Pastoral Report Articles 

  • 04 Feb 2019 7:22 PM | Anonymous

    The theme of the 29th CPSP Plenary, "The Soul of Clinical Pastoral Work: The Clinical Chaplain as Therapist". This year's event will feature a consultant with an impressive background and extensive experience to journey with us as we gather together in San Antonio next month. 

    Author, professor, instructor, and therapist are just some of the titles that our event consultant, Dr. Roslyn A. Karaban, has has been recognized for in her professional work: An American ministry studies educator and pastoral counselor, Dr. Karaban is also a Claretian Social Justice grantee, Mexico-American Cultural Center, San Antonio (1980); a member of the American Association of University Women, Society for Pastoral Theology, Theological Commission Diocese Rochester; and the Rochester Women's Ordination Conference among many other recognitions  

    Dr. Karaban received her bachelor summa cum laude, Stonehill College, 1975; Master of Divinity, Harvard Divinity School, 1978; Doctor of Philosophy, Graduate Theological Union, 1984. 

    The author of numerous publications, including articles, sermons, bibliographies that include:  Responding to God's Call: A Survival Guide; Complicated Losses, Difficult Deaths: A Practical Guide for Ministering to the Grieving; and Crisis Caring. She is also the editor and contributor to Extraordinary Preaching: 20 Homilies by Roman Catholic Women. 

    This year's event will be a different format than previous years' events, as attendees are invited to freely explore, learn, and reflect on the many issues facing today's clinical pastoral chaplain, in various settings, groups, and forums. Working together, the group will share insights, thoughts, feelings, while identifying solutions and empowering themselves and their colleagues through their experience. 

    This Plenary represents a significant opportunity for  Clinical Chaplains, CPE Supervisors, Supervisors-in-Training and Parish Pastors committed to a clinical approach to ministry. 

    A reminder: The 29th CPSP Plenary will be held March 24 – 27 at and registration includes the workshops, in English and in Spanish, offered on Saturday, March 23.

    Some of the workshops that will be offered include:

    • Addiction and Spirituality
    • Attaining Intercultural Competencies in Pastoral Care (English and Spanish)
    • CAPPT/CPSP Accreditation
    • Change and Grief
    • Chapter Life
    • CPSP Standards
    • Managing a Pastoral Care Department
    • RedCross CPR (Spanish only)
    • Spiritual Evaluation (Spanish only)
    • Two Kinds of Splitting: Transference and Counter-Transference

    Event registration includes meals offered during the event (Sunday luncheon, Monday breakfast, Tuesday breakfast and banquet with entertainment) and the workshops on Saturday. There are special rates for early birds ($350) and a justice initiative rate ($225) for members making under $60K a year and whose travel is not paid for by their employer

    Register today! 

  • 21 Jan 2019 5:55 PM | Anonymous

    Friday, January 11, 2019, in Asheville, North Carolina, our tradition lost one of its finest providers of hospitality and sustainers of this movement when the Reverend Dr. C.  Roy Woodruff, Sr. passed peacefully holding the hands of his two sons. Charles, Jr. and Earl. Roy and his wife Kay Carolyn Jernigan Woodruff were married for and served together for 57 years, well-complementing each other.  

    Roy dedicated his life to helping others through his work as a chaplain, pastoral counselor, teacher, and executive director who was committed to his family, church and community.  A native of Anniston, Alabama, an Eagle Scout, and a member of the tennis team at the University of Alabama, Roy completed his B.D. and Ph.D. from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Psychology and Pastoral Care. He was Head of the Pastoral Counseling Department at Bryce State Hospital (Tuscaloosa, AL), taught Patient Counseling at Medical College of Virginia; served as head of the Department of Pastoral Care at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; was Executive Director of both Peninsula Pastoral Counseling Center (Hampton/Newport News, VA) and the American Association of Pastoral Counselors and Visiting Professor for the Korean Christian Institute of Psychotherapy (Seoul). Of his many publications especially significant were those that focused on addictions and their impact on spirituality and the family. Roy received the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care’s Distinguished Service Award (2002), the Wayne Oates Award from the Wayne E. Oates Institute (2004)  and the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award in Religious Services by Marquis Who’s Who (2018). 

    A dear friend and colleague whose obituary well captured Roy as “a gentle, kind person with a wry wit and a sensitive soul” I got the privilege of knowing him as we worked closely to sustain the profession in certification, accreditation, endorsement, public marketing , and in interdisciplinary, international and military context.  Roy well exemplified our field, his faith and our discipline’s common mission. Just as when we function at our best, Roy, his message and the mission consistently were integrated. Roy typified integration in his care for a young, confused student at a conference or in training workshops and certification interviews through interpreters in Seoul, understanding a family life chaplain who presented a certification counseling tape of a session with live gun fire in the background, advocacy of dual accreditation site visits with CACREP and collaboration with ACOA, development of endorsement options for persons marginalized, support for new certification tracks for pastoral psychotherapists, production of the Telly Award-winning video depicting the distinctiveness of pastoral counseling, encouragement of CPSP’s membership as Chair of COMISS and his consistent ability to communicate to others, “You are important. You are valuable.” 

    Roy found life meaningful hiking, backpacking, playing tennis, reading, writing, enjoying dogs but he also enjoyed people and in his own way by being a Sensitive Gentleman offering hospitality… So can we! 

    Saturday, January 26 at 11:00 AM at First Baptist Church, 5 Oak Street in Asheville, NC, many of us will recall our shared story and why we sustain this discipline as we remember our dear friend, Roy Woodruff. Memorial donations of Dr. Roy Woodruff may be made to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy ( or to The Carter Center (

  • 16 Jan 2019 6:16 PM | Anonymous

    Ken Waddell, Chair of the CPSP Accreditation Oversight Committee (AOC) and Brian Childs, Board Member with the Commission for the Accreditation of Pastoral and Psychotherapy Training (CAPPT) will be offering a three hour workshop on the process for training program accreditation and also offer training certification for persons wanting to participate in site visits of programs for accreditation overseen by CAPPT. It is important that persons currently providing CPE/T training or those anticipating creating training programs attend this workshop.

    The first part of the workshop will outline the accreditation process and offer strategies and practices to facilitate a positive accreditation experience.

    The second part of the workshop will provide the requisite training of those person who want to participate in site visits of training programs up for review by CAPPT. CAPPT needs site reviewers from around the country so we have hopes that we will have a good turnout from across all regions of our CPSP community.

    In order to participate and receive certification of this training the candidate must be a Diplomate in Supervision and/or a Diplomate in Psychotherapy. It is suggested that participants in both parts of the workshop first become familiar with the CPSP Accreditation Manual AND the CAPPT Certification Manual both of which can be found on the site under the Accreditation tab (which also has link for the CAPPT website.) 

    Register today for the 29th Plenary in San Antonio!

  • 12 Jan 2019 9:16 PM | Anonymous

    Brian H. Childs, Ph.D. a Diplomate Supervisor and Psychotherapist as well as training supervisor in CPSP, has been recently board certified as a healthcare ethics consultant. Initiated by the American Society for Bioethics and the Humanities an independent organization, the HCEC Certification Commission, was founded and over a three-year period developed the criteria for a person to sit for an exam to earn board certification. Childs, who qualified to sit for the exam in November 2018 was granted the board certification on January 11, 2019. In order to sit for the exam a candidate has to demonstrate competence in theory, analysis, clinical communication and mediation skills, as well as process improvement. The proctored exam is several hours long and consists of several hundred items including case studies, ethical and moral theory, legal and procedural issues, and research of process improvement as well as human subject research.

    Childs is a past Fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities Institute of Medicine, Literature and the Life Sciences at Northeastern Ohio School of Medicine and Hiram College and the Presidential Citation of the American Society for Bioethics and the Humanities for his contribution as an author of the ASBH Code of Ethics for Clinical Ethics Consultants. He is currently Professor of Bioethics and Professionalism and Director of Ethics Education at the Mercer University School of Medicine on its three campuses in Savannah, Macon, and Columbus, Georgia. He is also a CPE/T Supervisor at Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah and founding Chair, and now member of the Board of Trustees of the Commission for the Accreditation of Pastoral and Psychotherapy Training (CAPPT).

  • 23 Dec 2018 9:43 PM | Anonymous

    A year ago, I "Faded to Black" in a Pastoral Report essay. Attending a few meetings this year of a Denver CPSP Chapter has since rekindled those ashes.

    The chapter's first meeting, to which I had been invited on account of the essay, seemed usual: check-in, business, candidate bio. The second included an e-talk with CPSP leadership on procedures, and a frank discussion. The last meeting of 2018, a breakfast, turned out to be the fire-stick, a spirit of early training days, a ministering. 

    A hospice chaplain who had been on call arrived almost at the end of the meal. Her body language said, "rushed, disquieted." She spoke of a funeral that just attended in what I understood to be disturbing family dynamics not unlike those chaplains witness and my own family recently experienced after the death of a loved one. I heard from the Chapter only words of comfort and support, not only for this chaplain but indirectly for myself.

    Until that moment I had been asking others and myself, "What am I even doing here at these meetings?" The others replied that I had been invited, a great line from " Close Encounters of the Third Kind. " My tentative answer now is that I am warmed, during this season of wonder, by their kindness.


    Dom is a retired Clinical Chaplain who lives in Littleton, Colorado. He can be reached at

  • 16 Dec 2018 8:47 PM | Anonymous

    The continuing ill treatment of immigrants seeking refuge in our country is not congruent with who we are as a nation. We call on all citizens to protest the actions of our current government that continue to disrespect and abuse immigrants as a class. The death last week of a dehydrated child in custody after extended neglect by governmental authorities was an unconscionable, notorious and inhumane act that every decent citizen must forcefully protest. Such deeds betray the basic ideals that brought forth this nation more than two centuries ago. Many if not most of those seeking asylum are fleeing failed states, just as the Polish, Irish, Italians and others were doing in the 19th century. And we in this country are not entirely innocent of contributing to the decompensation of social order beyond our borders.  We must not remain silent in the face of such despicable and inhumane treatment of those desperate for safe harbor.

    Ruth Zollinger and David Plummer, Co-Presidents
    Charles Kirby Treasurer
    Cynthia Olson, Associate General Secretary
    Raymond J. Lawrence, General Secretary

  • 07 Dec 2018 11:25 AM | Anonymous

    The new (2018) edition of The Standards of the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy marks the third stage in the evolution of our basic documents since our adopting Bylaws that set out a new form of CPSP governance in 2014.

    As we lived into our new organization and roles, growing clarity brought the first committee recommendations for changes to our Standards and procedures. The Certification and Promotion of Chapters Committee led the way by identifying the essential functions of chapters (Chicago Plenary, 2015), thus providing an impetus for revising The Standards to keep up with our actual expectations among one another.

    The 2016 version built directly on the work that was already well under way by early 2014 (and reported to Plenary in Virginia Beach) in the area of Accreditation Oversight. That version also reflected our awareness of the changing pastoral care environment, resulting in a new certification, pastoral psychotherapist, equipped to offer care a step above the capabilities of the pastoral counselor. The diplomate role, too, was reframed to highlight the supervision of psychotherapy training – also a step up in the level of capability for which we train.

    In the area of clinical pastoral training, the Standards for supervisory training – for both supervisors-in-training and training supervisor candidates – also saw major updating in 2016.

    The 2017 Standards began to take shape almost immediately after the 2016 document was released – adapting, in the light of experience, within the existing frame.

    This year, input from the Certification Committee, resulted in the decision by the Governing Council to combine two certifications – clinical chaplain and pastoral counselor – into one (Oakland Plenary, 2018). Once again, our Standards keep up with our evolving notion of the nature of our work as chaplains/counselors. The experience of re-visioning that one certification invited deeper reflection on the structure of the Standards document itself – and suggested a structure that corresponds to our essential functions. The new organization of the Standards, accordingly, addresses accreditation, training, and certification, in that order, followed by the structure that undergirds them all – the CPSP Chapter.

    More reflections on – and tips for navigating – the new Standards will be coming soon!

    Ed Luckett, Jr.
    Chair, Standards Committee

  • 08 Nov 2018 9:13 PM | Anonymous

    Well, I had purposed in my heart, just prior to this weekend, of foregoing any particular presidential address or even observations. But then the events that took place at the Pittsburgh's Tree of Life synagogue, yesterday morning caused me to pause.  Then, this morning, I received an email from a fellow CPSP Diplomate, and he challenged me that I or CPSP should call for a meeting of our cognate colleagues to speak to this and the other hate crimes that have recently occurred.… 

    The Diplomate complimented General Secretary Raymond's response in the Pastoral Report to that horrific mass murder in Pittsburgh. That piece, which I thought was very good and exceptionally prompt to this event, addressed issues of justice, leadership, and the lack of civility in our current social situation in this country.  The Diplomate challenged me personally to reach out to the various leaders of the other pastoral care cognate groups and that we should call a meeting to discuss -- as a unified group within our profession -- our current national situation.  Moreover, that this group of our national pastoral care leaders should produce a statement that we reject—openly,  publicly and collectively reject—racism, sexism, supremacism, along with some of the very questionable leadership and statements and tweets that we've heard from some of our nation's leaders of late.  The Diplomate emphatically argued that we should gather the leadership of CPSP and invite the other cognate groups to come to the table, talk, and reach a mutual statement of such. 

    A few months ago, in late June, you'll recall that the immigration service made the decision they would stop at the border families seeking a better life, a safer life, a real possibility for a future life for themselves and for their families.  But things changed this summer.  The Administration made the decision not only to stop them, but to separate children—very young children—from their parents.  That drastic change was immoral in my mind.   I reached out to the various North American pastoral care cognate groups.  These are organizations of chaplains and pastoral counselors that I've known over the years and through my COMISS background. I reached out specifically to the leadership of each of these groups and said, "Hey, now's a good time for us to come to the table as cognate groups and make a unified, declarative statement.  The border authorities are separating families.  There are reports of physical and psychological abuse of these separated little children and young people.  The major secular mental health certifying organizations have already made strong statements.  This is a time when people of pastoral concern and theological undergirding should stand up and say, ‘No, this ought not to be done!'"   You don't separate puppies and kittens from their parents; why on earth should we do this to human beings?

    So I reached out a few months ago as a Co-president of CPSP sending a mass email to these colleagues and made that plea.   I didn't hear from several of them. However, some of them whom I did hear from said, "That's just too political of a statement for us to make. We're afraid we might be offending our constituents." I was profoundly disappointing to me on several levels, but not the least of which is: If people of conscience, if people of theological conviction and pastoral concern will not stand up and speak to such horrible events at our borders, when can we make a stand?  When will we say something?  Is there any event when we, as a collective discipline, should say something?  

    So it made me proud this morning, when I was reflecting on our colleagues' earlier response(s), that at least CPSP's leadership has taken a stance -- and we're not particularly concerned about who we may or may not offend when the stakes are so profound.  You know, regardless of what supremacists are out there, regardless of what racists, sexists, and hate-filled people are living among us whom we might offend (and who might somehow be a part of our constituency), we take a bold stand!  We take a courageous stand when the cause or causes are right—humanitarian causes, justice causes.  This makes me proud to be a part of CPSP. 

    These are my comments for today.  

    David Plummer
    CPSP Co-President


    Editor's Note: On October 30th ACPE published a statement representing "associations" representing most of the organizations referred to by David Plummer, CPSP Co-President, in his remarks to the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy's Governing Council meeting on October 28, 2018. CPSP was not invited by ACPE to participate in a joint statement regardless of Plummer's request. 

    The ACPE statement in response to the massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh:

    "In regards to the events of Saturday, October 27,

    As associations committed to the spiritual care of people of all faiths and those who have none, we unequivocally denounce the anti-Semitism that fueled the hateful murders of eleven people last Saturday. We honor the sacred spaces and the gift of Shabbat and are horrified by the events at Tree of Life Synagogue. We represent over 10,000 spiritual care givers who are often the first responders when victims and their families come to hospitals, who stay in those hospitals with physicians and staff, who receive them in clinical settings for on-going post-traumatic care, caring for all of the members of our communities well past the moment of crisis. We ask that our political and faith leaders stand with us in rejecting this heinous act and work with us to be about "tikkun olam," the Hebrew expression for the work of healing the world."

    The CPSP public statement crafted by Raymond Lawrence, CPSP General Secretary, in response to the hate crime and killing in Pittsburgh:

  • 05 Nov 2018 3:57 PM | Anonymous

    If the current President has his way tomorrow I fear for the future of our nation, and also of the world. 

    Vote, please! 

    And do everything you can to get your friends to vote! Tomorrow could be the last time your vote will mean anything. The future of the nation is in your hands.

    Raymond J. Lawrence

    General Secretary