Theology Statement for CPE at CHI Franciscan Health

The Clinical Pastoral Education program of CHI Franciscan Health is based on three theological principles that manifest the CHI Franciscan mission of community healing ministry: Human Dignity, Catholic Traditions and Person-Centered Ministry.

Human dignity

  • Every human being possesses great dignity as created and loved by God
  • Human beings are created to develop full lives of freedom, enjoyment and productivity, but are also part of the broken-ness of the world
  • Human beings are naturally and supernaturally disposed to community involvement with one another for the benefit and healing of all
    • Institutional spiritual care is intended to augment and enhance congregational ministry and other forms of community care
  • All human beings are called to contribute to the welfare of humanity, and some are called to person centered ministry by means of their giftedness and sensitivity to the wellbeing of themselves and others

Catholic traditions

  • The Spirit of God moves through many Christian and other World Religions. (Declaration on the Relation to Non-Christian Religions (Nostra Aetate) - 10/28/1965)
  • The Judeo-Christian scriptures and Catholic traditions, theology and ecclesiastical history provide a foundation for excellence in ministry. (Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care, statement of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops)
  • These scriptures and traditions call people to center ministry on the value of every person, the importance of healthy community, and the restorative love of God. (Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord, Statement of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops)
  • The Spirit of a Living God is active in groups of individuals genuinely seeking to enhance care through person centered, community focused ministry. (Matt 18:20)

Person-centered ministry

  • People are most effectively helped by methodologies of wholeness, i.e., ones that consistently integrate perspectives of body, mind, heart and soul (physical, cognitive, emotional and spiritual) in addressing human needs
  • The behavioral sciences can enhance understanding and care of persons in pain and suffering that are due to social system failures, human limitations and oppression, mental and physical illnesses, natural disasters, accidents and other crisis events
  • The quality of spiritual care benefits from integrating theological, behavioral science, systems thinking, cultural humility and community perspectives in assessing and responding to genuine human needs

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