What We Are About

Pastoral Care

Pastoral care is meeting the spiritual needs of patients, residents, families and staff through healing, guiding and sustaining encounters, including:

  • Accompaniment on the journey of life and health by visiting patients and listening to their experience and feelings;
  • Pastoral conversation around their journey, engaging with them around their spiritual questions, offering and guiding prayer and meditation based on their faith perspective;
  • Presence in critical moments (surgery, diagnosis, death, etc.);
  • Grief support through listening to the pain and expressions of suffering, guiding them in the necessary steps following loss;
  • Leading meaningful rituals including weekly meditations, baptisms, weddings and provision of memorial services; and
  • Guidance in the completion of Advance Directives (Living Will and/or Durable Power of Attorney for health care).
Patient- and Family-Centered Care

Within Emory Healthcare, Spiritual/Pastoral Care is at its core, patient and family centered. Carroll Wise defined the essence of Pastoral/Spiritual care as “meeting a person at the point of their need…” With no agenda other than listening to the patient, his or her family and responding with compassionate care in collaboration with medicine and technology, the focus is first and always on the person in need. The goal of ECPS is always to accompany persons on their healthcare journey with professional patient/family centered spiritual care.

Visitation by trained chaplains, an interfaith cadre of community rabbis, priests and pastors respects the need of our diverse patient population. The “Care Channel”, meditation services, religious holiday observances, provision of meaningful rituals and memorial services are all vehicles for care found within Emory Healthcare and provided by the Emory Center for Pastoral Services.

Pastoral Consultation

Patients and families:

Pastoral conversation is available to patients and patient families who are facing a crisis of faith as a result of their illness, hospital and/or clinical visit. Pastoral presence in the exam, hospital room or in the office leads to re-examination of the purpose and experience of life, its meaning and one’s past, present and future participation in it. For these moments ECPS is privileged to provide trained and reflective staff to guide these explorations and provide hope and guidance.


Staff members are not immune to the visitures of life and healthcare. When the moral distress of work, home or life’s meaning hits, ECPS is pleased to provide a readily available resource for reflection, guidance and goal setting. Critical incident de-briefing, communication and conflict management workshops are included in our service. When the occasion calls for further help, our connections to helpful resources make referral less stressful and smooth.

Emory Clergy Care:

Like staff, community clergy “carry” much of society’s burden.

The mission of Emory Clergy Care is to discover, address, design and implement resources for sustaining and enhancing the health and effectiveness of the clergy persons and faith communities we serve.

Consultation and counseling for ministers is available upon request at all times through Emory Clergy Care. The staff has resources and experience to aid in the reflection process as the minister seeks discernment in working with the congregation and its needs, hopes and resources.

Ministers generally contract for this service individually. It is usually short term and problem- or issue-focused.

In association with this, minister peer support groups are now being formed around the North Georgia Conference.

For more information or appointment scheduling, contact Emory Clergy Care through email cynthiad@emoryclergy.net and leave a confidential message including your name, and how we might contact you directly.

The applied purpose of Emory Clergy Care is to provide clergy persons and their families, resources of personal, familial and professional support. These include health care support services, personal and family counseling, professional ministry consultation, career assessment testing, crisis intervention and church consultation. Additionally, Emory Clergy Care is committed to enriching the practice of ministry through such programs as clinical education, seminar-based topical learning, spiritual formation processes and on-going peer group support.

For detailed information on this service, please visit on the Emory Clergy Care site.

Clincal Pastoral Education

Maureen Shelton

At Emory Center for Pastoral Services (ECPS), we offer a unique and creative environment where students engage in diverse activities of pastoral care, education and research. Students enrolled in Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program at ECPS have the opportunity to provide pastoral care and to participate in reflective education in a broad range of settings: Emory University Hospital (campus setting) Emory University Hospital Midtown, Wesley Woods Geriatric Center and Emory Clergy Care, VistaCare Hospice (inpatient and outpatient care at the end of life). At each of these sites, students have the opportunity to interact with the interdisciplinary staff in providing a complete continuum of care to patients of different ages and levels of sickness. Augmented by University-affiliated resources, these training sites provide enriching opportunities to learn and to identify and strengthen each student’s pastoral authority.

Our residency and internship programs involve daily interaction in a clinical area, as well as in pastoral care in the evening through the night/weekend duty element of our program. In the clinical setting and in weekly overnight responsibilities, students provide spiritual solace in moments of crisis and end-of-life care, as well as pastoral care to patients, families and staff.

Our year-long residency program offers focused opportunities to increase awareness in developing individual theologies and provides the opportunity to participate in research. At ECPS, resident are place at on clinical site for the year, with the additional benefit of rotating to a separate site where they perform overnight/weekend duty. This offers students the ability to gain pastoral care experience in geriatric, hospice, pediatric, emergency and adult medicine within the one-year training period.

The educational aspect of the program is structured in small groups and individual supervision. Small group and individual sessions are led by ACPE supervisors. In these settings, clinical cases are shared and discussed utilizing the action/reflection/action format. The use of written accounts of the visits (verbatims) is a key tool in this type of reflective education. Students also receive opportunities for mentorship with staff chaplains assigned to the various units.

A highly regarded education center for pastoral care and chaplaincy training, ECPS also offers contextual education for students in theology school and training for laity in the art of pastoral care. Emory’s program provides the most comprehensive and diverse CPE experience in the Southeast.

The diverse, well-trained ECPS faculty and supervisory staff provide excellent instruction and curriculum, and the accredited program accepts candidates from all faiths.

ECPS is accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE), which provides CPE at all levels: Level I, Level II and Supervisory. Visit www.acpe.edu for more accreditation information or call 404-320-1472.

How to Apply

Click on the “CPE Application” link below and print. Send your completed application along with the application fee of $50 payable to Emory Center for Pastoral Services to:

Emory Center for Pastoral Services
550 Peachtree Street NE, Room 1303
Atlanta, GA 30308
Attn: Maureen Shelton

We prefer to receive all applications in electronic format via email (amvince@emory.edu). We do, however, accept applications on paper. If you are sending a paper application, please:
Do not use spiral binding.
Do not use three (3) ring binders.
Do not use page protectors.
• Send only single sided prints. Do not send any double sided prints.
If you are sending the application electronically, please send the application fee to the address above. Contact our office at 404-686-2764 to inform us that your application fee is on its way. If you have any questions about submitting an application, please call Toni Saint-Ile at 404-686-2764 or email amvince@emory.edu.

Related Links:

CPE Application
CPE Calendar Dates

Pastoral Research

ECPS embraces a team concept of conducting research and the learning of it through the formation of Research Teams on our three largest campuses: Midtown, Wesley Woods and Clifton (EUOSH is included with the Clifton campus). At the beginning of each educational cycle year the residents will join the permanent staff on each campus as colleagues in learning. A regular meeting with its own process and expected outcomes will lead to spiritual health related projects that are lively and relevant to the respective sites. Each team will determine its own project and begin construction by December 1st. Persons from other disciplines may be consulted or enlisted as seems appropriate. A professional staging (product/outcome) of this team effort for the entire Emory Healthcare community will take place in late spring on each campus and via video link up. The director of research will be a resource and catalyst for all 3 teams. The experience of Research Team allows for a cooperative and collaborative leadership and learning opportunity within the department, thus contributing to the betterment of our equal values of service and education.

Circle of Self

In “Circle of Self” our Midtown Spiritual Health Research team explores how the use of the arts (music, crafts, creation of sacred space) influences the caring environment and the healing process of the hospital. Through paying attention to the health of our hospital staff we are in turn attending to the needs of our care-seekers in the most effective ways possible. This presentation mixes literature review and informal study to enhance our understanding of the unique art influenced culture of Emory University Hospital Midtown.

Workplace Loss and Transitions

Working at a unique institution that is the hospital at Emory Wesley Woods, requires a particular understanding of how loss associated with aging is a constant reality. Loss of home, ability, friends, and family are just a few of the experiences that a care-seeker is challenged with while being a patient in this geriatric facility. Likewise, those who work in this environment are not removed from their own natural life events of loss. This presentation of “Workplace Loss and Transitions” explores the varied ways that staff persons cope with attending to those who suffer loss while at the same time experiencing their own.

Staff Support

Primary Purpose:

Persons who work in healthcare are often experience moral distress and burnout. The ongoing work of touching patients, families, and staff when they are most vulnerable, most frightened, most worried and sickest, or even dying is often very stressful. Chaplain’s are on the floors and can see and recognize the support the staff may be in need of. 

Staff Support Services of the Emory Center for Pastoral Services offers a confidential and safe space for staff to find more effective ways of dealing with the stressful challenges of their daily work life. The healthcare field is becoming more aware of emotional impact on healthcare those who work in intense critical care contexts. Emory healthcare, thru its employer commitment statement demonstrates the importance of health and wellness for all staff.  Care giving is a noble and sacred profession; however, it comes with its own unique challenges and stressors. The EHC Staff Support Team is there during those challenging and stressful times to provide emotional and spiritual support for staff. 

Our Staff support team is comprised of person’s with diverse educational and training backgrounds: Graduate and Post Graduate degrees in theology and pastoral counseling, certification and experience in group theory, system’s theory, interpersonal relationship skills, addictions, intimate partner violence, alcohol/substance abuse, and child protective services.

EHC Staff are most likely to call on us:

• To provide support during difficult patient and family situations
• To help resolve staff conflicts
• To provide grief support (when a co-worker has died)
• To facilitate dialogue when an impasse (between the medical team and the patient/family) has been reached.
• To provide emotional support for staff experiencing a difficult family situation

Services Offered:

• Staff Support Services offers individual and group support for the following:
• Spiritual and emotional needs
• Personal/Family crisis
• Compassion fatigue & Moral Distress
• Work-related stress
• Interpersonal Relationship Skills
• Grief/Bereavement Support
• Critical Incident Debriefings
• Staff Memorial services
• Brief Crisis Counseling
• Staff Support re: team building, conflict management and cultural diversity issues
• Participation in Interdisciplinary Team Meetings

Support Groups
Staff Support Services are available 24/7/365 days. Reach us via the below contact information:

Emory University Hospital
Robin Brown-Haithco, MDiv
Director of Staff Support

DeMett E. Jenkins, MDiv
Evening/Weekend Staff Support 3p-11p
Contact: 404-712-7200

Emory University Hospital Midtown
Nancy Long, DMin.
Associate Director/Staff Support

Jose Montenegro, MDiv
Evening/Weekend Staff Support 3p-11p
Contact 404-686-2408

Emory University Orthopaedics and Spine Hospital
Donald Miller, MDiv.
Associate Director/Staff Support
Contact 404-251-3060

Wesley Woods Center
Bridget Piggue, MDiv
CPE Supervisor/Staff Support

Heather Flaherty, MDiv
Associate Director/Staff Support
Contact 404-728-6466

Emory Johns Creek Hospital
Tim Park
Chaplain/Staff Support

Saint Joseph's Hospital
Chaplain's Office