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CST’s Partnership Broadens Student Experience

Pictured above are conference attendees outside the BU School of Theology.
Pictured above are conference attendees outside the BU School of Theology.

Claremont School of Theology is proud to partner with the Chaplaincy Innovation Lab (CIL) a think tank that supports research, teaching, and the provision of spiritual care in a range of settings.

Claremont School of Theology is one of the 13 United Methodist seminaries supported by the Ministerial Education Fund apportionment of the United Methodist Church.

CIL kicked off its three-year Educating Effective Chaplains Project at Boston University last summer where attendees were welcomed by CST alumna Mary Elizabeth Moore, BU’s Dean of the School of Theology, and where Professor Duane Bidwell represented CST’s chaplaincy program.

According to Dr. Bidwell, CST students have already benefited from the collaboration. This fall students were able to engage with the chief chaplain for the federal Bureau of Prisons as a guest speaker in Professor Duane Bidwell’s class, made possible by their meeting at BU.

“A defining feature of the gathering was the sheer diversity of attendees. From the beginning, this project has sought to cultivate a rich conversation between educators, CPE supervisors and trainers, chaplains, and administrators. The conference illustrated how fruitful that approach is proving to be, with over 40 representatives from mainline Protestant seminaries, free church theological schools, pioneering educators from Muslim, Buddhist, and Jewish institutions, and a wide variety of approaches to spiritual care, according to CIL’s story on the opening event.

The Lab offers free webinars, resources on chaplaincy in many sectors, networking opportunities, a growing research bibliography, and is also part of the Educating Effective Chaplains Project, funded by the Henry Luce Foundation.

Dr. Bidwell said, “A strength of the project is bringing theological educators, clinical supervisors, and social scientists together for the first time to clarify what’s already happening. What we need to know for the future, and how best to use our resources to train chaplains who function as public practical theologians – and who sometimes are the only religious leaders people encounter in their lives.”

“It’s essential to nuance the training and preparation of chaplains for specific contexts, like healthcare, the military, correctional institutions, and higher education; a one-size-fits-all approach isn’t sufficient. That’s why CST has, for more than five years, introduced students to these contexts in its chaplaincy program. CST’s participation in the project will not only help us improve training for chaplains, but also result in better job placement for graduates.”

The Chaplaincy Innovation Lab sparks practical innovation in spiritual care, and we’re proud to be a partner.

Claremont School of Theology, Claremont, CA

One of seven apportioned giving opportunities of The United Methodist Church, the Ministerial Education Fund is at the heart of preparing people for making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. The 13 United Methodist seminaries help students to discover their calling through the challenging curriculum. The fund enables the church to increase financial support for recruiting and educating ordained and diaconal ministers and to equip annual conferences to meet increased demands. Please encourage your leaders and congregations to support the Ministerial Education Fund apportionment at 100 percent.

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