You’re doing what?!
I am pleased to share some professional news with you today. This month, I began clinical pastoral education at the University of Virginia medical center.
What is clinical pastoral education? (Nearly everyone has asked.) CPE is training for chaplains. I will be learning the ropes of a hospital setting, discovering how to help people face spiritual dimensions of medical crises, and working directly with patients and families.
For obvious reasons, you may be wondering if I’m very religious. I am not, at least not in the traditional sense. Like many folks, labels don’t sit easily with me, but I am officially studying as a humanist chaplain. “Humanist” is a big umbrella that can include agnostics, atheists, multi-faith believers, “spiritual, not religious,” and “religious nones.” I often joke that, if I ever started a church, it would be called the Church of the Perpetually Curious!
More seriously, I have been studying ethics, theology, and philosophy for 15 years because those fields explore fundamental aspects of being alive and being human. They ask big and binding questions. I appreciate the diversity with which we humans answer, and I am honored when others trust me enough to share whatever they consider sacred. I am excited to join a diverse cohort of chaplains and work with patients of many faiths.
Moving on to popular question number three: what about JLP Strategy? The program is part-time, so I will continue to serve my wonderful clients, and I can even save a bit of wiggle for new projects. I love this variety!
CPE is one more step along my journey of purposeful work - complementary to, not in conflict with, my other commitments. It will both inform my strategy work and deepen my coaching skills. I am equally excited by the organizational wisdom I will gain in a large institution and the new emotional competencies my day-to-day will demand.
I look forward to sharing relevant insights with you all along the way. Thank you in advance for your interest and support!