CPE Integration Praxis

Instructor:  Carrie Doehring, PhD cdoehring@iliff.edu 303-765-3169 Office: I-302

Course Synopsis

This course helps students integrate their completed CPE experience into their professional formation, ongoing coursework at Iliff and their knowledge of professional chaplaincy ethics and the process of becoming board certified as a chaplain or ordained as a religious leader specializing in spiritual care. Students will form a cohort group to discern how their CPE experience is part of their vocational discernment process at Iliff. Verbatim case studies will be used alongside readings in spiritual care and chaplaincy, in order to explore how students embodied their faith and core values through practice and professional ethical decision-making involving respect for diverse spiritual/religious identities and traditions. Verbatim case studies will also be used to analyze their engagement with and systemic assessment of their CPE context, especially in terms of leadership opportunities for increased agency and efficacy working towards social justice and peace. They will also use case study experiences alongside readings about professional ethics in chaplaincy to explore ethical decision making.


Course Objectives

Degree Learning Goal

This course fulfills a MAPSC degree requirement in Personal and Professional Formation (PPF), with this goal: develop strategies for spiritual formation and self-care, demonstrate an awareness of the importance of social location for self-understanding and professional presence, and enact self-aware and collaborative leadership within a specific vocational context.


Course Learning Goals

  1. Integration of CPE experience into one’s professional formation and ongoing coursework at Iliff.

Outcome: in forum discussions linking verbatim case studies and readings in chaplaincy, students will demonstrate how they move through an action-reflection-action cycle of learning in using critical thinking skills and their ongoing formation as chaplains.

  1. Evaluation of practical ministry experience as it pertains to ongoing educational and professional formation (qualitative and quantitative)

Outcome: in forum discussions students will explore how particular readings and case studies help them reformulate their learning goals first articulated in the counseling and guidance process with Dr. Whitehead, their applications for clinical pastoral education (CPE), their CPR final self and supervisor evaluations, and this current stage of their Iliff education.

  1. Knowledge of and readiness to implement chaplaincy ethical codes in complex case studies

Outcomes: in forum discussion students will research their state laws, their faith tradition’s professional ethics, and codes of ethics of ethics for chaplains to develop responses to common chaplaincy scenarios requiring ethics discernment (e.g. child and elder abuse, suicidality, sexual misconduct, etc.).

  1. Knowledge of and readiness to implement steps toward endorsement/ordination and professional requirements for becoming a board certified chaplain and/or a religious leader specializing in pastoral/spiritual care

Outcomes: in forum discussion students will research requirements for ordination and/or endorsement in their faith tradition, and next steps for either becoming religious leaders specializing in spiritual care and/or board certified chaplains.




Learning Covenant

Academic, experiential and chaplaincy learning: This is not simply a theoretical course that requires students to demonstrate knowledge. It is an intercultural spiritual care course where we will integrate theory and practice through experiential models of learning. Forum discussions are designed so that students bring concepts from readings into dialogue with case studies and their own process of spiritual integration.

Demonstrating knowledge and academic skills: In order to function in academic and professional contexts, students need to be able to demonstrate knowledge according to academic and professional standards of writing, grammar, and in-text citation using APA formatting. Forum posts and responses are expected to meet professional and academic standards, not the more casual standards of many kinds of online discussions. Points will be deducted for inadequate proof reading or citations.

Demonstrating a capacity to differentiate one’s own emotions, values, beliefs and practices from others: The content of the course will elicit emotional responses, and we will each need to take responsibility for experiencing, interpreting, and channeling feelings in appropriate personal and professional ways, especially those arising from our personal experiences. Ultimately, we want to be able to experience our emotional/stress reactions as resources and not liabilities in our learning. You will need to demonstrate differentiation of self in all forum posts and responses.

Demonstrating intercultural capacities with each other: We come to this learning experience with a range of experiences, thoughts, and feelings about spiritual care, as well as religion and spirituality. In our forum posts and responses, we agree to demonstrate intercultural attitudes that respect what is unique and distinct about each other’s values, beliefs, and practices (demonstrating skills of respecting radical religious and spiritual differences, and the capacity to step into another religious/spiritual/existential world as respectful guests).

Demonstrating theological empathy: Theological empathy is the reflexive capacity to imagine how another’s stress-based emotions generate a lived theology or orienting system of values, beliefs, and practices that may be life limiting, when intersecting social oppressions make people judge themselves as bad. Theological empathy is an extension of the cognitive capacities for interpersonal and social empathy: self-other macro-systemic awareness, perspective taking, emotional regulation, and contextual understanding of systemic barriers and privileges. In their forum posts and responses, students are expected to demonstrate theological empathy.

Confidentiality: Personal disclosures are not to be discussed outside of class without agreement and permission. Students can, however, talk to people within their support systems about their own reactions, as long as the focus is on them and not the content of what class members share, and as long as any identifying information about other students is disguised. Keep in mind, however, that Iliff is a small community where others can be easily identified. Faculty will abide by the bounds of professional confidentiality (see below) rather than absolute confidentiality.

Levels of self-disclosure: Each person is responsible for his or her level of self-disclosure. The purpose of self-disclosure (as with any self-disclosure in spiritual care conversations) is to enhance group learning. Students can use their support systems when they need to process their own experiences.

Commitment to our learning community: In order to build and maintain relationships of trust and dependability, everyone needs to abide by deadlines for group postings, responses and assignments. When students post late, this creates stress for students that post on time and want to be timely in their responses. If emergencies arrive that prevent ontime posting, students must notify faculty and members of their forum. Points will be deducted for late assignments.

Availability of faculty: Faculty available for support, clarification, and advice. They are not able to offer ongoing counseling or therapy; they will help students evaluate the extent to which counseling may be helpful and make appropriate referrals.

Language framework: We use inclusive language that respects all forms of religious traditions, theological, and political perspectives, and gender and sexual orientation diversity.

Revising and monitoring ground rules: We all share in monitoring and revising these ground rules to ensure safety and engender trust.

Professional Confidentiality and Mandatory Reporting

All students must agree to abide by professional confidentiality in all matters, which means that they will preserve anonymity by disguising the identity of cases when seeking consultation and case reporting.  Student disclosures to one another and to the professor will remain confidential, unless the law requires otherwise.  In all cases, students must be aware of the mandatory reporting laws of the state in which they provide professional caregiving. If they are designated spiritual caregivers within their religious tradition, they need to also be aware of what their religious organization requires.  If students have reason to suspect or have first-hand knowledge of recent, current, or ongoing child abuse or neglect perpetrated on a child currently under the age of 18 years, elder abuse, sexual and domestic violence, or threats of homicide or suicide in any of the pastoral situations they use for fulfilling the requirements of this course they need to seek immediate consultation with supervisors, denominational leaders, and the professor of this course so that proper reporting procedures can be ascertained. We will work together to establish an appropriate pastoral relationship with all parties facing these crises. 

State laws on mandatory reporting are available at State Laws on Mandatory Clergy Reporting  Colorado mandatory reporting requirements may be found at Colorado Revised Statutes 19-3-304, 1a, 2(aa, II, III); 13-90-107c.  

Title IX Mandatory Reporting

As a professor, one of my responsibilities is to help create a safe learning environment on our campus. I also have a mandatory reporting responsibility related to my role as a professor. It is my goal that you feel able to share information related to your life experiences in classroom/online discussions, in your written work, and in our one-on-one meetings. I will seek to keep information you share private to the greatest extent possible. However, I am required to share with the Title IX coordinator information regarding instances of sex/gender-based harassment, discrimination, and sexual misconduct in the Iliff community. Students may speak to someone confidentially by contacting our Confidential Reporters: the Dean of the Chapel and Spiritual Formation, the Associate Dean of Admissions, and the Director of Consultation and Formation. Information on our Title IX Policy can be found on Iliff’s website.

DUE DATES for verbatim assignments coming up:

Charlie Conway verbatim & learning goals: email to Carrie 10/10

Mary Newton: verbatim & learning goals: email to Carrie 10/17

Jordan Derhammer: verbatim & learning goals: email to Carrie 10/24

Sep 13, 2018ThuWeek 1 Post by 9/12, reply by 9/15due by 05:59AM
Sep 19, 2018WedWeek 2 Zoom conversation Tuesday 9/18 7–9 pm EDT; 6–8 pm CDT; 5–7pm; MDT 4–6 PDTdue by 05:59AM
Sep 28, 2018FriWeek 3 post by Thursday 9/27, Reply by Saturday 9/29due by 05:59AM
Oct 03, 2018WedWeek 4 Post by Tuesday 10/2, Reply by Fridaydue by 05:59AM
Oct 17, 2018WedWeek 6 post by Tuesday, Reply by Fridaydue by 05:59AM
Oct 24, 2018WedWeek 7 Post by Tuesday, reply by Fridaydue by 05:59AM
Oct 31, 2018WedWeek 8 Post by Tuesday, reply by Fridaydue by 05:59AM
Nov 17, 2018SatWeeks 9 & 10 What we have learned togetherdue by 06:59AM