Pastoral Report Articles 

  • 28 Jun 2017 8:14 PM | Perry Miller, Editor (Administrator)

    At the 2017 Plenary of the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy, the first Co-Presidents of CPSP were installed. David Plummer and Ruth Zollinger talk with our host, Susan McDougal about their work in CPSP, their backgrounds and their vision for the future of CPSP. 

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  • 23 May 2017 9:00 AM | Perry Miller, Editor (Administrator)

    An experiential group relations conference with René Molenkamp, MDiv, PhD, as director is scheduled for August 11-13 at the Christ the King Retreat Center in Citrus Heights, CA, outside Sacramento.

    “The Power of Presence: Authorization and De-Authorization in the Helping Professions” ( is intended especially for chaplains, pastoral counselors, CPE supervisors, supervisors-in-training, psychotherapists, and others including social workers, nurses, and others.

    René Molenkamp is well known to CPSP members as the co-author of The Tavistock Primer and the most widely used article on boundary, authority, role and task (BART).

    The revised 2017 CPSP Standards set out expectations for all certified members concerning group relations: for Clinical Chaplains “familiarity with and an ability to utilize group relations theory in practice,” and for CPE Supervisors and Supervisors-in-Training “a working knowledge and clinical acuity to attend to psychodynamic group process, including unconscious elements as appropriate.”

    The conference is co-sponsored by Grex (the West Coast affiliate of the AK Rice Institute for the Study of Groups) and CPSP’s Nautilus Pacific Chapter.

    Sacramento’s airport is easily accessible by major air carriers and especially well serviced by Southwest Airlines.

    Three full scholarships for CPSP members with serious financial need are being funded by Nautilus Pacific. For more information about the conference and scholarships, contact Ed Luckett, Jr., the conference administrator, at

  • 18 May 2017 4:57 PM | Perry Miller, Editor (Administrator)
    The Plenary Planning Committee consisting of David Roth, Perry Miller and Raymond Lawrence is delighted to announce that the 2018 Plenary will host two extraordinary women at its Oakland meeting March 18-20, 2018

    Kerry Egan, the hospice chaplain whose monumental book, On Living, was published last year to wide and well-deserved acclaim will be with us. 

    And Pamela Cooper-White who is the widely-published Professor of Psychology and Religion at Union Theological Seminary will also be with us. 

    Details on the specific schedule will follow.

    Visit the 2018 Plenary event page for more information - registration will be open soon. 


  • 14 May 2017 9:11 PM | Perry Miller, Editor (Administrator)

    "Every human being is legal."

    Dr. Jim Rigby, Pastor, St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church - Austin, TX, offers sanctuary and humanitarian relief in his church to immigrants. He talks with our host, Susan McDougal, about his work and the sanctuary movement. 

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  • 07 May 2017 9:27 PM | Perry Miller, Editor (Administrator)

    In June, 2016, the CPSP Communications Committee  announced Chaplaincy Alive!, a video podcast addressing issues of interest to those in the field of pastoral care and counseling.   Seven episodes have been released, covering a broad range of topics: trauma chaplaincy, social justice, and clinical chaplain training.  Since its inception the series has been viewed by over 1,500 unique visitors, watching some 9,100 minutes of  broadcast.  

    Given the interest in the Chaplaincy Alive! series, the CPSP Communications Committee announces the addition of the audio podcasts of Chaplaincy Alive!, now available on your phone or tablet via iTunesGoogle Play, InTune (Amazon - Alexa) and podcast apps like Overcast. The subscription is free and it will allow you to listen-on-the-go, where ever life may take you!

    iTunes Logo  Google Play Logo  TuneIn Logo   Overcast App Logo

    CPSP Communication Committee Chair, Perry Miller, spoke about the history of Chaplaincy Alive! and the development of the podcast:  "I’m ecstatic about Chaplaincy Alive! hosted by Susan McDougal and produced by Krista Argiropolis. CPSP’s Communication Committee is to be commended for its creative vision and continuing support for this significant contribution to important dialogue in the clinical pastoral field.  I searched for similar  podcast  and found nothing even close to the quality, depth and relevance of Chaplaincy Alive!"

    "Chaplaincy Alive! is not supported  by grant money, CPSP budgeted money or the use of out-side 'experts'.  It remains true to CPSP’s commitment to 'travel light'. It was birthed by creative and committed CPSP members (of which CPSP has an abundance) who believe in CPSP and its unique mission and commitment to make a difference in the clinical pastoral field."

    "In no way, however, is Chaplaincy Alive! solely a CPSP enterprise and only about CPSP. Frankly, I’m wearying of all the self-promotion and territory protection that is so prevalent in the major clinical training and certifying organizations in our field. It is time for all of us to rise above self promotion.  Chaplaincy Alive! produces in-depth interview podcast with all who are making significant contributions to the field of clinical chaplaincy, regardless of their organization affiliation. We hope Chaplaincy Alive! will inspire others to produce their podcast. Also, we welcome your ideas for future podcasts."

    Two new episodes of Chaplaincy Alive! are now available, by video and audio podcast:

    In episode 6, Host Susan McDougal talks with the Planning Committee about the opportunity and challenges they found in organizing the 2017 CPSP Plenary in Orlando, FL.  The local committee determined they would pull out all the stops to show the attendees of the 2017 Plenary, in their words, "a heapin' help of Southern hospitality." They succeeded, and it was by all measures an outstanding event.

    In episode 7, Raymond Lawrence, CPSP General Secretary, talks candidly about the future of chaplaincy and pastoral care.  He also discusses his recent book, Nine Clinical CasesThe Soul of Pastoral Care and Counseling.  It’s a must read for all those in the field of Clinical Pastoral Counseling.  

    The CPSP Communications Committee members are Perry Miller, Chair; Susan McDougal, David Roth, Missiouri McPhee, William Alberts, Charles Hicks, and Krista Argiropolis. 


    Perry Miller, Editor and 
    Chair, CPSP Communications Committee

  • 20 Apr 2017 8:00 AM | Perry Miller, Editor (Administrator)

    Dear Members of CPSP and Friends,

    The recent 2017 Plenary of the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy in Orlando, FL, is still very fresh in our memories, and we want to take this opportunity to publicly acknowledge the Local Planning Committee in Orlando for their dedication and spirited energy. 

    From the plethora of logistics for this event registration, hospitable accommodations, and even to providing nourishing meals in the hospitality room - everything went smoothly and was accomplished without breaking stride.  We offer our sincere gratitude and heartfelt admiration to Missiouri McPhee, Jacob Cuthbert, III, Arnold Porter, Richard Smith, John Williams, and Scott Fleming for their dedicated and unprecedented level of service. We also thank Raymond Lawrence, General Secretary, Krista Argiropolis, Administrative Coordinator, and Charles Hicks, Administrator and Legal Counsel, for their work and support of this event. 

    We congratulate and welcome CPSP’s newly Board Certified Clinical Chaplains, Pastoral Counselors, Diplomates, Clinical Fellows in Hospice and Palliative Care, those beginning as supervisors-in-training, and our newly accredited training centers. We stand ready to assist you in your professional and personal growth as members of a vibrant CPSP community.  

    During our time together at the Plenary, there were separate meeting spaces for board certified clinicians and Diplomates to address matters of concern amongst like professionals.  

    At the Board Certified Clinicians' meeting, issues were raised relating to chapter life, chapter membership, and certification. Candid discussion of these issues spurred energetic collaboration.  Those who attended left with valuable information that they may share with their chapter members. 

    Similarly, the Diplomates discussed their obligations to be bearers of truth and tradition. They also discussed the importance of quality supervision, the quality of chapters and chapter life They discussed their need to participate regularly in national clinical training seminars and other CPSP events. There was a stimulating conversation referencing the Covenant’s declaration that, “…even the institution of CPSP itself must be carefully monitored lest it take on an idolatrous character....” Given CPSP’s expansion, Diplomates want to encourage CPSP to insure we are raising up new CPE Supervisors to fill the demand. 

    We believe that their meetings were very thought provoking and we hope that there is space at our next Plenary for the conversations by both groups to continue. 

    We look forward to collaborative and creative leadership, as we work to address the needs of our vibrant, diverse, and growing community.  We invite you to share your thoughts with us, and we have an email address now,, that will send your emails to both of our inboxes. 

    We look forward to serving you.


    David Plummer & Ruth Zollinger
    CPSP Co-Presidents

  • 19 Apr 2017 7:36 PM | Perry Miller, Editor (Administrator)

    Chaplain Richard Joyner

    WUNC Public Radio’s The State of Things in its April 3, 2017 broadcast featured an hour long interview with the The Reverend Richard Joyner, a Board Certified Clinical Chaplain with the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy. He is the Director of the Department of Pastoral Care at UNC Nash Health Care located in Rocky Mount, NC. In addition, he is the pastor of the Conetoe Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, founder of the Family Life Center and creator of the Community Garden. 

    The State of Things on its website introduces Rev. Joyner: 

    For close to two decades, Richard Joyner fought to get away from the farms of Pitt County, North Carolina. He grew up in a family of sharecroppers and repeatedly witnessed racial and economic inner justices. His family was never properly compensated for their labor, and his father was treated poorly by white land owners.

    Later in his life, Joyner became the pastor for the small 300-person community of Conetoe, North Carolina. Within one year, 30 of his congregants died from health-related illnesses. He decided to return to farming to grow healthy food for his community.

    The success of the Joyner’s Community Garden has been written up nationally due to its uniqueness and the impact on the community's health and well being. Reduced usage of the Emergency Department due to the Community Garden and Life Style Center has been documented. Also, school dropouts have been significantly reduced. Joyner’s program, a unique and valued health resource, feeds and educates a rural NC community.

    Listening to the Interview one can easily see how his training as a clinical chaplain has influenced the development of the program. Amazingly, he is not only a clinical chaplain in a medical center but also an innovative clinical chaplain to a whole community. CNN in its CNN Hero Series captures the essence of Chaplain Joyner’s community program. 

    Many of the Pastoral Report’s readers will appreciate the richness of Chaplain Joyner’s life story he tells with self-compassion and insight. The transformational influence of his CPE training experience  will not be missed by the listener. 

    Danita Maria Perkins, a CPSP Diplomate, is a colleague of Chaplain Joyner's at UNC Nash Health Care. As Director of Nash’s CPE program, Chaplain Perkins provided the following observation

    As a result of CPE’s transformative impact on Richard’s life, he helped to start a CPSP CPE/training program in 2015 that is building bridges between hospital and community care. His vision is that trainees will explore what the chaplain’s role can be in discharge planning, transitional care, preventing 30-day readmissions, health education, discouraging the use of the emergency department as a means of primary health care, and building self-sustaining communities by tending the soil of the land while caring for the soul of humanity.

    Although not mentioned in the interview, Chaplain Joyner’s dedication to developing his clinical pastoral acuity and craft led him over time to have amassed 15 units of clinical pastoral education training. CPSP’s Dr. John Edgerton, Past President of CPSP, now deceased, and Dr H. Mac Wallace, CPSP Diplomate and Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling at Campbell Divinity School, served as two of his CPE training supervisors. 

    I encourage you to download the State of Things Podcast (available on iTunes or Google Playor go to the State of Things webpage and listen to this innovative and soulful clinical chaplain and pastor tell his story. 

    Perry Miller, Editor

  • 07 Apr 2017 6:21 PM | Perry Miller, Editor (Administrator)

    In 1984 Glenn Asquith went on sabbatical for a year of study away from Moravian Theological Seminary in Bethlehem,PA. If I recall he went to Europe for a while and also worked on his Boisen project. The president of Moravian College of which the seminary was a part, asked Seward Hiltner to drive from Princeton to Bethlehem to stay for two days and teach the courses and advise in the Th,M. program which Glenn would normally do. Seward agreed so long that if he needed backup I would come in to take over. At that time I was a lecturer at Princeton Theological Seminary and director of clinical training at the Trinity Counseling Service. 

    The Tuesday before Thanksgiving of that year I got a call at my office at Trinity from Helen Hiltner telling me that she and Ann, their daughter,  had come back from Thanksgiving grocery shopping and found Seward dead on the recliner in the living room. There was a flurry of activity and one of the responsibilities was a call to Moravian and my being told to come to the seminary on Tuesday of the next week to assume my responsibility in Seward's stead.

    It was a long and cold two hour drive in my heaterless VW Beatle convertible over the mountains of Northwest New Jersey to Bethlehem. I was ushered into Glenn's office by a secretary and I sat there for an hour before my first class. I went over Seward's syllabus for that particular course. I was in a fugue state and for all the world just went through the motions. I was not at all sure I was up to the task. I actually sobbed until I was interrupted by the Dean who came to introduce himself. He was noticeably uncomfortable with what he found.

    I decided to process Seward's sudden death with the class. Seward in just that brief period of time, maybe five weeks, made quite an impression on the students, not all of it good because I suspect that these good and gentle Moravians and Mennonites were not used to the direct and brusk  Seward Hiltner in comparison to the gentle soul that was Glenn Asquith. Glenn, though, had one very dry and wicked sense of humor. He had a chuckle that was endearing.

    I spent the year teaching there and much to my surprise I was invited deliver the commencement address of the seminary in May 1985.

    I was wise enough to take the offer of one of the old Council hands who had retired from Allentown State Hospital, Dean Bergen, to meet with him every Tuesday for lunch before my first class that day. Dean was trained by Guiles and of course worked with Hiltner in the early days before the making of ACPE. Dean was of that old school, two martini lunch kind of guy  who really cared about me and the students at Moravian and was a real mentor and help in my own grief. I owe him and indirectly Glenn and of course Seward for any contribution I have made to the cause.

    I felt a strong need to leave Princeton after that and was offered a position as associate professor of pastoral theology at Columbia in Atlanta and joined their faculty the summer of 1986. That same year a number of us, about twenty, founded the Society of Pastoral Theology and had our first meeting in Denver at the Brown Palace. Chuck Gerkin, Charlie Brown, Sandra Brown, Don Browning, Jim lapsley, Emma Justice and the other leaders of the field were among the 20 or so. Glenn was there and I shared with him what I have shared with you now.

    When we gave Glenn the Dunbar award in Chicago I reminded him again about our Moravian connection and we reminisced a bit about those days. I knew Glenn was ill and sensed I would not see him again.  Aeternum vale.


    Brian H. Childs

  • 06 Apr 2017 12:18 PM | Perry Miller, Editor (Administrator)

    A giant in the clinical pastoral training movement died April 4. Glenn Asquith was a prolific contributor to the literature of the Boisen movement. His anthology of writings by and about Anton T. Boisen, 
    Vision from a Little Known Country, is the primary source by which the founder of the clinical pastoral movement is known to readers today. 

    Glenn was the recipient of the 2015 Helen Flanders Dunbar Award on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary Plenary of CPSP in 2015. He was emeritus professor at the Moravian Theological Seminary where he developed and nurtured the pastoral counseling program and taught for 31 years.

    Glenn was a good friend and colleague of CPSP through the years. We extend to his wife Connie, who joined us in Chicago two years ago, our heartfelt condolences. His passing is a loss to us all.

    Raymond J. Lawrence, General Secretary

  • 30 Mar 2017 9:13 AM | Perry Miller, Editor (Administrator)

    Richard Smith, John Williams, Missiouri McPhee, and Scott Fleming(left to right: Richard Smith, John Williams, Missiouri McPhee, and Scott Fleming)

    Dear CPSP Community:

    Please allow us to take a moment of your frenzied day to take the opportunity to express our profound appreciation for the privilege you afforded us in hosting our 27th Annual Plenary in Orlando, FL.

    Understanding the trials and triumphs associated with the work of our colleagues, we were intentional about creating a nurturing and caring environment; one conducive to collegiality, leisure, and above all, renewal of spirit. We had an awesome time hosting you, and truly enjoyed making meaningful connections with each of you. This Plenary has caused us to view CPSP not just as a cadre of colleagues who gather together to exchange ideas and information, but as family that is supportive of each other. Our lives are richer for you having passed through it.

    It is our sincere hope that we not only met, but exceeded your expectations in creating an unparalleled plenary experience. We look forward to seeing you all in Oakland, CA in 2018.

    Continuing in the tradition of “recovery of soul”, we remain,
    Serving with Gladness, 

    The 27th Annual Plenary Host Committee
    Scott Fleming
    Missiouri McPhee
    Arnold Porter
    Richard Smith 
    John Williams, Sr.