Question: Is the Victim Care and video lessons organized in a way that allows a professor to use specific sections rather than the entire curriculum?
Answer: Yes. Graduate theological schools may take the classroom curriculum and shape it to suit their needs. Schools can use specific sections of the curriculum in a “field education” setting, while others may choose to integrate relevant subject areas from the curriculum into existing course work – such as a Pastoral/Clergy counseling class. Schools may also offer the course material as a continuing education opportunity or as a two-day workshop. It is the project’s goal to offer a flexible curriculum that will impart knowledge and skills to students, while meeting the organizational realities of diverse institutions.
Question: Will utilization of the curriculum place extra demands and work load on a seminary faculty and staff?
Answer: Hopefully not. The FCPEI goal is to offer schools the tools, information and materials to make it simple to offer a course on victim care. The objective is to prepare clergy and counselors to work with victims of crime and/or victims of other types of traumatic experiences. FCPEI aims to give clergy and pastoral counselors the skills and information necessary to confront the unique spiritual issues surrounding trauma and victimization. FCPEI delivers this information so it may be easily used by graduate theological schools that have never taught courses or may be staffed by professors who lack experience or expertise in this area. The curriculum can be taught without much additional work on the part of an already busy faculty and staff.
Question: Are graduate theological schools interested in victim care curriculum?
Answer: Yes. A nation-wide survey was conducted to determine the level of interest in a victim care course curriculum. To date over 40 institutions are planning implementation of some or all of the curriculum. The curriculum addresses the high level of interest and enthusiasm regarding providing victim care skills to clergy and faith-based counselors.
Question: Why is the Federal Government interested in providing assistance to graduate theological schools?
Answer: In a recent study conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime, issues related to spirituality and faith surfaced as an important area of concern for both crime victims and service providers. As a result, this project was established to develop a course curriculum for institutions that train clergy, spiritual leaders, and faith-oriented counselors. Further, recent consideration of enhancing community grants has provided some financial resources as the Federal Government partners with graduate theological schools to serve our nation’s crime victims.
Question: Why is there a focus on victims of crime and not victims of other traumatic experiences?
Answer: This grant comes from the Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime (www.ovc.gov). Many, if not most, of the issues facing survivors of trauma – whether caused by humans or nature – are similar, making the course widely applicable in diverse settings.
Question: What are the course texts?
Answer: God and the Victim, edited by Lisa Barnes Lampman. In her book, Lampman discusses victimization and theological issues from a Christian viewpoint.
The Victim Advocate Handbook, published by the Office for Victims of Crime and ordered from their Website: www.ovc.gov can be provided for selected reading as a Library Reserve Text www.ovc.gov.
Tragedy to Triumph: Lessons of Recovery and Hope, by Robin Fudge Finegan and Krista R. Flannigan, covers important issues related to victims of crime, including spirituality, trauma, and grief www.tragedy2triumph.com/publications.
A class reading list of various journals and articles with the copyrights secured may be used as desired.