Alumni Stories of CPE

Courtney Alvarado '21

While CPE was an ordination requirement for me, I would absolutely do it again in a heartbeat. My CPE experience has shaped my pastoral identity, gave me the opportunity to explore my own history more deeply, and gave me the grace to be vulerable and honest about the experiences I had. It was a beautiful and heavy blessing to bear witness to tears, pain, and death, yet those moments were like bursts of light. The action, reflection, action model of CPE gave me a really firm foundation to do my job better because it gave me the chance to figure out why I do some of what I do. It's truly a ministry shaping event if you let it be!
I am currently serving as a Chaplain in the US Army.
-CH (CPT) Courtney Alvarado

Lorrie Aikens

Lorrie Aikens MDiv '18

I will always be grateful for the reflective process that lead to my understanding of how I respond to the pain of others. 

- Lorrie Aikens is pastor of the Bath United Methodist Charge

Learn how CPE shaped Lorrie's ability to be with those in pain

Shawn Gerber

Shawn Gerber MDiv '04

A unique gift of CPE is integrating the behavioral sciences with our theology. It has been deeply meaningful for me to see the way that God is made known when I am present to another person, compassionately listen to their story and facilitate how they find meaning in their journey.

- Shawn Gerber is the director of spiritual care and chaplaincy services at Indiana University Health Bloomington Hospital and the chaplain manager for the south central region of Indiana University Health.

Read more about Shawn's experience with CPE

Phil Kanagy

Phil Kanagy MDiv ‘16

CPE helped me to listen better – to see more, and to pay more attention to what patients are saying, where they might be trying to lead the conversation, and therefore what matters to them.

- Phil Kanagy is lead pastor at Weavers Mennonite Church in Harrisonburg, Virginia

Learn how CPE shaped Phil's pastoral care within his congregation

Anne Kaufman Weaver

Anne Kaufman Weaver MDiv ’16

Assisting residents and families to find meaning and connection in the final months and weeks of life is gratifying and healing.

- Anne Kaufman Weaver MDiv ’16 is a chaplain at Landis Homes

Learn why Anne chose to do CPE with EMS

Melanie Lewis

Melanie K. Lewis MDiv ‘14

CPE equipped me for the ministry of meeting people where they are in traumatic or critical situations, and walking with them, supporting them emotionally and spiritually, and sitting with them in their pain.

Melanie K. Lewis is lead chaplain for Valley Health System’s six hospitals. 

Learn how CPE shaped Melanie's ministry and career trajectory

Lisa Meyer Vineyard

Lisa Meyer Vineyard

I loved coming to class because I was challenged to grow and become a better person. — not by being beaten over the head but encouraged to look deep within to find the beauty and grace of God within. I didn’t have to be 100% better, just 2%. I could manage 2%.

- Lisa Meyer Vineyard is a
Carilion Clinic chaplain

Read about how CPE challenged Lisa to learn more about herself and her family


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