The Chaplaincy—A New Development and Outreach

The Chaplaincy—A New Development and Outreach

The monthly medical ministry column.

R. A. ANDERSON, Ministerial Association Secretary, General Conference

A most interesting program is being carried out at the Florida Sanitarium and Hospital. A group of thirty clergymen representing ten or a dozen different de­nominations, all working together in care­fully planned seminars, attending daily lec­tures, and doing clinical visitation for a whole month in an Adventist institution, directed by an Adventist chaplain—this was something new! For some days I had the privilege of observing this program in operation.

This institute in clinical pastoral educa­tion was developed in response to a request from a group of hospital administrators for a clinical training course that would be distinctively Adventist. For the first two years it was limited to the training of chap­lains. But now it has branched out to in­clude also the needs of the church pastor, both Adventist and non-Adventist. Four other local hospitals besides our Florida Sanitarium have made their facilities avail­able to the institute for clinical visitation. Here the trainees apply practically the les­sons and insights they are learning in the seminars and lectures given by C. A. Reeves and his associate, H. C. Ray. Two psychia­trists and other members of the medical staff also assist as instructors. Intensive study is given in these courses to methods of pastoral, family, and marriage counsel­ing. The age to which we have come seems to demand so much of a pastor's time in dealing with family problems. In these sem­inars ample opportunity is given for dis­cussion of these vital issues.

The visitation program is unique, for pastor-patient interviews are required to be written up verbatim. The group breaks up into smaller "cells" where the trainee's case history or "verbatim" is brought under closer study and the strengths and weak­nesses are discussed. Teaching films of ex­cellent quality augment the lectures. And in addition 1,200 pages of required reading are assigned from the latest and best works in spiritual therapy and pastoral care. Ellen G. White's The Ministry of Healing is used as a basic book for all students. It is heartening to hear some of the comments made about this book by some of the non-Adventist clergy. Some of these men have written articles in the local newspapers ex­pressing appreciation of the institute. "Since I know I have received insights val­uable to any aspect of the ministry I heart­ily recommend this course to all who can possibly plan to attend," wrote Dr. Jack Davis, executive secretary of the Florida Council of Churches, who himself gradu­ated from the institute. Another declared at a meeting of his ministerial council, "I would not take $500 for all I have learned at that Adventist hospital."

Could every one of our large medical in­stitutions sponsor a program such as this, with its tremendous public relations and evangelistic potentials, it would mean much to the advancement of the cause of God. To bring groups of ministers into the environment of our own hospitals for four weeks of such intensive training, to have them enter into the discussions and profit from the instruction of dedicated Advent­ist teachers, is unique and surely fulfills the instruction from the messenger of the Lord who declares that we should make it our "special work to labor for ministers. Pray for and with these men for whom Christ is interceding" (Evangelism, p. 562).

Already twenty applications have come from ministers of many faiths asking that they be allowed to take the next clinical institute, which will be held from May 9 to June 3. Workers from a number of our overseas divisions have registered. Indeed, this course, with its exciting possibilities, would benefit ministers in every depart­ment of our work.

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R. A. ANDERSON, Ministerial Association Secretary, General Conference

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