Bring enough copies for all group members

The verbatim presentations are critical to the process of CPE. It is a way to look directly at your ability to provide pastoral care and to give you feedback for reflection. Verbatims should be about 5-7 pages in length. The data section will be a couple of paragraphs, the verbatim part will be a concise but full detail of the dialogue between you and the patient, and the reflection/evaluation section should take the bulk of your energy and time and will bring depth and insight to your ministry. You should have 2 pages on the reflection/evaluation questions listed. 

For case presentations to the group you must bring a copy of your verbatim for each student and each supervisor. For a verbatim presented to your supervisor, bring two copies to the supervisory session, one for you and one for the supervisollgjr. Group copies will be returned to you. The supervisor will keep his/her copy until the end of the unit. After the evaluations are written supervisor copies will be destroyed. Use the following format.


Verbatim #:

Patient/Resident/Parishioner Initials or Pseudonym:

Place of Visit:

Date of Admission (if applicable):

Date of Visit:

Time/Length of visit:

Type of Visit: as in: Initial, follow –up, referral, trauma call, etc

I. Learning Issues: It is very important for you to identify these for the group and for yourself. This paragraph should include these questions:  Why are you presenting this verbatim? What questions does this verbatim raise for you? How does this verbatim relate to your learning goals/contract/outcomes? On what, specifically, do you want feedback from the group? What are your growth edges in this encounter?

II. The Data:

Introductory Information: (For purposes of confidentiality, do not use the person’s actual name. Use a pseudonym or letters). Provide the person’s age, gender, ethnicity, diagnosis, referral source, etc.

Pre-visit Knowledge: What did you know, if anything, about the patient/person/ family prior to this encounter?

Initial Feelings: What do you remember feeling at the beginning of the encounter?

Initial Observations: What were your initial observations at the beginning of the encounter? (room dark, airy, family members present, smells, etc.)

III. Verbatim Data: Word by Word Report. Write exactly how the conversation went between you and the person/family member(s)/staff. If this was a long conversation with the person you may summarize parts of the conversation. However, you must write verbatim how the conversation began and ended, and choose one part of the conversation that was most troubling, or in need of process and write that part verbatim (exactly how it went or to the best of your recall ability). You may put in parenthesis feelings or thoughts you had about what was said, etc. Write in the following format:

C1: (C for chaplain/caregiver/clergy)

P1: (P for patient/person/parishioner)




IV. Self Evaluation: Evaluate your ministry with this patient/family. How well did you do? How might you have done better? What feelings do you remember having immediately after the encounter? What does this tell you about the encounter? What parallel process was going on with you and with the patient/resident/parishioner? What would you do different if you were to go back and visit this person?

V. Parallel Process: What was going on with you and the patient? What were similar issues for the both of you? How did your experience effect this interaction?

VI. Spiritual Assessment: What is your assessment of this person’s spiritual needs? What, if anything, is this person asking of you? What happened in this encounter between you and the person? What theological perspectives did this encounter raise? Did this encounter raise any theological concerns/questions for you? Use defined criteria through reading materials and lecture material to apply conceptual learning around theological criteria.

VII. Psychological: What psychological or psychosocial issues are you aware of in this situation? What behavioral sciences do you draw on to help you understand or respond to this situation?

VIII. Application of Conceptual Learning: What conceptual learning do you apply to this encounter? Reading? Speakers? What behavioral or developmental issues did you observe and/or deal with. Demonstrate integration of theory and practice in these paragraphs. Use quotes to assist you with application.

IX. Cultural Perspectives: What are you aware of concerning cultural differences, expectations, observations, What about gender issues, class, or age issues? What observations add to your awareness of issues, concerns, or needs of this patient.

X. (If applicable) Attach a copy of your chart note or write what you put in the chart. (some sites do not do chart notes. If this is the case, disregard this item). Parish CPE students disregard this item.


1.  Develop a note-taking process after your visits that will help you recall the verbatim material. If you do not do this, you will find that the memory of your visits will become jumbled. Do not take notes while listening to the patient. You are encouraged to sit down immediately following a patient visit that raised questions/thoughts for you and write down as much as you can recall. 

2.  Present verbatims that are “fresh.” It will be helpful if the encounter has occurred within the last week of presentation. However, there will be times that an incident occurs that you really want to present that does not lend itself to this suggestion. You need to present what is best for your learning needs. However, you should not present information that is more than two weeks old as memory and reason fade. It is not always possible, but it will be most helpful if the patient/family is still hospitalized and available for future ministry. This allows you to learn from your presentations and to go back to the patient/family. 

3.  Do not make a visit “looking for a verbatim.” “Looking for a verbatim” puts too much pressure on the encounter and makes for an encounter designed to meet your needs and not those of the person/patient/family. 

4.  The Verbatim is meant to be a learning tool for you. Therefore, the best verbatim is an encounter about which you have some questions. Be specific with your questions.

5.  Do not present a verbatim where you felt you excelled. Your peers and supervisor expect to assist you in your development and will give you feedback about how to improve your work. If you are expecting only affirmation of your work, you will be disappointed and perhaps resentful about the feedback you receive. Verbatims should be about interactions where you stumbled, where you have questions, where you wondered what to do next, where you wondered if you did well enough with the situation posed to you, etc.

6.  For purposes of confidentiality, destroy copies of your verbatims after they have served their purpose and do not leave any copies lying around.

7.  Copies of the verbatims used for class will be returned to the student who provided them and that student will take responsibility for the destruction of the sensitive material.