Pastoral Report Articles 

  • 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

  • 28 Jul 2014 2:31 PM | Perry Miller, Editor (Administrator)

    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.

    Consensus is not Unanimity

    Parliamentary Procedure ensures that the majority opinion carries the day in a manner that supersedes the concerns and desires of the minority.

    While a vote “feels” better for people who see the issue as either “black” or “white,” in most cases voting serves to undermine discussion and discourse. In the worst case, it may cause participants not to civilly engage with the other voters, but merely instead to choose camps. By polarizing discussion and raising the stakes, serving an issue up for a vote may contribute to a breakdown in civility, making a discussion of controversial issues extremely acrimonious. Consensus decision-making is neither an air-tight process, nor a guarantee of success. It is simply the best-known approach for hearing out what is often the most difficult thing to hear, contrary opinions.

    Rather than “laying aside” the long history of CPSP consensus decision-making in favor of a majority rule, it is my hope that we will continue to uphold the values and traditions of CPSP that have served us well and nurtured us in all of our decision-making.

    Let us continue to be a community of consensus decision-making where every voice is heard, as we hold significant the relationships among ourselves, rather than “declaring a bona fide election with the majority vote being the accepted method of selection” as Ed Outlaw and his Committee requests.

    Removing consensus decision-making would radically change the very nature of who we are in CPSP.

    George Hull

  • 23 Jul 2014 2:35 PM | Perry Miller, Editor (Administrator)

    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.

    William Scar

  • 15 Jul 2014 3:26 PM | Perry Miller, Editor (Administrator)

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

    Date: November 10-11, 2014

    The theme for the Fall NCTS is: REFLECTING ON GROUP PROCESS

    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.

    Francine Hernandez

  • 02 Jul 2014 3:30 PM | Perry Miller, Editor (Administrator)

    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.

    Chaplain Tedford J. Taylor, MDiv, BCCC, FHPC
    Diplomate in Pastoral Supervision (CPSP)
    Director of Pastoral Care & Training
    RWJ University Hospital Hamilton
    One Hamilton Health Place
    Hamilton, New Jersey 08690

  • 27 Jun 2014 3:38 PM | Perry Miller, Editor (Administrator)

    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

  • 25 Jun 2014 4:02 PM | Perry Miller, Editor (Administrator)

    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.

    Boston Medical Center’s Gay/Straight Alliance was one of 200 groups, representing a record 25,000 people, participating in this year’s Gay Pride Parade. With thousands of people lining the streets, cheering us marchers on. As the Boston Globe reported, the “groups in the parade included bands, advocacy groups, university clubs, churches, and even corporations and political candidates—a sign of the Pride’s shift from a fringe demonstration to a mainstream, family-oriented staple of Boston’s event calendar and marker of an ongoing sea change in public opinion on gay issues.” (For the full Boston Globe story, see “Pride parade becomes a staple,” By Claire McNeill and Dan Adams, June 15, 2014)

    The “sea change in public opinion on gay issues” is seen in religious circles. Old South Church (Congregational and member of the United Church of Christ), located where the Parade began, held a pre-march “Parade Worship Service,” its pews filled, with spiritual leaders present, the service including the “Open Door Award” given to Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick for supporting gay rights, Hillary Goodridge, a plaintiff whose case led to the legalizing of gay marriage in Massachusetts in 2003, and to Rev. Frank Schaefer, a United Methodist minister who was defrocked in 2013 for performing his son’s same-sex marriage. (Ibid)

    The “sea change in public opinion on gay issues” is also seen in the publicly declared inclusiveness of health care organizations, like Boston Medical Center, with its mission of providing “Exceptional Care. Without Exception.” BMC’s mission professes a commitment to diversity that applies not only to patients and their families. It embraces staff as well. BMC’s 2008 Diversity Statement offers an inspiring model of inclusiveness for any medical, business, political or religious institution:

    As part of its stated mission and values, the Medical Center remains committed to creating and sustaining a workplace and a hospital where employees, patients and patients’ families are respected and valued not in spite of, but because of, the differences in their backgrounds and cultures. We believe that there is strength in diversity, not only in race, gender, age, religion and disability, but also in education, politics, family status, national origin, sexual orientation, and all the other factors that make people individuals. 

    And what makes us individuals? A little boy at this year’s Boston Gay Pride Parade held the answer in his hands. Participating with the throngs of marchers, he continually waved a big sign imprinted with the words, ‘LOVE IS LOVE.’ That is the key factor that makes us individuals-- together.

    (Bill Alberts with his then 18-months-old granddaughter, Aoife)

    When children are born, they are dearly loved by mother and father and family, and often adored by friends-- and even strangers. That is true of children born everywhere. Why should any child become less loved and less legitimate if his or her sexual orientation develops differently? He or she is still the same human being, with the same need to be loved and the same capacity to love. It is in being loved, that we are able to love and to become individuals, fully. ‘LOVE IS LOVE,’ whoever you are. It is not straight love. Nor gay love. It is human love.

    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:

  • 23 Jun 2014 8:43 PM | Perry Miller, Editor (Administrator)

    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.

    Reserve your room at the retreat center using this link:ECCU Lodging Request

    Rates for this event are $37.50 per night for a shared room and $75 per night for a single room.

    In order to ensure adequate lodging for all guests, please make your reservation prior to October 10, 2014.

    Refunds will be made by the retreat center in accordance with their Cancellation Policy included in the ECCU Lodging Request.

    UTA TRAX is the Salt Lake City light rail system, and it’s the easiest, least expensive way to get to the meeting site. A standard, one-way TRAX fare currently is $2.50. Detailed information about train times and easy walking directions from the station to ECCU will be provided with each registration.

    For drivers, parking is available on the premises at no charge based on availability; parking lot across the street is $1/hour or $8/day.

    For information or clarification, contact Cynthia Olson, BCCC, CFHPC, or tel (916)712-9776.

    To register online, click here.


    Cynthia Olson, BCCC, CFHPC, or tel (916)712-9776.