Compassionate Care Education for Service Professionals



Compassionate Care Education for Service Professionals

Deepen your understanding of spiritual formation and critical theological reflection while you cultivate the requisite skills and arts of pastoral care.

The Shaw Chaplaincy Institute offers a wide variety of academic and experiential programs for qualified individuals who seek further development of their spiritual care and compassionate leadership skills—from master’s degree concentrations to continuing education for nurses, physicians, lawyers, social workers, and current chaplains looking to enhance their caregiving skills. In recognition of the social structures, web of connections, interdisciplinary and faith traditions represented in sociopolitical life and community, we place curricular concepts in the context of real-life situations where service-learning connects students to a community of service.


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Clinical Pastoral Education

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Graduate Degrees

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Certificates, Diplomas & Continuing Ed

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SFTS & GTU Courses

Our Learning Model

In this program of graduate-level education, you learn to integrate knowledge from theological, psychological, and social science disciplines into the practice of pastoral care. We use an action-reflection method of learning that focuses on developing your professional identity and your pastoral skills. Intense involvement with persons in need and feedback from peers and faculty assist you in building self-awareness as both pastor and person. The action-reflection method creates the learning opportunity to theologically reflect on human situations, which leads to new understandings of pastoral service, self, others, and God. You also become more aware of the responsibilities of religious and spiritual leadership.

  • Developing research literacy

    by framing knowledge of socio-political determinants for well-being as core concepts for spiritual care, interreligious and multidisciplinary competency. Competency refers to the practical expertise needed to provide skilled or generalist informed spiritual care in light of broad-based social stratifications that diminishes health and wellness, and the possibilities for creating truly caring relationships.

  • Analyzing and assessing

    whether persons/communities are able to exercise agency in support of their wellness through the concepts of structural vulnerability and stigma.

  • Advocating

    for justice, health and wellness along causal relationships that are visible and invisible, spiritual and material/physical, emotional and socio-political.

  • Examining

    models of suffering, goodness, evil, justice, restoration and resiliency to identify how fields of ‘the possible’ are shaped in peoples’ lives, and how spiritual care and religion is complicated or distorted by delimiting binary models of good and evil that rationalize unhealthy relationships.

  • Building

    interreligious and multidisciplinary coalitions that inspire hope, well-being, restorative and transformative spiritual care activism, and to better understand wellness causality and competency in partnership with allied mastery-based educational programs.

  • Foregrounding

    spiritual care courses that root the prophetic voice and function of spiritual care practitioners in their faith as a way to develop the powerful and creative healing challenge of spiritual care, compassionate leadership and wellness to the world.

    We are excited about the Shaw Institute Scholars Curriculum. With support from Rev. Dr. John Shaw and the Shaw Family, SCI engages the communities and institutions that stand to benefit from research in spiritual care, education in spiritual care theory and compassionate leadership practice, and multidisciplinary/trans-professional networking.

    Our motto is Learn. Lead. Care.
    The Institute’s curriculum and programming supports the formation of spiritual care leaders and spiritually interested learners empowered to engage the emotional, spiritual, physical, intellectual and moral needs of people.


    “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.”

    Rev. Dr. Laurie Garrett-Cobbina
    Shaw Family Chair for Clinical Pastoral Education,

    CPE Supervisor, Director of Shaw Chaplaincy Institute

    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,
    Program Manager of Education, Community Relations and Spiritual Care Services