Pastoral learning at Bellevue Hospital

A seminarian's apprenticeship

At the end of my first year at General Theological Seminary, in New York City, I spent eight weeks in clinical pastoral education at Bellevue Hospital. In case I thought that seminary was simply about mastering theology, General had arranged a summer’s worth of practical education in pastoral care.

Being an assistant chaplain in a teeming New York hospital for mental and physical illnesses was the most emotionally challenging experience of that year. God’s justice never seemed more confusing or the church more marginal.

 

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