The Accreditation Commission

The Accreditation Commission was created in the Fall of 2019, authorized and empowered by the Executive Chapter to undertake all the functions assigned to the Executive Chapter in the Accreditation Manual (March 2019). Governing Council affirmed this action in the Fall 2019 meeting by approving a revised Accreditation Manual (Version 19.1).

Their responsibilities are described in the Accreditation Manual, Chapter Five.

The Commission, by design, complements the work of the chapters in providing oversight to training programs. Its primary functions include:

  • Validating the observations and findings of the Accreditation Oversight Committee,
  • Providing for more thorough assessment (according to its capacity) of program strengths and weaknesses, and 
  • Appropriating developments in psychotherapy and pastoral training into CPSP practice.

The Commission also fulfills the central requirement for recognition as an accrediting agency by the US Department of Education, that the organization itself must make the final decision on all accreditation matters.

Members of the Commission are affirmed by Governing Council and include (per Department interpretation of the definition of “public members”) persons unrelated to the clinical pastoral movement, theological education, or health care. Their diverse perspectives allow for assessment not bounded by practitioners’ more narrow perspectives.

The Commission operates under a strict conflict of interest policy to ensure that their judgments are not affected by improper considerations, either for or against a program or supervisor under review.

Members of The Accreditation Commission


David Plummer, MDiv, DMin, Chair

Association of Professional Chaplains - Board Certified Chaplain College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy - Board Certified Clinical Chaplain; Diplomate in Pastoral Psychotherapy; Past Co-President [Diplomate]; Chair, Accreditation...


Bryan Bass-Riley, MDiv, MS, LPC, NCC

Bryan Bass-Riley is employed as a high risk care manager with Community Care Behavioral Health in Pittsburgh, PA. In this role, Bryan works with Allegheny County, PA Medicaid recipients with high utilization of mental health...


William T. (Tom) Carter, MDiv, MS, MA

The Reverend William T. (Tom) Carter recently retired from the United Methodist General Board of Higher Education and Ministry where he serve as the Endorsing Agent for The United Methodist Church. He served with the agency from 2002 until 2016.


Robert Charles Powell, MD, PhD

After earning a bachelor’s degree in the natural sciences, with special distinction in the social sciences, from Shimer College (Illinois), a “Great Books” school, Dr. Powell earned doctorates in medicine and in philosophy from Duke University,