Staff members Rev. Dr. Randy Hall and Rev. Darryl Owens
Clinical Pastoral Education is interfaith professional education for ministry. It brings theological students and ministers of all faiths (pastors, priests, rabbis, imams and others) into supervised encounters with persons in crisis. Out of an intense involvement with persons in need, and the feedback from peers and teachers, students develop new awareness of themselves as persons and of the needs of those to whom they minister. From theological reflection on specific human situations, they gain a new understanding of ministry. Within the interdisciplinary team process of helping persons, they develop skills in interpersonal and inter-professional relationships.
Students are prepared for and supported in these clinical encounters by didactic and reflective curricular content on spiritual care in various contexts. All three internships help students integrate the theological and spiritual resources of their traditions into spiritual assessment and care. The internship and residency curricula are shaped and informed by trauma and grief theory, enabling students to use their own stories as a resource for helping care receivers through difficult experiences. Didactics are taught by in-house faculty and staff chaplains, as well as by hospital clinicians and professionals from the community. Students learn to engage critical feedback and obtain consultation and peer support as they gain skills applicable in any ministry setting.
Clinical Pastoral Education is well integrated into the life and mission of UNC Hospitals. As chaplains, CPE students are considered valued members of the interdisciplinary patient care teams and are called upon regularly by the hospital staff to assist in patient care. It is common for CPE students to be invited to family meetings and/or ethics consultations. CPE students benefit from their work with senior staff, including CPE faculty and staff chaplains and participate in regularly scheduled departmental meetings, department committees and educational events. Students routinely minister in the following areas: the NC Jaycees Burn Center, The NC Neuroscience Hospital, Labor and Delivery, Oncology, Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Geriatrics, Cardiology, General Medicine, Emergency Medicine and Surgery.
Students in the CPE Residency Program are assigned a professional staff chaplain mentor. Students work alongside and meet with their mentors on a regular basis, benefiting from the guidance, support and feedback of a seasoned professional chaplain. Residents often report that the mentoring relationships in the department are among the highlights of their CPE experiences.
Reflection: Writing, Sharing, and Supervision
Didactics are presentations and directed discussions by members of the Department of Pastoral Care, community members and members of the interdisciplinary teams at UNC Hospitals.
Interpersonal Relations Groups offer CPE students the opportunity to give and receive support, clarification and confrontation in a group, with the goal of becoming more aware of theological and psychological dynamics in group processes.
Case Presentations offer students a chance to reflect on the actual practice of ministry, by presenting a close reading and analysis of caring interactions with patients or others.
Individual Supervision is offered to students on a weekly basis (every-other week for extended programs), allowing students opportunity for personalized one-on-one reflection with their supervisor.
The CPE program at UNC Hospitals takes advantage of educational opportunities throughout the UNC Health Care system, including the UNC Schools of Medicine and Nursing. Students can attend lectures on a variety of issues including medical ethics, theology and humanities in medicine.