Oh, it’s a great experience, C.P.E. is. Lots of seminarians of lots of denominations go through it. Some of us have good experiences. Mine, at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, was mostly good, because I had a very good supervisor. But others suffer through it. It seems at times and at some centers that the purpose of C.P.E. is to produce ministers who act like the woman in the video below … experts in Rogerian reflection who have forgotten that the purpose of a minister is to proclaim the Gospel.
Thanks to Paul McCain.
So, if you went through C.P.E., tell me … how did that make you feel?
Footnote: I mentioned my own C.P.E. supervisor at Walter Reed. He was a Lutheran army chaplain, LTC-P, with combat experience in Vietnam. When I, a nervous 23-year-old 2d Lieutenant, expressed my fears of my inadequacy–what could I say in situations of life and death?–he asked, “Do you believe Luther’s explanation of the third article of the creed?” I hesitated, so he recited:
I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Ghost has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith; even as He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith; in which Christian Church He forgives daily and richly all sins to me and all believers, and at the last day will raise up me and all the dead, and will give to me and to all believers in Christ everlasting life. This is most certainly true.