Welcome to the Future of Spiritual Care in Chile

Chaplain Andres Herrera
Santiago, Chile
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Welcome to the Future of Spiritual Care in Colombia

Rev. Jorge Espinel, BCC
Spiritual Care Association in Colombia,
an affiliate of Spiritual Care Association
Ave. 4a Norte #49N-41, Suite 101
Telephone +573183489099
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Welcome to the Future of Spiritual Care in Nigeria

Chaplain Frank Enwuchola
Spiritual Care Association in Nigeria,
an affiliate of Spiritual Care Association
No 13 Chief Amadi Close
Rumuagholu, Rumuokoro Port Harcourt
Rivers State Nigeria
Tel 2348164117513
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Welcome to the Future of Spiritual Care in Philippines

Spiritual Care Association in Philippines
an affiliate of Spiritual Care Association
Dr. Maria Theresita Escandor-Sobremisana
Vanderpol Center for Leadership and Pastoral Formation, Inc
Unit 1904 Antel Global Corporate Building
Julia Vargas Avenue, Ortigas Center
1605 Pasig City, Philippines
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Dr. Maria Theresita Escandor

One of the affiliates of Spiritual Care Association in Asia is Dr. Maria Theresita Escandor. Among her students, patients, clients, and colleagues in the Philippines, she is also called by her nickname, Dr. Tootsie.

Dr. Tootsie is a Board Certified Clinical Chaplain and Spiritual Care Practitioner by the Center for Spiritual Care and Pastoral Formation (CSCPF). She earned her Master of Divinity degree in Pastoral Care in 1991 at the Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary in the Philippines. In 2016, she was conferred the degree of Doctor of Psychology through the joint program of the Institute of Psychodynamic Pastoral Supervision based in North Carolina and the Graduate Theological Foundation in Indiana, both in the USA.

Dr. Tootsie’s life’s calling is in Pastoral Care, Counselling and Psychotherapy work. There is nothing that she is more enthusiastic about and that gives her so much life than when she is working with patients, clients, and groups in therapy. Her practice is enriched by decades of life experience in different fields such as church pastorate, ministry leadership, community development, local governance, and corporate management. Since 2010, she started to focus more on Pastoral Counselling and Clinical Chaplaincy work. She consequently took additional CPE units in order to earn her board certification. Desiring to impart to others how her own life was transformed through the CPE program and to be an empowering force for those with a similar calling, Dr. Tootsie started training to become a CPE supervisor in 2012. She worked to further deepen her group supervision competencies by pursuing her doctorate degree in 2013. This she did while working, training, studying, and being a single mom. To date, Dr. Tootsie has journeyed with so many CPE interns since 2013 coming from different areas of profession, vocation, ministry and faith groups. Through the CPE offerings, she has worked with priests, pastors, missionaries, clinical chaplains, pastoral counsellors, social workers, psychologists, guidance counsellors, policemen, military servicemen, jail wardens, teachers, company administrators/managers, and business leaders.

Desiring to take it a step further and advocate for the professionalization of Clinical Chaplaincy, Pastoral Counselling, and Spiritual Care in various settings as well as to promote integrated/holistic patient care in the Philippines, Dr. Tootsie co-founded Vanderpol Center for Leadership and Pastoral Formation, Inc. in 2014 as a non-profit organization. Those who benefited from CPE trainings under Dr. Tootsie and saw the value in advocating for integrated patient care and the professionalization of the practice in the Philippines joined Dr. Tootsie to jumpstart the Vanderpol Center.

Today, Vanderpol Center has four program areas. First of this is the CPE program and certification process, which is offered under the accreditation of the CSCPF in the USA. Vanderpol Center offers two cycles of CPE in a year—from February to May and from August to November. Both intensive and extensive modules are available to cater to the different work paces and availability of the interns. Vanderpol Center has also started to use video calling/conferencing to offer hybrid CPE groups with both on-site and online interns to make the program more available to those that are in farther areas or in other parts of Asia.

The second program offered by Vanderpol Center is its Leadership and Executive Coaching services. One of the regular events organized by Vanderpol under this program is the annual retreat for Pastoral and Spiritual Caregivers. It is meant not only to bring practitioners together to be establish connections, but to also create a sacred space for authentic sharing and community building. Education and therapeutic recreational activities are also offered during these retreats. Several times in a year, Vanderpol Center also conducts seminars and workshops on various topics under the mental health, psychology, spiritual care, and leadership themes. A significant number of these seminars are institution-based; among the institutions in the Philippines that Dr. Tootsie and her Vanderpol Center cohorts has conducted seminars for are schools, businesses, faith denominations like the Cooperative Baptist Association of the Philippines, hospitals such as the Philippine Children’s Medical Center and the Philippine Heart Center, other non-profit organizations like Compassion International, and government institutions, and agencies like the Philippine National Police, Presidential Security Group, and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology. Aside from institution-based seminars, Dr. Tootsie and her team also organize public seminars typically attended by people from different church-based ministries, other government agencies, medical professionals, volunteers, chaplains, and counsellors. Another area that Vanderpol Center is developing under this program would be its offerings promotion workplace wellness or advocating for mental health awareness and services in business organizations and promoting the need for paid Corporate Chaplains on-site to facilitate these service to address organizational needs such as conflict management, performance management, and stress management.

The third program offered by Vanderpol Center is its outreach arm through the Project Bless Ministry. Through the loving donations of private individuals from the Philippines and abroad, Vanderpol Center is long-term outreach projects like scholarship funds, parenting seminars in rural areas, and daily feeding and Early Childhood Development programs for indigent children. Currently, Vanderpol has two main outreach sites in the Philippines.

The fourth area is a work in progress. Building on their success, Dr. Tootsie and her core group’s vision for Vanderpol Center is for the organization to become Asia’s first training institution for Clinical Chaplaincy, Pastoral Counseling, Spiritual Care, Psychodynamic Pastoral Supervision, Psychotherapy, and Transformational Leadership. The organization also envisions to be a key player in mental health advocacy and in providing quality, holistic, and contextualised counselling, spiritual care, and therapy services for children, youth, and adults. Vanderpol Center is committed to continuously actualizing this vision and in the process, it has partnered with the Spiritual Care Association to build on the evidence-based and standards-based approach to Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care. Dr. Tootsie is also in the process of working out a partnership with the SCA-University of Theology and Spirituality in order to establish its first campus in Asia. The goal is to cater to students and professionals in this region and to offer advanced degrees in this specialized ministry, becoming the first training institution in Asia offering education in Spiritual Care, Spiritual Direction, Clinical Chaplaincy, Clinical Pastoral Psychotherapy and theological degrees like Master of Divinity, Religious Education, and Progressive Christianity.

Welcome to the Future of Spiritual Care in Cameroon

Contact Rev. Dr. Ndongndeh Godlove
Spiritual Care Association in Cameroon, an affiliate of Spiritual Care Association
c/o Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services (CBCHS)
PO Box 1 Bamenda
North West Region

Welcome to the Future of Spiritual Care in Kenya

Chaplain Prof. Jared Akama Onyari​
Spiritual Care Association in Kenya,​
an affiliate of Spiritual Care Association
c/o Association of Chaplains and Counselors - Kenya
P.O. Box 2275 - 00200
Nairobi, Kenya
Telephone: +254722637619

Welcome to the Future of Spiritual Care in Zambia

Contact Benard Chongo
Spiritual Care Association in Zambia
an affiliate of Spiritual Care Association
c/o Chaplaincy Training College International
PO Box 37339
Telephone: +260 971 860068 +260 965 615437
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65 Broadway, 12th Floor
New York, NY 10006


3415 South Sepulveda Blvd, Suite 1100
Los Angeles, CA 90034


Contact us via phone: (212) 644-1111

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Welcome to the Future of Spiritual Care in Zambia

Rev. Chaplain Lackson Chipeta
Executive Director / Liaison
Spiritual Care Association in Zambia
an affiliate of Spiritual Care Association
c/o Taterifa SCA Zambia
Metero North Off Great North Road
Lusaka, Zambia
Telephone: +260950949360 +260979738323
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Welcome to the Future of Spiritual Care in Ukraine

Serhii Ubohov, Ph.D.
Chairman, SCA Ukraine
an affiliate of Spiritual Care Association
Senior Pastor, Most Holy Place Church
Associate Professor of Pharmacy
Gnat Khotkevych Str. 12, Apt. 94
Kyiv, Ukraine 02094
+38 (067) 231-76-56 / +38 (044) 331-69-51
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Welcome to the Future of Spiritual Care in Pakistan

Contact Rojar Noor Alam
Spiritual Care Association in Pakistan
an affiliate of Spiritual Care Association
c/o Caritas Pakistan Lahore
1-Temple Road, Near Regal Chowk
Lahore, Pakistan
Telephone: +92-345-4344256
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Welcome to the Future of Spiritual Care in Jamaica

Contact Rev. Dorothy A. Grant
Spiritual Care Association Jamaica
an affiliate of Spiritual Care Association
c/o Jamaica Association of Health Care Chaplains
Hope Institute Hospital
Kingston, Jamaica
Tel: 876 775-8314 / 876 995-2885
Int: 347-568-8007
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Rev. Dorothy Grant

Rev. Dorothy Grant is the Director for Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy Jamaica and a pioneer implementing professional spiritual care in Jamaica. Some hospitals have chaplains who serve on behalf of their churches or community groups but no hospital has a formal Pastoral Care Department. Since 2014 Rev. Grant has provided spiritual care to patients and their families and the staff of the May Pen and Hope Institute hospitals in Jamaica. The Jamaica Constabulary Force Chaplaincy Unit has also engaged her services to train its cadre of volunteer chaplains. Dorothy is the is the most highly trained chaplain in Jamaica.

Dorothy grew up in the hilly farming district of Brae Head in Clarendon, Jamaica, near Bull Head Mountain. After graduating from high school at Clarendon College, she attended Church Teachers College in Mandeville before becoming a seminarian at United Theological College, Kingston Jamaica. The years following saw her working in a number of countries as a pastor, educator and counsellor.

Dorothy credits the United Church of Jamaica and Cayman islands for her spiritual formation and direction, although she does not currently serve in an official capacity in that denomination. She remains committed to her faith and church and has an indomitable spirit and passion for her specialized ministry of Chaplaincy.

Dorothy is fueled by her passion to understand the nuances of spirituality in various faith groups. She considers herself a ‘forever student,’ eager to both build on her academic foundations in spirituality and psychology and to improve her clinical skills using the appropriate interventions through continued clinical work and professional development. In 2014 she completed her residency in CPE at St John’s Episcopal Hospital, New York. This is when she first heard of SCA. Despite the attractive opportunities in North America after her training she felt compelled to return to Jamaica to work and to create a plan to offer spiritual care to hospitalized patients and their families in a systematic organized way throughout healthcare facilities. As the scope of her work expanded she completed training in Emergency, Law Enforcement and Workplace chaplaincy and currently provides training and consultation in those areas. Her hunger for knowledge and resolve to create public awareness of the role spirituality plays in positive heath care outcomes resulted in her volunteering at the Hope Institute Hospital, an acute oncology care facility, and the May Pen Public Hospital, situated in one of Jamaica’s most volatile and violent towns. The feedback from both institutions has been that the chaplaincy services have vastly improved the support and care options for patients, their families and staff.

Speaking at the Annual Jamaica Cancer Care Research Institute lectures, Dorothy told the student audience,

“I am focusing some of my energies on training of spiritual care practitioners, since researchers consistently find evidence of the immeasurable benefits of professional spiritual care, yet many people still do not have a lot of accurate information about these practitioners. Our spiritual health overpoweringly impacts our physical health, well-being, and quality of life. Just as medical professionals care for our bodies and minds, spiritual care practitioners care for our spirits.

At times of struggle, this lack of spiritual care can have a negative impact on our health and well-being. The increasing need for spiritual care makes these practitioners even more crucial. However, many of us have limited access to quality, professional spiritual care. By providing evidence and dispelling myths, Spiritual Care of Jamaica hopes to be represented by thousands of spiritual care practitioners who will increase access to spiritual care for the benefit of all. If I don’t get help I am going to die trying.”

As she provides training for volunteer chaplains and pastors serving in the Jamaica Constabulary Force Chaplaincy Unit, she reminds them to use their new skills in their other pastoral roles. “I tell them ‘Don’t leave them in the police station,’” smiles Dorothy. “Take them to church or other areas of service they will be useful as tools to enhance spirituality and build capacity.”

In the meantime, she has taken on the arduous task of getting accreditation for the academic program in Chaplaincy Studies: Diploma/ Associates Degree in Chaplaincy studies with specialization in Healthcare, Law Enforcement, Institutions, Workplace, Sports or Disaster Chaplaincy from the University Council in Jamaica. The program is offered by the Spiritual Care of Jamaica Institute in collaboration with a local university and seminary. Two cohorts of students specializing in Law Enforcement chaplaincy are already enrolled.

Dorothy believes chaplaincy work can help mend the broken communities in Jamaica and can engage people around their stories for empowerment. “My work has brought me to a range of emotional and physical circumstances. I have encountered families whose lives have been ravaged by economic distress, others who have been wounded and bruised by the realities of life, and I am trying to help them make sense and meaning of their situation.”

Dorothy is the Jamaican representative for the Spiritual Care Association USA and hopes to open a campus of the SCA University of Theology and Spirituality in Jamaica in the near future.

Jamaica 5

Community Chaplains St Catherine Jamaica

Jamaica 6

Volunteer Police Chaplains

Welcome to the Future of Spiritual Care in Italy

Filippo Laurenti
Spiritual Care Association in Italy
c/o Anemos Curando S’Impara
Corso Torino, 6
10098 Rivoli (TO)
+39 011 909 22 92
+39 338 780 07 69
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Filippo Laurenti is a spiritual care professional in Turin (Torino, North West Italy) who works in a hospice as one of the few non-clergy spiritual caregivers in Italy. (In Italy the term "chaplain" refers solely to Roman Catholic priests). He is also attending 3rd year of medical school at the "MedInTO Medicine and Surgery" of the San Luigi Gonzaga Hospital in Turin.(www.medinto.unito.it). He has taught in Master Programs on Palliative Care (both at the University of Turin and the University of Trieste), offering tools for physicians to address the life circumstances, feelings and unique concerns of their patients from a spiritual perspective. He hopes to continue teaching after completing his studies, bringing a holistic approach to a system that is more focused on technical and medical outcomes.

While studying, he plans to start a discussion group for medical students to explore their own spiritual lives and reactions to their work, particularly the death of patients, feelings of helplessness, what brought them to the profession and how they integrate their spirituality with their professional roles.

As the field of palliative care grows, Filippo will have a unique role as a bridge between the worlds of chaplaincy and medicine. He has already incorporated SCA materials and research into the website and courses of Anemos (www.anemosformazione.it), an organization that provides training on health and care issues for health professionals in the Piedmont Region so that they maintain and improve their skills in caring for the whole person with compassion and skill.

Spiritual Care Association in Israel

Tova Avihai-Kremer

Tova grew up in Israel, the daughter of Canadian parents. She is an educator through and through and a respected mentor of a generation of spiritual caregivers in Israel.

She has a B.A. in Bible and Jewish Thought from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and an M.A. in Jewish Education the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. She was a Fellow of the Mandel School for Educational Leadership and served as principal of the Keshet School, a cutting-edge mixed religious-secular elementary school in Jerusalem from 2000-2012. The Jewish Theological Seminary honored Tova in 2018 with its Lifelong Excellence in Education award.

About a decade ago, Tova discovered spiritual care and has risen to become one of Israel’s educators in this field as well. She completed training in spiritual care at ‘B’ruah’ program at Shaarei Tzedek Hospital and supplemented the Israeli requirements for 800 hours of learning with a summer of C.P.E. at Hebrew Senior Life Hospital in Boston and several long distance units through the Jewish Theological Seminary in NY.

She was certified in one of the first cohorts of spiritual caregivers in Israel and has engaged since then in individual spiritual care in home contexts and with families who have lots a member to car accidents, suicide and violent death, through Amutat Elah.

She trained as an Israeli spiritual care educator (the local equivalent of a supervisor) and has been teaching the tools of spiritual care in a broad variety of courses for professionals, lay leaders of Jewish renewal congregations, medical professionals and parents of children with special needs.

Tova provides supervision and ongoing education for the staff of Kashouvot-Merkaz Schwartz, the leaders in placement of spiritual caregivers in medical settings. Tova led Kashouvot's first Taste of Pastoral Care course in Jerusalem in 2018 and is now teaching a second at Wolfson Hospital in Holon. Recently she trained at Rambam Hospital in Haifa as a pediatric chaplain and is looking forward to working in pediatric or palliative care.

She participated in Hebrew Union College’s interfaith seminars for educators and in their "healing hatred through spirit" conferences and is committed to training Arabic speaking spiritual caregivers to serve an unmet need.

Tova is a member and past chairperson of Kehillat Yedidya, a liberal-orthodox community in Jerusalem which is deeply committed to encouraging the extensive participation of women within the community in both prayer and in leadership.

She is a member of the Board of the Amuta LeLivui Ruhani, the Israeli organization that sets standards and oversees the certification process for spiritual caregivers and training programs. She became the SCA Israel affiliate in 2019, replacing Miriam Berkowitz, the current International Coordinator.

Welcome to the Future of Spiritual Care in India

Contact Rev. Vilbert Vallance
Spiritual Care Association in India
an affiliate of Spiritual Care Association
c/o Bangalore Baptist Hospital
Pastoral Care Department
Hebbal - Bangalore - 560024
Telephone: 9845512509
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Welcome to the Future of Spiritual Care in Ethiopia

Zenebe Mesfin
Spiritual Care Association in Ethiopia,
an affiliate of Spiritual Care Association
c/o HFE / Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia,
Old Airport / Torhayloch
Telephone 251-911478046 | Office 251-113726253
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The English word chaplaincy indicates the spiritual services that are given in secular institutions, such as hospitals, military units, police departments, universities and private chapels. Nowadays it is extensively applied as a discipline that is especially applied to patients under treatment in hospitals to provide comfort for their spiritual problems.

In our country, Ethiopia, this discipline is not that much known or previously practiced. During the time of King Haile Selassie the practice of chaplaincy was implemented at some hospitals and military bases.

It is obvious that some kind of study is needed in order to have effective chaplaincy services. Just to encourage special focus and attention be given to the discipline, this brief notice is prepared.


Grasping the concept of the discipline.

It may be easy for the English Speaking community to understand the concept of chaplaincy. But when we consider the case of our country, as it is previously mentioned, this discipline is not yet known; it is in its initial or embryonic stage. Therefore the first task will be to make an effort that the concept of chaplaincy may be understood. The word “chaplaincy” must be substituted by suitable word that is practicable in the Ethiopian context. At least temporarily this must be done until some more understanding is achieved and a better term is coined. This the first attempt that we have made here.

  • The word “Chaplaincy” may be substituted by an Amharic word “Efoieta” we may briefly reason out why this word is chosen; its literary and implied contextual meaning is briefly given.
  • “Efoita” can be literary translated as rest, alleviation from weary, fatigue, suffering, being at ease. So “Efoita” in its contextual meaning can have as to subdue these spiritual or psychological problems of people and make them at ease. In this regard “Efoita” can temporarily be a substitution of chaplaincy implying the idea of being relieved from weary, emotional suffering, burden, and fatigue.

The purpose of the Chaplain's Office is to offer each person – the patient or the patient’s loved ones – spiritual care and comfort, without regard to any belief.

For more information about Spiritual Care Association in Ethiopia, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Zenebe Mesfin

Zenebe Mesfin has been a clinical chaplain at Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital (also known as AAFH or Hamlin Fistula Hospital) in Ethiopia, for the last eight years. He has a diploma from ORA International Theological School and a diploma in social work from IUW Institute for Urban Workers. He took an additional short chaplaincy training course from St. Michael’s Theological College, Wales. Zenebe also did an internship at a center to rehabilitate prostitutes and provided chaplaincy services at Hemline Midwife College as part of his training.

Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital provides comprehensive care for women who suffer from incontinence, physical impairment, shame and marginalization as a result of an obstetric fistula (a condition common in the developing world where the maternal health provisions are poor). The hospital was created by the Australian obstetrician and gynecologists Catherine Hamlin and her husband Reginald Hamlin to care for women with childbirth injuries and has been in operation since 1974. It is the only hospital of its kind in the world and treats all patients free of charge. Patients undergo surgical repair by Ethiopian and expatriate surgeons trained at the hospital's main facility in Addis Ababa. The hospital is a global center of expertise in fistula repair, and it trains surgeons from around the world. Around 93% of these patients are repaired successfully.

Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia is dedicated to the eradication of obstetric fistulas through its preventative strategy of providing trained midwives in the rural regions of the country. In addition to the main hospital in Ethiopia's capital, Dr. Hamlin has opened five hospitals in the Ethiopian cities of Bahir Dar, Mekele, Yirgalem, Harrar and Metu. All six hospitals provide a safe birthing facility where former patients who fall pregnant can have a caesarian section.

Rehabilitation services such as physiotherapy, counselling and skills training are available to assist patients regain their self-esteem, find meaningful employment and reintegrate to village life.

Spiritual Care Association

500 Seventh Avenue, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10018
Phone: (212) 644-1111
Fax: (212) 758-9959