JPCP’s 75th Anniversary
As we look forward to celebrating APC’s history of 75 years, it is interesting to note that the Journal of Pastoral Care Publications, Inc. (JPCP), which produces the Journal of Pastoral Care & Counseling*, is also 75 years old. It would be serendipitous to discover that the Journal and one of APC’s preceding organizations the College of Chaplains (COC) originated at the same meeting but we do not have documentary evidence to support that. We can assume certainly, if both organizations were birthed in the same year, that conversations among like-minded individuals were being held. I was a member of the COC and the Association of Mental Health Clergy (AMHC) and ACPE, Inc. as far back as 1984. I was certified by ACPE in 1986, COC in 1994 and with the merger, joined APC in 1998. When I retired in 2017, I had every hardcopy issue that I had received until the Journal transitioned to an online journal. When I received the Journal, I would read it cover to cover. I would copy articles to use with my CPE students and encourage other chaplains to read certain articles. I looked forward to the different departments of each issue. It is true that not every article or department hit a home run in each issue but I will attest that in every issue I learned something new or read something that fed my professional soul. I found that the research opened new understanding to our work. The book reviews introduced me to new publications I might not have ever seen. The personal reflections often touched my heart. The poetry section nurtured my right brain.
In full disclosure, I write this piece not only as a BCC and ACPE educator but also as the Executive Director for the Journal. Soon after I retired in 2017, I was contacted by JPCP about applying for the position. It was a very parttime position but since I was retired and did not play golf, I thought it would be a positive way of staying connected to an organization that had great meaning to me. I have not been disappointed. Publishing a journal is not for the faint of heart. I have to give our editors headed by Rabbi Terry Bard a shout-out about the work they do. Yet today in this age of online publishing and social media, JPCP is not resting on it past. Yes, we still publish a quality online journal, but we have also launched social media initiatives that have strengthened international and interdisciplinary connections and garnered over 150,000 views over the past year. The Spiritual Care Today podcast, too, has been very popular amongst both scholars and practitioners since it began in 2019. In 2020 when the Coronavirus hit, we collaborated with Emory University’s Interfaith Health Program and the World Council of Churches to launch a COVID-19 and spirituality international collaboration that has resulted in essays and videos with an additional collaborative volume on COVID-19 in process. We created a new position of social media manager to assist JPCP in creating new digital content and to disseminate information on the various social media platforms.
As in 1946 the Journal today is focused on the issues chaplains and counselors need to know to continue to grow as professionals and to be connected to a professional community. In 2021 we understand this is not just a local issue but a global issue. Thank you, APC, for your readership and support.
*APC members receive complimentary access to the Journal of Pastoral Care and Counseling as a benefit to their membership. Members may access the Journal of Pastoral Care & Counseling by logging into their APC member profile and then go to the APC Member Journal Access under Publications.
David C. Johnson Retired Life BCC is a Past-President of APC from 2010-2012 and a CPE educator. He can be contacted at email@example.com