Rest. Sabbath. Hope.

Our Virtual Chaplains Training "Rest. Sabbath. Hope." enables our chaplains to collaborate with their peers, be spiritually renewed, hone their skills, and implement best practices within their profession. Chaplains provide adaptive, creative, and innovative pastoral care in the midst of an evolving ministry landscape. We are committed to ensuring that our training meets the spiritual needs of our chaplains and serves as an opportunity for professional development. By attending this training, participants will complete 11 hours of continuing education.

Welcome Bag

Each registrant will receive a welcome packet (resources permitting), which will include the books Foundations of Chaplaincy by Alan Baker, A Rhythm of Prayer by Sarah Bessey, and Just Like That by Gary D. Schmidt.

We hope these, along with other essential resources, will enhance your training experience.

Letters to Employers

For chaplains who need it, we have letters for both military and civilian employers, detailing our desire to have you join us for Chaplains Training.

View the Letters to Employers. 

Important Documents


Chaplains Training begins at 6:30 p.m. (ET) on Thursday, September 23 and ends at 1 p.m. (ET) on Saturday, September 25.

View the Full Schedule for more details! 

Thursday, Sep. 23

7:00 p.m. ETWorship and Communion

We encourage you to have a candle, lighter/matches (not provided), and a communion cup/wafer prepared in advance.
During worship, we invite you to reflect on these three statements :
We lament that from which we need rest
We give thanks for times of rest
We celebrate for what do we hope

8:00 p.m. ETBreakout

Friday, Sep. 24

12:00 p.m. ETSession I: Chaplaincy and Creativity

2:15 p.m. ETSession II: Tools For Care

7:00 p.m. ETSession III: Writing As A Spiritual Discipline

Kerry is requesting that each participant has a pen/pencil, notebook, and optional music that enhances their ability to write.

Saturday, Sep. 25

12:00 p.m. ETWorship and Reflection

1:00 p.m.Closing Prayer

Session Info

Session IChaplaincy and Creativity

So often as chaplains we listen to and absorb the stories of those we serve as they work to make meaning of the events of their lives. We are not always aware of the intense creativity that we as chaplains bring to that process. This presentation and lively discussion will encourage us to think about the creativity inherent in our work, and the ways in which we can nurture and care for that creative impulse. Led by Kerry Egan

Session IITools for Care

Chaplains will give short, TEDx style presentations in which they share specific tools, practices, and insight that they have found helpful in their ministry. This will be a wonderful opportunity to learn helpful techniques, to hear from and ask questions of your ministry colleagues.

Session IIIWriting as a Spiritual Discipline/Practice

As chaplains, we engage in all sorts of writing, from clinical notes to reflections for services, emails to coworkers to letters of condolence. In this interactive workshop, we will explore how writing itself can be a spiritual discipline, and explore ways chaplains might engage in writing as a way to deepen their professional practice and their personal faith. Led by Kerry Egan


Kerry Egan Session I and Session III

Kerry Egan is the New York Times bestselling author of On Living (Riverhead, 2016), Fumbling (Doubleday, 2004), and the forthcoming Emergency Landing (Riverhead, 2022). Her essays have appeared in Pope Francis’s most recent book, Sharing the Wisdom of Time, the New York Times, Washington Post, and CNN, among other publications. A hospice chaplain by training and vocation, her work with the dying and living has been featured on NPR, PBS, and CNN. She has spoken to and led workshops at hospices, hospitals, churches, and professional organizations around the country. She was the 2019 Hannah Judy Gretz Fellow at Ragdale Foundation, an AspenWords Writer in Residence at the Aspen Institute, and the recipient of the 2018 Helen Flanders Dunbar Award for Significant Contributions to the Clinical Pastoral Field from the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy. She was educated at Harvard Divinity School and Washington and Lee University. She lives in Columbia, South Carolina with her husband and children.

Tools For Care

Alan Baker Foundations of Chaplaincy

Alan T. “Blues” Baker serves as the endorser for Reformed Church in America (RCA) chaplains in health care, industrial, corporate, military, college, public safety, and correctional organizations throughout and beyond the United States. His previous chaplain experience includes military (US Navy Deputy Chief of Chaplains), college, and corporate chaplaincy. He teaches courses at the U.S. Naval Academy, Fuller Theological Seminary, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and Wesley Theological Seminary. In 2014 he was appointed as Senior Fellow in the Naval Academy’s Vice Admiral Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership.

Erika Dekker Pastoral Care for & with People with Cognitive Challenges

My presentation will provide insight on offering appropriate, dignified pastoral care to those who live with cognitive challenges; specifically those who have dementia and/or traumatic brain injury. I will reflect on my 10+ years of working in Long Term Care and Brain Injury Rehab settings and share some theory and multiple practical tools that have been effective in connecting with residents and patients. My goal is two-fold: (1) to provide tangible approaches and material resources so that chaplains gain confidence and competence in engaging with people who have cognitive challenges (2) to encourage chaplains to experiment and discover their own best practices in relating to this population. I will accomplish this by telling a few stories from my own experience and "show-and-telling" resources I have used throughout the years.

Trent Elders Ditching Drama and Embracing Empowerment

Stephen Karpman's "Dreaded Drama Triangle" is an unhealthy relationship dynamic consisting of a Victim, a Rescuer, and a Persecutor. It is easy for chaplains to feel like they need to be the rescuer and view the patient as a victim. However, this sets us up for burnout and is not spiritually healthy for ourselves or effective for the patient.

The empowerment dynamic flips the dreaded drama triangle on its head with three new roles: The Coach, The Challenger, and The Creator. By recognizing ourselves as creators with God rather than a punitive relationship with God, we as chaplains experience rest in an ongoing, life-sustaining way.  We are free from becoming enmeshed with the patients' situation so that we can take on a healthier companion role that is open to but not attached to the patient's outcome.

Applying these principles to our spiritual care, will empower those we serve.

Elizabeth Guillaume-Koene The Spiritual Discipline of Receiving

As I seek to provide hospitality to the residents I serve in Long Term Care, I have seen the difference it can make in their lives. Many people who are required to live in Long Term Care feel like they have lost their identities and are unable to do the things they used to. They find themselves receiving help and unable to use their gifts and talents in any meaningful way, which can lead to depression, anxiety, and isolation. In my experience with individuals facing this situation, I have become aware of two things that have changed the way I practice spiritual care:

1) I have begun to see that the act of receiving is a spiritual discipline that many people never practice. 2) No matter what state of health, everybody has something to offer. In this Tools for Care talk, I will briefly introduce the idea of what it means to receive from those we serve and then share some of the ways I seek to do this as a Long Term Care chaplain in Ontario.

Sarah Hoogendoorn Spiritual Care of the Morally Injured

The National Center for PTSD states, "Moral injury can occur in reaction to a traumatic event in which deeply held morals or values are violated. The resulting distress may lead to PTSD, depression, and other disorders in which feelings such as guilt, shame, betrayal, and anger are predominant, although these feelings may occur in the absence of a formal disorder." 

Chaplains - whether working with Veterans, active Service Members, or medical staff traumatically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic – have unique abilities, skills, and knowledge to address the spiritual distress, moral hurt, and traumatic guilt that are often present within the morally injured.

This presentation will focus on: (1) what moral injury is, (2) symptoms of moral injury, and (3) how Chaplains can provide space and help facilitate a person to express lament and grief, to engage in confession, repentance, and renewal, to experience forgiveness, to reconnect with community, and to find hope within their pilgrimage toward moral repair.

Gloria Kroeze Pediatric Chaplaincy: Developing Deep Spiritual Connections

My 23 years as a chaplain at Spectrum Health/Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital have been meaningful, fulfilling, and life-giving. My focus on ministry as a chaplain has been pediatrics. I strive to support and encourage these patients and their families to have a deeper spiritual connection. This has been my passion and joy. 

This presentation will grow the chaplain’s toolbox through book recommendations, resources, and sharing stories to help chaplains make the meaningful connections with their pediatric patients and families.


Though this conference is virtual, the CRCNA Office of Chaplaincy and Care would like to offer active chaplains reimbursement up to $250.  We plan on utilizing breakout sessions based on work settings (i.e. Health care, Military).  Please indicate your 1st and 2nd preferences when you fill out the registration form.

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