Back in 1998, the Rev. David Fleenor (Class of 2006) decided to take a course in Clinical Pastoral Education, thinking of it partly as a summer vacation. That “vacation” turned out to be a “vocation,” launching him on a path to Senior Director of Chaplaincy Services and Clinical Education at HealthCare Chaplaincy Network in New York. This January, David will take on his dream position overseeing all of HealthCare Chaplaincy’s chaplains and CPE programs - among the most acclaimed in the U.S. Initially ordained a Pentecostal minister, David received his Master of Divinity degree from the Church of God Theological Seminary in Cleveland, Tennessee. He then took a Clinical Pastoral Education Residency at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Medical Center, realizing he wanted to be a hospital chaplain. He worked as a patient advocate there for the next five years.
During that time, he entered into a process of discernment to find a new community of faith, and in 2004 he moved to New York City to attend the General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church, entering into a course of study to become an Episcopal priest.
In 2006 David entered HealthCare Chaplaincy’s Supervisory Education Program. As part of the program he served as chaplain and CPE supervisory resident at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. After graduating from the program he was hired in 2009 by NYU Langone Medical Center on behalf of HealthCare Chaplaincy, as their manager of chaplaincy services and CPE supervisor.
Through it all, David remains connected to his community of faith as a part-time associate priest at the historic Church of the Transfiguration in New York City, where he has served since 2006. This past Fall, he visited with GTS students to share his experience of the CPE experience and how to prepare for it.