About this Blog

Pastoral care and the pastoral care ministry are of incredible importance in many fields of healthcare, elder care, even industry and educational institutions. The pastoral care ministry, sometimes referred to in certain environments as chaplaincy, is a vocation, a calling that requires special discernment, formation, education, instruction, life experience, and skills development. In fact, many programs preparing persons for ordination now require some CPE experience, though in many instances it is only a token experience.

There are programs that provide aspects of pastoral care skills development, usually in a healthcare setting, and referred to as CPE or clinical pastoral education. There are quite a large number of programs and several organizations accrediting CPE programs nationally and internationally. Regrettably, like any other good intention that provides for financial gain, ego enhancement, and monument building, it also attracts persons with ulterior agendas. This is true in leadership or supervisory positions and on the front lines, where many approach pastoral care from a consciously or unconsciously selfish perspective.

Numbers at programs in institutons are important and sometimes distract supervisors and managers from the necessary criteria for ensuring that only those globally and particularly qualified are turned loose on the unwary in the clinical setting. Regrettably, the race for numbers requires, as in the case of many of our education institutions, has lead to the creation of  programs modeled on a “lowest common denominator,” that is, a politically correct, non-discriminating, non-directive, a-need-to-be-your-friend approach. This, in my opionion, adversely affects quality as well as morale and must stop.

Those who are genuinely called to pastoral care ministry are in a sense priests, prophets, servants, advocates, counselors, and certainly some are saints. The gift of presence, listening, empathy, and the wisdom of life experience and true spirituality when shared with a suffering brother or sister, is a truly mystical experience.

I am publishing this blog as a venue for those called and as a sounding board, a forum, as it were, for those to express delights, concerns, and as a source of helpful exchange.

All are welcome!


3 responses to “About this Blog

  1. Hello! I am so glad I found you. As a Jewish person who has found a deep calling to pursue a career in pastoral care,specifically to meet the needs of children and families with special needs. I am a college graduate with a liberal arts degree and was accepted to Saint Joseph’s College for Pastoral Theology. My intention is to participate in the pastoral specialist care certificate via the Oates Institute this summer. The larger question I have is would an MA in Jewish Studies with that certificate be acceptable. What other training is manadatory to pursue this field. I have spent quite along time reading about the field,reading journals articles etc. I just can’t get a handle on what and where I need to study to pursue this field. I am hoping you may be able to provide that information.
    Thank you in advance.

  2. How are you? It has been some time since you posted. I would love to know where the spirit is leading you.

    • Thank you very much for noticing! I’ve been very busy on my pilgrimage of seeking. As for the HS, she’s tricky as ever! Blowing, challenging, prodding, urging! I’m actually starting to enjoy the challenge but it’s tough boxing with the ineffable 😉 I’m at peace, though. Comfortable and at peace.

      Wishing you peace, blessings, and joy in this new year 2013!


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