Wisdom traditions or faith traditions like Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam have time-tested resources which help people navigate the meaning they make of their lives. But in a world where spirituality and religion are so frequently misunderstood and undervalued, these vital resources are often not available in the places where they are needed most.
The Center for Lay Chaplaincy (CFLC) views these trends as both an opportunity and an urgent call. CFLC’s mission is two-fold. We aim to prepare skilled chaplains, who may otherwise not have access to the education and training traditionally required for chaplains, and then deploy those chaplains into spaces where chaplaincy is traditionally not present or underfunded, like food banks, retail spaces, homeless service centers, jails, subway stations, community health clinics or disaster response.
Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is the traditional pathway to professional chaplaincy, and is predicated on the model of action-reflection-action. CPE is a powerful tool for cultivating and deepening self-awareness. While it may seem counterintuitive, chaplains trained through CPE deepen their capacity for listening and understanding the experiences of others.
In traditional CPE programs students come prepared with a seminary education and the CPE curriculum requires extensive written reflections. During the past year, CFLC has adapted the CPE curriculum, making it more accessible and directly related to the actual practice of chaplaincy.
All of these efforts have been in the service of our two-fold mission: CPE for Everyone and Chaplaincy Everywhere.