Judith R. Ragsdale is a 2008 graduate of the PhD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.


clergy, healthcare, supervision, pastoral care, chaplains, grounded theory, health care, higher education, psychology, religion, theology

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Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is an 80 year old education modality that provides professional education for students of pastoral care. Supervision is central to the CPE process. Pastoral supervisors in the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE) have done little writing about their work educating Students in Supervisory Education (SSEs). The purpose of this dissertation is to identify and interview those practitioners in ACPE who have been identified by their peers as excellent in practice, and to cull their wisdom by listening to and categorizing their experience of supervising SSEs. The research question to the supervisors was: What is your experience educating CPE Students in Supervisory Education? The analysis of the interviews utilized a grounded theory methodology. The four primary dimensions of the process of educating SSEs emerged as Selecting students, Helping the SSE develop CPE supervisory practices; Guiding the SSE toward integration, and Blessing the SSE to develop independently. Each primary dimension refers to work the supervisor is doing with the SSE. The core dimension that emerged is Evolving Wisdom, and the core dimension refers to work the supervisor is doing in terms of her own continuing growth and development. Evolving Wisdom is a reciprocal core dimension that both feeds and draws from the primary dimensions. The theoretical proposition says that as Evolving Wisdom grows in the supervisor, the capacity for wisdom is nurtured in the SSE. The electronic version of the dissertation is accessible at the Ohiolink ETD center


Dr. Ragsdale is the Director of Education and Research in Pastoral Care at Cincinnati Childrens Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.