Becoming a board certified chaplain is no easy feat. First, candidates must have earned a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in theological studies. Next, the student must commit to years of both clinical training and education. Top it off with 3,600 hours of work experience before qualifying to become board certified.
Mercy Joplin is proud to announce Sister Julie Brown has persevered and earned the title of Board Certified Chaplain by the Association of Professional Chaplains.
According to Joel James, vice president of mission, “Sister Julie’s certification brings the highest level of expertise to our health care ministry.”
“Board certified chaplains are trained to take care of patients in high stress, multi-cultural, and ecumenical context,” James added. “They go through years of training and personal therapy in order to focus on other's issues beyond their own. Bringing inherent hope, grace and peace into the trauma of fear and pain is the reason that the Sisters of Mercy see value in healing as an expression of ministry.”
Sister Julie began her Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) training in Springfield in 2011and moved to Joplin in 2013 to work as a full-time chaplain before receiving her certification.
“I truly didn’t know what I was getting into when I entered my first unit of CPE, but now I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything else at this time,” Sister Julie said.
“This is truly a humbling experience as I walk with those who are experiencing newness of life or in need of spiritual care as they transition from this life to the next. I feel God has led me down this path as I share the gifts and talents that were gathered through my years as a Sister of Mercy.”
No other Sisters of Mercy went through the program at the same time as Sister Julie, but there are numerous Sisters who are also board-certified hospital chaplains throughout the United States.
“Mercy Joplin is blessed to have Sister Julie as a Chaplain,” James added. “It is a rarity to have a Sister present in the health care ministry today. Since the average age of a Sister of Mercy is now 82, we have fewer opportunities to encounter one of them working the front lines of care.
Sister Julie’s background brought her through some pretty intense assignments and today we benefit from the experience and mature insights that she shares with her patients.”
Mercy, named one of the top five large U.S. health systems in 2017 by Truven, an IBM Watson Health company, serves millions annually. Mercy includes 44 acute care and specialty (heart, children’s, orthopedic and rehab) hospitals, more than 700 physician practices and outpatient facilities, 40,000 co-workers and more than 2,000 Mercy Clinic physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.