LISTEN: Healthcare Chaplaincy, Part 4 (Work of the Chaplain Podcast #36 with Daniel Whyte III / Gospel Light Society University)

Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

Our Work of the Chaplain passage for this episode is Psalm 17:1 which says, “Hear the right, O Lord, attend unto my cry, give ear unto my prayer, that goeth not out of feigned lips.”

Our Work of the Chaplain quote for this episode is from Francis Quarles. He said, “Proportion thy charity to the strength of thine estate, lest God in anger proportion thine estate to the weakness of thy charity.”

In this podcast, we are going through the fine book: “The Work of the Chaplain” by Naomi K. Paget and Janet R. McCormack.

Our topic today is: Healthcare Chaplaincy (Part 4)

— CPE Interns
Individuals interested in a CPE intern chaplaincy can receive training as a year-long residency or by the CPE unit (again, 400 hours), which is analogous to a typical 13-15 week semester. Interns usually work in hospital settings but they may also train in community-based settings outside of hospital walls, including local congregations, police departments, sports teams, and counseling centers. Unless their seminary has a curriculum provision for CPE training during seminary, interns have to pursue their CPE education and training after their coursework. CPE training is a requirement for many forms of chaplaincy and an expectation for all faith groups. CPE students seek internship training for various other reasons. For some, it is an ordination requirement. For others, it is an opportunity to improve trauma and grief counseling skills. For others, it may be a transitional setting between seminary and a ministerial vocation.

— Employment Terms

In the healthcare field, the chaplain is an employee of the healthcare agency, not of his or her endorsing body. For that reason, the cost of healthcare, the patient and doctor issues concerning insurance, and all of the related financial management decisions affect chaplains in a comparable degree with other healthcare workers. As institutional administrators look for areas to cut costs, professional chaplains are often the first to be terminated since there is rarely a shortage of local clergy willing to visit their own parishioners or wanting to “evangelize” the captive patient audiences. This is notwithstanding the 1998 requirements of the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) whose accreditation standards require hospitals to provide for the spiritual care of patients in order to receive JACHO accreditation for their institution. Not surprisingly, hospital administration often feels that untrained volunteer clergy are the easiest and least expensive way to meet those requirements. As a result, professional chaplains often feel they are living on borrowed time and need to “prove” their worth to management.

A cyclic pattern often emerges where spiritual care departments within a hospital setting first lose their chaplaincy intern CPE training programs; then chaplain staffs are decimated until the spiritual care department ceases to exist, and perhaps only PRN chaplains or volunteer clergy are left to provide spiritual care to the staff, patients and their families. Regrettably, untrained but well-intentioned volunteer clergy are often found to be ineffective and sometimes damaging in a pluralistic and diverse technical institution for which they are untrained and ill prepared. Consequently, patient and staff complaints mount. When the din of complaints reaches critical mass, visiting JACHO reaccredi-tation officials will often document the complaints and lawsuits may even be filed. This causes administration to rethink their spiritual care requirements. The first step back is the hiring of one professional staff chaplain to train and supervise all the volunteer clergy. When this proves ineffective or too overwhelming for one person, more staff chaplains are hired, thus creating anew a spiritual care department. Finally accredited CPE supervisors are hired to recruit and train chaplain CPE interns and maximize chaplaincy coverage. This lasts until the next set of budget cuts threaten to begin the downsizing phase of the cycle once again.

Perhaps the only thing that saves the professional chaplaincy in such a setting is an administrator who has personally experienced the benefits of spiritual care. No amount of number crunching can ever capture the benefits of well delivered spiritual care to persons in need. Once an administrator has had that experience personally, the chaplains on that staff are usually protected from downsizing as long as that person remains in charge.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue learning about the Work of the Chaplain in our next podcast.



If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

God bless.

Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.