The authors describe an educational program for hospital chaplains based
on a partnership between pastoral care and social work in a teaching
hospital. The goal of the program is to train chaplains to use social work
principles to maximize families' capacity to negotiate a complex health
care system, to solve problems in a health crisis, and to participate
constructively on the health care team. Building on the two disciplines'
shared values in person-centered, process-oriented approaches to care, the
program introduces chaplain trainees to social work concepts of crisis
intervention and family systems theory that they can apply in their
interactions with families in their hospital and congregational practice.
The approach taught in the program is illustrated in a case vignette
describing a chaplain trainee's work with the family of a child treated for