The Commission on Ministry in Specialized Settings (COMISS) met in Alexandria, Virginia, on January 8th and 9th. The focus of this year's meeting was "Emerging Trends in Graduate Education for Specialized Ministry".
During the first day of the meeting, Dr. Russell Davis, Chair Elect of COMISS, named Dr. Carrie Doehring as recipient of the COMISS Medal before her address. Dr. Doehring is Professor of Pastoral Care at Iliff School of Theology, and in the joint PhD program with Denver University. She directs the Masters of Arts in Pastoral and Spiritual Care, and the course provider program on military ministry. She is ordained in the Presbyterian Church, USA with 17 years of congregational ministry experience. As a licensed psychologist she explores how people draw upon religious faith and spirituality to cope with experiences like trauma, moral stress, and prejudice.
The medal is the highest honor bestowed by The COMISS Network, a national, interfaith support and advocacy network for chaplain and pastoral care ministry in specialized settings. Previous honorees include renowned Catholic theologian/author Henri Nouwen (1988) and celebrated developmental psychologist Erik Erikson (1992). In the background of the photo of Dr. Doehring, the screen reveals past recipients of the COMISS Medal. They include: The Rev. George Pickle, Cooperative Baptist Endorser, 2003; The Rev. Myron Madden, CPE Supervisor and Professor of Psychiatry, 2004; The Rev. William Gaventa, Jr., CPE Supervisor, 2008; Dr. William Nelson, Professor of Psychiatry, 2009; Dr. Donald Capps, Professor of Pastoral Theology at Princeton, 2010; The Rev. Dr. Walter Smith, S.J., President and CEO of Health Care Chaplaincy in NY, 2012.
The Orthodox Church in America has been a member of COMISS since 2005