Spiritual and religious care services at Memorial Health University Medical Center are provided by a team of chaplains and volunteers who are qualified to administer sacraments and conduct worship services. Other services include emotional and spiritual support, spiritual counseling, assistance in accepting and coping with a diagnosis, assistance with end-of-life issues, ethical consultation, assistance with organ and tissue donation, crisis intervention, and clinical pastoral education.
Any time that you need assistance, ask your nurse to contact a Memorial Health chaplain, or call (912) 350-8637.
Clinical Pastoral Education
We offer a clinical pastoral education program that is accredited by the Commission for Pastoral Psychotherapy Training. Clinical pastoral education (CPE) is specialized training for people of all faiths who want to work in the ministry of hospital chaplaincy. Training is provided by a certified educator and follows a curriculum with standards and competencies set by the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy. The training includes classroom time; visiting patients, family and staff; and learning through observation, action, and reflection. Physicians, nurses, and other clinicians provide some of the training. Memorial Health's CPE program requires 15 months to complete and become a board-certified chaplain. Some interns may choose not to complete the full program, but still receive significant training and advanced skills. Full course information is explained below.
To learn more about the CPE program or apply, contact:
Reverend Rachel Greiner, M.S. MDiv, BCC, Memorial Health University Medical Center Staff Chaplain
Description of CPE Program
CPE provides theological and professional education in diverse contexts of ministry. There are professional benchmarks and expected outcomes that formulate the competency objectives. CPE outcomes and expectations cover three key areas of personal, pastoral, and professional development.
Pastoral formation focuses on matters of personal functioning, pastoral identity, and pastoral authority. Trainees give attention to the articulation of personal religious heritage and understanding of their theological journey.
Pastoral competence focuses on matters of pastoral care/counseling skill development, the ability to establish a pastoral/spiritual diagnosis (assessment), establish a pastoral bond with persons from a variety of social, cultural, and religious perspectives, and to function as a competent team member and effectively integrate theological and the behavioral sciences.
Pastoral reflection focuses on the trainee's ability to grasp and utilize the clinical method of learning for obtaining personal and educational goals, reflect upon one’s religious heritage, utilize the peer group for integration of personal and pastoral functioning, and make effective use of supervision and feedback for personal and pastoral development and functioning.
- Learn to use of the clinical process and the clinical method of learning. This includes the formulation of clinical data, the ability to receive and utilize feedback and consultation, and the ability to make creative use of supervision.
- Develop the self as a work in progress and cultivate an understanding of the self as the principal tool in pastoral care and counseling. This includes the ability to reflect and interpret one’s own life story both psychologically and theologically.
The trainee is introduced to the concept of pastoral formation. This introduction relates to the trainee’s grasp and articulation of personal religious heritage and understanding of their theological journey.
The trainee will be expected to identify and discuss their life history regarding major life events including relationships and cultural and personal identity as it is related to pastoral functioning.
The trainee will be expected to function within a group setting, giving attention to relationships and the dynamics within the group. There will be an expectation to integrate concepts of pastoral competence, and initiation of helping relationships across and within culturally diverse settings as well as within groups that are familiar.
The trainee will be expected to grasp and utilize the clinical method of learning for obtaining personal and educational goals. These goals will assist and guide the trainee's journey.
- Demonstrate the ability to establish a pastoral bond with persons and groups in various life situations and crisis circumstances.
- Demonstrate the ability to provide a critical analysis of one’s own religious tradition.
- Demonstrate the ability to communicate and engage in ministry with persons across cultural boundaries.
- Demonstrate the ability to utilize individual supervision for personal and professional growth and for developing the capacity to evaluate one’s ministry.
Pastoral formation continues with further clarification of the pastoral role, the ability and heart of a “true shepherd of souls.” Key focus will be around clarifying and articulating a theology of call, which integrates pastoral identity and authority.
Trainees are encouraged to provide ministry to diverse groups from various cultures and ethnicities. The trainee will be introduced to “family systems theory” as a way to conceptualize ministry to various groups of people and to better understand family-of-origin issues that surface in the practice of ministry. Along with this concept is the introduction of “parallel process.” Through reading and research of this concept, the trainee will seek ways to incorporate congruence between issues surfacing while engaged in pastoral care and issues that surface while in the CPE program. Trainees will also focus on ministry in crisis situations.
The trainee will continue the collaboration with peers and other professionals. The introduction of theological reflection will assist the trainee in putting his or her theology into perspective asking the question, “How does my theology affect others?” Trainees in their second unit are encouraged to focus on specific assignments and recommended readings.
- Demonstrate basic care and counseling skills including listening, empathy, reflection, analysis of problems, conflict resolution, theological reflection, and the demonstration of a critical eye to examine and evaluate human behavior and religious symbols for their meaning and significance.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the dynamics of group behavior and the variety of group experiences, and utilize the support, confrontation, and clarification of the peer group for the integration of personal attributes and pastoral functioning.
- Demonstrate the ability to work as a pastoral member of an interdisciplinary team.
- Demonstrate the ability to make effective use of the behavioral sciences in pastoral ministry.
Trainees focus on the ability to articulate strengths and weaknesses both personally and professionally as a means to gain an understanding of personal wounds to enhance ministry practice. The trainee is exposed to basic pastoral counseling issues and techniques including transference and countertransference. These definitions, along with reading and research, assist the trainee with counseling concepts with a mind toward boundaries and limitations in ministry practice.
The emphasis for unit three consists of the trainee’s grasp of the pastoral role in professional relationships and how to function effectively as a pastoral member of a multidisciplinary team. The trainee will demonstrate pastoral skills including listening, empathic reflection, conflict resolution, and crisis management with appropriate use of religious and spiritual resources, including awareness of religious symbolism.
The trainee demonstrates the ability to self-supervise through realistic pastoral practice. This entails recognizing issues that surface in verbatim reports and other pastoral care functions, and offering a sense of self-evaluation that is meaningful to adult learning and personal growth. The trainee will also develop a growing awareness and articulation of group dynamics to assist personal and professional development.
- Demonstrate the ability to make a pastoral diagnosis with special reference to the nature and quality of religious values.
- Demonstrate increasing leadership ability and personal authority.
- Demonstrate familiarity with the basic literature of the field: clinical, behavioral, and theological.
The trainee will show awareness of pastoral leadership and authority and demonstrate an understanding of it while engaged with the CPE peer group.
Demonstrate a clear understanding of pastoral diagnosis/spiritual assessment and the importance of incorporating this concept into ministry practice. The trainee will prepare a bibliography of clinical, behavioral, and theological materials that will serve as a resource for ministry practice.
The trainee will communicate a clear understanding of the nature and quality of religious values. The trainee will research and prepare a presentation for the supervisor and peer group about a project related to ministry training.