Spiritual Care for Moral Injury: Equipping Religious Leaders and Faith Communities

Date(s) - 11/15/2018
8:45 am - 5:00 pm


Spiritual Care for Moral Injury: Equipping Religious Leaders and Faith Communities

Shattuck Hall, Iliff school of Theology Campus
Thursday, November 15, 2018
8:45 a.m. – 5 p.m.
$35 registration
Parking Information



8:45   Words of Welcome

9:00   “Healing Waters of Life” Interreligous Opening Ritual

9:15   “Responding to Moral Injury with Pastoral and Theological Wisdom: A Conversation” Shelly Rambo, Nancy Ramsay, and Michael Yandell

11:45   Lunch (provided)

1:00   “Cultivating Awareness of Moral Injury in Sacred Texts”Exploring: Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and Buddhist texts withDavid Blumenthal, Warren Carter, Amir Hussain, Joseph McDonald, and John Thompson

3:00   Break

3:30   Workshops (See workshops descriptions below)


1. Families under Fire: Responding to the Effects of Moral Injury on Family Systems
As a spiritual wound, moral injury inevitably destabilizes the life of a veteran’s family. In this workshop participants will draw on fictionalized case material to learn skills for identifying, supporting, and referring veterans and their families in order to support healing of the whole family system. Participants will also discuss strategies for spiritual care that may be of use for the veteran, the spouse and children as well as the extended family.

2. Lament beginning with one’s body: Finding spiritual practices for sharing anguish and finding hope amidst moral injury

3. Muslim Military Personnel: Vulnerabilities to Moral Injury and Strategies for Care

4. Discernment: Seeking the Gift of Fuller Life
This workshop draws on spiritual practices of discernment that have deep historical roots in Christian tradition. After a brief introduction to this ancient practice, participants will draw on fictionalized case material to explore ways practices of spiritual discernment in both its everyday expressions and its more formal moments, are effective with veterans affected by moral injury.

5. The Role of Religious Communities in Reintegration and Recovery
Religious communities are an important context for veterans to experience sustained, authentic relationships of support and trust as they address and heal from moral injury. In this workshop participants will explore the unique challenges and opportunities of religious communities and religious leaders to provide contexts of mutual trust, care, and shared engagement in the journey of naming and healing from moral injury. The workshop will explore strategies that are internal to the faith community and its relational and liturgical life as well as strategies for engagement in service to the community that deepen veterans’ renewed sense of contributing to others.

6. Moral Injury as Grief and Loss: Resources for Care
Grief and Loss helps describe the experience of Moral Injury. Like grief, moral injury is a life-long and relational experience. This workshop invites participants to explore experiences of military moral injury through the lens of grief and loss. We will also consider how military moral injury arises as a nation wages war which points to the importance of helping members of faith communities consider their own relation to moral injury. We will give particular attention to ways ritual practices may be incorporated to assist in healing individually and corporately as well as in public contexts.

7. Care for the vulnerable in Hebrew Scripture: Advocacy as a form of Spiritual Care
By studying the levitical text and II Kings texts together, we will consider the ways in which pastoral accompaniment can offer veterans a sense of profound connection and inspire them to advocate for themselves, which in turn can have a significant, life-sustaining impact on the future of populations that extend far beyond themselves.
The central image of the marginalized individual from Torah is the metzora. While much of the levitical text focuses on diagnosis, the unique relationship of the priest and the metzora is at the heart of the text. The priest accompanies the metzora from diagnosis, through the period spent in michutz lamachaneh to the metzora’s ritualized reentry and then return to participation in the religious life of the community. Each stage of the relationship reinforced the on-going connection of a marginalized, vulnerable individual with community, clergy, and God. The power of these connections not only sustained the metzora, it contributed to the metzora’s ability to remain identified with the Israelite community and to find means to advocate for himself and for the community-at-large when necessary. Participants in this workshop will explore similarities between their work with veterans and the relationship of the Levitical priest with the metzora. In particular the workshop will focus attention to strategies in accompaniment that promote self-advocacy and its possible broader societal impact.



Block of rooms held through October 24, 2018 at Cherry Creek Holiday Inn, Denver, CO. Shuttle service provided to and from Iliff for conference.

Rooms available for $89 (single or double) November 14-15. This rate may be extended upon request for November 16-18, 2018.

For Reservations call 844-330-7212 and mention block code TCC for Theology conference 2018 or CLICK HERE to book online using the block code TCC.
Questions: Cynthia Koe at ext.7171 or ckoe@hischerrycreek.com


Once you have registered for the conference, please visit https://brite.edu/Workshop_Registration/ to indicate workshop and dietary preferences.