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The College of Pastoral Supervision & Psychotherapy is a theologically based covenant community, dedicated to "recovery of the soul" and promoting competency in the clinical pastoral field.

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February 20, 2014

A Report on CPSP's Launch of Teams--By Perry Miller, Editor

The CPSP Leadership Team believes CPSP has succumbed too much to a linear approach to authority and accountability that characterizes so much of our lives generally in this culture.

Linear accountability is generally "top down" and is directive. Obviously, there are matters that must be dealt with in linear fashion. However, the Leadership Team believes CPSP is currently in need of more circularity in leadership. Assessments, judgements, and feedback need to be passed around for varied assessment and judgment rather than issued from on high. This, after all, is congruent with the philosophy of Chapter life in which no one is boss, but group life in which all voices are asked to contribute. Circularity is also more feminine in contrast to linear accountability, which suggests maleness.

The Leadership Team also notes that certain highly successful corporations, including medical systems, have moved toward a team approach and have considered it a more enlightened and more successful model.

There will be a call for working teams to address areas of concern in our community. Teams will be focused on team process that embraces creativity, imagination and innovation that emerges out of a deep passion and commitment for the particular work of the team and its relationships.

Committees will begin to work as teams. No longer will we use the term “committees”. It will be within nimble and dynamic teams where multiple voices are heard and consensus sought as these teams work to address matters that advances the unique mission of the CPSP Community within the clinical pastoral movement.

It is critical that all teams have a reasonable balance of male and female, which we believe will better reinforce circularity. We anticipate that such working teams will be broadly representative in other ways as well.

In addition, it is expected that an extraordinary amount of consultation and collaboration will occur not only within teams but between the various teams that will be comprised within CPSP. As such, CPSP becomes a living and breathing organism feeding on the creativity, wisdom and imagination of all.

Our CPSP Covenant declares we must “ travel light”. This is a radical assertion of a core value which includes “CPSP will have no paid staff”. This is liberating. No one providing leadership in CPSP has to worry about their job and income for themselves and their family. Unlike the corporate world, which includes all other certification and accreditation organizations' models in the clinical pastoral field, CPSP has no paid staff or workers with the exception of one part-time administrative person.

The CPSP team model promotes unencumbered creativity, critique, even radical and diverse voices without fear of consequence for contrarian views. In CPSP all voices are heard and considered.

Given our “travel light“ model, however, CPSP can not ultimately be successful unless all of its members are engaged in leadership and service. Thus, all CPSP members are to be actively involved in a variety of teams, directly and indirectly providing leadership that forges CPSP’s mission into the wider world with its clinical training programs and services of pastoral care, counseling and psychotherapy to those broken in life, spirit and relationships. This is a noble mission. It is one we will accomplish as we work together in teams to shape our destiny and our clinical pastoral services.

Within this team model is a small Leadership Team. One important duty and responsibility of this team will be to manage, resource and support the the various CPSP teams. The Leadership Team will be a nimble and responsive team actively collaborating with the other teams to insure CPSP’s brand and ample market share for our members will grow and prosper.

Let it be clear, CPSP was never about creating a democratic model but a model that is attuned to the grassroots and to value its wisdom and voice. The team model does just that and is more effective in doing so then other models.

With the team approach, the Leadership Team sees this as CPSP fully embracing itself as a corporation, not just a community of kindred spirits, although this is proudly true of us as well. The team approach further advances CPSP as a corporation who also has its eye on the market place and jobs for our members.This is primary. The team approach combined with a responsive Leadership Team provides CPSP the best shot of realizing a healthy and growing market place for our members.  

How Teams Will Function

CPSP teams will be richly relational and collaborative.

Concerning the relational, it is anticipated for many, the team itself will in spirit become a “second” chapter of kindred spirits. The richness of the team experience will “spill over” to enhance the quality of chapter life and the ability of the grassroots to influence the directions of CPSP and its mission.

Collaboration will be a primary characteristic of how a team will function, yet each team’s mission and work will require, no, actually demand, collaboration with other teams and chapters in order to be effective.

CPSP with its team model will have multiple intersections of dynamic collaboration taking place. Such collaboration will reach to the very core of our life together in chapters and in to our life together as a vital community with a unique and creative mission in the clinical pastoral field.

Teams will report their work and get feedback at each Annual Plenary in The Convener’s Forum, similar to a Town Hall Meeting. In addition, each team will periodically offer virtual forums for CPSP members as a means to further engage the grassroots. At this level of collaboration, it is anticipated that positive and profound impact on the mission of CPSP.

A Final Word

I encourage you to remember, CPSP was forged out of a deep belief that healthy institutions must be forever dynamic and changing as a means to best serve those who people them.

CPSP’s birth was a means to give hope and good spirt to those willing to embrace the ambiguities that come with the courage to do new things, even risky things, in an effort to give heart and soul to those willing to engage their imaginative and creative selves within a community dedicated to the clinical pastoral movement. In short, CPSP has always been an experiment. Thus far a successful one. The development of CPSP teams is another manifestation of CPSP as “Experiment”.

Shortly, all members of the CPSP community will receive a “Survey Monkey” that will be requesting you to start the process of identifying your interest, expertise---hopefully your passion---as a possible active and engaged member of one of CPSP’s teams.

Perry N. Miller
On behalf of the CPSP Leadership Team

Perry Miller
Editor, Pastoral Repot

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 9:31 PM

February 9, 2014

2014 CPSP Plenary...Register Now!!


Have you made arrangements for the 2014 CPSP Plenary starting March 30 - April 2, 2014? If not, it is not too late.

The gathering of the CPSP Community for its 24th Annual Plenary will occur March 30 through April 2 at the Sheraton Oceanfront Hotel in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Rooms have been reserved at a special rate of $119, single or double, per night. Reserve your room online by clicking on this link: Sheraton Oceanfront Hotel, or call 800-325-3535 or go to the Sheraton Oceanfront website.


Please contact Krista Argiropolls if you have questions>

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 5:50 PM