Pastoral Report Archives:

August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
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September 2013

The College of Pastoral Supervision & Psychotherapy is a theologically based covenant community, dedicated to "recovery of the soul" and promoting competency in the clinical pastoral field.

August 29, 2014

The National Clinical Training Seminar - South Announced

NCTS%20SOUTH%20PHOTO.jpgSimpsonwood Retreat Center, Atlanta, Georgia

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 AM and the Conference will convene at 10:00 AM and ending Tuesday October 28 at 12:30 PM.

Prior to the actual start of the event, on Sunday evening October 26 between 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM 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.




Continue reading "The National Clinical Training Seminar - South Announced"

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 9:52 AM

August 14, 2014

CPSP Participates in Unprecedented Meeting to Advance the Integration of Spiritual Care within Healthcare


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.

<imgACPE'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.”

<img 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.

Perry Miller, Editor

Continue reading "CPSP Participates in Unprecedented Meeting to Advance the Integration of Spiritual Care within Healthcare"

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 12:44 PM

August 06, 2014

CPSP Certification Process Update By Jonathan Freeman, Certification Team Chair


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. 

Continue reading "CPSP Certification Process Update By Jonathan Freeman, Certification Team Chair"

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 10:07 AM

July 28, 2014

Consensus Decision-Making: CPSP History and Tradition by George Hull

The business of CPSP has for the past 25 years been conducted with goodwill, collaboration, and a sincere desire to serve on the part of our leadership. That does not mean to say that we have not had our tensions and conflicts. We are certainly not an organization without faults. However, we are an organization that has flourished and with a remarkable diversity, all the while being served in leadership by those who receive no compensation for their time and work.

For two decades and more, CPSP has maintained a tradition of consensus decision-making.

When conflicts have arisen, they have been resolved through discussion, debate and collaboration. In making decisions in the Governing Council, we do not vote. This is why it is of concern that Ed Outlaw and the Nominating Committee are recommending to “...lay aside the By-Laws provision that all CPSP decision making will be by consensus, declare this to be a bonafide election with the majority vote being accepted method of selection. “ of new officers.

Voting is Divisive

In the main, when groups vote using the majority rule principle or Parliamentary Procedure, a competitive dynamic evolves within the group because it is being asked to select between two or more possibilities. In this dynamic it is as acceptable to attack and diminish an opposing viewpoint as it is to promote and endorse one’s own position on a given issue. The goal and object of voting is to defeat the opposing viewpoints by a majority and means acting on a 51-49 decision. Even an 80-20 division can be divisive in a community, especially if those who carry the vote want above all else to carry the day.

This is especially problematic when there are complex or multiple issues involved. Establishing consensus requires expressing an opinion in terms other than a choice (a vote) between stated options. It requires one to expand on the reasoning behind the belief, addressing the points that others have left, until all may come to a mutually agreeable solution.

Continue reading "Consensus Decision-Making: CPSP History and Tradition by George Hull"

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 4:06 PM

July 23, 2014

Rev. Dr. William C. Scar Named CPSP President-Elect


The Leadership Team has named the Rev. Dr. William C. Scar President-Elect, effective immediately. This appointment is subject to ratification at the next meeting of the Governing Council. He was nominated by the Pacific Chapter.

Bill has been a CPSP Diplomate Psychotherapist for twenty-three years, having joined CPSP in the early years. He also holds Diplomate credentials with AAPC and Supervisory credentials with AAMFT. He trained at the Menninger Foundation.

He has had a distinguished career, founding Samaritan Counseling Centers in Cincinnati and Los Angeles, as well as a Lutheran mission congregation. He is our first Lutheran President. He is scheduled to take office as President for a two year term at the 2015 Plenary.


Continue reading "Rev. Dr. William C. Scar Named CPSP President-Elect "

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 5:30 PM

July 15, 2014

Fall 2014 National Clinical Training Seminar-East Announced


NCTS Fall 2014 at the beautiful Loyola Retreat Center in Morristown, New Jersey!

Date: November 10-11, 2014


Featured leadership for the seminar are three Tavistock practitioners who are members of the New York Chapter of the A. K. Rice Institute. They will conduct the group relations seminars. In addition, the design of the 2014 Fall NCTS will explore both theory and practice as related to the large group experience.

Historically NCTS-East has demonistrated its commitment to the immense value of Tavistock to those dedicated to the clinical pastoral field with Raymond Lawrence as group relations consultant. The three visiting consultants from the A. K. Rice Institute will be Howard Friedman, Jennifer Lee, and Frank Marrocco. They will offer two two group events along with discussion and review of the theory and reflection on the practice.

This event is open to Diplomates/Clinical Pastoral Education Supervisors, Psychotherapists, Pastoral Counselors, Chaplains and others who may have an interest in group process.

As always, we will have time for small group process. Please be prepared to present a clinical case and/or other relevant clinical material.

For CPSP members the cost of the seminar is $150. For non-members: $200.00.

Important: Please download the The Large Group Experience as it will provide an overall view of the agenda for NCTS-East participants.

DOWNLOAD: ">The Large Group Experience file



Continue reading "Fall 2014 National Clinical Training Seminar-East Announced"

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 4:23 PM

July 02, 2014

CPSP People in the News: TED TAYLOR


Gabrielle Urciuoli authored an article for NJ.COM featuring Ted Taylor, Director of Pastoral Care & Training at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton as "A modern-day hospital chaplain makes his rounds at RWJ in Hamilton". The author quotes Taylor saying, “The focus is listening...noting that this is especially important when it comes to end-of-life decisions. Sometimes it’s just being with people. Allowing people to be scared.”

The article makes note of the fact that in order to address the demands of chaplain services he directs a training program of CPE Interns, largely from Princeton Theological Seminary, who provide 24/7 clinical chaplain services.

To read the complete article, click here.

Continue reading "CPSP People in the News: TED TAYLOR"

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 6:12 PM

June 27, 2014

VIDEO: David Roth Provides overview of 2014 Proposed Bylaws

The video provides a brief but yet informative overview of the 2014 Proposed Bylaws.

Continue reading "VIDEO: David Roth Provides overview of 2014 Proposed Bylaws"

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 1:19 PM

June 27, 2014

Proposed 2014 CPSP Bylaws--By David Baker, PhD and David Roth, PhD


Dear CPSP Conveners,

At the 2014 Plenary in Virginia Beach last March, the Governing Council appointed us, David Roth and David Baker, to update the CPSP bylaws to make our organization run more effectively and efficiently with better representation and greater transparency.

That work is now done. Having consulted widely and after reviewing the work of governance task forces over the past two and a half years, we have revised and updated our governance in ways that are faithful to the Covenant, respectful and supportive of the Chapter, and build upon our strengths as a Community.

What we are presenting is a way of governing that is congruent with what has been the best in CPSP life and at the same time adapts to the rapid growth we have seen. The concept is a truly representative 18-person leadership team comprised of three bodies – a Chapter of Chapters, a Chapter of Diplomates, and an Executive Chapter -- that will be nimble enough to meet regularly to discuss the business of the organization, to make decisions, and to communicate clearly and in timely fashion the needs and direction of the organization.


This fall, all those who make up the Governing Council under the existing bylaws, especially conveners, will gather to address and resolve the governance issue. That’s why we ask you to please review the bylaws document with your chapter members. We believe you will see that it envisages a responsible, accountable, engaged, and empowered CPSP community. Also, there is a13-minute YouTube video that explains the governance concept and certain considerations behind our work.

Our specific charge was to create new bylaws that will allow us to govern effectively and get things done in CPSP. To that end we have designed a workable governance structure for you to consider. The proposed bylaws will not and cannot be expected to address all of the particular issues that concern us at the present but they are a place to begin.

The work you asked us to do at this point is completed. Please make the time to become familiar with it and to share it with your chapter members. We look forward to seeing you when the Governing Council meets in the fall.


David Roth and David Baker

Proposed CPSP Bylaws


Continue reading "Proposed 2014 CPSP Bylaws--By David Baker, PhD and David Roth, PhD"

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 12:51 PM

June 25, 2014

‘LOVE IS LOVE’-- by Rev. William E. Alberts, Ph.D.


On June 14, I marched with Boston Medical Center’s (BMC) Gay/Straight Alliance in Boston’s 44th annual Gay Pride Parade. It was far different from Boston’s 3rd Gay Pride Parade in 1973, at which then State Rep. Barney Frank and I were the honored guests—seated in a convertible. The parade route that year took us past Old West Church (United Methodist), where I served as minister for eight years, and had just been forcibly retired after performing the same-sex marriage of two male members of the Church-- which led to my being an honored guest of the 1973 Parade. (For write-up of that Parade, see “300 begin Pride Week with Parade,” By Paul Kneeland, Boston Sunday Globe, June 17, 1973) You could not see it, but as the parade passed Old West Church, I was bleeding inside. (For that story-- and more, See Alberts “Easter Depends on Whistleblowers: The Minister Who Could Not Be ‘Preyed’ Away,” Counterpunch, March 29-31, 2013)


Forty-one years later, at Boston’s 44th Gay Pride Parade, I was beaming inside—and outside from ear to ear. It was very meaningful to be a joyous member of Boston Medical Center’s Gay/Straight Alliance: a contingent of doctors, hospital chaplain and close friend and colleague, Jennie Gould, and other BMC staff-- including two women whose same-sex marriage I had performed on the lawn of Boston University Medical School, the three of us seated at a picnic table, with a beautiful bouquet of flowers, freshly picked from their garden, as the table’s centerpiece. And right behind us BMC Parade marchers was a group from Boston University Medical School, with people from other health care organizations also marching.

Continue reading "‘LOVE IS LOVE’-- by Rev. William E. Alberts, Ph.D."

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 6:08 PM

June 23, 2014

National Clinical Training Seminar - West: Pastoral Diagnosis and Spiritual Assessment


The College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy (CPSP) is pleased to offer its National Clinical Training Seminar-West (NCTS–W) this year at the beautiful Episcopal Church Center of Utah, a peaceful location and relaxing environment in Salt Lake City, which is nestled in a valley below the Wasatch Mountains.


October 26-28, 2014


NCTS–W is open to clinical chaplains, pastoral counselors and psychotherapists, supervisors-in-training, clinical pastoral trainees, and training supervisors. Members of new CPSP chapters and especially members in the West are strongly encouraged to attend.

The design of NCTS–W is based on the small-group experience where all participants are expected to bring and share clinical material for consultation with their peers under the care of CPSP diplomats and supervisors.


The fee for CPSP members is $150, and the fee for non-members is $225.

Registration includes attendance at all training sessions plus five meals, from dinner on Sunday through breakfast on Tuesday. There will be a box lunch available for purchase on Tuesday to take with you to the last meeting of the day or on your travel home. The chef will personalize meals and snacks for gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, dairy free, and other needs.

Registration fees will be refunded for cancellation notices received by CPSP prior to October 10, 2014.

Continue reading "National Clinical Training Seminar - West: Pastoral Diagnosis and Spiritual Assessment"

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 10:47 PM

June 15, 2014

"I Am CPSP" Video Production--By Perry Miller, Editor

I am CPSP is a video promoting the values of the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy. Depicted in the video are members of CPSP community sharing how their involvement has significantly impacted their personal and professional lives.

The brainchild of the I am CPSP video production was George Hull. Through the years he frequently commented on the imressive diversity found within CPSP that is strikingly observable when the community gathers at its Annual Plenary.

The video was produced by Susan McDougal, a CPSP Diplomate with ability and expertise in this area of such media productions. Leonard Chamblee of Creative Motion Media filmed the production.

Given CPSP's commitment to "traveling light", the production of this video is one of many examples of CPSP's historical reliance upon the good spirit, creativity and effort of those at the grassroots who are willing to contribute to the wellbeing and mission of the entire CPSP community.

Chapters and CPSP training centers are encouraged to embed the video in their websites and pass it on to their professional colleagues.

Continue reading ""I Am CPSP" Video Production--By Perry Miller, Editor"

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 7:10 PM

June 03, 2014

Reflections on 2014 Spring National Clinical Training Seminar-- By Cheryl Parker

The May, 2014 National Clinical Training Seminar-East was held once again at the Loyola Retreat House in Morristown, New Jersey and, with its, spacious terrace and greenery proved to be a refreshing contrast as a backdrop for the theme “Disaster Spiritual Care-the Chaplain’s Response”.

Linda Walsh-Garrison, BCCC reviewed for us the impact of the overwhelming emotional impact of the disaster on families and loved ones but also on those who serve the community, including spiritual care professionals.

The topic of September 11, 2001, stirred memories for many of us as I spoke to colleagues during the breaks. It was a humbling experience and for some, a recognition that there is still unresolved grief. This was a reminder that we need to continue to check in for our own self-care and recognize that those around us may be wrestling with issues easily resurfaced when trigger points are touched.

The media technology broke down during Linda’s presentation and was unresponsive to relentless tries to resuscitate it. Linda was model of calmness and used the equipment malfunction as an example of unexpected breakdowns and crises in our lives. She coached us to be flexible and observant of others and ourselves as we look for ways to manage the crisis and draw on other resources.

Continue reading "Reflections on 2014 Spring National Clinical Training Seminar-- By Cheryl Parker"

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 1:38 PM

May 27, 2014

CPSP, For 25 Years, a Community Characterized by a Pioneering Spirit of Service-- By George Hankins-Hull


Over the years CPSP has been fortunate to have many good and dedicated individuals who have stepped up to the plate to volunteer their service for the larger well-being of the community. In fact, over the 25 years that CPSP has been in existence there have been countless hours of labor rendered by these good people who nurtured and supported a community growing from the original 15 founders to over 1200 members currently.
Folks like Bill Carr, a founding member and CPSP’s first treasurer was one whose signature attested to the business of CPSP in the required filings for the state of Virginia, together with Raymond Lawrence, the General Secretary. As a treasurer of CPSP, Bill meticulously attended to the finances of the organization and the disbursement of its funds.

In a similar way, CPSP is served by Charles Kirby, our current treasurer to whom we owe a huge debt of gratitude for his dedication and unassuming service on behalf of the CPSP Community. Like Bill Carr once did, Charles oversees the disbursements of funds and signs the necessary corporate filings, together with Raymond Lawrence, the General Secretary. Neither Bill Carr, nor Charles Kirby nor countless others ever received any compensation for their many years of service to CPSP. Without such generosity of commitment CPSP could not exist.

Affirming the thorough work of Charles Kirby was the recent outside audit performed by the firm of Carl Shaw, CPA, Hendersonville, North Carolina, specializing in audit services for not-for-profit organizations, whose recent audit found that CPSP’s financial matters are in good standing.

Similarly, CPSP members owe a great debt to former CPSP Diplomate, Ben Bogia, who died November 19, 2009. Ben pioneered the way for a CPSP web presence at CPSP.ORG in the early days of the web. Ben also served as the Secretary to the Governing Council, and was one of the earliest Clinical Pastoral Supervisors to throw his lot in with CPSP in the early 90’s. Building on Ben’s work and expanding the web presence of CPSP is Perry Miller, who was also a founding member of CPSP. Perry, a Diplomate in Clinical Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy, serves as the Editor of Pastoral Report . Through the dedication of these two men, CPSP has had a continuous presence on the web for over two decades, and, also, as is usual for CPSP, have received no compensation for their long hours of work. Such dedication characterizes who we are in CPSP.

Continue reading "CPSP, For 25 Years, a Community Characterized by a Pioneering Spirit of Service-- By George Hankins-Hull "

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 2:43 PM

May 15, 2014

ON GROUP RELATIONS TRAINING and CPSP by Ed Luckett and David Roth


David Roth and Ed Luckett

When David Roth was in the process leading to certification as a diplomate in pastoral supervision, he had a keen sense of the importance of gaining a deeper understanding what really is going on in groups, whether they were trainees in CPE, the family members and friends gathered in a patient’s room, or the hospital staff.

When Ed Luckett joined CPSP and attended his first Plenary, he experienced “Tavistock” – CPSP’s quasi-sacred ritual, both structured and spontaneous, mysterious and (sometimes) tedious.

As early as 2011, David had seen the need to renew both our understanding of group relations and our ties with the institution that best maintains the Tavistock tradition in the US, the A.K. Rice Institute (AKRI). He arranged a meeting between Jack Lampl, AKRI president, and Raymond Lawrence, our General Secretary, at the National Clinical Training Seminar-West in Malibu in the fall of that year. Their conversations led to CPSP inviting Jack, along with Charla Hayden, to take the lead in our 2013 Plenary program in Las Vegas. Download Brochure

Continue reading "ON GROUP RELATIONS TRAINING and CPSP by Ed Luckett and David Roth "

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 12:56 PM

May 12, 2014

"It's Magic" --- Michael Eselun, BCCC

Michael Eselun is a CPSP Board Certified Clinical Chaplain and a member of the Los Angeles, CA Chapter. He serves as the interfaith chaplain for the Simms-Mann/UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology.

Continue reading ""It's Magic" --- Michael Eselun, BCCC"

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 3:20 PM

May 11, 2014

Brian Childs Retiring as Director of Clinical Ethics and Spiritual Care


Brian H. Childs, PhD will be retiring from Maryland Shore Regional Health where he served as director of clinical ethics and spiritual care since 1998.

This is what the institution had to say about Dr Childs:

Dr. Childs is a guiding light at Shore Regional Health,” said UM Shore Regional Health Chief Medical Officer William Huffner, MD. “His longstanding commitment to the well-being of our caregivers and community has made a lasting impact on our team’s dedication to quality patient care. We sincerely thank Brian for his service and wish him well in his retirement.

For more details go to The Compass, the Maryland Shore Regional Health's webiste.

Perry Miller, Editor

Continue reading "Brian Childs Retiring as Director of Clinical Ethics and Spiritual Care"

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 11:35 AM

May 05, 2014

Standing in the Midst of Hopelessness and Hearing that G-d has Embraced Us in Spite of Ourselves By Robert C. Powell, MD, PhD


Standing in the Midst of Hopelessness and
Hearing that G-d has Embraced Us
in Spite of Ourselves

– Comments Honoring the Rev. Dr. J. Harold Ellens –

delivered at the 22nd Plenary Meeting of the
College of Pastoral Supervision & Psychotherapy, Virginia Beach, VA.

“There is a discernible interaction between
experiencing G-d’s unconditional acceptance,
experiencing the therapist’s transference acceptance, and
experiencing the ability to accept and change oneself … .” 1

“Dunbar … . held that becoming
‘free to think and act’ was
an accomplishment open to all … .” 2

– on the 235th anniversary of John Newton’s “Amazing Grace”.
– on the 85th anniversary of H[elen] Flanders Dunbar’s Symbolism in Medieval Thought ….
– on the 65th anniversary of Seward Hiltner’s Pastoral Counseling.
– on the 55th anniversary of Wayne Oates’ Introduction to Pastoral Counseling.
– on the 25th anniversary of Carroll Wise’s The Meaning of Pastoral Care.
– on the 10th anniversary of Perry Miller’s “A Reflection on CPSP’s Chapter Life”.
– on the 5th anniversary of the CPSP report, “Task Force on the Future”.

Forty-five years ago – in 1969 – I first became curious about the work of Helen Flanders Dunbar – when I learned that this pioneer in psychosomatic research had a bachelor of divinity degree. The next five years of my life then were devoted to demonstrating that Dunbar’s earning of a theological degree was no accident. While Anton T. Boisen was the indisputable founder of the movement for professional chaplaincy – specifically, clinical pastoral chaplaincy – it was Dunbar who – from 1931 until 1936 – ran both the psychosomatic and chaplaincy movements, side by side, out of one office. Dunbar had no problem viewing therapy as all encompassing – of religion and medicine – of all of religion and all of medicine – of mind and body.

Who of us has not – at more times than we might want to remember – needed therapy? Who of us has not – at more times than we might want to remember – been among the world’s suffering, bewildered, or vulnerable souls?

Continue reading "Standing in the Midst of Hopelessness and Hearing that G-d has Embraced Us in Spite of Ourselves By Robert C. Powell, MD, PhD"

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 11:23 AM

May 05, 2014

Helen Flanders Dunbar Award Lecture By J. Harold Ellens, PhD


Helen Flanders Dunbar Award Lecture
CPSP 2014 Annual Plenary
J. Harold Ellens, PhD

The Significance of Anton Boisen for American Religion


From the beginning of Jesus' ministry the Jesus Movement introduced a new way getting at the issues of "people-care." Second Temple Judaism and hence the mode of the Pharisees assumed that to induce vital psychospiritual health it was necessary to start in the theory of an apocalyptic world-view; that is, the notion that God is engaged in a cosmic war with the forces of evil, the battlefield being human history and the human heart. Then it was important to deduce the theological and moral implication of such a theoretical perspective and impose those claims upon persons and societies. Thereby appropriate behavior could be induced in society from the top down, and that would be internalized as psychospiritual renewal.

Jesus insisted from the outset that the Pharisees, with their 613 laws for behavioral improvement, had the formula of spiritual renewal exactly upside down. His program asserted that you cannot change the inner psychospiritual world by imposing laws, regulations, and codes of conduct, from the outside in, that is, from the top down. Jesus was sure that it is necessary to change people on the inside and then their external behavior will more likely line up with their inner psychospiritual renewal. It is clear from Jesus' ministry, and from the key to it that St. Paul expressed in Ephesians 2 and Romans 8, that the only way to effect that interior psychospiritual change, which both he and the Pharisees desired to see, is to get across to persons the fact that God's grace is radical, unconditional, and universal. Jesus clearly believed that anyone who really gets that point will turn his or her face to God with the cry, "If that is how God feels about me, I want to be God's kind of person."

Continue reading "Helen Flanders Dunbar Award Lecture By J. Harold Ellens, PhD"

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 10:57 AM

May 01, 2014

A Georgia Gathering of Interest and Training for CPSP By Robert Griffin


On Friday and Saturday, April 25 and 26, forty-seven (47) ministers and chaplains met at Piedmont-Henry Hospital in Stockbridge, GA (greater metro-Atlanta) for an initiation and training event. Three Chapters, Atlanta (GA), Atlanta South (GA), Columbia (SC), collaborated to sponsor this SPRING EVENT.

There were two focuses of the conference: “Medical Ethics: Death and Dying in America and the Chaplain’s Role.” Dr. Brian Childs, the president of CPSP, Ethicist, and University of Maryland Professor, was the presenter. He is the Director of Ethics at Shore Regional Health Center and professor at the graduate school of the University of Maryland University College.

A second focus was the gathering of CPSP members in the south-east for networking and initiation of persons interested in the College. Participants from Georgia, South and North Carolina met to hear updates and news from the CPSP President and to participate in discussions regarding CPSP membership and issues regarding training and Chapter life. Many participants are active members in CPSP, but most were students and persons interested in learning about the College.


Continue reading "A Georgia Gathering of Interest and Training for CPSP By Robert Griffin"

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 6:40 PM