14 Jan 2016 1:00 PM | Perry N. Miller

CPSP has been active in the Philippines for many years. However, in recent years, the relationship has gradually evolved into a more formal partnership. The latest chapter of this journey began on November 24, 2015 with the signing of a formal Memorandum of Agreement between CPSP and CPSP-Philippines. 

In 2012, CPSP-Philippines was established as a wholly independent, indigenous body, working in tandem with CPSP for establishing standards, credentials, and accreditation in terms of clinical pastoral education, training centers, pastoral counseling, and clinical chaplaincy-- but contextualized to Southeast Asia. 

The partnership was a rather unique relationship for CPSP, so there were some difficulties in properly establishing the ground rules. However, after several months of dialogue between the Board of CPSP-Philippines, Dr. Raymond Lawrence, and legal counsel, standards to ensure equivalency of programs and establish the basis for reciprocity of credentials were put into the form of the Memorandum of Agreement.

Raymond Lawrence visited the Philippines from November 21-27. During his visit he was able to hold talks with Saint Andrews TheologicalSeminary and St. Lukes Hospital for revitalizing the defunct CPE program in those organizations. The rest of the time he was at Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary (PBTS) and Bukal Life Care & Counseling Center, in Baguio City. CPSP-Philippines was originally founded in Baguio City, and Bukal Life Care, whose office is on the campus of PBTS, serves as the headquarters for CPSP-Philippines.

On the trip, Dr. Lawrence led three days of training for members of CPSP-Philippines, as well as CPE trainees. The focus was on case studies, starting with a review of his book,  Nine Cases: The Soul of Pastoral Care and Counseling. All participants received a complementary copy of the book. In addition, a number of cases were read and discussed by participants. The cases presented by the participants were varied,interesting, and represented well the unique counseling experiences of the Philippines.

Tuesday evening, the 24th of November, a Thanksgiving dinner was heldthat included the formal signing of the Memorandum of Agreementbetween CPSP and CPSP-Philippines. Dr Raymond Lawrence signed as General Secretary of CPSP, and Dr. Paul Tabon signed as the President of the Board of Trustees of CPSP-Philippines. Although not signers of the agreement, Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary was represented by its president, Dr. Armand Canoy with his wife Violeta, while Bukal LifeCare was represented by board members Celia Munson, Dr. SimplicioDang-Awan, and Edgar Chan.

CPSP-Philippines is grateful for the investment that CPSP has put into the Philippines, and appreciates its vision to see beyond borders, and support clinical pastoral care and training worldwide.

Robert Munson