on the journey to becoming a midwife; may you find the path that is right for you.