The University of Virginia was founded by Thomas Jefferson and chartered by the General Assembly in 1819. Mr. Jefferson was elected the first Rector of the University and Chairman of the Board of Visitors, the governing body of the University. Two other members of the first Board of Visitors were James Madison and James Monroe.

The University opened for instruction on March 7, 1825 with a faculty of eight and a student body of sixty eight. One member of this faculty was Dr. Robley Dunglinson, the only professor in the “School of Anatomy and Medicine." Twenty of the original students were medical students.

The first University Hospital was open for patient use in 1902. The moving spirit behind the construction of this first hospital was Dr. Paul B. Barringer (1857 1941). Over the years, various additions have been made and in 1960, a large modern hospital was completed. By the early 1980's, with advancing medical technology, it was evident that a new modern facility was needed. Ground was broken in November 1984 and in March 1989 a new University Hospital was opened.

Currently, University of Virginia Health System is comprised of the University of Virginia Hospitals (approximately 600 beds), the School of Medicine, the School of Nursing, and various other treatment, training and research programs and facilities. Residencies and fellowships are offered in virtually all of the medical specialties. In addition, many other training programs, internships, and residencies are offered, among them, hospital administration, psychology, licensed practical nursing, medical technology, radiological technology, and clinical pastoral education. 

The Chaplaincy Service was begun in 1956 through the gift of an anonymous benefactor. The first chaplain was Walter A. Henricks; he remained in this position through 1964. Part of this time, Deaconess Mary Sandys Hutton assisted him in providing pastoral care to patients, families and staff. After Mr. Henricks left, various local clergymen provided chaplaincy services on a part time basis.  Top of page

Years 1965 - 1996

On October 1, 1965, Clyde M. Watson, Jr. became the chaplain for the University Hospital. The first accredited clinical pastoral education program was offered during the summer of 1966. Another program was offered again during the summer of 1967. On July 1, 1968, a full time, year-round residency program in clinical pastoral education was begun and it continues to the present. 

In February 1967, the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care (VIPCare) was founded as a "cluster," accredited by the Council for Clinical Training, Inc. Initially there were three CPE centers in this VIPCare cluster--the Medical College of Virginia Hospital (MCV), the University of Virginia Hospital, and Richmond Memorial Hospital. One of the primary reasons for founding this cluster was to help in providing funding for the CPE programs at MCV Hospital and UVA Hospital. In the fall of 1967, when ACPE was formed from the four existing CPE organizations, the VIPCare cluster became affiliated with ACPE and in 1971 the name was changed to the Virginia Cluster for Pastoral Education.

The original financial gift supported the Chaplaincy Service from 1956 to 1958. From 1958 to 1966, chaplaincy was sponsored jointly by the University Hospital and the interdenominational Chaplain Service of the Churches of Virginia, Inc. From 1967 to 1970, the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care replaced the Chaplain Service as a co sponsoring agency. In 1970, the University of Virginia Medical Center assumed full responsibility for the Chaplaincy Service, which was designated as the Division of Patient and Family Counseling.

This designation was very significant and resulted from a positive ruling by the Attorney General of Virginia. Historically, the Commonwealth of Virginia held that employment of a clergyperson as a clergyperson by the state would violate its understanding of the doctrine of the separation of Church and State. In essence, the Attorney General's ruling stated that it was within the provisions of the Constitution of Virginia to provide programs for counseling the sick and their families, provided that participation in such programs is not limited to or conditioned upon any religious affiliation. So, in 1970, when the outside funding was terminated and the Medical Center assumed full financial responsibility for the Chaplaincy Service, the title of Division of Patient and Family Counseling was adopted.

In the early 1980's the Medical Center underwent administrative reorganization and the title, Department of Patient and Family Counseling, was adopted. Practically, this did not affect the functioning of the Chaplaincy Service. Since 1965 at least, participation in the CPE programs of this center has not been limited to or conditioned upon any religious affiliation. In practice, most persons who have utilized the CPE programs have been theological students and clergy. 

Rev. Vernon Maxa was a member of the first residency group. After completing his residency and being certified as a chaplain supervisor in 1970, he was appointed to the faculty of the Chaplaincy Service. Agnes Barry completed her supervisory residency here in 1977 and was appointed to our faculty from 1978-1989. Jennifer Cobb replaced Agnes in March 1991. Vern Maxa left and Russell H. Davis joined our faculty in 1991, and in 1993, Joan L. Murray replaced Jennifer Cobb. In 1995, Russell Davis became the executive director of the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education. He remained as faculty on a part time basis through 1995 and in July 1995, Richard B. Haines joined the faculty. That same year, the department was re accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education. 

On October 1, 1996, Dr. Watson retired after completing 31 years of service to the University of Virginia. His vision did more than just guide the department; it also helped establish the Department of Biomedical Ethics at the University. He left the department with a solid record of accomplishment in both education and in pastoral service.  Top of page

Years 1997 - 2012

Following Dr. Watson’s retirement, in January 1997, the name of the department changed to the Department of Chaplaincy Services and Pastoral Education. On May 1, 1997, Dr. Richard B. Haines was appointed director of the department.  The Medical Center approved the establishment of two staff chaplains—Rev. Phillip McCarley and Rev. Dr. Donald Moore--for weekend coverage. Catherine Bowers was officially declared the department’s administrative assistant. Rev. Mildred Best was appointed to the faculty in January, 1998.

In 1999, the name of the UVA Medical Center was changed to the University of Virginia Health System. Chaplaincy Services and Pastoral Education began sponsoring the Level 1 summer and extended CPE units through a satellite program at Eastern Mennonite Seminary. Clinical sites were held at Rockingham Memorial Hospital and the Mennonite Retirement Community. Under the leadership of Dr. Lonnie Yoder and ACPE Supervisor Jay Stearns, the seminary began to work toward standing as a fully accredited center. In the summer of 2000, Rev. Kenton Derstine was hired as their full-time ACPE supervisor. In 2002, Eastern Mennonite University became a fully accredited CPE center.

The Virginia Cluster for Pastoral Education formally dissolved in December 2000, when its members decided that centers would better relate through a sub-regional structure. At that point, all Virginia centers became individually accredited; this  marked the beginning of a new accreditation cycle for UVA. On January 1, 2001, the Virginia Cluster became the “Virginia Sub-Region, Mid-Atlantic Region, ACPE.” 

June 2001 marked the resignation of Dr. Joan Murray, who left the faculty to become director of pastoral care at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.  Rev. Mildred Best assumed the position of associate director, and the Rev. Melvin Janzen was hired to replace Philip McCarley as staff chaplain. In 2002, the supervisory education program was resumed and Rev. Angie Flack became the department’s first supervisory chaplain fellow in over ten years. She was certified as associate supervisor, ACPE, in February, 2006. Since that time, we have had several Supervisory Education Students.  Rev. Karen Heistand, after being certified as an ACPE Supervisory Candidate and completing and passing her theory papers at UVA, moved to Florida to complete her Supervisory Education process with an ACPE Center there.  On March 25, 2013, Rev. Shawn Gerber, ACPE Supervisory Candidate and former chaplain fellow at the UVA Health System, passed his papers, and in June of 2013, he accepted a position as Chaplain/ Pastoral Educator at Indiana University Health, Bloomington Hospital.

In 2004, Randal Walton, Director of Pastoral Care at Centra Health in Lynchburg, VA contacted Richard Haines and asked about the possibility of setting up a program in Lynchburg as an extension of the CPE program at UVA. Dick worked with Randal and they established Centra as a satellite of the UVA program. The first unit at Centra was offered in 2005. A fall extended unit was offered each year through 2012. The Rev. Sandra Greene, MDiv, BCC, ACPE Supervisor, was hired to supervise chaplain interns at Centra on July 16, 2012.

In 2009, in addition to participating in the Virginia Sub-region S.E.S. group, we also started participating in the Charlottesville S.E.S. group which meets at UVA and includes supervisors and students from UVA, Eastern Mennonite in Harrisonburg, and Caring Communities Ministry Education, LCC of Richmond.

A combination chaplain/program coordinator was established in 1996 for the Cancer Center, and Rev. Susan Goins-Eplee (a former CPE resident) was the first person to fill this position. In 2005, Susan resigned to enroll in the UVA School of Nursing. Rev. Gordon Putnam was the chaplain/educator for the Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center from 2005 -2013.   Rev. Ellen Longmoore was transferred to the Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center and served as the staff chaplain until her retirement on March 2, 2015.

In April of 2010, the ACPE Accreditation Commission granted the UVA Health System Department of Chaplaincy Services and Pastoral Education continued 10-year accreditation status, with no notations. That same spring, Carilion Clinic in Roanoke, VA requested to be one of UVA’s CPE satellite centers. By August 23, 2010, Carilion was offering CPE under the supervision of Richard Brown. 

UVA Health System’s Transitional Care Hospital for long-term patients was completed in the summer of 2010, and served as a placement site for CPE students through January of 2011. Rev. Ellen Longmoore was hired in 2011  as a part-time staff chaplain for the Transitional Care Hospital and KCRC.  In 2012 she became a full time staff chaplain at the TCH. As of July 1, 2013, Rev. Gordon Putnam was transferred to  the Transitional Care Hospital.

The Chaplaincy department participated in implementing the EPIC electronic medical record during the summer and fall of 2010 and early spring of 2011. This new electronic workflow reflects our perceptions of pastoral care assessment and functioning. Chaplains provided support services to hospital personnel during the electronic medical record implementation, which occurred during the fall for ambulatory clinics and early spring for inpatient units. 

From 2009-2012, the front of the hospital was closed in order to add a new 72-flex bed tower. These new beds became the north units on floors 3-8. This involved moving waiting lounges, call rooms, social workers and therapy offices, and educational space. The north units now have consult rooms on both east and west ends for use by all clinical areas. A Graduate Medical Education call suite was built on the basement level. 

At the end of March 2012, Dr. Haines retired as the Director of the Department of Chaplaincy Services and Pastoral Education. Reverend Mildred Best was appointed as the Interim Director.  Top of page

Years 2012 to Present

On September 16, 2012, Rev. Mildred Best was appointed the director of Chaplaincy Services and Pastoral Education after serving as interim director for six months.  Nancy Osborne, ACPE supervisor, was hired as a contract supervisor for the residency group during the summer of 2012.  Rev. Kevin Boyd, ACPE supervisor, joined the chaplaincy team on June 10, 2013 and remained through August 5, 2016.

Two UVA satellites were fully accredited. Centra became a fully accredited ACPE Center on January 1, 2014 with Rev. Sandie Green, ACPE supervisor, and manager of CPE at Centra. On January 1, 2015, Carilion Clinic became a fully accredited ACPE Center with Richard Brown, ACPE supervisor, and director of Clinical Pastoral Education and Chaplaincy at the Carilion Clinic.

In 2015, all UVA staff chaplains were officially brought under the umbrella of the Department of Chaplaincy Services and Pastoral Education.  

Between 2014 and 2016, there were four staff chaplain retirements and one staff promotion.  The Rev. Dr. Donald Moore retired (2/24/14) after serving the university for 20 years. Rev. Melvin Janzen retired (12/4/2015) after serving as a staff chaplain for 15 years.  Rev. Ellen Longmoore retired (3/2/15) after serving for 5 years.  Rev. Gordon Putnam retired (6/3/16) after 10 years of service. Catherine Bowers served 25 years as an administrative assistant, and in later years as an administrative specialist in chaplaincy services (formerly patient counseling), and assumed the position of project coordinator for medical education in the school of medicine at UVA.

The Rev. Yoshiya Takahashi joined the chaplaincy team covering the Medical Center in June, 2014. The Rev. Stephone Coleman was hired as a wage chaplain for the UVA Health System in May, 2014, and in 2015, he became the staff chaplain for UVA-Health South.  In February, 2015, Rev. Dr. Kevin E. Adams joined the chaplaincy team covering the Medical Center.  Rev. Julie Perry joined the chaplaincy team in June 2015 as staff chaplain for the Emily Couric Clinical Cancer.  Rev. Tracey Lopez joined the chaplaincy team in August, 2016, as the staff chaplain for the Transitional Care Hospital.  Rev. Rebecca Adrian was hired in December 2016, as the ACPE Certified Educator. Jennifer Pomper was hired in February 2017, as the administrative specialist and GME program coordinator for the Department of Chaplaincy Services and Pastoral Education. Top of page