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First Clinical Pastoral Orientation Held in Division
August 15, 2017
The first ever Clinical Pastoral Orientation (CPO) was held at the Seoul SDA Language Institute, which is across from the Seoul Adventist Hospital, from July 17 to 21, 2017. Fourteen healthcare chaplains from six different hospitals gathered for one week of instruction, clinical observation, and fellowship during this historic event. Dr. Mario Ceballos, director of Adventist Chaplaincy Ministries (ACM) at the General Conference (GC), was the featured instructor. Deena Bartel-Wagner, GC ACM editor/webmaster/social media manager, conducted numerous interviews of healthcare and military chaplains, and Dr. Lisa Clouzet, associate director of ministerial association of the Northern Asia-Pacific Division (NSD), coordinated the week.

“All chaplains are pastors,” the saying goes, “but not all pastors are chaplains.” This is a true statement. Healthcare chaplains, along with other types of professional chaplains, are a specialized branch of ministry, with specialized training. In the case of healthcare chaplains, the most fundamental training is not something they usually obtain with an undergraduate or even graduate theological education. The training is called Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE). Most healthcare chaplains in the NSD have not had the opportunity for such training, and this CPO was an effort to begin helping the current situation.


During CPE, chaplains learn to write verbatims of patient visits made in the hospitals, and then discuss those under strict confidentiality. The professional discussions with other chaplains, under supervision, help the chaplains to discover personal biases and assumptions, and lead them to be better listeners and caregivers in their ministry.

Although the CPO chaplains’ levels of training and experience varied, all were able to learn from the experience. The participants who completed all the requirements received a certificate from the Adventist Chaplaincy Institute, and a second certificate of continuing education from Loma Linda University.

Drs. Ron E. M. & Lisa Clouzet

Director & Associate Director

NSD Ministerial Association/Chaplaincy