The Center for Clinical Pastoral Education and Social Services (CECPES) has graduated the 13th batch of 9 students in Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) and the 6th batch of 15 students in Social Work. The intensive training lasted for at least six months requiring the CPE students going through many practicum sessions and the social workers writing and defending long essays on their experiences in the field.
The brief but colourful graduation took place on August 3, 2019 at the Director of Health Services’ Conference Hall in Bamenda in the presence of dignitaries and family members.
Presenting the graduating students to the Cameroon Baptist Convention (CBC) Health Services, the Director of CECPES, Rev. Dr. Ndongnde Godlove highlighted the importance of CPE for everybody. He said through CPE, you are able to diagnose your personality disorders and how to deal with them as a means of dealing appropriately with others in the society at large.
The program is gaining grounds as it is now a requirement for students of Social Work in some institutions of higher learning who are expected to undertake the course before graduating. On this premise, Rev. Dr. Ndongnde revealed that the Cameroon Baptist Theological Seminary (CBCTS) Ndu has monopolized the course in the past four years, especially for her Master’s level students.
Ms Tabi Rose, CBTS Provost’s representative at the graduation saluted the partnership with CECPES. The same appreciation came from Dr. Fai Lilian, Head of Guidance Counseling at the University of Bamenda (UBa) who acknowledged the quality of training at CECPES, which she confessed, “Can be more than what we offer at UBa”. As an external faculty member at CECPES, Dr. Fai Lilian admonished the graduating social workers to apply very well their knowledge of psychology in treating their clients on individual basis given that no two persons are the same. She reiterated her institution’s resolve to continue using CECPES as practicum site for UBa students.
Receiving the graduates on behalf of the Director of Health Services (DHS), the Assistant Administrator at the CBCHS Central Administration, Mr. Wango Wabua Barnabas in reference to the hands-on training at CECPES said, “Quality in the CBCHS is in practice”. He challenged everyone to be ambassadors of CECPES.
The DHS’ representative, Mr. Wango and the Personnel Manager, Mr. Ndosak George used the occasion to hand over to Rev. Dr. Ndongnde a Training of Trainers certificate for going through a national course in Yaounde recently on Addiction and Disorders organized in collaboration with the US Department of State.
The student representatives took turns to appraise their training at CECPES. Pastor Matthew brought a reflection on How CPE affects Pastoral Ministry. According to him, CPE brings out the real person in you and enables the pastor to deal with his sheep from the background of a wounded healer.
On behalf of the social work students, their leader said the training is timely. She submitted that the social workers will be a light wherever they go after graduation.
Bamenda Field Pastor of the CBC, Rev. Ekwo Emmanuel Jato spoke on behalf of the CPE class coming from the faith communities of CBC, PCC, Winner’s Chapel, and Full Gospel denominations. Among them were two pastors, one Rev. Sister, a clinical psychologist and five student pastoral care students from the Seminary. Academically, 6 of the CPE graduates have Bachelor degrees and 3 with Master degrees. “Our time doing CPE has been one of great learning, discovering and better understanding who we are and being equipped to be incarnational in seeing people and ministering to them as Jesus would want us,” Rev. Ekwo remarked.
Both the CPE and Social Work graduates took separate oaths to live up to expectation during their period of practice as professionals.