The Chaplaincy Department of Maimonides Medical Center is thrilled to offer an innovative CPE program, open to persons of all spiritual traditions, housed in one of New York’s historic Jewish hospitals.
Summer 2024: applications welcome! A full-time 11-week summer intensive CPE Unit: May 20 – August 2. Apply today!
Maimonides offers Extended-Unit CPE during the Academic Year: with dates for 2024-2025 to be determined.
The tuition of $650 is due before the first day of the program. There is no application fee.
Note: There is no application deadline. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, processed until the program is full.
What is Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)?
People in crisis need comfort, support, counseling, and guidance. Chaplains and other spiritual caregivers are trusted to be a key source of this support. But how do spiritual caregivers learn to offer support?
CPE offers students – seminarians, clergy, and caregiving professionals – intensive training on how to offer spiritual care. We equip students to respond to the needs of people facing extremis. CPE at Maimonides utilizes psychological concepts, our spiritual tradition, as well as intensive multi-faith multi-cultural engagement. Students will also use creative arts as means of spiritual expression, reflection, and connection.The educational model of CPE involves providing care and reflecting on that care with the help of a learning community and an ACPE Certified Educator. Students cycle from caregiving to learning to caregiving once more – with a refined and growing competence.
A core experience of CPE is for students to learn to let suffering speak. That is, to listen to, hear, and support people who are suffering. Not to rush to offer reassurance. Professional chaplains and spiritual caregivers are able to tolerate emotions that arise when people are suffering. Doing so involves learning to befriend the full range of our own emotions.
Vital to learning in the Maimonides CPE program are the lessons a person brings from the communities of their upbringing, family, culture and religion. As students struggle to define the meaning of spiritual caregiving in the hospital setting, the student is asked to investigate and better understand the influences from their personal background.
CPE units are either full-time intensives units, comprised of around 12 weeks, often over the summer. Or, extended units that are part-time and spread over a longer period of months. Both involve at least 400 hours.
For further resources on CPE see The Art of Spiritual Care Guide to CPE: https://chaplaincyinnovation.org/resources/ebooks/beginner-cpe
Who Can Apply?
The program is open to people of all of traditions and backgrounds, whether already serving as clergy in houses of worship or those who are currently religious students in Yeshiva, Seminary, Divinity School, etcetera. Applications will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine if this clinical setting is a good match for the student’s learning needs.
Relationship of Maimonides as a Clinical Setting to CPE Training
Established 1911, by women dedicated to serving poor and needy persons, Maimonides is the largest hospital in Brooklyn. The name Maimonides comes from Rabbi Moshe Ben Maimon, a brilliant 12th-century philosopher who laid the foundation for the modern medical training of physicians. Rabbi Maimon, better known as Maimonides, was deeply committed to religious learning, cultural tolerance, humane care, and high medical standards.
When students enter the Clinical Pastoral Education Program at Maimonides Medical Center, they enter a culturally and religiously sensitive, multidisciplinary community of healthcare professionals. As new members of this community, they will find themselves interacting with other members from doctors, nurses, and technicians to social workers, therapists, and administrators. Through the intersection of these disciplines, students will come to understand the integral role of spiritual care in “holistic healthcare.”
The Dual Commitment CPE Students Make:
To action – serving the needs of patients, their loved ones, and staff;
To reflection – on that service, toward becoming a reflective practitioner.
Learning Through Patient Care
Each student-chaplain is assigned to patient-units where they are responsible for spiritual caregiving to patients, their loved ones, and staff. As the student becomes involved in the variety of situations that arise in their assigned areas, their definition of spiritual caregiving grows. They evaluate how their theology and spirituality speak to human experience and how new experience informs one’s theology.
Although questions of faith or ethics are easily identified as the business of spiritual caregiving, the chaplain intern soon finds that they are turned to with patient concerns about such things as relationships within family, relationships with staff, a person’s self-image, financial difficulties, or post-discharge planning. With the help of the CPE Educator, the student will determine what the chaplain’s role can be in particular cases and how to set priorities on any assigned unit.
Because chaplains are involved with long-term illness as well as crisis situations, they have the opportunity to observe the physical and emotional/spiritual cycles of particular illnesses. By way of their on-going contact with patients and families, chaplain interns will see the effects of illness on all involved, and learn about family dynamics, family dynamics in crisis, and the influence of family dynamics on the healing process. Often, what the chaplains learn illuminates issues in their own families of origin, which on reflection gives them new insights into themselves, their spiritual caregiving, and their feelings about their faith path.
The selection of patient-units to which a student is assigned will be made with an eye to making as varied a hospital ministry experience as possible. The broader the chaplain intern’s exposure, the greater their opportunities to find not only the areas of her pastoral strengths but the situations that create the greatest difficulty for them. As one learns to identify those difficulties, one can also develop effective ways to deal with them.
Learning Through Reflection in CPE Group & With The Educator
CPE student groups at Maimonides will undertake an experiential study of ‘living human documents.’ That is, suffering persons will be the central focus of our learning; our attempts to serve suffering persons will comprise the ‘texts’ we will study. Student seminars will have several formats: case presentations (known as verbatims), group reflection (facilitated by the educator), didactics (skills workshops or topical presentations), and individual supervision (one-to-one consultations sessions with the educator).
Thus, students will:
- Learn how to support suffering persons who are healing or dying.
- Learn how to support the loved ones of a hospitalized person.
- Learn how to collaborate with and support medical staff.
By the end of CPE students will have learned:
- A deeper awareness of what persons in different situations of extremis need from a spiritual caregiver.
- A fuller knowledge of their own emotional/spiritual biography; specifically the ways one’s history helps/hinders one’s work as a caregiver.
- Greater confidence and competence to use one’s self in different types of spiritual encounters.
The program curriculum and methodology at Maimonides will focus on chaplain intern’s use-of-self in ways that are culturally competent. Chaplain interns will cultivate their awareness of their own social location (race, class, gender, sexuality, religious identity, etc) as it bears on their work as a spiritual caregiver. They will explore their lines of identification with diverse people they serve while paying attention to points of difference.
Chaplain interns will learn how to do spiritual assessments of others and of themselves with an awareness of trauma, particularly the ongoing trauma of the COVID 19 Pandemic, anti-Black violence, trauma related to Anti-Semitism, immigration, anti-Muslim, anti-Asian racism, and gender based violence. Student chaplains will learn how to draw on their own resilience and to utilize creative arts to facilitate our learning and growth, toward innovative patient care.
Maimonides Medical Center is an Accredited Center of ACPE: The Standard for Spiritual Care and Education and does not discriminate against persons because of race, ethnicity, religious/spiritual tradition, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, disability.
ACPE: The Standard for Spiritual Care and Education
1 Concourse Pkwy, Suite 800
Atlanta, GA 30328
Email: [email protected]
For further information about CPE and its essential components visit ACPE’s FAQ page.
Please send the application, have references sent, and direct questions to:
[email protected] | 718-283-8411
About the ACPE Certified Educator (Supervisor of the CPE Program)
Daniel H. Silberbusch is a Board Certified Chaplain by the Association for Professional Chaplains/BCCi and is an ACPE Certified Educator. He is a graduate of Union Theological Seminary, where he was a student of Professor James H. Cone, Delores Williams, Emilee Townes, Alan Cooper, among others, including Yosef Yerushalmi and David Roskies.
Chaplain Silberbusch served in various settings over the last 20 years: the Metropolitan Correctional Center (federal prison in lower Manhattan), hospice care, hospital, disaster relief; he has been involved in conflict transformation work in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Hebron.
He taught at Kehillat Yakar in Jerusalem, where he was a close student of Rav Mickey Rosen, z”l. He taught pastoral care at The Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City, where he directed the Hospice CPE program, and created the Art of Healing program in partnership with others. He has been involved in various youth programs. Prior to being recruited to create the CPE program at Maimonides Medical Center, he oversaw the CPE Residency Program at NewYork Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital for five years.
Silberbusch is co-convener of the ACPE Community of Practice ‘Arts in Spiritual Care and Education.’ He has a passion for poetry, for music, for drama and improv, for visual arts, and all other spiritual arts. He is animated by the unique challenges that arise in patient care and by learning with students, particularly as students more fully become who they are.