Chaplains

Chaplain Spiritual Assessment and Its Efficacy for the Palliative Care Team at Roper St. Francis Healthcare: An Interdisciplinary-Phenomenologic Inquiry

Author
Yhanco Monet
Abstract
A qualitative phenomenological research methodology was designed and implemented to answer the question: what is it that chaplains assessed which is perceived as useful for the Roper St. Francis Palliative Care team? Twelve Palliative Care practitioners, representing diverse specialties, were interviewed and surveyed to answer the research question. Evidence suggested that spiritual care and chaplaincy assessments were perceived as relevant to the Roper St. Francis’ Palliative Care praxis. However, the gathered data indicates that chaplains and Palliative Care practitioners would benefit from a more standardized/consistent spiritual assessment practice. A set of “Teaching Guidelines” and educational “Activities” was created with the goal of training chaplains in the art of doing Palliative Care spiritual assessments based on the research findings. A certified ACPE supervisor was interviewed about the viability and appropriateness of these “Teaching Guidelines” and “Activities.” This professional educator enriched the educative proposal and validated its potential to train staff chaplains as Palliative Care practitioners.

Strengthening Pastoral Identity in Army Chaplains: The Effect of Spiritual Mentoring on Mentors as a Way to Develop Pastoral Identity

Author
Douglas Ball
Abstract
Army Chaplains are in a struggle between various identities within in a system that reinforces and rewards those identities outside the historic pastoral role. This thesis explores how spiritual mentoring can foster, maintain, and revitalize pastoral identity in mid-level chaplains serving as mentors. The author defines and explains pastoral identity; shows that spiritual mentoring is a biblical and necessary aspect of pastoral ministry; and explores the possibility of strengthening pastoral identity in Army chaplains through spiritual mentoring. However, unlike most approaches to spiritual mentoring for pastoral formation, the goal of this project was not primarily the formation of the mentee, but rather the formation of the mentor. Chaplains who serve as mentors are engaging in a historically pastoral activity which will clarify and strengthen their own pastoral identity. The project engaged mid-level and junior chaplains in short-term spiritual mentoring relationships and measured indicators of pastoral identity through a sequential mixed methods approach (pre-surveys, post-surveys, and interviews). Overall, both quantitative and qualitative data supports spiritual mentoring as a method for identity change and formation within the Army Chaplain Corps.

Empowering clinical staff to provide spiritual care for patients with life limiting illness and their family members under hospice cleveland county care

Author
Terry Pinkney Floyd
Abstract
Staff members at Hospice Cleveland County struggle to provide quality spiritual care to dying patients or their family members because the staff members are not trained chaplains. Staff members tend to fall back on "pat" answers that can sometimes cause the patient or family members to have even more unresolved spiritual issues.

This project sought to determine whether or not hospice staff could become more empowered to give quality spiritual care by being introduced to the basics of pastoral care to the dying and their families. Information was shared by way of presentations; practical experience was gained by role-playing and shadowing.

The pre-test/post-test scores indicate that the participants learned the basic theology of pastoral care to dying patients and their families. There was enthusiastic verbal affirmation of the process, including the desire to repeat the project for a longer period of time. Individual growth of the vast majority of the participants, as a result of the project, has resulted in better care of the patients and more job satisfaction for the participants.

When prophets speak to kings: Air Force chaplains and the praxis of leadership advisement

Author
Glen E. Harris Jr.
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to understand how Air Force chaplains advise superior military leaders on religious and ethical matters. Specifically, the qualitative research addressed what informs Air Force chaplains’ understanding of leadership, what Air Force chaplains do as they advise military leaders, what challenges are faced by Air Force chaplains in advising leaders, and how Air Force chaplains evaluate their own effectiveness in advising military leaders.
The findings were, first, that Air Force chaplains develop their understanding of leadership advisement primarily through experience. Some rely on the theological concepts of pastoral identity to buttress their experience, but years of trial and error in the core capability is the dominant path. Furthermore, chaplains rely on a nexus of communication and collaboration with the senior leaders they advise. And they adopt an approach inclusive of both data and relationship, with the latter being paramount. They also see spiritual care and leadership advisement as being two closely interrelated acts of pastoral ministry. Next, the challenges that Air Force chaplains face in advisement involve primarily power differentials and information fidelity. Finally, chaplains evaluate their effectiveness in leadership advisement in terms of building healthy organizational climates and building trust with senior leaders, even while struggling with questions of ineffectiveness and self-doubt.
The study provided three primary conclusions. First, chaplains would benefit from scenario-based coursework early in their careers to jettison the trend of experience-only development in advising leaders. Second, integrating emotional intelligence into the corporate ethos of the Air Force Chaplain Corps synergizes future success in leadership advisement by giving chaplains the boldness and courage to wield a pastoral and yet prophetic voice. Third, for a chaplain to lead a senior leader with advisement that is both on target and on time, they must first be skilled followers or “second chair leaders”.

An Examination of Discipleship in Army Chapel Ministries Overseas

Author
Jesse McCullough D.Min.
Abstract
Military chapels face unique situations that churches do not. These circumstances complicate making Biblical disciples, especially in an overseas environment. As pastors called to preach the gospel and make disciples, Army chaplains must discern how to fulfill the command of Christ while also working as an Army staff officer. Measuring whether growth is occurring may provide information to help chaplains keep what is working and change what is not. This project is designed to gauge whether chapels in an overseas environment, specifically Germany, are truly making disciples in accordance with the Biblical mandate. The research combines context, theological basis, and surveys of congregants to attempt determining which factors contribute to growth and which are unimportant. Advice for lessons learned and further research are included.

Improving Accompaniment Practices by Roman Catholic Chaplains for Native Americans in a Health Care Setting

Author
Kathleen M. Van Duser D.Min.
Abstract
The project seeks to improve accompaniment practices by chaplains in the health care setting for those ministering to Indigenous people. A brief history of Indigenous people in North America and seven major beliefs common to all North American Indigenous people are offered that are meaningful to chaplains. Interviews are provided with Indigenous people, medical personnel, and chaplains to learn how to improve the accompaniment of Indigenous people. Multicultural, cross-cultural, and intercultural relationships, as well as how to learn to cross over from one culture to another are discussed. Plural spiritualities are also addressed. Steps are provided to distribute this information to medical personnel and chaplains.

Discovering How African-American Male Soldiers' Self-Esteem is Diminished and Restored n the Army

Author
Everett Lee Caldwell
Abstract
Discovering How African-American Male Soldiers' Self-Esteem is Diminished and Restored n the Army:
The purpose of this project was to discover how African American male chaplains have recognized the dynamics that have lowered self-esteem of African American male soldiers and to identify ways that have been used to restore their self-esteem in the U.S. Army. A 5-point Likert scale survey was taken by eight African American male chaplains within the 807th brigade. It was discovered: 1) African American male soldiers' self-esteem is diminished when denied promotions; 2) African American male soldiers were encouraged by seeing black officers; 3) African American male chaplains gave words of empowerment to help soldiers overcome racial injustices.

The Wisdom of Silence: Contemplative Practice for Adolescents in the Context of a Catholic Secondary School Curriculum

Author
Jan Rudolf Flaska D.Min.
Abstract
Let’s face it - contemporary adolescent life in the United States is filled with noise. Amidst the metaphorical and literal din of increasingly covert wireless technology, the heavy demand of social media and a cultural espousal of multitasking, the adolescent spirit can be a forgotten concern. There is, therefore, a need to reclaim the wisdom of silence in the lives of adolescents, inviting them to welcome these moments for the power they offer, and to embrace the call of Teresa of Avila in “turning the eyes of the soul… to the Lord.”

This project is intended to introduce and nurture contemplative practices, as presented in Christian literary spiritual classics, in the lives of adolescents in scholastic Catholic settings.
Offered in response to the frequent, unregulated noise of technology manifest in phones and other platforms for social media, adolescents will benefit in a multiplicity of manners from a regular encounter with spiritually grounded silence.

AN AUTOETHNOGRAPHIC EXPLORATION OF MY CPE LEARNING PROCESS

Author
Anurag Mani D.Min.
Abstract
In this project I explore the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE) learning process through the lenses of my human condition: my being an immigrant who was born and raised outside the United States of America and came to the country and to the Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) process in my adulthood. I use the research method of autoethnography to explore and give voice to my experience. As an immigrant, I observe that my experience of my journey to become a CPE Educator has been marked with unique challenges that seemed different to the experience of those who were born and raised in the U.S.A. My research question is: Can a careful analysis and interpretation of my own experience in the CPE education process help other immigrants seeking CPE certification to better understand their own complex and unique experience through this difficult, challenging, and exciting process?

That They May Have Life: The Congregation's Opportunity to Strengthen Resiliency and Foster Wholeness Amid Trauma in the Lives of Volunteer First Responders

Author
Jason Cashing D.Min.
Abstract
With every emergency, first responders are exposed to a degree of traumatic stress. This Secondary Traumatic Stress can sap the life and purpose from first responders, and the accumulation of unaddressed STS can lead to burnout, unhealthy coping mechanisms, and even suicide. The congregation, though practices of Sabbath and Lament, can offer pathways to help mitigate STS and strengthen resilience. Looking at the invitation to Abundant Life in John 10, the Church’s calling and the world’s need intersect, providing a framework and a language to help first responders and congregations alike realize the fullness of Life offered to all.
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