Trident Health System September 01, 2015

The Pastoral Care Department at Trident Health is recruiting applicants for the 2016 class of Stephen Ministry volunteers to begin Tuesday, October 6.

Stephen Ministers provide basic spiritual care visits to patients in the hospital under the supervision of the hospital Chaplain. While candidates should be spiritually and emotionally mature, with an endorsement from a leader within the candidate's faith community, volunteers are typically lay people and are not required to have counseling or ministry experience. They may simply be good listeners who naturally provide support to those around them.

"One of my new volunteers at our last meeting was talking about just how much joy and fun she was having through these interactions," said Rev. Darrell Bare, Trident Health's Chaplain and Stephen Ministry leader, who is now interviewing for new volunteers.

For those chosen to participate, the training and materials are free in exchange for a 6-month commitment and two years of volunteering at Trident or Summerville Medical Centers. To learn more about applying for Trident Health's Stephen Ministry program, contact Rev. Bare at darrell.bare@hcahealthcare.com or (843) 847-4968. Applications are due by Friday, Sept. 18.

During the past four decades, more than 600,000 people from all walks of life have received special training to care for others in crisis through the Stephen Ministry program. While the program typically works through churches, a small number of hospital systems have adapted its principles to help offer short-term spiritual care to patients and their families. Trident Health was one of the first to use Stephen Ministers to assist hospital chaplain staff and now is in its 21st year with the program.