Excerpted from a commencement address
Fairview's Clinical Pastoral Education program
I was asked to share my experience as a Clinical Pastoral Education student who is currently doing a second-year of residency.
During my first year of seminary, I took the class on introduction to pastoral care which required clinical hours, visiting patients at the hospital. My desire to become a chaplain was intense after this first glance. On my last year of seminary, I took the first unit of CPE and God open the door for me to start the first year of residency at University of Minnesota Medical Center two months after graduation.
Learning to be part of the patient's journey
Through the CPE program, I have learned to be sensitive to the needs of those who are struggling with an illness, crisis or difficulty. To represent God in times of sorrow, despair, pain and affliction. To offer a humble, respectful and caring presence. To be part of the patient’s journey. To be open to learn from a dialogue between chaplains with other faith backgrounds, countries and philosophies.
The CPE program has opened a door for me to put in to practice my faith and to exercise one of the most important ministries for me, which is the ministry of service. I am not only serving patients, but family members, friends, hospital staff and my CPE peers. Serving others enriches my life, empowers my call and contributes to my spiritual growth. I feel blessed and honored to be able to have a second year of CPE residency.
Valuing the challenge as an international student
The CPE process has been challenging for me as an international student. It challenges not only my cultural background, but my theology, my personality and spiritual maturity. I value this challenge because it represents a great opportunity to grow and it motivates me too.
I thank God for being part of the CPE program and I thank those who directly and indirectly contribute to my learning.