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Community Clergy Training for Advancing Veterans’ Whole Health

May 11, 2023 @ 8:00 am EDT

|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on May 11, 2023 at 8:00 am

One event on May 12, 2023 at 1:00 pm


Community Clergy Training for Advancing Veterans' Whole Health

Welcome Veterans suffering moral pain; Create sanctuaries of reconciliation, healing, and hope; Promote awareness and moral engagement.


This free, two-day, interactive training is co-sponsored by the Michael J Crescenz VA Medical Center and Cranaleith Spiritual Center.  

Seats are LIMITED, so please REGISTER to RESERVE your seat now. Breakfast and lunch will be provided courtesy of Cranaleith Spiritual Center. Overnight accommodations at the Cranaleith Spiritual Center are available for an additional fee.

This training is to build capacity of faith communities so clergy and congregants (active members of religious communities) are both welcome to attend. Ideally, faith communities would register a team that includes their spiritual leader and at least one Veteran from their congregation who are committed to implementing lessons learned in their context. People who do not fit the above description should not register for this event.

Many Veterans and their family members seek help for their problems from clergy because they perceive the faith community as a safe and accessible place that provides confidentiality and acceptance. Yet clergy members sometimes have limited knowledge about military culture, readjustment difficulties and the unique health issues such as post-traumatic stress, moral injury, or depression common to returning Veterans. This event can help prepare you to support them.

The Community Clergy Training Program offers critical resources to educate and support the faith community.


Training Information

The training will consist of 12 contact hours spread over two days.  Each training day begins at Cranaleith with breakfast at 8:00am. Participants will travel to the Philadelphia VA Medical Center after lunch on Thursday, May 11 to join the Community Healing Ceremony, which meets from 4:00-6pm . The Ceremony requires a separate registration and is open to the general public. Register for the Ceremony here.

Contact hours certificates for training completion will be provided by the VA upon request. A detailed schedule will be emailed to participants in early May. 

May 11 – Module 1: Military Culture and the Wounds of War

  • Explore underlying tensions and possible conflicts between military & civilian cultures as well as tensions and possible conflicts between religious beliefs and religious communities on the one hand, and military service, killing, and warfare on the other.
  • Increase understanding of the potential needs of assistance among those returning from war.
  • Increase understanding of the challenges of re-integration into family & community after war.
  • To consider potential roles of clergy in providing assistance with Veteran care and potential for faith communities to provide a place Veterans can call home.

May 11 –  Module 2: Spiritual Care for Veterans and their Families

  • Improve spiritual care skills to better serve Veterans, service members & their families.
  • Present the narrative approach to pastoral care to include the roles of past, present & future.
  • Review clergy responses to & resources for Veteran care, especially regarding moral injury.

May 12 – Module 3: Mental Health Services and Referrals

  • Review national trends in mental health, especially regarding suicide.
  • Learn the S.A.V.E. Model of Suicide Prevention and role play applications of S.A.V.E.
  • Review resources for mental health care available.
  • Provide specific information on making referrals to VA mental health care & community mental health.

May 12- Module 4: Building Community Partnerships

  • Review the potential for congregations to be communities that support re-integration of Veterans back into their settings.
  • Describe some successful community efforts in helping Veterans re-integrate.
  • Identify opportunities for ministry with Veterans in your community.


The lead trainer and point of contact for this event is:

Chris J. Antal, DMin.  

Staff Chaplain

Corporal Michael J Crescenz VA Medical Center (Philadelphia)

(215) eight-two-three-4392

A limited number of guest rooms are available on site at Cranaleith Spiritual Center at a rate of $75 per person per night. People with lodging needs can reserve a room online here. For more information about lodging reach out to [email protected] or call 215-934-6204, ext 100 and speak with Elizabeth Hoffman.


May 11, 2023
8:00 am
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Cranaleith Spiritual Center
13475 Proctor Road
Philadelphia, PA 19116 United States
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