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Clinical Pastoral Education

Program Testimonials


The Chaplaincy Care and Education Department has enjoyed an enviable reputation. A few of the distinguishing characteristics of our program are the consistency and quality of our leadership, and the commitment to being an integral part of the team offering exceptional care to our patients and staff. Our success in part can be attributed to the dedicated leadership of our directors, who have been successful in creating an outstanding program at Lancaster General Health.

Our CPE Supervisors consistently receive overwhelmingly positive student and resident end-of-unit evaluations. They foster a learning environment that allows students to feel safe, as they explore and grow through understanding their interactions with the patients and staff. Our goal is to choose students who are open to learning, and dedicated to offering spiritual care to our patients and staff. Students, residents and hospital staff consistently echo the quality of our program. Below are some of their thoughts about how and why Lancaster General Hospital’s Chaplaincy Care and Education and CPE Program is such a success.

"Our Palliative Care Service benefits from the chaplains in untold ways. The nature of the problems that our patients and families face strains and tests their spiritual capacities. As Ivan Illych once said, pain asks a question of us. The question may be “why me?”, or “why now?”, “Did I deserve this?”, or “Where is God?’, or “What am I going to do now?” These are spiritual questions, whether the pain is emotional, spiritual or physical. The chaplain program has waded into the most challenging of cases with us, supplying some of the insight we need, giving deep support to patients and families when they feel crushed, and shoring up our team when we have been weighed down with the burdens."

Tom Miller, MD

Palliative Care Services, LGH

"My CPE experience at Lancaster General Health has had a profound impact on my life and ministry in many ways. The program certainly helped me cultivate intentionally how I approach spiritual care now in the parish ministry. The hospital setting provided an opportunity to engage patients, families and staff in a wide variety of situations from the emergency room and trauma unit to chronic illness to dying. While the experiences were quite stretching at times, the team environment of the hospital in general and the CPE program in particular provided tremendous opportunity to grow and learn in an atmosphere of support and encouragement. I will be forever grateful for my experience. I am a better pastor today because of my involvement with CPE at Lancaster General Health."

Joe Hyatt, Congregational Pastor


"Chaplains’ response to our trauma team activations in the Emergency Department is invaluable. They provide emotional and spiritual support to our patients, their families and our staff. They are active team members and continue to minister to our patients and their families once admitted. Truly an asset to our trauma system!"

Lanyce Roldan, RN, BSN

Chief Nursing Executive, LGH

"The CPE program at LGH taught me how to be still and simply listen. This lesson deeply impacted my ministry and solidified my call. In my new career as a Hospice chaplain, I use these listening skills each and every day. Before each encounter with a client, I remind myself of a quote I was given by a colleague in the program; 'I am enough. With God's help, I am enough."

David Stiffler, Hospital Chaplain
Summer Student & Resident 

"I highly recommend CPE for seminarians or even pastors. This program will only help you become a better "pastor." CPE is not only about providing pastoral care to those in need, but it is about ME as a care-giver; being much more aware of our own tendencies, patterns, preferences, comfort zones and un-comfort zones, and understanding why. Pastoral skills are re-enforced as I get to know better "the pastor that lays inside of me." It was a great action and reflection learning experience I would not have received just from books but could receive from walking one-on-one with others in pain, while holding my own pain in the uncertain paths of life. Learning to receive and offer feedback was a growing edge for me and my peers in the group process gifted me with those opportunities. LGH has two wonderful CPE supervisors unique in their styles and skilled at guiding group discussions as well as offering personal support in this journey of 'becoming a better pastoral care giver."

Elizabeth Soto, Seminary Field Education Director

Fall Extended Student, Resident


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