Post by: Ben Freeman, MDiv 2020
Read on to learn about the intersection of play, experimentation, and the practical applications of an MDiv degree.
Mary Robinson, former Director of Chaplaincy at Boston Children’s Hospital, has said that “play is the spiritual work of childhood.” This thought, though sometimes missing the qualifier “spiritual,” runs through the work of many luminaries of child development and education, among them Jean Piaget, Maria Montessori, and (Mr.) Fred Rogers. This summer, while completing my first unit of Clinical Pastoral Education at Hebrew SeniorLife, concentrating on the spiritual care of LGBT elders, Robinson was a guest facilitator, presenting on developmentally appropriate spiritual care of children. Though I loved working with elders, my professional identity had always been based around children, and I found the guest session profoundly invigorating. The idea that among a chaplain’s many roles in a children’s hospital, one is to be the friend that temporarily allows kids to just be kids particularly resonated with me. In that moment several things clicked simultaneously: pediatric chaplaincy might be a powerful crucible in which to integrate my training as an educator and artist with my burgeoning identity as a spiritual care provider, pediatric chaplaincy a generative evolution of my long-standing love of kids. Continue reading