From its inception in 1948 Bishop Anderson House has been involved in education.  In the 1950’s it was a place of support to the young graduate students in the medical colleges, nursing and dental schools, and other institutions of the Illinois Medical District. In the 1990’s it expanded its mission to the education of volunteers in hospitals, nursing homes, congregations, and other institutions in the northern third of Illinois. Today we offer not only Spiritual Care Training for people seeking to serve others as volunteers, but also are partners with Rush University Medical Center in offering Community Based Clinical Pastoral Education to people from all faith traditions.

Spiritual Care Visitor Training is a 10-week course (2 hours classwork and 2 hours volunteer practice) for individuals who wish to become more proficient in pastoral care. Built around developing Active Listening skills, students are introduced to a variety of subjects, including working with the cognitively impaired and elderly, to facing issues of death and dying. The training is non-denominational–open to all. We have graduates from Jewish, Buddhist, Roman Catholic, and all Christian denominations, as well as atheists and those exploring their faith journey.

Community Based Clinical Pastoral Education is for people interested in becoming professional chaplains. The focus of the unit is to build a basic spiritual care toolkit while learning how to enter and leave new systems as well as navigate conflict. Students will need a Bachelor of Arts degree (required) with a Master’s level degree from an accredited seminary achieved or in process preferred. CPE is based upon action – reflection – new action. A student engages in ministry, reflects on it, and then changes their style based on feedback from peers, supervisors, and patients/clients/families.

We also offer a series of continuing education events for volunteers and professionals in the field of spiritual care giving.