Spiritual Care & Training (2023)

Spiritual and religious care services at Memorial Health University Medical Center are provided by a team of chaplains and volunteers who are qualified to administer sacraments and conduct worship services. Other services include emotional and spiritual support, spiritual counseling, assistance in accepting and coping with a diagnosis, assistance with end-of-life issues, ethical consultation, assistance with organ and tissue donation, crisis intervention, and clinical pastoral education.

Any time that you need assistance, ask your nurse to contact a Memorial Health chaplain, or call (912) 645-1079.

Clinical Pastoral Education

We offer a clinical pastoral education program that is accredited by the Commission for Pastoral Psychotherapy Training. Clinical pastoral education (CPE) is specialized training for people of all faiths who want to work in the ministry of hospital chaplaincy. Training is provided by a certified educator and follows a curriculum with standards and competencies set by the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy. The training includes classroom time; visiting patients, family and staff; and learning through observation, action, and reflection. Physicians, nurses, and other clinicians provide some of the training. Memorial Health's CPE program requires 15 months to complete and become a board-certified chaplain. Some interns may choose not to complete the full program, but still receive significant training and advanced skills. Full course information is explained below.

To learn more about the CPE program or apply, contact:
Reverend Jamil el-Shair, Memorial Health University Medical Center Staff Chaplain (912) 433-1231

Call Chaplain:(912) 433-1231

Description of CPE Program

CPE provides theological and professional education in diverse contexts of ministry. There are professional benchmarks and expected outcomes that formulate the competency objectives. CPE outcomes and expectations cover three key areas of personal, pastoral, and professional development.

(Video) The importance of Spiritual Care | Matthew Kearney

Pastoral formation focuses on matters of personal functioning, pastoral identity, and pastoral authority. Trainees give attention to the articulation of personal religious heritage and understanding of their theological journey.

Pastoral competence focuses on matters of pastoral care/counseling skill development, the ability to establish a pastoral/spiritual diagnosis (assessment), establish a pastoral bond with persons from a variety of social, cultural, and religious perspectives, and to function as a competent team member and effectively integrate theological and the behavioral sciences.

Pastoral reflection focuses on the trainee's ability to grasp and utilize the clinical method of learning for obtaining personal and educational goals, reflect upon one’s religious heritage, utilize the peer group for integration of personal and pastoral functioning, and make effective use of supervision and feedback for personal and pastoral development and functioning.

CPE Units

Unit One

Competencies Addressed

  • Learn to use of the clinical process and the clinical method of learning. This includes the formulation of clinical data, the ability to receive and utilize feedback and consultation, and the ability to make creative use of supervision.
  • Develop the self as a work in progress and cultivate an understanding of the self as the principal tool in pastoral care and counseling. This includes the ability to reflect and interpret one’s own life story both psychologically and theologically.

Pastoral Development

The trainee is introduced to the concept of pastoral formation. This introduction relates to the trainee’s grasp and articulation of personal religious heritage and understanding of their theological journey.

(Video) Pastoral Care Training - Chapter 1 - With All Humility

The trainee will be expected to identify and discuss their life history regarding major life events including relationships and cultural and personal identity as it is related to pastoral functioning.

Pastoral Competence

The trainee will be expected to function within a group setting, giving attention to relationships and the dynamics within the group. There will be an expectation to integrate concepts of pastoral competence, and initiation of helping relationships across and within culturally diverse settings as well as within groups that are familiar.

Pastoral Reflection

The trainee will be expected to grasp and utilize the clinical method of learning for obtaining personal and educational goals. These goals will assist and guide the trainee's journey.

Unit Two

Competencies Addressed

  • Demonstrate the ability to establish a pastoral bond with persons and groups in various life situations and crisis circumstances.
  • Demonstrate the ability to provide a critical analysis of one’s own religious tradition.
  • Demonstrate the ability to communicate and engage in ministry with persons across cultural boundaries.
  • Demonstrate the ability to utilize individual supervision for personal and professional growth and for developing the capacity to evaluate one’s ministry.

Pastoral Development

Pastoral formation continues with further clarification of the pastoral role, the ability and heart of a “true shepherd of souls.” Key focus will be around clarifying and articulating a theology of call, which integrates pastoral identity and authority.

(Video) Chaplain Documentation: A Review of *Charting Spiritual Care*

Pastoral Competence

Trainees are encouraged to provide ministry to diverse groups from various cultures and ethnicities. The trainee will be introduced to “family systems theory” as a way to conceptualize ministry to various groups of people and to better understand family-of-origin issues that surface in the practice of ministry. Along with this concept is the introduction of “parallel process.” Through reading and research of this concept, the trainee will seek ways to incorporate congruence between issues surfacing while engaged in pastoral care and issues that surface while in the CPE program. Trainees will also focus on ministry in crisis situations.

Pastoral Reflection

The trainee will continue the collaboration with peers and other professionals. The introduction of theological reflection will assist the trainee in putting his or her theology into perspective asking the question, “How does my theology affect others?” Trainees in their second unit are encouraged to focus on specific assignments and recommended readings.

Unit Three

Competencies Addressed

  • Demonstrate basic care and counseling skills including listening, empathy, reflection, analysis of problems, conflict resolution, theological reflection, and the demonstration of a critical eye to examine and evaluate human behavior and religious symbols for their meaning and significance.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the dynamics of group behavior and the variety of group experiences, and utilize the support, confrontation, and clarification of the peer group for the integration of personal attributes and pastoral functioning.
  • Demonstrate the ability to work as a pastoral member of an interdisciplinary team.
  • Demonstrate the ability to make effective use of the behavioral sciences in pastoral ministry.

Pastoral Development

Trainees focus on the ability to articulate strengths and weaknesses both personally and professionally as a means to gain an understanding of personal wounds to enhance ministry practice. The trainee is exposed to basic pastoral counseling issues and techniques including transference and countertransference. These definitions, along with reading and research, assist the trainee with counseling concepts with a mind toward boundaries and limitations in ministry practice.

Pastoral Competence

The emphasis for unit three consists of the trainee’s grasp of the pastoral role in professional relationships and how to function effectively as a pastoral member of a multidisciplinary team. The trainee will demonstrate pastoral skills including listening, empathic reflection, conflict resolution, and crisis management with appropriate use of religious and spiritual resources, including awareness of religious symbolism.

(Video) Training in Pastoral Care and Counseling - Ed Welch

Pastoral Reflection

The trainee demonstrates the ability to self-supervise through realistic pastoral practice. This entails recognizing issues that surface in verbatim reports and other pastoral care functions, and offering a sense of self-evaluation that is meaningful to adult learning and personal growth. The trainee will also develop a growing awareness and articulation of group dynamics to assist personal and professional development.

Unit Four

Competencies Addressed

  • Demonstrate the ability to make a pastoral diagnosis with special reference to the nature and quality of religious values.
  • Demonstrate increasing leadership ability and personal authority.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the basic literature of the field: clinical, behavioral, and theological.

Pastoral Development

The trainee will show awareness of pastoral leadership and authority and demonstrate an understanding of it while engaged with the CPE peer group.

Pastoral Competence

Demonstrate a clear understanding of pastoral diagnosis/spiritual assessment and the importance of incorporating this concept into ministry practice. The trainee will prepare a bibliography of clinical, behavioral, and theological materials that will serve as a resource for ministry practice.

Pastoral Reflection

The trainee will communicate a clear understanding of the nature and quality of religious values. The trainee will research and prepare a presentation for the supervisor and peer group about a project related to ministry training.

(Video) Chaplains and the Role of Spiritual Care in Healthcare


What are examples of spiritual care? ›

Meeting spiritual needs

spending time with the people important to them. spending time in nature. spending time on hobbies. following religious customs, like prayer or going to religious services.

What is the concept of spiritual care? ›

Spiritual care is an aspect of health care that supports the inner person (spirit/soul) to help deal with the health challenges that you or your loved one is facing. This may include concerns or questions about personal meaning, purpose, legacy, hope and faith.

What is the spiritual care in nursing practice theory? ›

Spiritual care is a purposeful process of helping others to promote their spirituality, particularly to cope in stressful times (Burkhart & Hogan, 2008; Steinhauser et al., 2017).

What is the difference between spirituality and spiritual care? ›

Spirituality is a complex concept that has different meanings for different people. Spiritual care is a fundamental aspect of nursing and attending to the spiritual needs of patients may improve their health outcomes.

What are the 5 qualities of spiritual health? ›

Five characteristics of spirituality include: meaning, value, transcendence, connecting (with oneself, others, God/supreme power and the environment), and becoming (the growth and progress in life) (2). Five decades have passed since the introduction of spiritual health and its various definitions.

What are 4 examples of spiritual health? ›

Some common criteria that fall within the category of spiritual health include belief in a supreme being, unity with a greater force, a guiding sense of meaning and value, an organized religion, balance, introspection, and meaning.

What are the 3 steps to spiritual growth? ›

Spiritual Growth and Progression

This gradual growth generally involves three stages of development: the purgative stage, the illuminative stage, and the unitive stage.

What does a spiritual care worker do? ›

They can help people sort out the "big" questions in order to find meaning, comfort, hope, goodness and community in the midst of a crisis.

How do you implement spiritual care? ›

As you interact, imagine what it's like to be in their shoes and ask God for wisdom to support them in the way they need.
  1. Take Your Cues from the Patient. ...
  2. Demonstrate a Christ-like Attitude. ...
  3. Ask the Patient How You Can Support Them Spiritually. ...
  4. Support Patients Within Their Own Faith Tradition.
16 Mar 2018

Why is spiritual care important in healthcare? ›

As stated by Dr. Puchalski, spirituality can help patients in many ways. It can be a factor in how a patient understands their disease, it can be vital for patient when it comes to coping with an unfavorable diagnosis, and it can affect their level of distress.

What is the essence of spiritual care in nursing? ›

According to the American Nurses Association and Health Ministries Association (2017), “Spiritual care is the practical expression of presence, guidance, and interventions, individual or communal, to support, nurture, or encourage an individual's or group's ability to achieve wholeness; health; personal, spiritual, and ...

What are skills of spiritual caregiver? ›

Three important aspects of communication that seem pertinent to the issue of spiritual care are attentive listening, non-verbal communication and the use of presence (Box 6.3). A brief definition of attentive listening is provided.

What are the benefits of spiritual care? ›

Spiritual care has positive effects on individuals' stress responses, spiritual well-being (ie, the balance between physical, psychosocial, and spiritual aspects of self), sense of integrity and excellence, and interpersonal relationships (1).

What are the 3 elements of spirituality? ›

The shamans, healers, sages, and wisdom keepers of all times, all continents, and all peoples, in their ageless wisdom, say that human spirituality is composed of three aspects: relationships, values, and life purpose.

What are the 4 elements of spirituality? ›

These four elements were believed to be essential to life. Taoism has five elements, each one superior to the next in turn: wood, earth, water, fire, and metal.
Four Elements.
temperamentblood, red
mystic characterdreamer, lover of freedom, profound
Blakeshame and fear
3 more columns

What are 3 ways to have good spiritual health? ›

8 ways to boost your spiritual health
  1. Connect with your faith community. According to a Gallup study, 43% of Americans say they belong to a church or other religious body. ...
  2. Volunteer or help others. ...
  3. Practice yoga. ...
  4. Meditate. ...
  5. Keep a journal. ...
  6. Spend time in nature. ...
  7. Focus on your hobbies. ...
  8. Speak with a chaplain or someone you trust.
26 Jun 2021

What are spiritual skills? ›

1. These are capabilities associated with well-being, contentment, success, peacefulness, satisfaction, enabling the individual to achieve a state of being that is holistic in nature.

What are good spiritual habits? ›

What are some good habits for people who are interested in spiritual growth? Let God say something to you every day, by reading his word. Say something to God every day, in prayer. Say something for God every day, standing up for what is right.

How do you start a spiritual practice? ›

1. Pick Your Practice
  1. Meditate for 15-30 minutes.
  2. Create movement by doing yoga postures or stretching for several minutes.
  3. Say affirmations aloud.
  4. Smudge yourself to clear your energy.
  5. Pray or share thoughts with the divine.
  6. Read a few pages from a book that feels nourishing to your spirit.
2 Apr 2020

Why is spirituality so important? ›

It encourages people to have better relationships with themselves, others, and the unknown. Spirituality can help you deal with stress by giving you a sense of peace, purpose, and forgiveness. It often becomes more important in times of emotional stress or illness.

What is the purpose of spirituality? ›

Spirituality recognises that your role in life has a greater value than what you do every day. It can relieve you from dependence on material things and help you to understand your life's greater purpose. Spirituality can also be used as a way of coping with change or uncertainty.

What is spiritual health in simple words? ›

Spiritual health is a dimension of human wellness that integrates all dimensions of health: physical, emotional, mental, and social. Spiritual health creates meaning in life, cultivates altruism and ethics, and is based on individual perceptions convincing us of our ability to survive.

How can I grow strong spiritually? ›

5 Ways to Strengthen Your Relationship with God
  1. Humble Yourself and Pray.
  2. Read and Study Your Bible.
  3. Join a Group of Like-Minded Believers.
  4. Do for Others.
  5. Seek Out Your Spiritual Gifts.

How do you grow deeply spiritually? ›

Spiritual growth can be spurred by regular devotional practices like prayer and attendance at religious services. You can develop your relationship with your own spirituality by increasing your mindfulness, contemplating the natural world and works of art, and making things of beauty.

What are the four factors of spiritual growth? ›

There are four main factors that determine how to grow spiritually. First, we have to read God's Word. Second, we have to study the Word of God. Third, we need to meditate on the Word, and finally, we have to speak out the Word in order to have the desired results.

What are the seven spiritual needs? ›

Spiritual needs are those needs for our life to have meaning and purpose:
  • Forgiveness.
  • Reassurance.
  • Acceptance.
  • Hope.
  • Peace.
  • Giving thanks for the goodness of our life.

What is the difference between pastoral care and spiritual care? ›

In secular contexts, the term 'pastoral care' is often replaced by the term 'spiritual care. ' Spiritual care, however, is provided by various professionals, so pastoral caregivers face the challenge of developing adequate and convincing language to explain what is distinctive about their work.

What jobs do spiritual people have? ›

17 types of spiritual careers
  • Homeopath.
  • Counselor.
  • Martial arts instructor.
  • Wellness specialist.
  • Pastor.
  • Chaplain.
  • Writer.
  • Musician.
3 Jan 2022

What are spiritual care interventions? ›

Spiritual interventions are approaches that involve religious or existential aspects such as finding meaning and purpose in life. Spiritual interventions may include activities such as spiritual counseling, meaning-focused meditation, or psychotherapy.

What are spiritual care needs? ›

Spiritual needs are those needs whose satisfaction causes the person's spiritual growth and make the person a social, hopeful individual who always thanks God. They include the need for communication with others, communication with God, and being hopeful.

How do you take care spiritually? ›

8 ways to boost your spiritual health
  1. Connect with your faith community. According to a Gallup study, 43% of Americans say they belong to a church or other religious body. ...
  2. Volunteer or help others. ...
  3. Practice yoga. ...
  4. Meditate. ...
  5. Keep a journal. ...
  6. Spend time in nature. ...
  7. Focus on your hobbies. ...
  8. Speak with a chaplain or someone you trust.
26 Jun 2021

What are the 5 elements of spirituality? ›

Central to this form of spiritual experience are the 5 elements — Earth, Fire, Air, Water and Spirit.

Why is spiritual care important? ›

Spiritual care has positive effects on individuals' stress responses, spiritual well-being (ie, the balance between physical, psychosocial, and spiritual aspects of self), sense of integrity and excellence, and interpersonal relationships (1).

How do you practice spiritually? ›

Praying more, meditating more, attending gatherings of like-minded believers more often and joining a prayer or meditation group are just a few ways you can put your spirituality into practice.

How can I develop my spiritual life? ›

5 Ways to Strengthen Your Relationship with God
  1. Humble Yourself and Pray.
  2. Read and Study Your Bible.
  3. Join a Group of Like-Minded Believers.
  4. Do for Others.
  5. Seek Out Your Spiritual Gifts.


1. Spiritual Care of the Nonreligious
(ACPE: The Standard for Spiritual Care & Education)
2. Spiritual Care Abschiedsvorlesung (LMU München) Prof. Dr. med. Eckhard Frick sj
(kattlfish production)
3. Webinar: Spiritual Assessment in Palliative Care
(ACPE: The Standard for Spiritual Care & Education)
4. Week 1: What is Pastoral Ministry?
(Practical Shepherding)
5. Pastoral care training film for QMUL personal tutors - reactive response scenario
6. What is the goal of pastoral care?
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Sen. Ignacio Ratke

Last Updated: 01/25/2023

Views: 5349

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (76 voted)

Reviews: 91% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Sen. Ignacio Ratke

Birthday: 1999-05-27

Address: Apt. 171 8116 Bailey Via, Roberthaven, GA 58289

Phone: +2585395768220

Job: Lead Liaison

Hobby: Lockpicking, LARPing, Lego building, Lapidary, Macrame, Book restoration, Bodybuilding

Introduction: My name is Sen. Ignacio Ratke, I am a adventurous, zealous, outstanding, agreeable, precious, excited, gifted person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.