For student flight chaplains, working flight chaplains, and trauma chaplains working in Trauma I and II Centers
1. The Theology of Trauma
Do you have a grasp of various theologies of trauma applicable to particular trauma events (suicide, death of child, etc.)? Do you personally have a clearly developed theology of trauma applicable in particular to trauma events, grounded in scripture and theology? Are you aware of theologies of trauma within other religious or cultural traditions – Jewish, Buddhist, secular, etc.? If not, you aren’t functioning at your highest capacity, and are likely to fail your crews, patients and their families when it matters most. This course addresses these issues and questions. It provides didactic teaching, and requires work outside of class. It also engages the student in interactive exercises to simulate real life questions and scenarios in these kinds of situations.
2. Studies in family systems and other system lens for understanding flight program inter-personal dynamics.
This course reviews family system theory, and other system theory, to understand interpersonal dynamics within the flight/ transport program. The course focuses on family (and other) systems at work within the core crew unit, and within flight program as a whole. It addresses the place of the flight chaplain within those systems, identifying pitfalls which can compromise the effectiveness of the flight chaplain. It also identifies unique opportunities for pastoral care and support within these systems and groups.
3. Teaching the Post-Crash Curriculum to crews and flight programs.
(Please see Presentations page, Post-Crash curriculum.) The Post-Crash curriculum was created for crews, staff and managers after a flight program has suffered a crash involving the death or serious injury of the crew. In support of teaching that curriculum, this course addresses the forms of pastoral care and support which should be provided in the first days, first month and 3, 6, 9 and 12 months after a crash. This course also requires the student to work through the exercises required in the Post-Crash curriculum. In this way the student is sensitized to the actual experience of living through a crash and losing fellow crew member to death.
4. Spiritual Direction – a meaningful model for doing ministry in this environment.
Flight chaplaincy offers opportunities for long-term ministry with crews, staff and managers. This course reviews the theology and practices of Spiritual Direction, and explores how it can be a meaningful model for doing ministry in this environment. Specific practices and disciplines used in Spiritual Direction will be discussed. The challenges and limitations of their use will also be discussed.
5. Teaching Compassion Fatigue.
(See Presentation page “Compassion Fatigue” for full description.) This course focuses on compassion fatigue experienced by the flight chaplain, and requires the student to complete the self-assessment tools included in the curriculum for crews and transport staff. The course specifically addresses ways in which compassion fatigue, experienced by the flight chaplain, is likely to manifest itself in caring for crews and staff. The course also prepares the student to teach the curriculum to crews and staff.