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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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May 30, 2015

Revison in CPSP's Certification Process-- By Jonathan Freeman


At its most recent meeting, the CPSP Governing Council approved changes to the CPSP certification process. These changes are implemented to strengthen the role of the chapter in the certification process, expedite the certification process, and to contain costs.

The CPSP certification process will move to a two-phase process.

The initial phase of the review will be conducted exclusively under the auspices of the candidate’s chapter, as long as the chapter is in good standing with CPSP and has the critical mass to certify at the candidate’s level (at least 4 certified members holding the certification sought by the candidate). The Outside Reviewer will no longer be a part of the certification process. This change is intended to highlight the role of the chapter (unique to CPSP) in the certification process. The Certification Team has recognized a trend of chapters becoming less involved in the “midwifery” and review of candidates and their work. Many times it is apparent that the chapter has reviewed the candidate’s work and biography, for the first time, just prior to the review with the Outside Reviewer. This is not the intent of the chapter’s role in the candidate’s preparation for certification. The chapter is, rather, intended to be the MOST prepared to speak to the candidate’s work and preparedness for certification.

Prior to the initial phase of the review, the candidate submits to the chapter, or portion of the chapter conducting the review, the required certification documents which are outlined in the Standards. These documents are submitted to the chapter in whatever form the chapter chooses. The candidate’s certification materials will be submitted and reviewed, by the chapter, well in advance to the chapter’s pre-certification review. The chapter may elect not to conduct the pre-certification review of the candidate if it determines the candidate is not yet prepared. If the chapter determines, following its review, that the candidate needs further professional preparation and development the chapter will continue to support and guide the candidate in addressing the deficiency. Once the candidate and chapter agree, the chapter can offer another review process to determine readiness for phase two of the process.

Chapters without the critical mass to certify at the candidates level will conduct this phase of the certification process under the direction of the Certification Team Representative, an authorized consultant, and a chapter that has the critical mass to support certification and the necessary follow up.

Candidates will be recommended to the Certification Team for the second phase of the process via an online report form submitted by the chapter convener (or the convener of the chapter assisting with the preliminary review for those candidates from chapters with insufficient critical mass to conduct the preliminary review). This report is new to the certification process and it will functionally replace the report previously submitted by the Outside Reviewer. The Chapter rather than the Outside Reviewer will report, among other items, its understanding of the candidate’s strengths, weaknesses, clinical and professional functioning, rationale for equivalencies, etc.

Candidates will then pay fees to the Treasurer and submit to the Certification Team the certification materials previously reviewed by the candidate’s chapter. The certification documents will be sent to the Certification Team via Dropbox.

Candidates from chapters who function in compliance with The Standards and who submit a complete file of certification materials will be referred to a four- person Review Panel. The Panel may be comprised of members of the Certification Team and others appointed by the Certification Team in consultation with the General Secretary. The Panel will conduct a preliminary review of the candidate’s materials and the chapter’s report of its review to ascertain if the candidate is prepared for an in-person review with the Panel. If not, the Panel will provide its rationale and suggestions to the candidate and the candidate’s chapter convener. If the candidate’s chapter does not have the critical mass for certification at her/his level, the authorized consultant and her/his chapter will also receive this information, in order to continue work with the candidate.
Review Panels will meet at each of the National Clinical Training Seminars on the day prior to the beginning of the scheduled events (currently there are two training seminars in the east and one in the west. Additional reviews may be scheduled in the west, and elsewhere if needed).

These changes will begin August 1, 2015 with the first Review Panel meeting at NCTS –West at its fall meeting. Candidates for certification can continue to use the existing process. However, certification reviews under for those using the current process will need to have been scheduled by August 1, 2015.

The Certification Team encourages members to read the revised certification process which is posted on the website. Your chapter’s Certification Team Representative is available to answer questions and to assist candidates and chapters through the process.




Jonathan Freedmann
Certification Chair

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 6:43 PM

Reflections on 2015 Spring National Clinical Training Seminar - East ---By Nancy Schaffe


I entered the world of CPSP in late summer of 2011 as a supervisor in training. Since that time I have attended just about every National Clinical Training Seminar (NCTS) and have come to value numerous experiences along the way. As I reflect on the Spring 2015 NCTS I find myself connecting to the movement of my own journey as well as CPSP’s.
The heart of CPSP is what I believe to be the small group experience beginning in our chapters and then expanding to NCTS and the Plenaries where we present our work and experiences in small working groups. For me this is living into our covenant as “We commit to being mutually responsible to one another for our professional work and direction.”

My first presentation in this small working group experience was at the Fall NCTS 2011. I brought with me a complex diagram of a ‘clinical rhombus’ I was subjecting myself to with me in the center holding up how multiple organizations ‘needed’ to relate, ‘balancing’ dynamics as I imagined them and being ‘responsible’ for the relationships. The group process liberated me from the monster I imagined I was responsible for managing. Each NCTS from that first experience has provided me additional opportunities to present my experience and work for feedback and processing toward my growth and development as a professional pastoral clinician. The small working group experience has been invaluable toward my certification process.

The theme of Spring NCTS-East was New Procedures in Certification and Accreditation for Members and Those Interested in The College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy Credentials. As the new convener of our chapter these workshops provided me with forth coming changes in processes that affect the members of the chapter who are looking toward certification. We are engaging in how we are accountable and responsible for the candidates we produce from our chapter and what that means for each of us as we growth and develop in our clinical pastoral identity.

Also at the heart of the CPSP experience is the Tavistock experience focused on group relations as we work toward discovering the task of the group in conjunction with various agendas arising. At this particular Tavistock encounter I found myself wondering if the work we were doing at that particular time was what Recovery of soul looks like when We commit ourselves to a galaxy of shared values that are as deeply held as they are difficult to communicate. During the past year I have experienced a change in attitude at our gatherings as we welcome this ‘uncertain’ new beginning after hard labor. I understand it as being faithful to the labor of growth and change. It was the first time I felt I was living the covenant and not just reading the covenant and liking what it said.

The next NCTS-East gathering is November 2-3, 2015. I encourage you to attend if you haven’t already. It will not only enrich your professional growth and development but will deepen and add to the whole CPSP experience. We are invested in offering a living experience that reflects human life and faith within a milieu of supportive and challenging community of fellow pilgrims.
Nancy Schaffer

Nancy Schaffer is ordained with the United Church of Christ (UCC) and is a supervisor-in-training at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, Far Rockaway, NY under the supervision of Francine Hernandez. She is Head Chaplain for the Long Island Council of Churches at the Nassau County Correctional Center, East Meadow, NY. Nancy has completed her doctorate concentrating on Prisons, Public Policy and Transformative Justice through a pastoral care lens from New Brunswick Theological Seminary, New Brunswick, NJ. She is exploring community building through a community-based CPE program.

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 4:30 PM

May 27, 2015

Committee on the Promotion and Certification of Chapters ----By Miriam Diephouse-McMillan


Our covenant reminds us that chapter life is the heart of our organization. The values and commitments that we uphold each time we read this covenant – collegial professional community; mutual responsibility; personal authority and creativity; persons over institutions—are each expressed most profoundly in our individual chapters. If CPSP as an organization wants to work towards better national recognition and accountability, we can’t afford to ignore the life of the chapters. In many ways the chapters provide the foundation for our reputation as a certifying and accrediting body.

For this reason, the new “Committee on the Promotion and Certification of Chapters” has begun the work of reviewing annual chapter reports and reaching out to conveners with comments and suggestions. The goal of this process is not to enforce a set of rules or create a bureaucratic structure that prevents individuality or creativity at the chapter level. The goal is to set standards that ensure the health and strength of our chapters: to learn from the wisdom of our oldest chapters and provide guidance for those who are just beginning the journey. Our hope is also to work with the Standards committee to add more specific guidelines about what chapter life entails so that the expectations are clearly communicated.

Here are a few major themes that the committee is looking at:

Chapter Size: The Covenant and our current Standards limit chapter size to a dozen (12). This may seem arbitrary, but group dynamics begin to shift when there are more than twelve people in the room. The ability to maintain deep relationships and mutual accountability requires an intimate group. The same applies to minimum size: our suggestion is no less than six members to ensure diversity of perspectives and avoid insular tendencies.

Critical Mass: The specific tasks of certification/re-certification and oversight of training centers require a critical mass of members at a given certification level. To certify and re-certify members at the Clinical Chaplain level, for example, requires at least four members who are certified at that level or higher. Likewise, annual re-certification of Diplomates and oversight of their training centers requires at least four members certified at the Diplomate level. Chapters with less than the critical mass are encouraged to partner with other chapters to ensure that certifications can be completed and maintained.

Meeting Time: Healthy chapter life takes time. Deep relationships need to develop and there should be a balance of social and professional interactions. In order to allow for personal updates, case consultations, and any other necessary business, we recommend a minimum of at least two hours per member per year. Thriving chapters often spend 3 or 4 hours per member per year and utilize a variety of meeting options including retreats, video-conferencing, etc.

National Participation: Chapters that know what’s going on in the organization are able to contribute their insight and help shape the future of CPSP. They are also able to advocate for and accurately represent the organization in their local community. Chapters that do not participate run the risk of drifting away from the organization’s values and isolating themselves. We recommend that chapters pool resources to sponsor at least one member to attend the annual Plenary conference, and encourage all members to participate in as many ways as they can, including Plenary and the regional NCTS gatherings.

The Committee for the Promotion and Certification of Chapters looks forward to ongoing discussion with chapters about what works and does not work in chapter life. We also hope to identify some “exemplary” chapters in each of the five regions. Our hope is that these chapters can be a source of wisdom and consultation for others, especially newly forming chapters.

Feel free to reach out to the members of the committee with any questions.

Committee for the Promotion and Certification of Chapters:
Orville Browne (chair)

Parthenia Caesar

Miriam Diephouse-McMillan

Miriam Diephouse-McMillan

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 9:39 PM

NCTS-West Announces 2015 Fall Gathering


National Clinical Training Seminar-West ( NCTS-West) announces the dates and venue of the next gathering. Please mark on your calendar the dates of October 18-20, 2015 for the event which will be held at Christ the King Retreat Center in Sacramento, CA.

Keep in mind that the NCTS-West is designed for Clinical Chaplains, Pastoral Counselors and Psychotherapist, CPE Supervisors and Supervisors-in-Training. The event represents a unique opportunity to focus on clinical work and developing further ability for the use of self in clinical practice and doing so within the context of psychodynamic group training process.

Further details will be announced. For now, set these dates on your calendar and plan to attend.

Ruth Zollinger is serving as the coordinator for the fall event. She request that we contact her if more information is needed at this point.

Ruth Zollinger

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 9:05 PM

May 18, 2015

Joanne Martindale, CPSP Diplomate, Promoted to Colonel in Army Reserve -- by Ed Luckett, Jr.


Chaplain Joanne S. Martindale, a CPSP Diplomate CPE Supervisor, member of the Nautilus Pacific Chapter, and Veterans Administration chaplain at David Grant Medical Center, Travis Air Force Base, CA, was recently promoted to the rank of Colonel in the US Army Reserve.

She received her promotion on May 2 in a ceremony at Moffett Federal Airfield, CA. The chapel was filled to capacity with members of her unit, the 351st Civil Affairs Command, family, and friends from across the country. Trainees of her current CPE group attended and Nautilus Pacific/CPSP was represented.

Chaplain Martindale, a 25-year veteran of the Army National Guard and Army Reserve, served as lead trauma counselor for Rwandan and Bosnian victims of atrocities in 1996. She was a first responder on 9-11 and served at Fresh Kills landfill for months afterwards. She also served as Division Support Command Chaplain for the 42nd Infantry Division in Iraq in 2005. She was also mobilized for 3 ½ years as Deployment Support Chaplain for the Schweinfurt and Bamberg Military Communities in Germany.

With this promotion, Chaplain Martindale joined a very select group within a select group: she is now one of three female O-6 (rank of full colonel) chaplains serving in the entire US Army (Active, Guard, and Reserve).

Ed Luckett, Jr.

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 9:02 AM

May 6, 2015

CPSP and the Upcoming AKRI Group Relations Conference by David Roth


Whenever I talk with fellow members of CPSP, recurring themes emerge. Among the most common are struggles with pastoral identity, how the chaplain should use and work with authority, our roles on interdisciplinary teams, how to manage boundaries in our work, and the forms pastoral leadership might take when we work with groups.

It is not only trainees in CPE who struggle with these and related issues but seasoned chaplains, SITs and CPE supervisors as well.

So what can we do to address these issues?

Getting a handle not only on what is most obvious but grasping our and others’ unconscious processes – “what’s really going on” – is key.

<imgRaymond Lawrence and I have just returned from Chicago where for the first half of last week four CPSP supervisors-in-training participated in an experiential group relations conference sponsored by the AK Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems (AKRI). This event was followed by four days of seminars and workshops about group relations theory and practice, known as the AKRI Dialogues, that the two of us attended.

Over that past few years CPSP has been working with AKRI and its regional affiliates on the West Coast and in New York. NCTS-West and NCTS-East have both been venues for introducing our members to the methods of group relations. Charla Hayden and Jack Lampl, AKRI fellows and internationally recognized leaders in the group relations field, joined the CPSP community at the 2013 CPSP Plenary in Las Vegas.

For the last two years CPSP members have participated in AKRI’s annual international 6-day residential conference that is held each June in Dover, MA.

Presently, group relations conference participation is a training requirement only for SITs seeking diplomate certification. More of our CPE supervisors should attend, along with clinical chaplains, pastoral counselors and psychotherapists. We cannot stress strongly enough the benefits widespread conference participation will bring to chapter life and our various ministries.

The reduced-rate, early registration deadline for the June 16-21 AKRI conference “Learning for Leadership” is fast approaching – less than two weeks away. Apply now. If the price tag is prohibitive, inquire about a reduction in fees. According to conference director, Edward Shapiro, MD, scholarships are available for those with an financial need.

Click here for the conference link.

Last year, Bill Sewall, a trainee in CPE wrote this in Pastoral Report.

David Roth

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 1:38 PM

May 3, 2015

Charles R. Hicks Named CPSP's Administrator


The College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy (CPSP) is delighted to announce the appointment of Charles R. Hicks as its new Administrator. 'Administrator' is equivalent of what would be referred to in the corporate world as Chief Operating Officer (COO). Charles will also continue serving as our Legal Counsel. He will oversee and work closely with Krista Argiropolis, our Administrative Coordinator.

Charles is an attorney and former Arkansas Department of Human Services Chief Counsel. He earned his LLM in Health Law from the University of Houston Law Center, his Doctor of Law (J.D.) from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, William H. Bowen School of Law. He is currently a partner in Health Law Associates, Little Rock, Arkansas. He will be taking leave from his law firm.

Charles has served CPSP for the past six years as attorney and advisor, for the most part on a pro bono basis. He believes strongly in the values and vision to which CPSP is committed. Charles has in many ways demonstrated his deep commitment to our commitment to our community

The occasion for bringing Charles onto the CPSP staff is the fact that our community has grown so large and diverse that volunteer staffing is inadequate for managing all our affairs. For the past quarter century we have employed only one person, Krista Argiropolis. Krista has served us well and plans to continue doing so.

I ask the CPSP community to welcome Charles aboard, and assist him in the many tasks facing him.

Raymond J. Lawrence, General Secretary


Raymond J. Lawrence, General Secretary

The College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy is a theologically based International Accrediting and Certifying Covenant Community dedicated to Recovery of Soul. CPSP offers accreditation to Clinical Pastoral Education Training Programs, Pastoral Counseling Training Programs, and certification to individuals that meet standards of expertise in Pastoral Supervision, Pastoral Psychotherapy, Pastoral Counseling, and Clinical Chaplaincy. CPSP is committed to continuing accountability, standards of excellence, and diversity of opportunity.

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 10:30 AM

May 2, 2015

"The Safety-Pin: Holding Your Life Together When It's Bursting at the Seams"


Francine Hernandez, CPSP Diplomate and CPSP Past President recently authored a book: The Safety-Pin: Holding Your Life Together When It's Bursting at the Seams.

The author sets the book's mission as:

It's your season to soar toward your destiny! It's your season to discover the power of being your sister's keeper! It's your season to re-author your story... The journey you will embark upon will liberate you to: * Know yourself more intimately * Evoke the power of your personal story and its relationship to your destiny...Create sacred spaces where brokenness can be shared...To help your sister give birth to her destiny.

The Reverend Christine Bridges, an ordained minister with the African Methodist Episcopal Church who is a nursing manager for Visiting Nurse Services of New York, reviewed the book and was obviously impressed when she writes:

What a timely gift! When many persons are trying to do it all, “The Safety Pin” invites women to be. Be the new you God intended. Live your purposeful life. Dr. Francine L. Hernandez shares her thoughts and personal experiences, and she ignites others to do the same to discover their “safety pin” of faith.

Pastoral counselors and ministers will find this book a contribution to pastoral care and counseling as familiar biblical stories are retold, become new stories, and empower others to re-author their own stories. No one journeys alone. Women and men are encouraged to become self aware and to be accountable to others. Reading Dr. Hernandez’s book is a personal retreat experience for anyone who desires to be in the intimate presence of God.

The Safety-Pin can be purchased at Amazon in Hardcover, Paperback and Kindle editions.

Francine Hernandez

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 11:11 AM