Pastoral Report Articles 

  • 21 Sep 2015 10:00 PM | Perry Miller, Editor (Administrator)

    Pastoral Institute Names New CEO

    The Ledger-Inquirer recent published an article featuring Thomas Waynick, a member of the  Fort Belvoir CPSP Chapter and a Diplomate in Pastoral Psychotherapy and Clinical Pastoral Supervision. He was named chief executive officer of the Pastoral Institute in  Columbus, Georgia.

    Marie Moshell, chair of the institute’s board of trustees stated:

    Tom’s unique experience in supervising counselors and working with clergy makes him an ideal match for the Pastoral Institute,” she said in the news release. “We are excited about his immense skill set and expertise shaping a very bright future for the Pastoral Institute.

    The artice continues:

    Waynick also holds a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology from Central Texas University and a Master of Strategic Studies from the Army War College. He is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Louisiana, a diplomate in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, a diplomate in the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy, and a clinical member and approved supervisor of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

    It looks like a great match for both the Institute and Thomas Waynick.

    Perry Miller, Editor

    Read More...





  • 19 Sep 2015 10:38 PM | Perry Miller, Editor (Administrator)

    Recently, I have been talking with a number of military chaplains. Many have never had even one unit of CPE although they would like to.  They know that clinical pastoral training would benefit their ministry but for a variety of reasons haven’t had the opportunity.

    Taking the initiative themselves, a small group of mostly military chaplains is preparing to launch a CPE unit in association with a nearby seminary which has never before offered CPE (but with CPSP’s consumer-friendly approach it was doable).  Another is in his second extended unit at a community hospital.  His CPSP CPE Supervisor, along with the manager of the chaplaincy department, made an exception to tradition and generously allowed him to forego pastoral duties at the hospital and, instead, he is using his military unit as a clinical site.

    It occurred to me as a former Army Chaplain, both Active Duty and Reserve, and currently the chaplaincy endorser for my faith community, that this scenario and these chaplains and their stories are most likely not rare, isolated cases.  

    That’s why, with the encouragement of SP community to help us get a better idea of how CPE is being deployed now -- and how we may be able to approach it more creatively within the military community.  

    Specifically, over the next two or three weeks, I’m asking members of the CPSP community to identify themselves if:

    1.  You are military of any component (Active, Guard, Reserve or Former or Retired) and have taken a unit or more of CPE. If so, perhaps you have a story that you’re willing to share about your CPE experience; or

    2.  You are a CPE Diplomate and live near a military installation or military activity and may be willing to allow military chaplains to use their usual ministry contexts as their clinical site (or at least entertain the possibility); or

    3. You are conducting internet-based CPE and are working or have worked with military chaplains (or interested in possibly doing so).

    You can contact me at Chaplaincy@Spirit-filled.org.  I look forward to hearing from you and learning from your experiences, anecdotes and creativity!

    Dave Plummer

  • 18 Sep 2015 12:02 AM | Perry Miller, Editor (Administrator)

    The Pastoral Report took notice of a recent news release posted on the Commission for the Accreditation of Pastoral and Psychotherapy Training (CAPPT) website that is relevant to all CPSP Clinical Pastoral Education and Pastoral Psychotherapy training centers. 

    CAPPT is offering a grandparenting path to all CPSP training centers accredited prior to the founding of CAPPT.

    Read below:

    Commission for the Accreditation of Pastoral and Psychotherapy Training (CAPPT)

    To Implement Grandparenting Review of CPSP Accredited Training Programs.

    Brian H. Childs, Chair of the Board of Trustees of CAPPT, announced a grandparenting program for CPSP training programs accredited by CPSP prior to the founding of CAPPT as an independent accrediting agency. At its August meeting the CAPPT board came to a consensus to review all CPSP accredited programs accredited from 2011 through March of 2015. A positive review of such training programs will result in CAPPT accreditation for the remainder of the training program seven (7) year status of accreditation. Every training program must be re-evaluated according to the Accreditation Manual after a seven year term.

    The CAPPT review will consist of a thorough review of a training program’s site visit report and other supporting documents. The materials will be provided to CAPPT by the CPSP Accreditation Team. The review will entail an evaluation of how the programs adhere to the letter and spirit of the standards for training and other requirements as found in the Accreditation Manual. CAPPT will not evaluate programs that do not supply all of the required documents. Currently there are ten (10) programs under grandparenting review.

    CAPPT is offering a unique but time limited opportunity for CPSP training centers.

    Perry Miller, Editor
  • 17 Sep 2015 4:05 PM | Perry Miller, Editor (Administrator)

    As previously announced, National Clinical Training Seminar - East will meet November 2 - 3, 2015 at the Loyola Retreat Center, Morristown, New Jersey.

    Howard Friedman and a portion of his team (affiliate with A.K.Rice) will provide the leadership to focus on group work at the Fall NCTS.

    The theme of the conference is a relevant and exciting one: Leadership and Membership in Diverse Organizations.

    The NCTS - East training event is designed for Clinical Chaplains, Supervisors-in-Training, Pastoral Counselors and Psychotherapists, CPE Interns and Residents, Training CPE Supervisors, etc.


    Participant are to be prepared to present clinical material for reflection and review in the context of a psychodynamic group consultation process. 

    NCTS-East Fall Schedule_2015.pdf

  • 15 Sep 2015 10:54 AM | Perry Miller, Editor (Administrator)

    Robert Griffin, Coordinator for National Clinical Training Seminar - South (NCTS-South), announces the dates and venue of the training event:

    Monday-Tuesday, October 26 & 27, 2015
    Holiday Inn,  638 Highway 138 West
    Stockbridge, Georgia 30281

    The theme of the conference is “Spiritual Care of Elderly and Dying Loved Ones Conversing With Death” with the Keynote Speaker Kevin Quiles, M.Div., M.A., LPC, NCC who authored a book by the same title. 

    The training event is open to Pastors, Counselors,  Chaplains, Social Workers, LPC’s, MFT’s Interns, Therapy Professionals, CPE Training Supervisors, etc.  

    CEU’s will be available.


  • 02 Sep 2015 6:59 PM | Perry Miller, Editor (Administrator)

    Early Pastoral Report (2002)CPSP now has a new website, CPSP.ORG. No. It’s not the one shown here.  It was created some where around 1998 and certainly not the one we have been using over the last twelve years or so. 

    You are now using the new website! It is a new look. You will find it much easier to navigate and will serve as a valuable resource to retrieve forms and documents such as Standards, Certification, Accreditation, Chapter Life, etc. You will also use its many online feature such as paying dues, and registering for CPSP events. More features are forth coming. 

    The Pastoral Report (PR) will continue to be an important presence to help readers to stay in touch with CPSP and its dynamic unfolding as a cutting edge certifying and accrediting organization in the clinical pastoral field. The active presence of the PR on CPSP.ORG is to insure we have a dynamic website with new information posted on a regular basis. This is in contrast to a “poster website” that rarely invites  people to visit unless they need certain information. Besides, the PR has provided a forum for some of the most gifted writers in the field to publish their works. 

    Designing a professional website needed for a large organization such as CPSP is a daunting and expensive task. Even more so given CPSP is non-profit organization with limited funds for such an expenditure and CPSP’s commitment to “travel light”.

    Krista Argiropolis, CPSP Administrative Coordinator, in 2012 along with Charles Kirby, Treasurer, landed on Wild Apricot as a platform for the CPSP website. It enabled CPSP to manage an amazing amount of “backend” services” but was not up to speed to manage the Pastoral Report. Krista Argiropolis, however, was able to merge Wild Apricot with the Pastoral Report web platform. This was not perfect as we all know. But CPSP’s commitment to “travel light” would not allow for CPSP to spend $10,000 - $25 000 to turn the project over to a professional website developer. 

    In the spirit of “time heals all”, an upgrade of the Wild Apricot software was rolled out recently that included new themes, as well as the features making it possible to publish the Pastoral Report using Wild Apricot’s  platform and also integrate the “backend” features. 

    Charles Hicks, CPSP Administrator, and Krista Argiropolis, CPSP Administrative Coordinator, went into action with this new development from Wild Apricot . Charles Hicks ran Wild Apricot by the IT staff at his law firm as well as did considerable personal testing of its features. Krista Argiropolis also engaged in considerable examination of its features. The results were all thumbs up. In addition, they determined that the new CPSP website using Wild Apricot has been designed with a customized theme to meet Google Developer’s standards for mobile-friendly websites, and scales automatically to fit any screen width, like on mobile phones or tablets. This is no small feature given that at an ever-increasing rate of visitors to websites are on mobil devices.

    As a community we are indebted to Charles Hicks and Krista Argiropolis. They have spent an enormous amount of hours and energy to bring the new CPSP.ORG online.    

    I digress. Many years ago when I became Editor of the Pastoral Report, I published about six editions of the Pastoral Report. Of course these were hard copies. It was a demanding, time consuming as well as an expensive ordeal. How many times I waited at the counter of a copy shop to pay for hundreds of PR copies to see typos. Ugh! This does not even mention keeping an up-to-date data base, hand addressing for mailing and licking hundreds of stamps.

    The web, however, was just getting launched. There were serious questions as to its viability for the public. Reliable sources suggested it was a fad and would soon die as did the CB Radio fad. I was fascinated, however. I made the decision to move the CPSP and the Pastoral Report from a print-base publication to a cyber publication. 

    Of course there were many complaints about the decision. Many were already complaining that their work place was now ordering  them to use email. Regardless, CPSP went cyber.  As far as I know CPSP was the first pastoral care and counseling organization to have a web-based publication.

    Like any new websites, we expect glitches and we welcome your feedback, criticism and suggestions. CPSP.ORG will be a work in progress, just like CPSP.

    Perry Miller
    Pastoral Report Editor 
    Communication Director
    perrymiller@gmail.com

  • 30 Aug 2015 5:12 PM | Perry Miller, Editor (Administrator)

    The sudden death of Don Capps in an automobile accident has deprived CPSP, as well as the entire clinical pastoral community, of arguably the wisest voice of our generation in the field of clinical pastoral work. He was this generation's most prodigious and prolific writer in our field. And fortunately for us, we are left with his extensive body of literature. This, of course, is no substitute for his wise and humane personal presence which so many of us experienced. Not to mention his colorful sense of humor and his knack for poetry, which often tested boundaries of polite society. Don was a good friend to many of us in CPSP, and to the community itself. He was the principal speaker at our Eleventh Plenary meeting in 2001, at Virginia Beach and was given the Helen Flanders Dunbar Award by CPSP in 2013.

    The principal contribution of Don Capps to our field was his consistent work of correlating psychology and theology, represented most powerfully in his 2008 work, Jesus the Village Psychiatrist. In so many ways Don Capps emphasized the importance of the person of the minister as the singular therapeutic tool.

    His wife Karen was also injured in the same accident, and we wish her a full recovery, and solace in her grief.

    Raymond Lawrence, General Secretary
    raymondlawrence@cpsp.org

  • 30 Aug 2015 3:17 PM | Perry Miller, Editor (Administrator)

    Ever heard it said, “There are no politics in the chaplaincy profession,” Yeah right! I would like to believe that politics is not a constituent characteristic of the chaplaincy profession. However, I submit to you that such is a fantasy that betrays a lack of understanding, as well as a propensity to remain within the infantilized protection of a quintessential inner circle of the herd. Truth be told, there are a many political forces and interests that push and pull on the chaplaincy profession.

    Politics, no matter the context, is the practice of influencing others to gain and maintain power and influence in a government or an institution. The chaplaincy, as a profession, is no exception to the innate human propensity to seek to protect and secure its own professional niche within an ever growing politicized society with its many competing social constructs.

    Although ordinarily thought of in terms of belonging to the clergy caste, a chaplain is in fact not only of the clergy but more frequently a non-clergy member that exercises the role and function of the chaplaincy. This is somewhat confusing to the outsider.

    To the outsider the chaplain is a minister of some particular faith tradition. In some faith traditions a chaplain is exclusively a role and title reserved for the official clergy. In other faith traditions a non-clergy is able to exercise both the role and function of the chaplain. For instance, it was the traditional expectation in Lutheran clergy circles that before considering to enter a chaplaincy the cleric required a minimum of 3 years of prior experience as a pastor of a congregation. It was thought that such congregational experience would be foundational to the future chaplain`s pastoral identity, work, and practice as a chaplain representing the faith community.

    There are instances where soon after completing the standard four years of graduate theological program in a Lutheran seminary that a select candidate could be placed into the chaplaincy instead of the parish. On its face and without too much difficulty, the preferential nature of such an appointment in light of the minimal prior congregational work expected of all other clergy, clearly betrays that such appointments demonstrate a politicized reality.

    Unlike the Lutherans with whom I served many years, other faith groups can commission and ordain a minister to serve exclusively within the chaplaincy without any graduate theological education. There are even chaplaincy associations whose exclusive function and raison d’être is to train and ordain protestant ministers as chaplains. In and of itself, this manifests that there is indeed a significant politicized reality that gives shape to such distinctions among and within faith traditions.

    Anecdotally, the training and employment of chaplains remains among the silently politicized professions in the United States. This is evident as one seeks training for the chaplaincy. As important as it is to have some notion about the social stratification and design regarding where chaplains actually serve and employed in our society, it is as important to know where and what kind of training will be necessary to equip others for this highly politicized profession.

    When I was a college student in the mid-1980`s and already serving as a volunteer chaplain assisting local Lutheran pastors make hospital visits of sick, I applied to the local hospital`s clinical pastoral education program thinking that the training would be of help in preparing me to better serve. To my surprise I was refused a placement in the program because the CPE supervisor wished applicants to have a minimum of a bachelors degree to qualify. Although I did have an associates degree, sadly I was rejected from participating. I learned then and there that the very training for chaplaincy itself was a politicized reality and that I did not at the time possess the requisite tools. Suffice it to say that the CPE supervisor did also say that I could apply again when I had a bachelors degree. I did not apply for a CPE program until it was required of me to do so as an M.Div. student nearly ten years later.

    The CPE program that I applied to was listed in the ACPE booklet provided to all seminary students at my school. Both the seminary field education director and the CPE supervisor were supervisory faculty members of the ACPE, Inc. Upon acceptance into the summer intensive CPE program in 1994 in NYC, I learned that the CPE unit was governed by the Standards of the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy, Inc. Apparently, this detail must have either been overlooked by the field education director and I was permitted to attend the CPSP CPE program in fulfillment of my CPE unit required by the seminary. As I look back, it is plausable that the field education director might have engaged in some political considerations that allowed for me to complete a unit of CPE at an ACPE accredited center with an ACPE supervisor that also offered CPE education governed by the Standards of CPSP. The fact that the CPE unit governed by the Standards of CPSP was accepted for graduate level credit at the seminary also makes for an interesting discussion as to whether it matters or not that CPE was from an accredited ACPE or CPSP training center. Upon review by the faculty, the CPE unit that I completed was accepted by the seminary to meet the expected requirements.

    I was very encouraged by my first unit of Clinical Pastoral Education training. I was encouraged not because I was learning theology but because there was something so real and palpable about encountering and learning how to journey with other human beings that now found themselves in the most vulnerable and often life and death situation of their lives. I think I did more learning and introspection in one unit of CPE than I did in three years of seminary. Don`t get me wrong, I value seminary training and I ranked among the top five percent in my seminary class. I am thankful for my seminary education. It was the seminary curriculum after all that led me to my first CPE unit.

    Here is where the politics continue. Upon graduation from seminary I wished to be assigned to a chaplaincy in addition to a congregation. I was provided the expected and necessary guidance by the denominational leaders that required that I obtain a denominational endorsement from the specialized ministries office at headquarters. To my surprise I was informed that I would require having 4 units of CPE training completed at an ACPE, Inc. program if I wished to come up for review and endorsement in chaplaincy. This prompted me to investigate who the specialized ministry staff were and to learn something about their particular chaplaincy affiliations. Lo and behold, I learned that the key staff at the specialized ministries office were supervisory faculty members of the ACPE, Inc. Might this suggest that although shrouded in Lutheran garments the ACPE, Inc. had member ambassadors promoting the exclusive recognition of their own CPE units as the only acceptable chaplaincy training for endorsement within a Lutheran denomination? The endorsement process for Lutherans was indeed a politicized process. It can appear to the outsider that the ACPE, Inc. , as a non-Lutheran entity, not only demonstrates its political power and the political reach it wields through its representative Lutheran members; it also might suggest that as an organization some of its members are religiously devoted to shaping their own church polity to remain in conformity to the ACPE, Inc. political agenda of securing and maintaining a veto power for CPE training programs it will accept and CPE training it will reject. Such political behavior might also be explained by the endorsement leaders themselves seeking to consolidate and maintain their own place as endorsers within the denomination, to create and promote church polity that requires Lutheran members with ACPE affiliation to call the shots for the specialized ministries within the denomination at the exclusion of all others.

    This is not to suggest that there is any conspiracy out there being orchestrated by ACPE, Inc. Rather it appears part of normal political process within faith groups and their representative members who hold varied political affiliations and views to allow those particular interests to also shape their church polity even at the expense of a fairness, inclusion, or neutral principle.

    However, there remain real and undisclosed political forces at work in the chaplaincy profession that should not be ignored or underestimated. This is all the more true if you belong to a new organization like CPSP. I can imagine the murmuring saying: “But CPSP is not new.” To some degree CPSP is not new and to a greater degree it is a new player on the block, a unique organization that yearns to remain continually renewing itself as a prophetic community somewhat still at the margins. As CPSP members, we have witnessed the growing pains of CPSP`s ongoing transformation.

    There is a great virtue in CPSP. It is an organization that has made a space for many, especially minorities and persons of color, to enter and remain sustained in the chaplaincy and pastoral counseling professions. It should not be overlooked that wherever new professional organizations are formed and a shift occurs in the status quo, political forces and traditional interests often seek to push back to maintain the previously existing political equilibrium that insured their dominance within the profession.

    CPSP has also created a space for ACPE supervisors who experienced professional angst and were not entirely satisfied with the direction of their ACPE colleagues over 25 years ago. Some of them are the founders of CPSP and they remain our connection to the origins of the clinical pastoral education movement in this country, and we remain as the legacy of their arduous journey to speak the truth to power. There is much politics in that too and there will always be political consequences that come with change in any profession and daring to speak the truth to power in a silently politicized profession.

    Belen Gonzalez y Perez, CPSP Diplomate
    belengyp@aol.com

  • 17 Aug 2015 7:29 PM | Perry Miller, Editor (Administrator)

    In an article posted in the NYTimes by Dr ROBERT KLITZMAN, M.D on August 13, 2015, Dr Klitzman, MD comments:

    "Eventually, my patient dying from cancer did speak with a chaplain. I noticed him visiting her one day as I walked by her door. I again spotted him two days later heading toward her door. The next morning, I thought that she looked calmer, more relieved than I’d seen her in weeks. She still had unremitting fevers and died a few months later, in that room. But the chaplain had helped her, I felt, in a way that I and medical treatment could not.

    I still regret my silence with that patient, but have tried to learn from it. Doctors themselves do not have to be spiritual or religious, but they should recognize that for many patients, these issues are important, especially at life’s end. If doctors don’t want to engage in these conversations, they shouldn’t. Instead, a physician can simply say: “Some patients would like to have a discussion with someone here about spiritual issues; some patients wouldn’t. If you would like to, we can arrange for someone to talk with you.”

    Unfortunately, countless patients feel uncomfortable broaching these topics with their doctors. And most physicians still never raise it.

    Certainly this article must encourage Clinical Chaplains to become even more proactive within their institution and with physicians to be a vital member of the medical team to provide care and counseling in such heartbreaking situations.

    Let's also hope that chaplains who are called upon in this role are well trained as clinical chaplains, equally versed in matters of faith and theology but equally true, and some times even more important, they have a solid and informed utilization of the social sciences in the field of counseling and psychotherapy along with a generous amount of self-understanding and use of self in the pastoral engagement. There must be a creative tension between both disciplines and utilization of self in clinical practice.

    The recent critique of chaplains in their work with patients in similar situations as described by Dr Klitzman, Raymond Lawrence in recent published articles on the Pastoral Report, calls into question how well prepared are chaplains to enter into such a clinical arena with such patients. 

    Perry Miller, Editor
    perrymiller@gmail.com