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History and Vision
The Department of Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy at The Johns Hopkins Hospital continues to carry on a tradition of spiritual care that began with the Visiting Clergy Service. The first full-time paid director was the Rev. Harry Price (1956-1963), a Methodist minister. The Rev. Clyde Shallenberger (1963-1993), a Church of the Brethren minister, succeeded Rev. Price, providing leadership in the creation of the Hospital's Ethics Committee and Consultation Service. Upon his retirement the hospital named a yearly lectureship in medical ethics in his honor, which Rev. and Mrs. Shallenberger attended, until his death in December 2020.
The Rev. Stephen Mann, a Presbyterian minister, served as Director of Pastoral Care from 1996-2004. Under his leadership, the Clinical Pastoral Education Program was founded and the department added its first oncology chaplain. The Rev. Paula Teague, D.Min., a certified ACPE Supervisor and Society of Friends (Quaker) minister, was appointed as the first manager of Clinical Pastoral Education in 2002. Under Dr. Teague’s interim directorship in 2005, the Rev. Rhonda Cooper, a United Methodist minister, was recruited to become the chaplain in the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center. Since 2014, Dr. Teague has served as the Senior Director of the Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy system, which includes The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, also in Baltimore.
The Rev. Uwe Scharf, PhD, a certified ACPE Supervisor and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) minister, served as the Director of Pastoral Care from 2006-2011. Under his leadership, the department staff and the Clinical Pastoral Education program was expanded. In 2006, the Rev. John Ponnala, a Lutheran minister, and the Rev. Yollande Mavund, a United Methodist minister, joined the team as Family Advocate Chaplains in a cooperative effort with the Hopkins Department of Surgery. Rev. Mavund returned to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2011 and went on to become the Africa Regional Representative for Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church. The Rev. Ponnala now serves as the Chaplain Coordinator of Family Advocacy for the hospital.
In 2009, Thomas (Ty) Crowe, II, a certified ACPE Supervisor and Teacher in the Shadhiliyya Sufi Order, joined the Johns Hopkins staff as a Manager of Clinical Pastoral Education and since 2012 has served as Director of the Department. Under his leadership, the Rev. Matt Norvell was hired as the first pediatric chaplain in 2013, and serves the needs of the patients, family members and staff of the Children's Center. The Rev. Kat Kowalski was recruited to serve as the chaplain for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Perinatal Palliative Care Program in 2017. The Rev. Christopher V. Brown joined the team in 2014, and was the Director of the Academic Division of the Clinical Pastoral Education program for Johns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center until 2019, while the Rev. Tamekia A. Milton, ACPE Certified Associate Educator, was recruited by Johns Hopkins Hospital in 2018.
In 2014, Johns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center became the integrated Department of Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy for Johns Hopkins Medicine Academic Division. With that integration, Dr. Paula Teague assumed the position of Senior Director of Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy.
The Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore and Episcopal Diocese of Maryland historically have supported the hospital’s mission to provide spiritual support to those in need. The Rev. Paul Sparklin (on the right), in concert with a cadre of volunteers, provided spiritual care and sacramental ministry for the Catholic patients at JHH for seven years before being appointed to a local parish in 2012. At present, Fr. Patrick Besel serves as the Catholic Chaplain.
The Rev. William R. Bell, Jr. (on the left in the photograph), an Episcopal priest who served the hospital community during 2009-2011, provided spiritual care to many of the Episcopal patients as well as others throughout the hospital. He was followed by the Rev. Thomas Rogers, who also completed the process to become an ACPE, Inc., supervisor. A brief history of the Episcopal Chaplaincy at JHH may be requested of the current Episcopal Chaplain, the Rev. Joshua Rodriguez-Hobbs, who is also a CPE certified educator candidate.
Rabbi Dr. Tsvi G. Schur provides ministry to Jewish patients and their family members throughout the hospital. Additionally, Adjunct Chaplains provide spiritual care and religious support on request or by referral. These include Imam Hassan Amin (Muslim) and the members of the Hospital Liaison Committee for the Jehovah Witness faith community, including John Johnson and Chris Dillman.
Each year, the Johns Hopkins Medicine Academic Division Department of Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy puts together an annual report to inform and highlight our work. Please find links to those reports below.