Guide to HIV/AIDS Pastoral Counselling

The AIDS Working Group of the World Council of Churches (WCC) has come out with a new document, “Guide to HIV/AIDS Pastoral Counselling.”

One of the contributors to this document is a member of CPSP-Philippines. Dr. Erlinda Senturias. She and her husband Ptr. Alvaro Senturias Jr., are members of CPSP-Philippines and involved with Jethro Guidance Center. They are also both CPE trainees under Diplomate Dr. Sim Dang-Awan Jr..

CPSP-Philippines Timeline

2010, Bukal Life Care and Counseling Center started teaching Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) for chaplains and ministers.

2011. Bukal Life Care formed a verbal partnership with an organization called CPSP, based in the United States. CPSP is a collegial body of pastoral counselors and clinical chaplains, and works to certify these specialties and accredit training facilities for these based on established standards. Bukal Life Care became the first training center recognized in the Philippines by CPSP, and several members of Bukal became part of the first CPSP-recognized CPE supervisors-in-training in the Philippines.

2014 Bukal Life Care-Manila became a separate entity led by Dr. Sim Dang-Awan Jr. under the new, New Hope. Later, the name was changed to Jethro Guidance Center.

2015 We established a formal MOA (Memorandum of Agreement) between CPSP and CPSP-Philippines. The established us formally in our relationship with CPSP.

2016. Four SITs (Doc Sim, Doc Cal, Doc Paul, and Chap. Celia) became the first full Supervisors with CPSP-Philippines. Up to this time, our organization only had Supervisors-in-Training. Each supervisor had his/her own training center, making a total of four training centers.

2019. We signed an updated MOA with CPSP.

So why did we help form this organization? There were a few reasons. One reason was the rather sorry state of chaplaincy and pastoral counseling in the Philippines. I read an article written in 1981 of the state of pastoral counseling and chaplaincy in Southeast Asia. The article sounded like it could have been written in 2010. Few things had changed. There were, I suspect, a few reasons for this.

People who trained to be a chaplain or a pastoral counselor tended to leave the Philippines. They were valued in other countries, but one could hardly earn a living in the Philippines in these roles. Pastoral counseling is not really recognized in the Philippines. Hospital chaplaincy has traditionally been simply a post assigned by the local bishop to a priest to carry out sacraments in the hospital. Community chaplaincy was typically held by people who were part of an organization that was originally set up to fight corruption but had gradually (in many locations) become a part of that corruption.

Over the years, doors have begun to open, just a bit.

  • CPSP-Philippines now has 7 active training centers, and 2 more in inactive status.
  • We have chaplains heading… something like 5 hospitals, one corporate chaplaincy program, and several school, college, and seminary chaplaincy roles.
  • The next generation of pastoral counselors/chaplains are really starting to step up and take on roles to expand the work that we began. They are starting to hold webinars, writing books, online counseling and support groups, and expanding into corporate work, retirement homes, and more.

October Updates to all Members

Happy September 27th to everyone.

A. August and September was supposed to be the months for collecting annual dues. Some have paid, but some have not been able to. Because of the pandemic, and the limited ability of CPSP-Philippines to provide services during this time, annual fees for 2020 are not required. Annual fees will be counted for 12 months starting January 1st, 2021. Anyone who has already paid for 2020, their payments are good for now through all of 2021. (Those who have not paid by January 31, 2021 will be considered Inactive Members.)

B. In 2021, we plan to have our first Diplomate Board. It will be for “Diplomate Supervisor in Clinical Pastoral Education/Training.” The standards for this board are located at Those SITs (Supervisors in Training) who think they may qualify for this board, talk to their Supervisors. Only those SITs recommended by a Supervisor in good standing with CPSP-Philippines will be considered.

C. One of the hallmarks of CPSP is the use of Chapter Life. Many have found it challenging to maintain their chapters, and it is even more difficult during quarantine. For those with online CPE groups, an equivalent of Chapter Life is possible, but this does not help those who are not currently trainees. A suggestion for these times is to establish Online Counselor Support Groups. These can meet online for 1 to 2 hours weekly or every other week. These are to provide case conferences, group work relations, and general supportive community for pastoral counselors and ministers during these times. It is our hope that all training centers (diplomates and SITs) will consider establishing these… especially with their former trainees.

Online CPE

Due to the times we are in, we must learn to adapt.
Some of our training centers are experimenting with online CPE.

The first is Jethro Guidance Center. It presently is holding online CPE with 13 trainees, and two supervisors from all over the Philippines. They plan to finish the unit in October.

CPSP Image 1

Our first real Online CPE (Jethro Guidance Center)

Bukal Life Care is in the process of developing two possible CPE online programs— one for seminary students, and one for ministers. The exact start is to be determined, but could start as soon as mid-August.

Chaplaincy Sub-Specialization

CPE has been traditionally built around training seminarians for hospital chaplaincy. Over time CPE has broadened to train for and serve other settings. Due to this, there have been the growth of sub-specializations for unique forms of chaplaincy.

The following is an initial list of subspecializations of supervisors. They can be available for subspecialty-based CPE units, or as mentors.

  • Drug/Alcohol Rehabilitation Chaplaincy:     Diplomate Sim Dang-Awan Jr.
  • Crisis Response Chaplaincy:                            Diplomate Celia Munson
  • Community Chaplaincy:                                   Diplomate Paul Tabon
  • Corporate Chaplaincy:                                      S.I.T. Renato Eustaquio
  • Military Chaplaincy:                                          Diplomate Sim Dang-Awan Jr.


CPSP and ACPE Language and Philosophy

The following is a brief message from Dr. Sim Dang-Awan Jr., the President of the Board of Trustees of CPSP-Philippines, Inc..
I was often asked this question: “What  is the difference of ;the Association of  Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE) and the  Clinical Pastoral  Supervision and Psychoteraphy  (CPSP) to which you are attached”  to answer  this question, once in for all, may  I refer you to the article of no less than the founder of  CPSP -USA, Dr  Raymond J. Lawrence titled  “Watch Your Language.”
In that article, Dr Lawrence said that “Pastoral clinicians should not  refer to their trainees  as students,  nor to their clinical seminars as classess, nor to their clinical  cases as verbatims nor to their clinical training program as an educational program nor refer to themselves as teachers and  professors, but rather as training Supervisors. Clinical Pastoral Education  (CPE) should more  properly  be called  Clinical Pastoral Training (CPT) For political and market purposes we should perhaps refer to CPE/CPT or CPT aka CPE.”
“So why all the fuss? The answer is that we in CPSP are more indebted to the Anton Boisen  tradition than to the Richard Cabot tradition. Boisen conceived of his work to be clinical training… Clinical training  from the Boisenite tradition followed the new medical model of clinical supervision that followed academic  education.  The famous Flexner Report  and the radical change  in medical education  and training a century ago  actually created and shaped  the Boisen revolution.  . Such terms befits more an advanced professional
When Physicians are trained they first do an educational venture  and acquire  an M.D.. degree. Once they have acquired a doctor degree, they are no longer called  “medical students”. They enter  clinical training and do internships, residences and fellowships. Religious  leaders undertaking clinical training  should follow similar  nomenclature.”
To paraphrase  Dr Lawrence he said that  it seems undignified to call  a senior pastor or lay leader a student., What is more dignified and proper label is to call  that person, a trainee,, intern, or a resident. The distinctions might not be  absolute, but  they are very critical distinctions  to people who needed to be affirmed.
Many thanks to Doc Sim for sharing this.  Three more points are worth adding.
1.  The differences between the philosophies of ACPE and CPSP are best understood in
in the CPE movement as a historical process. A recommended reading for this is Raymond Lawrence’s book “Recovery of Soul:  A History and Memoir of the Clinical Pastoral Movement.
Recovery of Soul: - A History and Memoir of the Clinical Pastoral ...2.  One way that language and history has had an effect on the divergence of the CPE movement is in terms of philosophy of learning and supervision.  ACPE has traditionally embraced a more Educative focus in line with Cabot’s vision. CPSP has traditionally embraced a more therapeutic focus, in line with Boisen’s vision. For the latter, emphasis is placed on self-understanding and “recovery of the soul” for the trainee, with less emphasis on skills learning. Normally, this would also relate to two philosophies of supervision— patient focus (in line with educative emphasis), and supervisee focus (in line with therapeutic emphasis).
3.  While this post emphasizes differences, there is a great deal of overlap. Both ACPE and CPSP seek to educate and to provide therapy. Both may supervise with a mixture of patient-focus and supervisee-focus (and perhaps relationship-focus). Differences should be considered as ranges on a spectrum, rather than locations on opposite sides of a ravine. As such, at CPSP-Philippines we value the uniqueness of our tradition, but do not believe in denigrating others.

Andrew Lester Quote

“We represent the God who is both with us and out in front of us calling us, inviting us, even challenging us, to move into the future. As Moltmann put it,

‘God is the one who accompanies us and beckons us to set out. And it is God who, so to speak, waits for us around the next corner…. Even on the false paths we take in life God continually opens up surprisingly new possibility to us.’

The living God does not beckon from behind us somewhere in history, but is pulling us toward the horizons of promise and fulfillment. Those hurting people with whom we sit are crying out for new horizon of hope. They need future stories that provide security, excitement and joy in the present moment. Pastoral caregivers enable despairing persons to gain the courage to lean into their future, to revision and reconstruct future stories that are connected to hope rather than despair. ”


-Andrew D. Lester “Hope in Pastoral Care and Counseling” Chapter 10

Certification Board March 2020

In early March, Dr. Sim Dang-Awan Jr. headed a certification board in Mindanao. Due to COVID-19, we have been a bit slow to update results. But here is what can be shared at this time.

1.  Congratulations to Chaplain Phanuel (Phan) L. Buac in passing hisPhanuel Buac certification review board with recommendation of BCCC/BCPC  (Board Certified Clinical Chaplain/Pastoral Counselor). Chaplain Phan presently heads a counseling center in Zamboanga City, and has been facilitating Clinical Pastoral Orientation there.



2.  Congratulations to Chaplain Victor C. Navarro in passing his certification review board with recommendation of BCCC/BCPC (Board Certified Victor NavarroClinical Chaplain/Pastoral Counselor).  Chaplain Victor presently serves as the head chaplain at Adventist Medical Center-Iligan City. He also presently holds certification of Full Supervisor with Asia Association of Clinical Pastoral Education (AACPE).



<For both, some items like training center accreditation, as well as S.I.T. or Supervisor status will have to be worked out in the following weeks.>