Pastoral Report Articles 

  • 21 Oct 2014 9:53 AM | Perry Miller, Editor (Administrator)

    The Fall 2014 National Clinical Training Seminar-East will be held November 10-11, starting at 9:00 a.m., with Registration/Continental Breakfast.

    The theme for the event is Reflecting on Group Process with the following presenters: Drs. Howard Friedman, Jennifer Lee and Frank Marrocco.


    The venue for the NCTS-East is the The Loyola House of Retreats located at 161 James Street, Morristown, NJ 07960. 

    Francine Hernandez
    NCTS-East Coordinator

  • 15 Oct 2014 9:59 AM | Perry Miller, Editor (Administrator)

    If you have not already noticed, CPSP can be found on a number of the popular social media networks. This development is through the efforts of Krista Argiropolis, CPSP's Administrative Coordinator.

    The beautify of this expansion means that those who contribute articles to the Pastoral Report for publication will find their writing available via many web sources and will be more likely picked up, read and linked far beyond its original PR publication.

    Krista, seen in the photo with her son, Kristopher, with the White House as a backdrop, provided the following descriptions and links to these social media sights:

    CPSP has a new page, which is more dynamic and has features that were missing from the former group page, such as an Events page. Click HERE to visit us on Facebook.

    You can now follow us on Twitter, @CPSP_tweets, or click
     HERE to go to our Twitter page.

    As a professional community, we are now on LinkedIn, and you can follow our page by clicking

    Google+ Community: 
    Join our Google+ Community, as we share interests and updates. Click
     HERE to join.

    Pastoral Report remains the main source for news and information about CPSP, but the social media pages will provide another avenue for those who wish to share ideas and experiences, even on their mobile devices, while staying connected to CPSP events and initiatives.

    In addition, Krista Argiropolis has provided leadership to insure CPSP remains current in the use of the most recent technology. This includes discovering the software, Wild Apricot that has streamlined many functions in CPSP web presence, including documents that can be completed online and returned with ease, the CPSP Directory, etc. She also insured CPSP remains green by running an essentially paperless office.

    -Perry Miller, Editor

    Krista Argiropolis
    Administrative Coordinator
    (212) 246.6410

  • 01 Oct 2014 10:04 AM | Perry Miller, Editor (Administrator)

    Author's Note: Artistic liberties were taken by intertwining fact with fiction to create a relatable story although based on facts from The ACPE History Network’s website presentation of: "The Biography of Anton Theophilus Boisen".

    Location: Boston Psychiatric and Westboro State Hospitals
    Years: 1920-1923

    It’s been a while since I’ve seen my friend, Anton. We have been the right hand for the other since we attended Union Seminary together and I am most anxious to sit with my friend after such a lengthy absence. He is in Boston Psychiatric Hospital and all I know for certain is that he has summoned me.

    The air is crisp today even though the sun shines brightly. I am anxious to see my friend. I long for a good, long, intellectual delving into a topic or two. The sound of my shoes’ stacked leather heels echo through the empty green-walled corridors. The blinding sunlight floods through the wall of windows lining the hallway leading to the sunroom, at its end, where I am told I will find Anton. I notice how perfectly polished the asbestos tiles of gray are; most likely what is accentuating my every step.

    Anton, I find, is sitting in a large wooden chair with equally large wheels. He is dressed in a crisply ironed white cotton sleeping suite and a red plaid woolen robe. His leather slippers seem a bit too large for his withering frame. I am unnerved by what I see.

    Fred: Placing a hand gently on his shoulder, Fred announces, “Anton, I am here, my friend.” However, Anton sits, motionless, starring out at the uniformed nurses wheeling patients out onto the gardens below. He does not focus on anything in particular; he is simply starring.

    My hand remains on his shoulder. There is not a flicker of recognition. I look for a chair to pull up beside him. I am so longing to tell him everything that has happened since he left the university and how my continued research has gone in his absence. Seated, now, with my back to the window and facing Anton, I speak with enthusiasm, hoping to snap my friend out of his sullenness.

    Fred: “I’ve continued on with our research project but it’s nearly impossible to make the impressive headway that you and I make as a team. I will be delighted to have you back ole’ chap!”

    Still, nothing. Not a blink, a flicker, a movement of an eye. My determination heightens as does my concern.

    Fred: “Professor William Lowe Bryon sends his regards. I spoke with Laird and Bartley earlier this week and told them I was making the trip to Boston. They inquired of you, as well.

    I stopped by Morrisette’s for some of your favorites; pralines! Lyna Morrisette made these herself and when I told her these were for Anton Boisen she included an extra one and boxed them herself!”

    I leaned forward, my arm outstretched, in an effort to inspire my friend to divert his gaze onto the cheerfully, skillfully, wrapped Morrisette Sweete Shoppe box. But he did not. I had seen Anton sad, certainly. I had seen him angry and morose, ecstatic over a research conundrum solved and pleased beyond measure with a string of smaller successes over the years. However, to see my friend so completely void of all emotion and interest has disarmed me; I have no response. I want to grab hold of his shoulders and shout to him to “snap out of it” but I catch myself and think better of it.

    Ours was a life of deeply inspired research, classes in universities and a constant ebb and flow of a student population lingering on every word proceeding from our lips.

    Today’s Anton was staring in a deeply disturbing silence. He refuses to speak and I leave the room to search out the physician in charge of his care. He shares that Anton has been diagnosed with “Catatonic Schizophrenia” which he explained at some length. Troubled, and fearing for my dearest friend I wondered if he would ever be able to leave here…to lead a normal life…ever again. My heart was heavy.

    I slowly reentered Anton’s room. He remained silent. I am deeply disturbed. Anton is both here and not here. Again, I take my seat. I stay a while longer. Anton’s purpose for summoning my presence will be a mystery for today. I shall return in a few weeks. Perhaps then he will remember. Hopefully, then, he will tell me.

    I make several more visits in the coming months. I walk down the same well-lit corridors toward the solarium or sometimes into his room where the white painted metal hospital furniture and the scent of crisp white linens fill my senses only to remind me that my best friend is too ill to speak to me and may never speak again.

    Always, I bring messages from home, little tokens from acquaintances and always- cheerful dialogue in hopes that today will be different from all our previous visits. I do not cling to illusions of grandeur but I do refuse to give up on Anton. He deserves my devotion. His brilliant mind is a rare and precious gift and there is much to be learned from him. On his birthday, October 28th, I visit Anton with the same agenda in mind.

    He is there, in his room, silently sitting at an empty metal writing table. His hands are clasped and resting on its cold surface. There are no books, no paper, no envelopes, writing pens or blotters. There is nothing. Why is he sitting there, I wonder? I’ve never found him there before.

    Fred: “Hello, ole’ chap! It’s good to see you up, sitting at your desk! Would you like for me to provide you with some writing utensils and supplies?”

    The silences are always awkward for me and I’ve learned to press on.

    Fred: “I happened to see Alice Batchelder at the library this week and she sends her regards. She seemed most concerned for you…”

    My voice trailed off as I realized Anton, for the first time, had averted his stare and was now looking at me, full on. Had I said something wrong? Had I offended?

    Fred: “My friend, please talk to me. Tell me what troubles you, so.” I said, leaning in to him.

    After a long pause, Anton tries to explain but I am confused. He is not himself. His voice has a dry, parched, tone. I wonder if this is the very first time he has spoken in months. His speech is slow and cautious. He has a childlike innocence, his eyes are moist and I sense that I, inadvertently through mentioning the very name of Alice, have hit a disquieting nerve.

    Anton: “They… quote the Holy Scriptures to me. They…tell me…that it is not God’s will that…Alice…accepts my proposal of marriage…or…that my father live a long and …healthy life.”

    Fred, “Who, my friend, who?”

    Tears fill Anton’s eyes to overflowing as his pent-up grief spills down from his eyes, trickling down his cheeks and dropping onto his robe. I reach for my handkerchief but do not want to interrupt him. My heart is beating wildly and my ears are ringing.

    Anton stands, running his hands through his hair and wiping the tears from his face he begins to pace slowly alongside his bed as I watch intently. He lifts his hand through the air, saying,

    Anton: “With just a wave of their hand, the physicians dismiss the most important elements of my life. They wish for me to believe that I am, simply, consumed by a most profound and unmistakable madness. I am not to be understood!”

    He has ceased to be tearful and has worked his way over to the metal desk where upon he leans toward me and with every bit the determination I once revered, he looked at me, full on and said,

    Anton: “I must make them see that the… the… things that allow me to be… understood…to be validated…are the things that will help me to heal. Nothing more. Nothing less.”

    I studied his face. I knew that he had made a discovery of a sort but I wasn’t at all sure what he meant. I had every confidence, however, that he would reveal his discovery to me and I knew that we would shed light on this together. Anton’s maternal family was among the founders of Indiana University. His brilliance was inherited, for certain.

    My elation, however, was not in the thrill of a new project with Anton but, rather, I realized I had my best friend back, again.

    I realized, as well, that Anton was fully aware of one surety; if there existed a human being on the face of the earth who would make a full- fledged attempt to truly understand him, it would be I, his most devoted friend and colleague.

    And, so it was, the coming years were spent in our pouring through existing research materials, studying Anton’s experiences in both Boston Psychiatric and Westboro State Hospitals and reading endless Seminary and psychiatric texts in an effort to understand how both Psychiatrists and Pastoral leaders were taught to minister to the sick and the emotionally impaired.

    It became increasingly clear to Anton that while each had their useful qualities, neither the Psychiatrist or the Pastor had the training to give him all of what he truly needed; understanding through a person who truly “listened to his pain” so that he could begin to finally heal. The missing puzzle piece that kept him locked up in his catatonic misery for so many years was his frustration over the elements in his life that brought him tremendous pain.

    I am so honored to have assisted my best friend, Anton Boisen, as he created a program where learning occurred not through the reading of endless books and materials but rather through the study of the “living human document” and to focus attention upon those who are grappling with the issues of spiritual life and death. He chronicled his discovery in 1944.

    Through Anton’s brilliant leadership and research he founded the Clinical Pastoral Education program and worked tirelessly in this field until his passing on October 2nd, 1965. Throughout his 88 years, his contributions to the wellness of generations the world over will continue for ages to come. The existence of the Clinical Chaplain grew exponentially in the 40 years following the institution of his C.P.E. program for which his pioneering efforts were directly responsible. His entire life was dedicated to the study of the living human document and I was deeply honored to have been a part of his remarkable journey.

    Peggy Hardinge, a second unit CPE Intern at Meritus Medical Center, Hagerstown, Maryland that is directed by David Baker, Ph.D. She is active in community theatre with over 50 plays to her credit. In addition, Peggy works as the First Surgical Assistant in the Meritus Medical Center Operating Room.


  • 24 Sep 2014 11:00 AM | Perry Miller, Editor (Administrator)

    At the opening session of this year’s AK Rice Institute (AKRI) International Residential Group Relations Conference I found myself sitting in a large meeting room with 40 other participants. We were arranged neatly in rows and gazed expectantly at the nine consultants who sat facing us in a straight line at the front of the room. 

    At precisely the appointed time the director of the conference stood up, went to the podium and talked to us for 20 minutes about the boundaries, authority, roles and tasks of the conference. He talked about how AK Rice conferences had evolved from the work at the Tavistock Clinic in the United Kingdom. His tone was imperious and unemotional. His description was so nebulous that I understood little of what was said and what the conference was actually about. The leader then sat down with the rest of the consultants who looked silently and vacantly at the participants. 

    I had no idea what we were supposed to do next. The participants proceeded to ask questions that either were not answered by the consultants or were responded to in very nonspecific terms. We had 20 more minutes before the opening meeting was scheduled to end. Silence and growing confusion filled the room. The tension became almost palpable. 

    Suddenly, one of the participants stood up and said, “Let’s pick up our chairs, make a big circle and get to know each other.” Pandemonium ensued as the room burst into action. Chairs were noisily shuffled and dragged across the room. Within minutes we were looking at each other in one large circle. I felt proud that we, as participants, had taken some ownership of the conference and were exerting direct responsibility for joining together as a cohesive group. If the consultants were not going to give us specific direction, then we had to take the authority. 

    Or so I thought at that moment. It was only after the conference that I read in Tavistock Primer II, “[M]embers frequently attempt to change the seating arrangement set up by the consulting staff in an attempt to flee from the anxiety the Large Group experience creates in them and to express their fury at the staff for putting them in such a situation” (Hayden and Molenkamp 2003). This type of revelation would be a common theme as I processed what occurred at conference. In the large and small group meetings I firmly believed that my actions and the actions of the group were rational and conscious, only to find later that a common unconscious force was leading us forward or, on occasion, backwards.

    If anything, the Tavistock method is designed to maximize the occurrence of unconscious processes, projections and transferences. While the boundaries, authority, roles and tasks of the conference are clearly spelled out, there are no effective rules or rituals to constrain how a participant acts or reacts. When I was a middle manager in corporate America I knew the rules for when to voice my ideas and when to suppress them. I knew I should never act out in front of my boss or openly express unpleasant feelings. The penalties for such actions could be dismissal, missing a promotion or losing my bonus. At AK Rice the only rule, in the director’s words, was “Don’t break the law.” 

    With no effective restraints, all the issues that I had repressed as a manager came pouring out in an uncontrollable torrent. As the conference materials state, “Participants typically experience some difficulty as they explore issues of authority, responsibility, boundaries, … projection, organizational structure, and large-group phenomena. … Group members inevitably project on the staff their fantasies, fears, and doubts about authority and power” ( 

    Projections flew like knives around the meeting rooms at the conference and I and several other participants experienced high levels of anxiety. Grown men and women acted out like frustrated adolescents. Towards the end of the conference and in the days immediately thereafter I endured several emotional, if not traumatic, moments that brought me to harsh and startling personal revelations.

    As a Chaplain Intern in a hospital CPE program, my attendance at the AK Rice Conference has proved to be a critical turning point. Before the conference I could hear only one “conversation” within a patient’s room. During a case study seminar, with the help of my supervisor and cohort, I might be led to understand some of the additional unconscious material in that conversation. After AK Rice, the patient’s room is now a symphony (cacophony?) of projections, transferences and possibilities. The cues and clues are almost overwhelming. It is as if the real work of chaplaincy has just now begun.

    Bill Sewall spent 40 years in corporate America in the roles of General Counsel, Chief Technology Officer, and Information Security Officer. Upon retiring in 2013, he spent two months walking El Camino de Santiago, the medieval pilgrimage route across Spain. He is a graduate of the Chaplaincy Institute in Berkeley, California and will be ordained as an Interfaith minister later this month. He is currently the Palliative Care Chaplain Intern at Kaiser-Permanente Medical Center in Vallejo, California, and finishing up his third unit of CPE.

  • 15 Sep 2014 11:03 AM | Perry Miller, Editor (Administrator)

    How do you grow a spirited organization from 15 experienced, audacious, and enthusiastic pastoral professionals who come from the same culture, to an international ministry of qualified certification and accreditation serving over 1100 pastoral care professionals who represent a broad range of cultures, countries, races, ages, genders, sexual orientations and religious traditions? Certainly not by majority vote.
    In his article included in this issue of the Pastoral Report, Ed Outlaw himself affirms that this phenomenal growth and development has indeed been the journey of the CPSP in the past 25 years.  However, he does not recognize that the answer to the question above includes credit to our consensus model of decision making.  The emphasis on consensus has allowed for great diversity of opinion without necessarily dividing the body or excluding the growth of participants.  Outlaw claims to represent people who do not like those who promote consensus or the decisions that have come out of consensus; the promotion of majority voting is seen as a way to obtain a different outcome, not an ethically superior process. Since Outlaw himself has regularly participated in consensus governance in the CPSP for decades, he well knows that he is being misleading when he contends that the CPSP has no representative form of governance and that only a few people are in charge of the CPSP and its mission.

    When Outlaw requested that his comments be published in the Pastoral Report, he demanded that they not be edited or abridged in any way. In this case, our community deserves to critically evaluate his assertions as he presents them, without any editing, knowing that the Leadership Team of the CPSP takes issue with his statements. Although Outlaw did not refer to him by name, George Hull was the author of the article Outlaw criticized.  Hull was entirely correct in stressing that "Removing consensus decision making would radically change the very nature of who we are in CPSP." 

    Consensus is not in opposition to democracy or good order. Consensus operates on a different plane and seeks decisions based on a full expression of opinion and differences, and the determination to then entertain the needs of one another, not one side versus another. Openly, and often with deliberate patience, our representative process of consensus achieves the decisions for our organization, whether at the level of the local Chapter, the Governing Council, or the Leadership Team. The issue for Outlaw is that he wants results that differ from what has emerged from consensus. He says nothing about concern for what is important to those with whom he disagrees, which makes his exaltation of Robert’s Rules of Order especially disturbing. By definition, the use of RRO presumes an oppositional process in which one side, the majority, has the right to rule the other. One provision of RRO even calls for a voice vote in what is called a “motion to divide the house”, a notion and procedure that are anathema to the spirit of the CPSP.

    Several of us on the Leadership Team have been committed to the CPSP since 1989-1990, in part because of the brilliance and mature value of consensus decision making, and we have experienced the same history that Outlaw has experienced. There is no claim to perfection in the CPSP, nor does the consensus model promise perfect outcomes. But consensus makes room for the extraordinary growth and variety of persons and ministries in the CPSP that reflect differing and expanding opinions and visions about the needs of God’s people. That is the very growth in outreach, clinical integrity, and personal commitment that we seek in the future. Yes, the future of the CPSP is not jeopardized by consensus but will rely on continued use and increasing appreciation of consensus, no matter what forms of distraction and obfuscation Outlaw attempts; his premises are simply wrong.
    Consensus brings with it the conviction that we are all on the same journey both during and after decisions are made. Consensus leaves little room for persons to be destructively oppositional, while requiring each of us to tolerate a few ambiguities. Consensus can be a little unsettling at times, but whatever may be unresolved in any moment is not a cause for dissension but an opportunity for more creative engagement. 25 years ago, the CPSP was an experiment in community building, as well as a new model for the certification of qualified clinical pastoral professionals and the accreditation of their training of others. That experiment has thrived because of a decision to implement consensus as a path to the greater good of all of us. To that we must continue to aspire.

    William Scar, CPSP Diplomate
    For the CPSP Leadership Team

    William Scar, CPSP Diplomate

  • 14 Sep 2014 11:08 AM | Perry Miller, Editor (Administrator)

    My friend, who is an attorney, reviewed the decision making process of “consensus versus majority vote” and wrote the following “adopting voting up or down by conveners of CPSP following Robert’s Rules of Order is practicing democracy. Voting works. Voting honors each convener’s opinion, each vote counts. Voting objectively gives direction to the organization and officers. Voting avoids many of the troubling, serious difficulties CPSP has been and is currently having. Voting is the American way”.

    Raymond Lawrence and the initial founders of CPSP adopted a so-called “consensus method of decision making” for the organization in its infancy. In the recently published Pastoral Report, attempts were made to justify continued use of this non-democratic decision-making process. The author, in defending “Consensus Decision Making: CPSP History and Tradition,” claims, in so many words, that conveners would be failing to live by the covenant if we adopted democratic vote by majority rule. This writer suggests that as “spiritual pilgrims” we promise not to be “predatory” to each other. Our Covenant does not leave room to “attack or diminish one of opposing points of view” whether by consensus or majority vote. (See article)

    Incidentally, the statement from the nominating committee to the conveners was a suggestion supported by some, but not all of the committee. I claim ownership as I have strong feelings about the issue, as this article will indicate. I have since resigned from the committee both for health reasons and to enable the committee to function in its nominating process uncompromised by a division that I sensed might develop.

    A discussion process of working through points of view, respecting and considering variations of possible solutions, ending in each convener voting his conscious is what living by the covenant is all about. Certainly, when conveners conduct themselves with professional collegiality and respect, the results of a majority vote can give the needed positive direction sought by the organization. This is not “winning or losing”; voting is essentially clarification and validation of mission. If done in the spirit of “addressing one another in a truly theological sense” and being “mutually responsible to one another”, voting does not lead to conflict.

    Given the growth, diversity and sophistication of CPSP members, it seems more plausible at this stage that CPSP’s “consensus decision making” is indefinite, undefined, and unstructured. This unaccountable process is more likely to lead to confusion, misunderstandings and misdirection for the officers and staff, in short, unnecessary potential conflict. Confusion and frustration for members of any organization occurs when mission action or inaction is the subjective judgment of one or a few individuals.

    When CPSP was smaller, composed of 20-30 chapters, the conveners (I was one of them) had time for a few people to speak and the rest remained silent in agreement or acquiescence. Today CPSP is different with over one hundred twenty-five chapters. Even if only a simple majority is present or represented, the only way for every person to be heard, though it may be silent, is through a vote. They can exercise their franchise and vote. 

    Although CPSP is not structured or ruled by the Constitution of the United States, our size and mission would be most effectively determined by the American model that honors individual input. For an organization of one hundred twenty-five chapters it is to believe in a myth to think every voice is heard and considered by a moderator. In truth, a moderator’s discretion wields the essential power of the organizational direction.

    As a matter of fact, in “consensus decision making” many voices are not heard. It is only those who are vocal and choose to promote or block the action proposed by someone in the body of decision makers. Under the rules of consensus, one person, for very personal or highly moral and/or philosophical reasons can stop the progress and shut down a proposal if that person chooses not to stand aside with their objections. In that case, only one voice really makes the difference, no matter what other voices speak. If nobody objects it does not mean consensus. A Wikipedia article this writer researched stated that often consensus is reached not by agreement, but by intimidation by the body or the presenter. Nevertheless, it would be reported by the presiding officer that there was consensus and the false assumption would be unanimity.

    Robert’s Rules of Order, or a modification, allows for expeditious decision making while providing for input from as many as choose to speak until the body votes to close debate. After a motion is made and a second is given, the floor is OPEN for DISCUSSION until some action is taken. There is no unproductive talking about something because once there is a motion and second, there has to be a follow up action by the body. It may be an up or down vote, postponement, amendment, or be delayed by being tabled.

    To reiterate, if we are “spiritual pilgrims, not predatory, and addressing one another in a truly theological sense”, such a process will not be destructive, nor unproductive. 

    In like manner, in an election we choose the person we believe will best serve, rather than resort to cronyism or favoritism, as is the case in our present appointive system. A nominating committee has the freedom to select from the whole body and vet the nominees for suitableness for the office or position. Professional colleagues with high regard for one another can do this amicably and collegially.

    Nostalgia has a way of fogging memories. The wonderful spirit of utopia described by the author of the referenced article is not the reality this writer remembers. “I was there” as a convener, attending many meetings of the Governing Council, when it was very uncomfortable as colleagues shouted and finally with enough intimidation the group moved forward with supposed consensus that was more present in the announcement than in reality.

    Let’s recognize the changes in CPSP and move forward into the future. We began twenty-five years ago with fifteen very dissatisfied and disillusioned ACPE and AAPC Caucasian pastoral educators in pastoral care and pastoral psychotherapy certified as Diplomates, located in North Carolina and environs.

    We are now more than eleven hundred African, African American, Asian, European, Caribbean, American Caucasian, Native American, East Indian and Middle Eastern pastoral care givers in multiple institutions, pastoral counselors, local church ministers, pastoral educators in pastoral care, counseling, and psychotherapy, some of whom do not even know our history in the struggle with ACPE.

    We are certified as clinically trained ministers, Board Certified Chaplains with a Specialty in Hospice and Palliative Care, Board Certified Clinical Chaplains in various religious and secular institutions, Board Certified Pastoral Counselors, and Diplomates in Clinical Pastoral Education and Pastoral Psychotherapy. Let’s not let nostalgia, as comfortable as it is, get in the way of a new day in CPSP.

    Ed Outlaw, D. Min.

  • 07 Sep 2014 1:59 PM | Perry Miller, Editor (Administrator)

    Boston Globe Magazine editor asked William Alberts, a CPSP Diplomate, to write an article for The Boston Globe's commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the desegregation of Boston's public schools.

    William Alberts writes in his article published in the Boston publication: Comparing Boston 40 years ago to Ferguson, Missouri, today reveals that an entrenched, white-controlled hierarchy of access to political, economic, and legal power still exists in the United States. Today, as then, the aim of many in power is not to resolve these inequities, but to simply regulate them. If “equality and justice for all” are ever to be fully realized as well as racial peace and harmony we have to do much better.

    He continues: Comparing Boston 40 years ago to Ferguson, Missouri, today reveals that an entrenched, white-controlled hierarchy of access to political, economic, and legal power still exists in the United States. Today, as then, the aim of many in power is not to resolve these inequities, but to simply regulate them. If “equality and justice for all” are ever to be fully realized as well as racial peace and harmony we have to do much better.

    To read the full article, click here.

    Bill Alberts is a CPSP diplomate and a member of the Dover, New Hampshire Chapter. He was a hospital chaplain at Boston Medical Center for over 18 years, retiring in 2011, and now covers on occasion as a chaplain consultant. His book, A Hospital Chaplain at the Crossroads of Humanity, based on his work at BMC, is available on His new book, called The Counterpunching Minister (who couldn’t be “preyed” away) is a collection of 56 of his articles in Counterpunch-- its publication planned for this fall. His e-mail address is:

  • 29 Aug 2014 2:06 PM | Perry Miller, Editor (Administrator)

    National Clinical Training Seminar - South will be held at the Simpsonwood Retreat Center, Atlanta, Georgia.


    NCTS-South will convene Monday, October 27, 2014 with registration at 9:00 a.m. The conference will convene at 10:00 a.m. and end on Tuesday, October 28, at 12:30 p.m.

    Prior to the actual start of the event, on Sunday evening, October 26, between 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. there will be a Meet and Greet especially for those interested in learning about the CPSP community and its opportunities.

    The Keynote speaker will be The Reverend Doctor Francine Hernandez. Doctor Hernandez is a CPSP Diplomate, Clinical Chaplain, Pastoral Counselor, former CPSP President, and directs the CPE training center at Episcopal Health Services, Hopewell, NJ.

    As always with CPSP National Clinical Training Seminars held in different parts of the country, the central focus and activity will be the presentation of clinical material in small groups using a psychodynamic process model for reflection and engagement. All participants are to be prepared to present clinical material.

    This event is open to: Diplomates, Clinical Pastoral Education Supervisors, Psychotherapists, Pastoral Counselors, Chaplains and all others who have an interest in counseling, chaplaincy and clinical focused ministry.

    Continuing Education Credits will be provided  CPSP members, LPCs, LMFTs, LCSWs.

    Leadership for the conference includes: Dr. Francine Hernandez, Dr. David Moss, Bob Griffin and Bryan Jones.

    DOWNLOAD NCTS South Flyer



    For other information contact:  
    Bob Griffin

  • 14 Aug 2014 2:11 PM | Perry Miller, Editor (Administrator)

    PRNEWAWIRE.COM recently published an article written by Jim Siegel entitled, "Leaders of the 6 U.S. Professional Healthcare Chaplaincy Organizations Hold Unprecedented Meeting to Advance the Integration of Spiritual Care within Healthcare".

    Siegel characterizes the gathering as “A welcomed beginning of a broadening conversation” was the theme of a recent meeting hosted by HealthCare Chaplaincy Network in New York City, which brought together leaders of the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Association of Professional Chaplains, College of Pastoral Supervision & Psychotherapy, National Association of Catholic Chaplains, and NESHAMA: Association of Jewish Chaplains.

    The six leaders affirmed their commitment to collaborate to expand the reach of professional chaplaincy and therefore serve more people in need of spiritual care.

    ACPE's Executive Director, Trace Hawthorn, is quoted: “Our field has matured to a place where we can move from focusing solely on what’s happening within our individual organizations to a more global approach to advocacy on behalf of chaplaincy in general, to work to advance quality spiritual care wherever our members serve.”

    CPSP's George Hankins-Hull further captures the spirit of collegiality and collaboration: "As important as the discussion was the sincerity, and an overall feeling of collegiality that suggests to me that we might accomplish more working together through face to face relationships as we seek to advance the profession of clinical chaplaincy. I was delighted to have the opportunity to represent CPSP, as together our organizations strive to secure the best possible professional future for those we train, certify and credential."

    Please click here to read the complete article.

    George Hankins-Hull

  • 06 Aug 2014 2:23 PM | Perry Miller, Editor (Administrator)

    The CPSP Certification Team welcomes two new members: Orville Brown and M. Patricia “Patty” Berron, who will serve in the role of Regional Representative. Orville will serve the states that were managed by Beverly Jessup, who stepped down from his position in March. Patty will serve the states that were managed by Jonathan Freeman, who will continue as the Chair of the Certification Team. A map of the regions and their respective representatives may be found on our website. The team also wishes to thank Beverly for his service to the CPSP community. 

    In an effort to improve the certification experience, the CPSP Certification Team has worked to make several changes to the process that will help to support our certification candidates and organize the way we share information. 

    The most significant change in the certification process is in the submission of the certification forms, which will now be accessed through a portal on our website. In the past, our forms have been a Microsoft Word form, which was downloaded, completed, and returned as an email attachment or submitted via Dropbox. Now forms will be completed by our certification candidates through our website, after they have been granted access to the certification form page. The access to the new online forms will be given to candidates who are members of a CPSP Chapter, who have paid their annual dues and their certification fee. The new online forms are also now available in Spanish due to the efforts of Patty Berron. 

    Another change in the process is that only supporting documents will be submitted through a centralized and shared Dropbox folder. The administrative coordinator will create a new Dropbox folder and invite the certification candidate, the candidate’s convener, and the Certification Team Regional Representative to access the folder. Supporting documents such as endorsement letters will be placed in the file. Because centralizing and sharing the folders will help with organization and support, this change should also help to streamline our process. 

    In addition to online certification forms and the centralizing of the Dropbox folders, the Outsider Review Form has also been placed on our website. The implementation of this new process will help to eliminate computer or application compatibility issues, as our process becomes more web-based. A Supervisor’s Report Form is now available online, which can be completed by the supervisors of the supervisors-in-training (SIT’s) who are seeking Diplomate Supervisor of Clinical Pastoral Education certification.

    A complete outline of the improved certification process may be downloaded for review. If you have any questions about certification, please contact Jonathan Freeman, Certification Team Chair, or Krista Argiropolis, Administrative Coordinator.

    Jonathan Freeman
    Certification Team Chair