Pastoral Education Coordinator
Walter Balk is a Dutch-US citizen who grew up in the United States and Germany before moving back to the U.S. in his thirties. After completing his graduate work at the University of Tübingen, he was ordained to ministry in the United Church of Christ and worked in various hospital and parish settings before becoming the Coordinator of Pastoral Care at Bronson Methodist Hospital in 2003. Walter is a Certified Supervisor of Clinical Pastoral Education. After he runs home from work (only 2 miles away), he loves to be around his family, read a book, or pick up an instrument to play music.
“In Clinical Pastoral Education, I am passionate about students learning as whole human beings and learning about themselves as whole human beings. Our curriculum is structured to incorporate different modalities of learning, from books, movies and art to hands-on practice and discussion. I understand my calling as a supervisor is to provide a safe place in which students are respectfully invited to explore those aspects of their biography and personhood that have been denied by themselves and others. Integrating these aspects is often fruitful for ministry.”
Pastoral Care Coordinator
Doug Vardell is a southerner transplanted in Michigan, ordained in the American Baptist Churches USA. His degrees are from Bob Jones University in South Carolina, and Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas, Texas. He was Board Certified by the Association of Professional Chaplains in 2000, and has pastored a local congregation for 5 years and served as a hospital chaplain for 14 years. In 2008 he became the department’s Supervisory Education Student, and was certified as an ACPE Supervisory Candidate in 2010.
“CPE is life-giving to me. I find the mixture of clinical education, theological reflection, and multicultural diversity invigorating. Persons called to pastoral care come together in a temporary family, challenging them in all the ways the diverse Family of God can. Learning to live within that family, and love through that family, prepares us to offer spiritual support that refreshes like “rivers of living water.”