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Baton Rouge General Launches Area’s First Pastoral Care Residency Program

  • Category: News
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  • Written By: Baton Rouge General

BATON ROUGE, La. – Baton Rouge General is growing its Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program to include a class of residents who will work full-time for a year at the hospital, learning the art and skill of pastoral care in a clinical setting.

BRG’s CPE program is the only one in Baton Rouge, providing graduate-level professional and theological training to those who want to minister in hospitals, hospices, prisons, military, or wherever chaplaincy is available. It is accredited by The College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy.

During their year at BRG, the four CPE residents will complete 1,600 supervised hours of clinical training. To become a Board Certified Chaplain they have to complete this training in addition to an advanced degree in theology. The first class of residents -- Walter Hackney, Latrice Mallard, Trina McCoy and Michael St. John -- will start the program in October.

“For many patients and their family members, spiritual and emotional support is an important part of healing,” said Chaplain Pat Davis, Director of Pastoral Care and CPE instructor. “We take great pride in training those who are passionate about providing counseling and compassion during times of stress, anxiety or grief.”

BRG began its CPE program in 2012. Trainees meet weekly with a peer group and CPE instructor for four hours over a five-month period, and also perform 300 clinical hours in the hospital. BRG’s Pastoral Care team conducts two of these sessions each year, and will continue to in addition to the new residency program.

The chaplains who make up BRG’s Pastoral Care team represent a variety of religious faiths and are specially trained in hospital ministry. They work closely with many departments, including the Pennington Cancer Center, Skilled Care, Rehab, and Surgery and Arts in Medicine, a special program that provides art and music therapy for patients.

For more information, call (225) 387-7742 or click here.

About Baton Rouge General Medical Center
Baton Rouge General Medical Center is the area’s first community hospital with 588 licensed beds between two campuses. Baton Rouge General opened its doors in 1900, and has provided the Greater Baton Rouge community with high-quality healthcare for generations. An accredited teaching hospital since 1991, Baton Rouge General serves as an affiliate of Tulane University School of Medicine, and offers other medical education programs, including a School of Nursing, School of Radiologic Technology, Family Medicine Residency Program, Internal Medicine Residency Program, and Sports Medicine Fellowship Program. For more information, visit, find us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter at @BRGeneral.