A Compilation of Trainees Evaluative Comments on the Pilot Multifaith Training Program
The purpose of this evaluation is to enable participants to reflect on the course generally and to specifically comment on the effectiveness and applicability of the philosophy of pastoral care that was introduced in the pilot program in providing a unifying theory of mulitfaith pastoral care without compromising the content of any particular faith system.
1 What was the most important thing you learnt in the course?
- How to approach strangers.
- Positive intention to friendship is powerful, and allows even beginners to make mistakes.
- A way of being with someone irrespective of differences in culture and belief.
- I would like to think that I am becoming more a "hand" person.
- Skills in listening and developing intentional friendships.
- The commonality in the differences and sensitivities of multifaith and multi-cultural.
- Regardless of faith or culture we are people. How similar are our faiths and beliefs; with the same fears, needs and joys.
- This course has provided valuable theory that has enhanced previous CPE training.
- The value of seeking to "mirror" the other person.
2 How has this course affected your idea of pastoral care?
- It was a completely new experience.
- Encouraging an open acceptance of other faith traditions.
- Redefined my understanding into a positive sense of what "religion" provides.
- Increased my awareness of being with another person in a more connected manner.
- Realisation that intentional friendship is the friendship that we all need in times of crisis. Needing to be with rather than being for the other person.
- Provided insights and understanding about what I am doing in pastoral care.
- To be totally present with the other person, regardless of faith traditions.
- Strengthened my trust that pastoral care is appropriate for common humanity needs, rather than only from a religious perspective.
- Ability to analyse the process of my intentions in relationships as a fellow human being.
3 What did you enjoy most about the course?
- The Interfaith similarities.
- Group interaction and especially personal insights from other faiths.
- Involvement with participants of other faith backgrounds, and my changing perceptions as we progressively revealed ourselves.
- Sharing our stories.
- Sharing with others in mutual desire to care, and better understanding their approach from other faith traditions.
4 How have you grown in this course?
- Expanded my horizons
- From feedback on how to provide pastoral care.
- alue of considering a wider selection of ideas and approaches.
- Grown to be more tolerant and more questioning; less likely to assume that I know what is going on for the other person.
- Grown more sensitive and effective.
- Learnt to find my voice and to have a go.
- Through the activity of action, withdrawal and reflection, I have gained in a deeper knowledge of the processes of intentional friendship.
5 What insights and skills do you feel more aware of since completing the course?
- Meeting people where they are.
- Seek avoiding theological debates.
- Confident to try to alter my habits and use new techniques.
- Increased self awareness in approaching others; and staying with what they present.
- Reflecting during the conversation and asking myself "What are they meaning?"
- How to have language that "mirrors" the other person's perspective.
- A greater awareness of cultural sensitivities.
- Ability to "mirror", which enhances conversations.
- More aware of my motives and intention as well of my clients.
- Ability to reflect while in conversation.
- Listening and effectively following the conversation of others without directing with my answers; helping them to strive for their own answers.
- More aware of the moment of connection, the transcendence of "walking in the spirit", the importance of idealisation in a person's eye (with heroes and anti-heroes), and how people talk within themselves to "someone".
6 How would the course have been more effective in your opinion?
- Provision of a course overview or structure.
- Provide more practical training.
- More interactive work earlier in the course Didactic is valuable but the real learning is in doing.
- More role plays with feedback by the group.
- More time for sharing and discussions.
- Simpler synopsis or breakdown of each paper.
- A greater awareness of cultural sensitivities.
Would you recommend it to others?
- Yes (unanimous)
- Highly recommended.
- Absolutely; I already have!
- I feel that it is essential.
- Provided a wonderful journey of understanding intentional friendship.
7 How well so you think you grasped the philosophy of pastoral care presented?
- Fairly well.
- It took a while through the course before it "clicked".
- I have absorbed the essence of the "head", "heart" and "hand" trilogy in harmony equals wisdom.
- I need more time to reflect and digest.
- Especially the "religion" aspect being the Action of Love, Care and Concern; rather then being "dogma".
8 Did the philosophy conflict in any way with your personal beliefs or your tradition?
- No. (unanimous)
- Fairly well.
- No conflict. Instead, by addressing the term "religion" this way, it brought down barriers.
- By the feedback from others provided more insights.
- It enhances a Buddhist perspective.
- It worked well for me with a Christian view.
- On the contrary, it encouraged, enhanced and acknowledged what I believe.
9Do your think the philosophy conflicted with any other group member's beliefs or tradition?
- Seems a new way of approaching something that is inherent in all traditions.
Do you think the philosophy might provide an adequate theoretical base for multifaith pastoral care?
- Yes. (unanimous)
- It provides a cutting edge to encourage further exploration.
- Needs to be published.
10Do your think the philosophy conflicted with any other group member's beliefs or tradition?
- Raise public awareness.
- Simpler language in presentation.
- (Also a variety of particular suggestions to address strategies)
Comments relating to General Q 6:
- Structure of a syllabus in the course
- Needs reduction in didactic intellectual component, so allow more time for practice.
- Less volume in reading, and more open discussion and active participation.
Editorial comments: Duplicate comments are not included in responses to these questions. Occasionally there was editing to clarify or simplify a comment. The evaluation comments about the course presentation and structure has challenged us to re-write aspects in the presentation of the philosophy.