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Pastoral Care

Episcopal Health Services Inc. (EHS) chaplains are available to patients, residents, their families, and staff. The pastoral care ministry of EHS chaplains can be summarized in three words presence, interpretation, and prophecy (PIP).

Presence: The ministry of presence includes, but is not limited to: identifying and addressing the spiritual needs of residents and patients, their families and staff; comforting the distressed, confused, and overwhelmed; helping others acknowledge and process life issues that may surface during health care challenges (so that these do not become obstacles to treatment and decision making); and defusing, debriefing, and challenging staff.

Interpretation: Chaplain’s translate the experience and values of patients and residents allowing medical staff to better understand the person they are treating. They also represent hospital services to patients and their families in order to reduce frustrations and facilitate access and use of hospital and nursing home services.

Prophecy: Chaplains advocate for patients and residents and for their access to quality care. They remind managers and administrators to pursue, honor and uphold the institution’s mission so that administrative concerns and clinical duties do not carry us away from purpose.

Clinical Pastoral Education

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is a professional training and education program for ministry. It brings theological students, ordained clergy, members of religious orders and qualified laypersons into supervised encounters with hospital patients and nursing home residents. The program facilitates the development of pastoral identity, interpersonal competence, skills for pastoral assessment, professional collaboration, group leadership, pastoral care and counseling; and pastoral theological reflection.

CPE programs function at three levels: Basic, Advanced, and Supervisor-In-Training. Within this graded, competency-based curriculum, trainees provide pastoral care service in hospital and nursing home settings under supervision. Supervision is the heart of the learning process, wherein trainees learn and acquire skills through multiple structures of responsibility (i.e., pastoral care service, group relations, and case presentations) and reflection (i.e., individual supervision, case presentations, and self, peer and group evaluations).

EHS’ Clinical Pastoral Education Program
EHS’ CPE Program, established in 1994 by the Rt. Rev. Orris Walker, Jr. for the Diocese of Long Island, is the only diocesan owned and accredited program in the United States. Over the years, this program has attracted and trained a diverse applicant pool. The diversity of our trainees and the skills of our supervisors make this program unique and outstanding.

The wide variety of patient/resident populations served by the CPE program also enriches the training experience. EHS’ clinical sites are located in an inner-city/urban setting. The contrast between inner-city and urban settings lifts class differences, justice issues, as well as social and economic concerns. Two of the CPE Center's clinical sites are situated within minutes of Kennedy International Airport, an eastern gateway in America to the world. The populations of Kings, Queens, and Nassau counties represent a microcosm of the nations of the world. The ethnic communities served by EHS facilities include Russian, Italian, Chinese, Greek, African, Indian, Egyptian, Hispanic, Caribbean Islander and African-American. With pride, they preserve, express and share their cultural, religious, and ethnic heritages. Such diversity harbors potent experiences and lessons in pastoral care for students at this CPE Center.

EHS-CPE clinical sites are organized into three campuses: Bishop Henry B. Hucles Nursing Home in Brooklyn; St. John's Episcopal Hospital; and Bishop Charles Waldo MacLean Episcopal Nursing Home in Far Rockaway. Class days take place in the CPE Training Center on the campus of St. John’s Episcopal Hospital.

EHS partners with hospitals, denominations, governmental agencies, and seminaries outside the United States of America to provide CPE training. EHS has established CPE centers in Tanzania, Italy, Singapore, and Korea. Through EHS’ Indigenous CPE Programs centers are being developed in the Philippines, Malaysia, the Bahamas and Ghana.

Class Descriptions and Schedules