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Pastoral Care at Baptist Health is a Christian service ministry dedicated to serving the needs of patients, families, staff, and the community. We are committed to offering compassionate spiritual care and emotional support as resources for healing. Jesus Christ is our example and model of ministry to each individual we encounter.
We also provide quality education for our pastoral care providers through our Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program as well as through educational in-services and trainings. See below for further CPE information.
A Chaplain is available 24 hours a day. If you would like to share a prayer request, or if you need other assistance, please contact us.
Chaplain Brown began working with Baptist Health in 2013. He holds a Master of Divinity from Southwestern Assemblies of God University, Waxahachie, TX and is pursuing his Doctorate of Ministry degree at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is also a bi-vocational pastor at Thousand Hills Baptist Church, Little Rock, AR. Josh and his wife, Rachel, have three children.
Dr. Kay Hardin, D.Min—Senior Chaplain
Dr. Hardin has been a chaplain with Baptist Health since 1994. She holds a Doctorate of Ministry in Spiritual Formation from Asbury Theological Seminary as well as additional degrees from Belmont University and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Prior to chaplaincy she was assistant editor for “The Student” magazine at LifeWay Publishing and then became associate director of the Baptist Student Ministry at Baylor University.
Shirley Harrod, Staff Chaplain at BH-Forth Smith and Van Buren
Shirley has managed the Fort Smith Pastoral Care Department since 2012. She trains and directs a team of fifteen volunteer staff to meet the ever-present spiritual needs of patients.
Shirley is a team builder who leads and teaches by example. After retiring from Walmart where her career centered in management and human resources, Shirley trained to become a hospital chaplain. She completed the requirements of CPE, accredited by the College of Pastoral Care and Psychotherapy, Springdale, Arkansas. She is also an ordained minister whose passion for people currently extends to both her church congregation and the patients and staff of Baptist Health–Fort Smith and Van Buren.
Shirley is the founder of Heaven’s Babies Grief Support Group for Prenatal Loss. Married for 49 years, Shirley and Kenneth have three daughters, three sons-in-law and eleven grandchildren.
Rusty Howard, Chaplain Associate
Chaplain Howard began working with Baptist Health in 1997. He holds an Associate of Divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Rusty is married and has two daughters and three grandchildren.
Caleb Lewis, Staff Chaplain
Chaplain Lewis has been with Baptist Health since 2015. He graduated from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary with an MDiv and is pursuing his Doctorate of Ministry degree at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Prior to that he was a chaplain with the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System and worked on a grant with the South Central Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center. He is also a bi-vocational pastor at Anchor Baptist Church in Brown Springs, Arkansas. Caleb is married to Brooke and they have two sons.
Dr. Gary Mitchell, Staff Chaplain at BH-Conway
Chaplain Mitchell has been with Baptist Health since 2019. He graduated from the University of North Alabama and earned his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry in from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. Gary has over thirty-five years’ experience in local church and pastoral care ministry. He is also the Senior Pastor at Harlan Park Baptist Church in Conway, Arkansas where he has served fourteen years. He is married to Brenda and they have two children and two grand-children. Gary is a former college basketball player and an avid bicyclist and sports fan.
Michael Rogers, certified Association of Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE) Educator
Chaplain Rogers has been with Baptist Health since 2019. He graduated with a B.A. degree in Pastoral Ministries and Bible from Columbia International University, Columbia, SC, and a Master of Theology degree from Dallas Theological Seminary, Dallas, TX. He is ABD status for his Doctorate of Ministry in Transformative Leadership from Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, Rochester, NY.
Michael is endorsed by the North American Mission Board (Southern Baptist) and duly aligned with the National Baptist. He became an ACPE certified educator November, 2018. He has also served as Senior Pastor, assistant pastor, and as an adjunct religious instructor. Michael is an accomplished organist, loves listening to music, and is an avid sports fan. He also enjoys spending time with his wife, Teresa, and their beautiful daughter.
Monty Self, Senior Chaplain
Chaplain Self has earned degrees from Ouachita Baptist University and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been in ministry for over 27 years serving as a pastor, professor, and hospital chaplain. Monty is a Healthcare Ethics Consultant certified (HEC-C) by the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities. Prior to joining the pastoral care staff in 2006, he served as the Associate Academic Dean at the Kiev Theological Seminary. Monty is married with children.
Baptist Health Medical Center-Little Rock was a pioneer in the Clinical Pastoral Education movement in the mid 1960s, and since 2010, has been a fully-accredited center with the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education. This Baptist health ACPE accredited center does not discriminate against persons because of race, ethnicity, religious/spiritual tradition, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, or disability.
Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is an intensive experiential educational program for those interested in developing their clinical/pastoral skills. Students engage in pastoral ministry and reflect on their experience with an ACPE Certified Educator and a peer group. Key areas for learning include integrating theology into pastoral practice, increasing personal and spiritual formation as a religious leader, and developing self-reflection for deeper growth and knowledge. CPE can be an excellent tool for discernment, self-care and renewal.
Clinical Pastoral Education is the only chaplaincy training program that opens the door for Board Certification as a chaplain by the Association of Professional Chaplains. Each unit of CPE is 400 hours, and in the year-long residency, students earn four units of CPE. The Baptist Health Clinical Pastoral Education program does not charge a fee for taking CPE units.
Interviews for the resident positions begin in January each year for the program that starts in late August. The program consists of a one-year, full-time CPE Residency program from August through August. For exact dates, please contact our center.
Residents make a stipend of $29,000 for the year. Resident chaplains also receive competitive health and dental insurance with an option to purchase family coverage, life insurance, earned personal time off, and the other benefits which employees of Baptist Health enjoy.
The application and instructions can be found at ACPE.EDU under the drop-down Resources tab and then forms. Email your intentions to apply along with the completed application materials to Chaplain Josh Brown at Joshua.Brown@baptist-health.org. At this time, there is no application fee or tuition for the chaplain residency program at Baptist Health. Previous CPE is not necessary. We do require an accredited college degree. Most applicants to our CPE program hold a Masters Degree in Divinity or its equivalent. We have, on special occasions, accepted students who are in the process of attaining their advanced degrees. If you have questions, please contact Chaplain Josh Brown at (501) 202-2569 or at the above email address.