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APCâ„¢ Forum NEWS September 2016

APC™ Forum, September 2016, Vol. 18 No. 6

2016 Chaplain Symposium Registration Closes September 23rd

The Association of Professional Chaplains™ is hosting its third annual Chaplain Symposium in Hoffman Estates, IL on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016. The theme, “The New Normal: The Evolving Challenges of Spiritual Care,” will feature relevant and inspiring content from which chaplains in all practice settings can benefit. Registration will be available through Sept. 23 for in-person or remote participation.
Presentations will include:
  • “Palliative Care Domains: The Inner-Sanctum,” by Joann Bennett DO and Rev. Anna Lee Hisey Pierson MDiv BCC-HPCC
  • “Spiritual Care of the Nonreligious,” by Rev. Mary Martha Thiel BCC, ACPE supervisor
  • “The Challenge of Maintaining Vocational Clarity in a Changing Environment,” by Dr. Wayne L. Menking
  • “Sharing the Journey after Trauma,” by Rev. Dr. John P. Oliver

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APC™ Webinar Journal Club: "New Paradigms, New Interventions and Essential New Information for Advancing Chaplain Practice"

APC™ invites you to join George Fitchett DMin PhD BCC and Sr. Patricia Murphy PhD BCC as they present their upcoming five-part Webinar Journal Club VI series, "New Paradigms, New Interventions and Essential New Information for Advancing Chaplain Practice.” Register by Sept. 12 for the entire series or Session 1.

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Education Anytime with APC™ Webinar Recordings

Education is a vital component in encouraging excellence in the pastoral ministry carried out by chaplains in varied institutional settings. Did you know there are more than 20 pre-recorded Webinars you can access at anytime via APC™’s website? Most sessions are only $55 for APC™ members. Topics include:
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How do APC™ chaplains feel about their work?  We have an answer for that!  

The Professional Quality of Life Survey ( is a 30 item self report measure that discerns two types of role satisfaction.  Compassion Satisfaction (positive) is the pleasure derived from working in helping, care giving systems.  Compassion Fatigue (negative) is associated with burnout and secondary traumatic stress. The ProQOL is a validated, free and easily accessible research tool that a chaplain can easily use in their setting. Used with individuals, the ProQOL can function as a general screening tool for stress-related mental health and help chaplains make a plan to increase their resiliency.  Used across organizations, the survey can help find ways to maximize the positive aspects and reduce the negative aspects of helping. 
A survey of the APC™ Membership was approved by APC™ Board of Directors and received an Administrative Exemption from the Norton Healthcare Office of Research Administration (Louisville, KY).  The results of this voluntary and anonymous online survey were shared at the APC™ Annual Conference.
1,299 APC™ members responded to the survey.  Three-quarters of the respondents reported low secondary traumatic stress from their work (74.7%) and low levels of burnout (74.0%).  Almost all respondents reported high (61.8%) or average (37.8%) levels of compassion satisfaction. This suggests that that the overwhelming majority of BCCs have high compassion satisfaction and low levels of compassion fatigue, burnout, and secondary traumatic stress.
Because respondents to this preliminary survey self-selected to participate, these results may be skewed by higher levels of engagement compared to non-respondents.  We think such bias is likely to be minimal because self-selection for APC™ membership already creates more consistency for engagement within the population of interest.
Why is this important? Until now, there has been little data detailing the overall compassion satisfaction and fatigue of board certified chaplains. This effort surveyed the entire membership of the APC™, and received enough responses to confidently assume the results are representative of the entire membership. Given the intense work environment of BCCs, the researchers had posited that the results of the survey would show more widespread self-reported so-called negative scores. However, it is encouraging to learn that the overwhelming majority of BCCs appear to have found a way to pro-actively provide the same level of care for themselves as they do for those they serve, and consequently constructively cope with the intensity of their work environment.

Researchers: Ronald Oliver BCC; Brian Hughes BCC; Geoffrey Weiss

Ronald Oliver BCC is the System vice president Mission & Outreach for Norton Healthcare in Louisville, KY. He may be contacted at

Brian Hughes BCC may be contacted at

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