St. Vladimir’s Seminary Clinical Pastoral Education Program

St. Vladimir’s Seminary Clinical Pastoral Education Program

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 A recent Press Release from  St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary.

[SVOTS Communications / Yonkers, NY] In a meeting with the Certification Commission on October 13, 2015, Fr. Adrian Budica, Supervisor of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) and Director of Field Education at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary(SVOTS), became certified as an Association of Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE) Full Supervisor. While it usually takes between 4-10 years to achieve this, Fr. Adrian completed the entire process in under three years, and is now certified to supervise Levels 1 and 2, and Supervisory CPE. In recognition of his remarkable achievements and his work with ACPE Eastern Region, Fr. Adrian was recognized as an “Emerging Leader 2015” at an ACPE National Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia in May.

As Director of Field Education at St. Vladimir’s, Fr. Adrian has been preparing students for their CPE Units in hospitals, and meeting with them afterwards to review their progress and issue final evaluations. Currently, all Master of Divinity students are required to fulfill one unit of CPE, which represents a total of 400 hours–300 hours spent in clinical/hospital visitation, and 100 hours devoted to group and individual sessions. With Fr. Adrian on the faculty, SVOTS is stepping up its commitment to CPE training via on-campus supervision.

“As CPE Supervisor, one of my goals is to transform other existing field placements (prison, parish) and implement a superior education through a standardized curriculum and requirements,” notes Fr. Adrian. “This will not only benefit our seminarians in their pastoral education, and allow them to receive additional CPE credits for their field work, but will also benefit the ministry and outreach of the Seminary and the greater Orthodox community.”

St. Vladimir’s has been collaborating with the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) and Union Theological Seminary to become accredited by ACPE as a satellite center. The seminaries already have a long history of connection through the Inter-Seminary Dialogue (ISD) program, and their approaches to pastoral formation are harmonious.

Rabbi Mychal Springer, director of the Center for Pastoral Education at JTS, says that CPE enlivens and transforms the entire seminary experience. “CPE at our Seminary has had a profound impact on our culture these six years….Students are deeply grateful for the in-depth supervision and attention to their formation. The pastoral relationships which they form in their clinical placements ground them in the realities of the world and give them the essential opportunity to integrate their theological studies with the complex and sometimes heartbreaking experiences of real people.

“We are confident that by becoming a satellite of our CPE program” she continues, “St. Vladimir’s will also experience a tremendous boost in the educational experiences of its students.”

Father Adrian believes that St. Vladimir’s growing commitment to CPE represents a milestone. “This will be the source of tremendous growth in pastoral education for our Orthodox Church,” he notes. “We will be the first Orthodox theological school in the world using this pastoral process model for our seminarians. We plan to train and offer continuing education to future and current clergy, Orthodox chaplains in various settings, leaders of lay ministries, and CPE Supervisors. It will also bring our Orthodox pastoral caregivers and professors into the larger pastoral education field, as representatives of our faith.”

Since 2011, Fr. Adrian has served as priest at St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral in Brooklyn, New York, where the Very Reverend Thomas Zain, SVOTS alumnus and faculty member, is rector; he also serves regularly at the Three Hierarchs Chapel on campus. Fr. Adrian is currently pursuing additional certification as a Board Certified Chaplain with the Association of Professional Chaplains (APC).

More about the Master of Divinity at St. Vladimir’s Seminary, including information about the field education program, can be found here.

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St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary

St. Vladimir’s embraces the challenge of serving the Church and the needs of Orthodox Christians in the 21st Century. Time brings change but the Truth of the Gospel is eternally unchanging; adjustments must be made to engage a rapidly changing world, but without sacrificing that which is the same yesterday, today, and forever.