Keynote Speaker

Richard Rohr
Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM
Granger Westberg Keynote Address:
Presenting: Tracking the Perennial Tradition Creates an Alternative Orthodoxy

Keynote Summary:
When we look at the history of spiritual care and healing, the same themes keep emerging across religions and cultures. They are issues of how to move from doctrinal belief into actual practice. One primary theological application method is the practice of cultivating a contemplative mind.


  1. Consider the concept of praxis commonalities across religions and cultures
  2. Describe the practice of cultivating a contemplative mind
  3. List options for integrating a contemplative mind into personal and professional practice

Plenary Speakers

Roshi Joan Halifax
Roshi Joan Halifax, Ph.D.
Founder, Abbot, and Head Teacher of Upaya Institute and Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico
Presenting: Exploring the Edge State of Engagement and Burnout

Michelle O’Rourke
Michelle O’Rourke, RN, MA
Consultant, Educator and Facilitator, Henri Nouwen Society
Presenting: The Essence of Providing Spiritual Care

Plenary Summary:
Reflecting on the works of Henri Nouwen and others, this session explores the concepts of care, compassion, spirituality, spiritual care, and spiritual distress. Highlights include a review of Shane Sinclair’s work on compassion and the health care provider model of compassion, the work of Tervalon and Garcia regarding cultural humility vs. cultural competency, and Henri’s Nouwen’s work on being a wounded healer and other supporting information. It also looks at the work of Dr. Christina Puchalski and the FICA tool, other assessment tools available for spiritual care, and resources available including the Health Care Chaplaincy Cultural and Spiritual Sensitivity Module.

Bryan Sexton
Bryan Sexton, Ph.D.
Director, Duke Center for Healthcare Safety & Quality Duke University Health System
Presenting: Thriving vs. Surviving During Times of Change: The Science of Enhancing Resilience

Jason Callahan, MDiv, MS, BCC
Chaplain, Thomas Palliative Care Unit at VCU Massey Cancer Center
Presenting: Bridging the Divide: Chaplaincy in the Secular Age

Plenary Summary:
The profession of chaplaincy is entering a new chapter, but divisions among us challenge the legitimacy of our field by preventing us from meeting the needs of many care recipients that could be served. As the population gets more secular, a new identity must emerge to reflect that. This session will address those divides and explore the impact within the walls of the profession and in the community.

Panel Speakers

Building Resilience: Programs That Work

Presented by:

Matt Norvell, Doris Giles & Deborah Seider

The presenters will discuss programs that they have helped build and implement that successfully reduce burnout and encourage resilience.

As a result of this presentation, attendees will:

  • Appreciate some of the opportunities and barriers to a successful program for building resilience
  • Understand some of the process necessary to build such a program
  • Be familiar with several successful programs to deal with burnout

Nursing and Clergy: Collaborating to Support and Care for Congregations

Presented by:

Jennifer Dagarag, Marion Butler Harris & Cheryl Track

The presenters will discuss Pastoral support is vital to the faith community nurse (FCN). Advocating for the FCN as a professional position allows for increased accountability, collaboration, and optimization of health. FCNs utilize the nursing process (assessment, diagnosis, plan, implementation, and evaluation) to serve the needs of their faith community. Coupled with evidence-based practice and in collaboration with clergy, we are able to meet the holistic needs of those served. Often a spiritual crisis is precipitated by a life stressor, such as a medical need. Working collaboratively, the pastoral staff focuses on spiritual needs and the FCN assists with navigation and resolution of the precipitating crisis.

As a result of this presentation, attendees will:

  • Describe a model of nursing and Clergy structure in a congregation
  • Describe a model of a Faith Community Nurse and Chaplain in a congregation
  • Describe a model of a Faith Community Nurse in a team-based congregational health ministry


In addition, there are over 35 workshops being presented during the three-day conference. Participants will select up to 5 workshops. To see a list of the workshops available as well as the entire conference agenda, click here.