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Spiritual Care Collaborative Falls at the First Hurdle

The Spiritual Care Collaborative has recently had to acknowledge to the College of Pastoral Supervision & Psychotherapy that the SCC has failed to develop a means of including other clinical pastoral training and certifying bodies as members of the SCC. Sadly the admission of the SCC to CPSP that the SCC does not know how to revise its founding documents or whether it should reveals the SCC is more of a political power block than a truly collaborative organization.

George Hankins Hull
CPSP Diplomate in Clinical Pastoral Education

FROM THE CPSP GENERAL SECRETARY: SCC Unable to Act On Question of Whether to Invite CPSP

We applaud the Board of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC) that last month unanimously voted in the affirmative to invite CPSP to join the Spiritual Care Collaborative.

We also applaud the National Association of Jewish Chaplains (NAJC) for taking the same action.

However, neither CPSP nor any other organization should hold its breath waiting for an invitation to join the SCC. The SCC Board reported on June 16 that it was unable to reach a consensus because it does not know how to revise its founding documents in order to include new groups such as CPSP. It seems that the SCC has built a monster, an organization unable to act on such critical issues. It crows about its inclusivity but has no process for including anyone. It is an organization muscle bound, unable to make a decision. The decision-making process they have created is dysfunctional.

The SCC decision-making process goes like this: All important questions are first presented to the individual boards of member organizations for a decision. After all the individual boards have met (a process of many months), representatives of the respective boards hold a phone conference. Unless there is total unanimity there is hardly any way for a decision to come out of such a phone conference. The SCC appears to have created itself in such a way as to make tough or controversial decisions impossible.

On Feb 23, 2003 in Toronto, George Hanzo famously said of the formation of the embryonic SCC (at that time called the Council on Collaboration):"Ten years from now, you won’t recognize the face of professional chaplaincy, and it’s because of the incredible work we’ve done here today."

Well, more than five years have past now since that date and the SCC can’t figure out how to make decisions. We hope that’s not what it means by changing the face of pastoral care and counseling in this country. We’re terribly afraid George might be right.

We wish the SCC well. We certainly need more honest dialogue and more inclusivity in the pastoral care and counseling world. Perhaps when the SCC gathers for its much-touted summit in Orlando next February, it can figure out how to reconstitute itself in a way that decisions can be made.

Raymond Lawrence, General Secretary

To Email Raymond Lawrence, click here.
Spiritual Care Collaborative Falls at first Hurdle

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