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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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June 27, 2014

VIDEO: David Roth Provides overview of 2014 Proposed Bylaws

The video provides a brief but yet informative overview of the 2014 Proposed Bylaws.

Contact: David Roth and David Baker

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 1:19 PM

Proposed 2014 CPSP Bylaws--By David Baker, PhD and David Roth, PhD


Dear CPSP Conveners,

At the 2014 Plenary in Virginia Beach last March, the Governing Council appointed us, David Roth and David Baker, to update the CPSP bylaws to make our organization run more effectively and efficiently with better representation and greater transparency.

That work is now done. Having consulted widely and after reviewing the work of governance task forces over the past two and a half years, we have revised and updated our governance in ways that are faithful to the Covenant, respectful and supportive of the Chapter, and build upon our strengths as a Community.

What we are presenting is a way of governing that is congruent with what has been the best in CPSP life and at the same time adapts to the rapid growth we have seen. The concept is a truly representative 18-person leadership team comprised of three bodies – a Chapter of Chapters, a Chapter of Diplomates, and an Executive Chapter -- that will be nimble enough to meet regularly to discuss the business of the organization, to make decisions, and to communicate clearly and in timely fashion the needs and direction of the organization.


This fall, all those who make up the Governing Council under the existing bylaws, especially conveners, will gather to address and resolve the governance issue. That’s why we ask you to please review the bylaws document with your chapter members. We believe you will see that it envisages a responsible, accountable, engaged, and empowered CPSP community. Also, there is a13-minute YouTube video that explains the governance concept and certain considerations behind our work.

Our specific charge was to create new bylaws that will allow us to govern effectively and get things done in CPSP. To that end we have designed a workable governance structure for you to consider. The proposed bylaws will not and cannot be expected to address all of the particular issues that concern us at the present but they are a place to begin.

The work you asked us to do at this point is completed. Please make the time to become familiar with it and to share it with your chapter members. We look forward to seeing you when the Governing Council meets in the fall.


David Roth and David Baker

Proposed CPSP Bylaws



2014 Proposed Governance Model

2009 Governance Model

Contact: David Roth and David Baker

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 12:51 PM

June 25, 2014

‘LOVE IS LOVE’-- by Rev. William E. Alberts, Ph.D.


On June 14, I marched with Boston Medical Center’s (BMC) Gay/Straight Alliance in Boston’s 44th annual Gay Pride Parade. It was far different from Boston’s 3rd Gay Pride Parade in 1973, at which then State Rep. Barney Frank and I were the honored guests—seated in a convertible. The parade route that year took us past Old West Church (United Methodist), where I served as minister for eight years, and had just been forcibly retired after performing the same-sex marriage of two male members of the Church-- which led to my being an honored guest of the 1973 Parade. (For write-up of that Parade, see “300 begin Pride Week with Parade,” By Paul Kneeland, Boston Sunday Globe, June 17, 1973) You could not see it, but as the parade passed Old West Church, I was bleeding inside. (For that story-- and more, See Alberts “Easter Depends on Whistleblowers: The Minister Who Could Not Be ‘Preyed’ Away,” Counterpunch, March 29-31, 2013)


Forty-one years later, at Boston’s 44th Gay Pride Parade, I was beaming inside—and outside from ear to ear. It was very meaningful to be a joyous member of Boston Medical Center’s Gay/Straight Alliance: a contingent of doctors, hospital chaplain and close friend and colleague, Jennie Gould, and other BMC staff-- including two women whose same-sex marriage I had performed on the lawn of Boston University Medical School, the three of us seated at a picnic table, with a beautiful bouquet of flowers, freshly picked from their garden, as the table’s centerpiece. And right behind us BMC Parade marchers was a group from Boston University Medical School, with people from other health care organizations also marching.

Boston Medical Center’s Gay/Straight Alliance was one of 200 groups, representing a record 25,000 people, participating in this year’s Gay Pride Parade. With thousands of people lining the streets, cheering us marchers on. As The Boston Globe reported, the “groups in the parade included bands, advocacy groups, university clubs, churches, and even corporations and political candidates—a sign of the Pride’s shift from a fringe demonstration to a mainstream, family-oriented staple of Boston’s event calendar and marker of an ongoing sea change in public opinion on gay issues.” (For the full Boston Globe story, see “Pride parade becomes a staple,” By Claire McNeill and Dan Adams, June 15, 2014)

The “sea change in public opinion on gay issues” is seen in religious circles. Old South Church (Congregational and member of the United Church of Christ), located where the Parade began, held a pre-march “Parade Worship Service,” its pews filled, with spiritual leaders present, the service including the “Open Door Award” given to Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick for supporting gay rights, Hillary Goodridge, a plaintiff whose case led to the legalizing of gay marriage in Massachusetts in 2003, and to Rev. Frank Schaefer, a United Methodist minister who was defrocked in 2013 for performing his son’s same-sex marriage. (Ibid)

The “sea change in public opinion on gay issues” is also seen in the publically declared inclusiveness of health care organizations, like Boston Medical Center, with its mission of providing “Exceptional Care. Without Exception.” BMC’s mission professes a commitment to diversity that applies not only to patients and their families. It embraces staff as well. BMC’s 2008 Diversity Statement offers an inspiring model of inclusiveness for any medical, business, political or religious institution:

As part of its stated mission and values, the Medical Center remains committed to
creating and sustaining a workplace and a hospital where employees, patients and
patients’ families are respected and valued not in spite of, but because of, the differences
in their backgrounds and cultures. We believe that there is strength in diversity, not only
in race, gender, age, religion and disability, but also in education, politics, family status,
national origin, sexual orientation, and all the other factors that make people individuals.

And what makes us individuals? A little boy at this year’s Boston Gay Pride Parade held the answer in his hands. Participating with the throngs of marchers, he continually waved a big sign imprinted with the words, ‘LOVE IS LOVE.’ That is the key factor that makes us individuals-- together.

(Bill Alberts with his then 18-months-old granddaughter, Aoife)

When children are born, they are dearly loved by mother and father and family, and often adored by friends-- and even strangers. That is true of children born everywhere. Why should any child become less loved and less legitimate if his or her sexual orientation develops differently? He or she is still the same human being, with the same need to be loved and the same capacity to love. It is in being loved, that we are able to love and to become individuals, fully. ‘LOVE IS LOVE,’ whoever you are. It is not straight love. Nor gay love. It is human love.
Bill Alberts is a CPSP diplomate and a member of the Dover, New Hampshire Chapter. He was a hospital chaplain at Boston Medical Center for over 18 years, retiring in 2011, and now covers on occasion as a chaplain consultant. His book, A Hospital Chaplain at the Crossroads of Humanity, based on his work at BMC, is available on His new book, called The Counterpunching Minister (who couldn’t be “preyed” away) is a collection of 56 of his articles in Counterpunch-- its publication planned for this fall. His e-mail address is:

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 6:08 PM

June 23, 2014

National Clinical Training Seminar - West: Pastoral Diagnosis and Spiritual Assessment


The College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy (CPSP) is pleased to offer its National Clinical Training Seminar-West (NCTS–W) this year at the beautiful Episcopal Church Center of Utah, a peaceful location and relaxing environment in Salt Lake City, which is nestled in a valley below the Wasatch Mountains.


October 26-28, 2014


NCTS–W is open to clinical chaplains, pastoral counselors and psychotherapists, supervisors-in-training, clinical pastoral trainees, and training supervisors. Members of new CPSP chapters and especially members in the West are strongly encouraged to attend.

The design of NCTS–W is based on the small-group experience where all participants are expected to bring and share clinical material for consultation with their peers under the care of CPSP diplomats and supervisors.


The fee for CPSP members is $150, and the fee for non-members is $225.

Registration includes attendance at all training sessions plus five meals, from dinner on Sunday through breakfast on Tuesday. There will be a box lunch available for purchase on Tuesday to take with you to the last meeting of the day or on your travel home. The chef will personalize meals and snacks for gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, dairy free, and other needs.

Registration fees will be refunded for cancellation notices received by CPSP prior to October 10, 2014.


Reserve your room at the retreat center using this link:ECCU Lodging Request

Rates for this event are $37.50 per night for a shared room and $75 per night for a single room.

In order to ensure adequate lodging for all guests, please make your reservation prior to October 10, 2014.

Refunds will be made by the retreat center in accordance with their Cancellation Policy included in the ECCU Lodging Request.


UTA TRAX is the Salt Lake City light rail system, and it’s the easiest, least expensive way to get to the meeting site. A standard, one-way TRAX fare currently is $2.50. Detailed information about train times and easy walking directions from the station to ECCU will be provided with each registration.

For drivers, parking is available on the premises at no charge based on availability; parking lot across the street is $1/hour or $8/day.


For information or clarification, contact Cynthia Olson, BCCC, CFHPC, or tel (916)712-9776.

To register online, click here.
Cynthia Olson, BCCC, CFHPC, or tel (916)712-9776.

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 10:47 PM

June 15, 2014

"I Am CPSP" Video Production--By Perry Miller, Editor

I am CPSP is a video promoting the values of the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy. Depicted in the video are members of CPSP community sharing how their involvement has significantly impacted their personal and professional lives.

The brainchild of the I am CPSP video production was George Hull. Through the years he frequently commented on the imressive diversity found within CPSP that is strikingly observable when the community gathers at its Annual Plenary.

The video was produced by Susan McDougal, a CPSP Diplomate with ability and expertise in this area of such media productions. Leonard Chamblee of Creative Motion Media filmed the production.

Given CPSP's commitment to "traveling light", the production of this video is one of many examples of CPSP's historical reliance upon the good spirit, creativity and effort of those at the grassroots who are willing to contribute to the wellbeing and mission of the entire CPSP community.

Chapters and CPSP training centers are encouraged to embed the video in their websites and pass it on to their professional colleagues.

Susan McDougal, CPSP Diplomate

George Hull, CPSP Diplomate

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 7:10 PM

June 3, 2014

Reflections on 2014 Spring National Clinical Training Seminar-- By Cheryl Parker

The May, 2014 National Clinical Training Seminar-East was held once again at the Loyola Retreat House in Morristown, New Jersey and, with its, spacious terrace and greenery proved to be a refreshing contrast as a backdrop for the theme “Disaster Spiritual Care-the Chaplain’s Response”.

Linda Walsh-Garrison, BCCC reviewed for us the impact of the overwhelming emotional impact of the disaster on families and loved ones but also on those who serve the community, including spiritual care professionals.

The topic of September 11, 2001, stirred memories for many of us as I spoke to colleagues during the breaks. It was a humbling experience and for some, a recognition that there is still unresolved grief. This was a reminder that we need to continue to check in for our own self-care and recognize that those around us may be wrestling with issues easily resurfaced when trigger points are touched.

The media technology broke down during Linda’s presentation and was unresponsive to relentless tries to resuscitate it. Linda was model of calmness and used the equipment malfunction as an example of unexpected breakdowns and crises in our lives. She coached us to be flexible and observant of others and ourselves as we look for ways to manage the crisis and draw on other resources.

_Finally, Linda encouraged us, as spiritual care professionals to engage with our community response teams like the Red Cross to pre-plan scenarios for local disasters. She emphasized the important role we play to help the community heal both during and after the event. One thing she strongly emphasized…NEVER self-deploy. There are hundreds of people who showed up at the doorstep of the 9/11 disaster with no appropriate skills and no way to support the professionals in place.

More than a decade has passed since the disaster of 9/11 and several natural and unnatural disasters have occurred inside the U.S. and around the world. There will continue to be times when pastoral care expertise is needed. Whether it is helping children cope after neighborhood disaster, supporting returning veterans struggling with PTSD or responding to a flood, fire or earthquake, making precautions for the next crisis is something we must do if we desire to support those engaged in disaster care.

This unique gathering of pastoral care professionals offered an opportunity to share expertise and individual stories about the impact of disaster on our lives. There was recognition by most that there is an ongoing need for spiritual care providers to be alert, prepared and supportive both during and after the event.

Following Linda’s review, we were deployed by Francine Hernandez, our executive administrator, with instructions to gather in the usual small psychodynamic group process to receive one-on-one consultation on clinical work. Participants later returned into the larger combined group where presenters summarized elements of their key learning to be assessed for openness to supervision and to allow those not present in their small group to have a glimpse of issues and recommendations.

This session’s Tavistock group relations topic, with Raymond J. Lawrence, Jr. as consultant, centered on silence and the comfort/discomfort each of the participants felt and expressed. During the gathering, there was some resistance to the idea of silence as a posture of reflection, observation and restoration. A large part of the discussion focused on differentiating aloneness and loneliness and accepting or rejecting others’ suggestions for managing or “resolving” the state of being alone. Once again, the Tavistock model brought helpful perspectives on the dynamics of group function in relation to leadership, authority and the emotions connected to the process.

I was personally enriched by the feedback of my peer group on my community-based CPET proposal. There seems to be potential for non-traditional hospital models of Clinical Pastoral Education training. I was pleased to hear that others have developed or are in the process of developing training programs.

The training seminar brought together 50 people from a diverse group of pastoral counselors, supervisory trainees in clinical pastoral education, chaplain interns, chaplain residents and supervisors from New Jersey, New York, Delaware and other states). The next NCTS-East is scheduled for November 10-11, 2014 at Loyola Retreat House.
Cheryl Parker transitioned from 18 years in purchasing at Ford Motor Company in Detroit, MI and global communications at the DuPont Company in DE and VA, to a career in pastoral care. She has been a CPSP board certified clinical chaplain since 2012 and has completed one unit in the CPSP Supervisor-in-Training program with an interest in developing a community-based model to train other chaplains in the Delaware area.

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 1:38 PM