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AAPC & ACPE

AAPC and ACPE Explore a Common Future
On October 11, 2018, AAPC and ACPE: The Standard for Spiritual Care & Education issued a joint statement announcing the two organizations have signed a Letter of Intent to become one organization in 2019.

Below you will find documents, useful links and other background on our conversations to date as well as a list of Frequently Asked Questions. AAPC will update the FAQs as our planning progresses.

AAPC Needs Your Input
The Executive Committee relies on your questions and concerns, as well as your encouraging words, to guide us in how we structure our consolidation with ACPE.

Please continue to send your questions, ideas
and concerns about our future direction to us at: info@aapc.org.

Key Communications, Documentation & Other Information
In addition to the Frequently Asked Questions below, here are links to key communications and other information related to the exploration of AAPC’s common future with ACPE

 


FAQs
AAPC & ACPE Exploring a Common Future

Updated November 19, 2018


Why is AAPC exploring a common future with ACPE?

What are the Guiding Principles for the Discussions?

Why is ACPE interested in consolidating with AAPC?

How will we refer to ourselves/what will we be called?

What happens to AAPC Regions?

Will we still have regional conferences?

What things do AAPC & ACPE need to come to agreement on?

As a pastoral counselor today what purpose will ACPE serve for me?

When will ACPE and AAPC be one?

Is this a "done deal"?

Do I get a vote?

Will there be opportunities to participate in ACPE leadership?

How will the legal issues around liability be dealt with, especially as regards complaints or ethical violations?

When/How can I take/teach the new Spiritually-Integrated Psychotherapy or the Spiritual Care Specialist curricula?

Why doesn’t the new Spiritually-Integrated Psychotherapy curriculum include the word “pastoral”?

Why has AAPC training shifted focus to licensed therapists from seminary graduates?

Why would a person take this training from us instead of the people in their own licensure body?

My Question Isn’t Answered Here.

How can I share my thoughts/contact the AAPC Board?


Why is AAPC exploring a common future with ACPE?   
AAPC needs a new operational structure that enables volunteers to pivot their focus from running the day-to-day operations of a professional association toward a focus of:

  • growing the pastoral care/spiritually-integrated psychotherapy profession
  • supporting professionals who practice pastoral care/spiritually-integrated psychotherapy through education, training and other programming

Several attempts at reorganizing in the past few years have led the AAPC Board of Directors to believe that joining with ACPE, our historic partnering cognate group, will bring strength to both organizations. Such a move will provide a solid foundation for responding to the challenges and needs in our communities as we move forward.

If we do not succeed with the consolidation there is a very strong chance that AAPC may simply cease to exist due to the reality of our financial situation.

What are the Guiding Principles for the Discussions?   

  1. Gratitude and hospitality: leadership of both groups are grateful for the opportunity to explore this transition to a single entity. AAPC and ACPE’s Executive Committees want to make this as hospitable as possible for all members.
  2. Transparency in communications and process: regular communications will be scheduled to keep all members of both groups informed. ACPE will also work with AAPC to schedule a series of webinars to talk through this process with members as specifics are decided.
  3. Mutual benefit: AAPC and ACPE leadership firmly believe there will be educational, professional and financial benefits for all if this process is managed well.
  4. Professional differentiation: Pastoral Counseling and CPE are distinct disciplines with different training models/expectations. Any new structure will honor that in word and deed.
  5. Cooperation not acquisition: ACPE is not pursuing AAPC, but is working to restructure operations to support the ongoing work of AAPC in a fiscally sustainable manner.

Why is ACPE interested in consolidating with AAPC?   
As noted in small ways throughout these FAQs, ACPE has recently gone through its own reinvention and restructuring. This was driven in part by the recognition that they had been stretching beyond their traditional clinical settings for some time. Much of what we bring in terms of profession, expertise and passion align to the larger vision that ACPE hopes to achieve in the coming years.

Importantly, ACPE is deeply committed historically to pastoral counseling/spiritually-integrated psychotherapy. ACPE leadership believes that by helping us they are helping everyone who practices or needs the services of our related professions.

How will we refer to ourselves/what will we be called?   
Be assured AAPC members are not losing their identity. We are already working on ways to differentiate between ACPE educators and those trained as pastoral counselors/spiritually-integrated psychotherapists.

The consolidation of AAPC with ACPE aligns to ACPE’s reality of a growing breadth of programming and services, which led ACPE to change its name in 2017 from the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education to ACPE: The Standard for Spiritual Care & Education. This reflects the fact that they have expanded their work beyond clinical education.

Using the collective experience of AAPC and ACPE leadership we are working through the best ways to clearly identify ourselves and maintain our separate identities. AAPC is particularly focused on preserving our profession’s body of knowledge.

This work is being done with a critical eye toward effectively communicating who we are to others in the profession, our clients, our employers and the greater world. Together, our goal is to use language that represents our different expertise, training and credentialing.

To be clear, we will all be members of ACPE. AAPC as a legal entity and a label will go away.

What happens to AAPC Regions?   
As part of ACPE, AAPC will no longer organize operations and administration using AAPC’s current regional structure. However, we will continue to offer geographically-based meetings, events and programming through ACPE's Communities of Practice (CoPs) structure.

In fact, ACPE has recently transformed from a Regionally driven structure to one driven by CoPs. These allow members to self-organize around topics of interest and professional needs.

ACPE is still in the process of discovering all the possibilities that grow from organizing in this way. They are realizing many unanticipated positive outcomes as a result of the change. AAPC also anticipates that as we learn more about CoPs – and generate our own new CoPs for pastoral counseling/spiritually-integrated services to support our learning and skill development. We will be profoundly surprised by the opportunities this approach presents to be who we are in the world.

Will we still have regional conferences?   
Yes, and expect them to evolve significantly over the next couple of years. In most cases, seminars, workshops, retreats and other events will be outgrowths of needs identified by members of various Communities of Practice (CoPs) rather than geography.

Examples vary from a conference on Veterans and PTSD that could be presented both virtually and in person, to a CoP focused on the traditional Southeast’s conference at Kanuga. All of these activities will be able to draw on the resources of ACPE allowing volunteers to focus on programming content and quality while receiving assistance from ACPE staff for planning, promotion and logistics.

As members of ACPE, AAPC folks will be included in ACPE’s Annual Conference as well as being invited to participate in CoPs.

Without the need to have a Regional Business Meeting – and free from the burdens of planning, promotion and logistics – volunteers will be able to pivot their focus to completely re-imagine future programming and events.

What things do AAPC & ACPE need to come to agreement on?   
The two organizations need to document how current AAPC activity will be moved to ACPE as well as what the future will look like for pastoral counseling in AAPC’s new home. This includes:

  • Reviewing AAPC policies and procedures in order to integrate them into ACPE’s structure.
  • Developing a plan to transition financial, business, technology and programmatic operations to ACPE.
  • Ensuring the long-term fiscal health of the combined entities.
  • Creating new member structure/categories for AAPC members within ACPE. It is important that former AAPC members are able to maintain a unique identity within ACPE. However, reviving former AAPC membership categories/structure are not our intention. The intention is to build a new structure that provides avenues to honor past individual achievements and invite new people in.
  • Aligning the new membership structure/categories to a dues structure that will be affordable for AAPC members.
  • Determining how AAPC will honor the purpose of the Mission Advancement Endowment (MAP grants) in the years ahead. This includes determining where the program will sit within the ACPE structure as well as ensuring its name/label reflects its mission of providing grant funds that advance both the profession and the mission of pastoral counseling through outreach beyond internal programs.
  • How ACPE will communicate the role and importance of pastoral counseling/spiritually-integrated psychotherapy in a way that will have meaning for our members, our employers, our clients and the world community at-large.

As a pastoral counselor today what purpose will ACPE serve for me?   
First and foremost, our consolidation with ACPE means all of us will have a platform to continue our work of promoting the profession and helping professionals grow in the field of pastoral counseling/spiritually-integrated psychotherapy.

To say this another way, if we do not consolidate with ACPE, there is a strong chance that AAPC and our work supporting the profession and its professionals will simply not survive.

Secondly, and perhaps just as important, the time and effort of our volunteers can pivot away from the day-to-day operations of running a professional association. This will allow the volunteer leadership across AAPC to focus on building a vision for the future. A future that grows and expands the training and other programming pastoral care/spiritually-integrated psychotherapy professionals need to thrive and to promote the value of the profession to our communities and the greater world.

When will ACPE and AAPC be one?   
Our goal is to legally be one by the end of AAPC’s fiscal year on June 30, 2019. However, the entire process will be incremental with changes beginning in early 2019 and following on throughout 2019 and beyond.

It is important to be aware that what we do in the short-term to facilitate the consolidation may not reflect our long-term intention. This is, in part, why we are consolidating with ACPE. Our focus needs to shift away from day-to-day operations and toward creating a new vision for how we can support the profession and practice of pastoral counseling/spiritually-integrated psychotherapy.

Is this a “done deal”?   
Since both organizations have signed the Letter of Intent we have been moving ahead under the assumption that the leadership of both organizations will be able to work out the details. That said, until it’s done, it’s not done.

It is perhaps worth noting that consolidation isn’t just a trend among professional associations with religious inclinations, but rather a trend for the entire professional associations marketplace.

Do I get a vote?   
Yes, a vote will be taken for membership approval once we have a clear path forward. Please be aware the difference between the options will be stark. Essentially, members will vote to move forward with excitement into a new future and a new home, or to let AAPC dwindle until all its resources are gone.

Will there be opportunities to participate in ACPE leadership?   
Yes, in fact, AAPC already has reached beyond its current elected board and regional leadership to recruit members to support the task force sub-committees guiding our future.

ACPE hopes that as we embrace our new home and our role within it, former AAPC members will actively choose to volunteer for leadership positions. To help facilitate AAPC member involvement, going forward a member of AAPC’s Leadership Development Committee now also sits on ACPE’s Leadership Development Committee.

Already, there is a sense that there will be a clear need for volunteers within the pastoral counseling/spiritually-integrated psychotherapy profession to help plan future conferences, events and other programming at the international, regional and local levels beginning in mid-2019.

How will the legal issues around liability be dealt with, especially as regards complaints or ethical violations?   

Much of this is being addressed through our involvement with the Spiritual Care Collaborative. The Collaborative is in the process of creating a joint code of ethics for all member organizations. While these are being developed and eventually reviewed and approved by each organization, all the members of the Collaborative have agreed to align to ACPE’s Ethical Guidelines and complaint process.

The AAPC/ACPE Consolidation Task Force Governance Subcommittee is aware that there are specific ethical concerns for the practice of pastoral counseling/spiritually-integrated psychotherapy that are not addressed by these existing plans. Work has already begun to address the gap jointly with ACPE through the subcommittee.

When/How can I take/teach the new Spiritually-Integrated Psychotherapy or the Spiritual Care Specialist curricula?   
The continuing education curricula will be taught in pilot programs in early 2019 and will become more widely available in Summer 2019. We will share news about where and when it will be offered in emails to our members.

Why doesn’t the new Spiritually-Integrated Psychotherapy curriculum include the word “pastoral”?   
As we look to the future, it is important that our message embrace a wider audience in order to support our revenue goals. AAPC research indicates that psychotherapists perceive continuing education offerings labeled “pastoral” as exclusionary, rather than inclusionary.

In order to ensure its long-term success, the Spiritually-Integrated Psychotherapy curriculum needs a label that speaks to a broad spectrum of therapists who are interested in integrating spirituality more effectively into their work.

Why has AAPC training shifted focus to licensed therapists from seminary graduates?   
The focus is on licensed therapists and seminary graduates. The Spiritually-Integrated Psychotherapy curriculum is written to serve professionals who are practicing psychotherapy. The majority of these will be currently licensed therapists as well as recent graduates of therapy-focused graduate programs.

There is an emerging market among secular clinicians for this kind of training. What began as an effort to increase cultural competency has evolved into deeper interest in learning how to tap into the power of spiritual resources to heal and create depth in therapeutic relationships.

Seminary graduates – recent and not-so-recent – will also benefit from the Spiritually-Integrated Psychotherapy curriculum. It is also our plan to develop a 30-hour Pastoral Counseling curriculum that will be focused for persons who align with that identity in the future.

Why would a person take this training from us instead of the people in their own licensure body?   
A variety of psychotherapy disciplines give attention to spiritually-integrated psychotherapy. The American Psychological Association has Division 36. The American Counseling Association has ASERVIC. These sub-groups sponsor annual conferences that draw 200+ attendees a year.

However, none of them offer what we offer:

  • An organized continuing education curriculum to introduce therapists to the basics of spiritually-integrated psychotherapy
  • A structured opportunity for professionals to connect with a supervisor/consultant and work towards a certification/certificate
  • An ongoing community of formation and practice to support them beyond their continuing education and/or certification goal.

My Question Isn’t Answered Here.   
Most likely that’s because the answer is: “we don’t know yet.”

While things are progressing well with ACPE there is a lot that has yet to be discussed, determined and approved. The volunteer leadership of both organizations and our respective staff are committed to keeping everyone informed as decisions are made and details are decided.

These FAQs will be updated as progress is made, so check back often.

If you have a specific question, concern or idea, the AAPC Executive Committee wants to hear from you. Please send your thoughts to: info@aapc.org.

How can I share my thoughts/contact the AAPC Board?   
The best way to share your thoughts is to send an email to info@aapc.org. Tere Tyner Canzoneri, MDiv, LCSW, AAPC President, receives many emails each week and does her best to respond personally.