As The Center for Pastoral Wholeness & Chaplaincy Studies ends year one, we are thankful for the work that has begun and the support necessary to sustain the work beyond the life of the initiating grant from the Assisi Foundation of Memphis.  

In year one, through our partnership with The Center for Chaplaincy Studies in Chicago, we had 18 students seeking the Specialization in Chaplaincy Studies take courses through CCS.

CPWCS reformatted CFI’s small group curriculum to be chaplain-centric. Two pilot groups of experienced chaplains are working together to be a safe place of spiritual support apart from their work. The pilot groups conclude in December 2022. After evaluating the efficacy of such an experience, with further adaptations made as necessary, Chaplaincy Support Groups will be formed to be a safe place for chaplains. 

Together with retired United Methodist Bishop Kenneth L. Carder, Dr. Jonathan L. Jeffords, Director of CPWCS, co-taught a course titled “Dementia Through a Pastoral Theological Lens,” to help clergy and congregations understand the nature of dementia and the necessary moment for the Church to be responsive to these persons and their families. The course supports CPWCS’ intention to help congregations understand themselves as “chaplains to their communities.”

CPWCS entered into a five-year agreement with West Cancer Center to provide chaplain interns who will be present at West to offer support and care to patients and staff. The interns receive a scholarship that will pay for their Clinical Practicum. It’s a unique opportunity in which students get chaplaincy experience.

Raising sustaining funds is a condition of the grant from Assisi. In addition to the financial contributions of Assist and West Cancer Center, we are grateful for the additional financial support for this new work from:  Mr. Henry Turley, Mr. Gary and Mrs. Glenda Shorb, and Drs. Kathy and John Barker.  

As we continue to develop into a robust center and asset for MTS, please consider how you can help. Make your gift to MTS and note Chaplaincy Studies in the memo line.