December 2021 News

Things are slowly getting more active with several training centers operating with active CPR groups. Bukal Life is gearing up for staring two groups in the next few weeks. Both Heard and Jethro have active CPE groups ongoing.

Jethro Guidance Center had the privilege of having Dr. Raymond Lawrence join their online chapter group recently. Dr. Lawrence is the General Secretary of CPSP. Online group is shown above.

We are preparing to have another certification board. Members can talk to their supervisors or chapters if they feel they are ready to go for a higher certification level.

Our New Diplomates!

Earlier this year we had a certification board that included those who were Supervisors-in-Training (SITs) seeking to move up to Diplomate.

Passing these boards, we welcome two new members as “Diplomate Supervisor in Clinical Pastoral Education/Training.” (Yes we know that is a mouthful.) The two are:

Dr. Larry Paul B. Gusto. He serves with the Jethro Guidance Center in Manila.

Chaplain Violeta C. Canoy. She serves with Bukal Life Care in Baguio City.

Meeting the requirements of Diplomate with CPSP-Philippines is a challenge. We congratulate them not only on both their success and their perseverance in this journey.

August 2021 Updates

As the pandemic settles out (a bit at least), CPE is becoming more active.

—Dr. Navarro’s is completing a unit at the Iligan Adventist Hospital. We congratulate him in heading this under CPSP-Philippines.

—Chaplain Eustaquio is in the middle of a unit at Dr. Yanga’s Hospital in Bulacan.

—Chaplains Vo and Lyn are each starting new CPE units with Bukal Life Care in mid-August. These are online units,.

—Jethro Guidance Center is very active with CPE this year. (Not sure when the next group is starting… but likely to be starting soon.

All of our centers are welcomed/encouraged to keep us updated as far as their training schedules. They can contact either Dr. Merlita Montecastro or Dr. Robert Munson.

May 2021 Updates

We update as we get information. Here is the latest that we have available to share.

May Activities of CPSP-Philippines:

-May 22. BOT meeting (online)

-May 29. Diplomate/SIT Boards (online)

Bukal Life Care Schedule (Baguio City)

We are finishing up our Spring CPE groups and CPO group. Our next cycle of CPE groups will start in mid-August or early September. We will continue through November or December. For info, contact us at

Hesed Schedule (Bocaue, Bulacan)

We are starting a new CPE group in July 2021.For those who are interested to serve the Lord through clinical chaplaincy and pastoral care ministry, please send us a message.What is CPE/T or Clinical Pastoral Education/ Training?Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is an interfaith method of theological education through which a chaplain trainee exercises and learns pastoral skills within a context of responsible relationships to people and under the direct supervision of a certified pastoral supervisor. It provides a learning situation for a ministerial trainees and continuing education for ministers in which they may develop awareness of the theological and psycho-social concerns of persons in crisis. CPE addresses personal growth matters of self awareness and self reflection, a key ministry concern. For those who are interested to serve the Lord through clinical chaplaincy and pastoral care ministry, please send us a message, or call us at 09338554795.

April 2021 Updates

Things have been slow due to the pandemic… but several including Jethro, Hesed, and Bukal have been active with doing CPE training in the first quarter of this year.

As other centers let us know their plans, we will put them here. Here are a couple of updates that may be of value to you.

  1. Tentative Schedule for CPE (school year 2021) with Dr. Cal Sodoy.



June 1-June 25 (4 weeks) Zamboanga, Sibugay Dr. Elvin Salarda, D.Min

Dr. Cal Sodoy, D.Min.

July 5- July 30 (4 weeks) CPU, Iloilo City Dr. Cal Sodoy, D.Min.

Rev. Romel Marcelino, M.Div.

August 9-Sept. 3(4 weeks) Davao Central College Rev. Phanuel Buac, M.Div,

Toril, Davao City Rev. Cal Sodoy, D.Min.

<For more info, contact Dr. Sodoy at Email:>

2. Bukal LIfe Care is expecting to hold Summer CPE— Full Unit only, starting around late May or early June. We expect to have two groups. Both will be either online or mixed media (depending on circumstances). Questions can be directed to Email:

January 2021 Updates

Welcome to 2021!! A few activities are already coming up.

  1. Annual Board Meeting of the Trustees. This will be done online with the exact date in January to be determined.
  2. Diplomate Board, led by Pres. Sim Dang-Awan Jr. This will be held at the end of January.
  3. Several CPE programs are starting up in January. Of the ones we know about include in Baguio (online), Angeles City, and Bocaue.

Apologies that the announcements are a bit vague. But during the pandemic, we are adapting on a daily basis. If you have specific questions, please go to the Contact Us page and drop us a line.

Review of Raymond Lawrence’s Newest Book

Review of: NINE MORE CLINICAL CASES: Case Studies in Clinical Pastoral Care, Counseling and Psychotherapy, by Raymond Lawrence (General Secretary of CPSP)

Reviewer: Robert Munson (Bukal Life Care, CPSP-Philippines)


Raymond Lawrence’s book, Nine More Clinical Cases: Case Studies in Clinical Pastoral Care, is a short book. The main body of it is just 70 pages, with additional pages of introductory material. This is his second book that served as a response to a book by George Fitchett and Steve Nolan

Book by George Fitchett and Steve NolanCritique by Raymond Lawrence
First Book CycleSpiritual Care in Practice: Case Studies in Healthcare ChaplaincyNine Clinical Cases: The Soul of Pastoral Care and Counseling
Second Book CycleCase Studies in Spiritual Care: Healthcare Chaplaincy Assessments, Interventions & OutcomesNine More Clinical Cases: Case Studies in Clinical Pastoral Care, Counseling and Psychotherapy

For both of these critiques, Lawrence chose nine of the cases in the book, and in so doing is critiquing some underlying themes that are found in the clinical pastoral training movement today. This critique should be seen neither as “punching up” nor “punching down.” Lawrence, Fitchett and Nolan are very much respected in pastoral care/spiritual care, within their respective camps. These nine cases presumably were chosen specifically because the author had strong views on them, both positive and negative. His reasons, however, are his own.

Lawrence repeats in this book a number of themes that are common to several of his works. Among them are:

  • Expressing his preference of the term “pastoral care” over “spiritual care.” Lawrence notes Nolan at least is aware of problems associated with the term ‘spiritual care.’ Lawrence quotes Nolan on page 65, “The lack of an agreed and articulated definition for spiritual care means that, as a profession, chaplains struggle to explain clearly the nature of the work.” Lawrence sees value in the use of the term religious care— providing care in terms of sacraments, religious symbols, and faith tradition. But for other care he strongly prefers “pastoral care” which he sees as clinical, non-religious (or at least not limited to a specific religious tradition) and grounded in the broadly understood metaphor of the shepherd as a caregiver.
  • Seeing the clinical pastoral training movement as having degraded in moving away from the ideals of its founder, Anton Boisen, and becoming more attached to his former partner in the movement, Richard Cabot. Interestingly however, Lawrence praised Fitchett and Nolan for bringing back emphasis on case studies as an educative tool. Case studies used in clinical pastoral care was developed through the interaction of Boisen, a theologian by training, and Cabot, a medical doctor.
  • Identifying clinical pastoral care as grounded very much in Freudian psychology. This reviewer would prefer that the author would say something to the effect of seeing clinical pastoral care as taking seriously the insights found in “psychodynamics” rather than referring so much back to Freud. For many Sigmund Freud is championed as a great innovator in the field of psychology and the “talking cure.” Many others, both inside and outside of religious circles, know him more for what he was wrong about than for what he was correct. This reviewer believes that Lawrence’s referencing of Freud and Boisen doesn’t suggest an uncritical return to early 20th century theories of the human mind, but rather presents them as founders of two important movements. Lawrence invites the reader to embrace a thoughtful integration of care drawn from the best of theological and psychodynamic insights.
  • Questioning the long-standing tradition of praying to end the pastoral care visit. Some of this question returns to the conflict between Boisen and Cabot, where Cabot saw physicians as those who heal the body, and chaplains as religious experts who pray. Much of Lawrence’s concern, however, stems from the question of who the prayer is really for. While a pastoral care provider may say that the prayer is for the client/patient, quite often this is not the case— especially in multi-religious and somewhat secularized places like the United States. In these places a prayer may not be welcome, or perhaps only welcome from someone within the patient’s own faith community. Here in the Philippines, however, prayer is almost always uncritically welcomed by the patient. Part of this desire comes from the common presumption here that the pastoral care provider has a special relationship with God that makes his/her prayers just a bit more powerful than their own. (That view may be comforting to the care provider but really is something that shouldn’t be promoted.) Regardless of the wishes of the patient, prayer is all too often done for the benefit of the care provider. This person often prays with the unspoken message, “I don’t think there is very much I can do, but at least I can pray.” This sells one short in the possibility of truly providing critical therapeutic care for the patient. Additionally, praying almost always is used as a signal. The signal is, “Well, I have run out of things to say and I really want to leave, so let’s do a prayer so I can go.” (It should be noted that in a conversation with Raymond Lawrence a couple of years ago, he made it clear that he was not opposed to prayer. But he said that prayer should be requested by the patient, not pushed by the care provider. Also, if prayer is asked for, the care provider should utilize this to draw more out of the patient— “What would you want me to pray for?” “Tell me more about this?” In doing this, the patient actually crafts the prayer and the care provider simply puts the patients prayerful longing into verbal form.)

Much like his previous book critique, this book avoids unnecessary wordiness. Generally it makes its point and moves on. Yet it is also written so that if one had not read the book it critiques, one can still understand the case well enough to follow the points well. That is quite useful. Cases also have the advantage of enlivening interest and the imagination where traditional exposition fails.

This book is not a polemic, but invites dialogue. Powell’s well-written Foreward does frames this monograph in this light for the first-time reader of Lawrence’s works. Lawrence sees growth in the clinical pastoral training movement through this sort of dialogue and critique. Page xi of the Introduction sums this up when comparing two major streams within this movement:

Let the reader decide which is more representative of the authentic clinical pastoral training movement. Let the reader decide which position is more therapeutic. Let the reader determine what posture most accurately speaks for Anton Boisen, the founder of the clinical pastoral training movement. And let the reader decide whether some new direction should be called for at large. But no one is beyond the reach of criticism. Criticism is the lifeblood of the clinical pastoral training movement.

That being said, the Epilogue of Lawrence’s book does serve as a direct challenge to Glenn Fitchett’s work promoting “Evidence-Based Outcomes” as it relates to Clinical Pastoral Care. While I find Lawrence’s arguments weighty, this is another area where some back and forth dialogue is needed in the coming years.

I strongly recommend this book for those who care about chaplaincy and clinical pastoral care. You may agree wholeheartedly with Lawrence’s views, or disagree strenuously. Both are okay. As the quote says above… “Let the reader decide…”