OUR STORY

Widening the Range of Pastoral Responses


 

OUR STORY

Widening the Range of Pastoral Responses


We envisioned a program of transformational education to advance spiritual care competency — a place to expand your range of pastoral responses as you serve those seeking meaning in times of change or crisis, listen to sacred stories, and attend to the wounds of the soul.

We envisioned a program of transformational education to advance spiritual care competency — a place to expand your range of pastoral responses as you serve those seeking meaning in times of change or crisis, listen to sacred stories, and attend to the wounds of the soul.

Our Vision

The Shaw Chaplaincy Institute is a driver in developing innovative academic programs that advance SPIRITUAL CARE knowledge and skill while engaged in caring activity with persons, families, community, organizations and society.

The mission of SCI is to improve the quality of spiritual care provided through all aspects of trans-professional service where transformative education supports the development of CHAPLAINS, COMPASSIONATE LEADERS, and CARING ACTIVISTS, inspired by our tradition of academic excellence, commitment to alleviating suffering, and passion to develop communities of care where all may increase their capacity for health, healing and resiliency.

Moreover, SCI supports developing competencies in interdisciplinary, interfaith, cross-cultural spiritual care activity through education and collaboration to enable organizations to achieve missions that encompass physical, emotional, ecological, intellectual, and social wellbeing for persons and communities.


Our Mission


Caring Activism

The Shaw Chaplaincy Institute treats spiritual care as a project of “Caring Activism.” Caring Activism shapes and informs our comprehensive suite of educational and service-oriented programs. Caring Activism consists of generative acts of caring and the understanding that no person, institution or social structure can limit how much I or we decide to care.

Caring Activism promotes the use of direct caring action to bring about spiritual, physical, and social changes that foster health, healing and resiliency.

Our Vision

The Shaw Chaplaincy Institute is a driver in developing innovative academic programs that advance SPIRITUAL CARE knowledge and skill while engaged in caring activity with persons, families, community, organizations and society.

Our Mission

The mission of SCI is to improve the quality of spiritual care provided through all aspects of trans-professional service where transformative education supports the development of CHAPLAINS, COMPASSIONATE LEADERS, and CARING ACTIVISTS, inspired by our tradition of academic excellence, commitment to alleviating suffering, and passion to develop communities of care where all may increase their capacity for health, healing and resiliency.

Moreover, SCI supports developing competencies in interdisciplinary, interfaith, cross-cultural spiritual care activity through education and collaboration to enable organizations to achieve missions that encompass physical, emotional, ecological, intellectual, and social wellbeing for persons and communities.

Caring Activism

The Shaw Chaplaincy Institute treats spiritual care as a project of “Caring Activism.” Caring Activism shapes and informs our comprehensive suite of educational and service-oriented programs. Caring Activism consists of generative acts of caring and the understanding that no person, institution or social structure can limit how much I or we decide to care.

Caring Activism promotes the use of direct caring action to bring about spiritual, physical, and social changes that foster health, healing and resiliency.

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History of Shaw

A generous gift from the Shaw family


SFTS blazed a trail in Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) when SFTS alumnus Rev. Dr. John F. Shaw (MDiv, 1954) and Mrs. Julia Shaw endowed the first CPE chair in a theological seminary in 2012. The Shaw name is one with which the entire San Francisco Theological Seminary is very familiar. It adorns the sign in front of the beautifully-restored Shaw Guest House; and denotes the first fully-endowed Chair and Supervisory Education Fellow in the CPE program.

After 20 years as a pastor at several different churches on the west coast, John still felt that he had not truly found his call, and it was through his volunteer work at a local hospital that he discovered his passion for chaplaincy. He noticed how different this form of ministry was to that which he had been performing all his life. After receiving his CPE certification, he then pursued a PhD in pastoral counseling. With the creation of the Shaw Chaplaincy Institute for Spiritual Care + Compassionate Leadership, John describes this as “a dream which was fulfilled.”

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Laurie Garrett-Cobbina Realizes Shaw Vision


Garrett-Cobbina, whose endowed chair was first created by a previous Shaw gift, is the visionary behind the newly expanded program. She describes the Shaw Institute as a “school within a school.” She says the Institute embodies the seminary’s commitment to transformative theological education by engaging students in practical spiritual care and service in their communities. “The people of God need skilled, caring professionals who know how to facilitate groups, engage suffering, understand trauma and grief and their complex socio-cultural roots, care for the dying, and bring real transformation and healing to such situations,” she says.

The Shaw Chaplaincy Institute will develop partnerships with healthcare organizations, medical schools, nursing schools, law schools, and social science/social care departments. Garrett-Cobbina envisions continuing education offerings to help nurses, physicians, lawyers, social workers, and chaplains enhance their caregiving skills.


International in Scope


Shaw Chaplaincy Institute students learn to build relationships with, and offer spiritual care to, people of varied cultural and religious backgrounds. In what she describes as “a ground-breaking learning experience,” Garrett-Cobbina led a CPE unit in Ghana, West Africa in 2015 for students from SFTS and a university in Ghana. An important goal is to offer CPE in international contexts to meet the growing interest in ministry competence in a globalized world.
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leadership

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REV. DR. LAURIE GARRETT-COBBINA

Shaw Chair for CPE, Director of Shaw Chaplaincy Institute


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REV. PAUL GAFFNEY

ACPE Certified Educator Candidate, Shaw Chaplaincy Institute Program Manager


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REV. DR. DONNA ALLEN

Shaw Chaplaincy Institute Adjunct Faculty, ACPE Certified Educator Student

About SFTS


As the only Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) affiliated seminary in the West, San Francisco Theological Seminary (SFTS) reinvents education for service through unparalleled innovation, rigorous scholarship, and a 150-year tradition of commitment to spirituality and leadership in advancing social justice in classrooms, organizations and communities of faith throughout the world.

We are a welcoming multicultural and interreligious community assembled from our global community. Our degrees in theology combine classroom learning with immersion in practical service, preparing students to bridge theological, cultural, and political divides. Any student who exhibits a commitment to theological inquiry, vocational curiosity and caring service is welcome. Here you will refine your unique gifts to cultivate spiritual advocacy and compassionate leadership in its many forms for your journey in our expansive, ever-changing world.

ABOUT The Graduate Theological Union (GTU)


SFTS embraces the belief that an all-inclusive knowledge of religion is tantamount to becoming an effective and inspired agent of positive change.

In 1962, SFTS joined with neighboring theological schools in founding the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), created with the certainty that the future of religious renewal and theological education depends on the willingness of faith traditions to come together. The GTU is composed of eight seminaries — five Protestant, two Roman Catholic, and one Unitarian Universalist — and 12 affiliates, academic centers, and certificate programs.

Today, the GTU provides a forum for dialogue on social justice issues, encourages programs in emerging fields of theological inquiry, and connects students to a wide and diverse community. Curricula amongst the schools includes the arts, biblical studies, cultural and historical studies, ethics, social theory, religious and science, spirituality, interreligious and interdisciplinary studies.

For more info, please visit the GTU website.

Let's have a conversation


In this world poised for healing, do you feel called to bring compassionate presence to others? Get in touch with your questions, and I’ll be very happy to help you explore ways in which the Shaw Chaplaincy Institute is able to help you bring your whole self into service.

- Rev. Paul Gaffney,
ACPE Certified Educator Candidate, Shaw Chaplaincy Institute Program Manager


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