Caring for Others, Caring for Ourselves

Naomi CPE 6

Many Union students participate in Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) programs while at seminary. Our CPE profiles give insight to what students learn. Naomi Madaras is a Master of Divinity student at Union in her second year with a concentration in Psychology and Religion. This summer she completed her CPE at New York Presbyterian Allen Hospital in Inwood.
For someone uninitiated in CPE, can you tell me what it entails?
CPE emerged from a Christian-centric perspective that has been changing over the years. The idea is to prepare individuals going into any type of spiritual care to be able to improve their listening skills. It’s often done in a hospital, but it can also be done in hospice care or a prison re-entry program. I interviewed at three different places to get a feel for the supervisor I wanted to work with, and when I interviewed at the Allen I really connected with my supervisor Joseph and enjoyed his energy. I chose to work in a hospital because I’m interested in working with people struggling with illness and issues of death and dying. A typical CPE week is 40 hours and you usually spend a day and a half in a cohort with your peers. My cohort was 6 students and we would meet on Monday for a lecture and to share our experiences. We would analyze our conversations with patients, explore the biases and preconceptions we had, and discuss what we could do better.
Naomi Madaras, second Year MDiv student
How have your listening

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