Duke Divinity School Announces New Fellowship Program

With the goal to equip Christians to faithfully engage their vocations in health care, Duke Divinity School has announced the creation of a new fellowship program open to students and practitioners in health professions.


Dr. Farr Curlin, a long-time friend of Siloam and a regular speaker at the Christian Community Health Fellowship conferences, is leading this initiative and we invite you to consider their announcement below:

Theology, Medicine, and Culture Fellowship Announced

The Theology, Medicine, and Culture (TMC) initiative at Duke Divinity School is pleased to announce the creation of a new fellowship program for Fall 2015.

We invite students and practitioners in health professions, as well as others with full-time vocations to health-related contexts, to participate in a program of theological formation that will equip them for faithful, disciplined, and creative engagement with contemporary practices of health care.

TMC Fellows will study in one of the residential master’s degree programs of Duke Divinity School (MACS, MTS, MDiv, ThM), and will combine this academic study with structured mentorship, retreats and seminars, and church and community-based practica.  Through special grant support, the Fellowship will offer students tuition grants of at least 50 percent for the first year of study with additional scholarship support available on a competitive basis.

Current applicants to any of the degree programs at Duke Divinity School are eligible for the fellowship.  To apply, please:

1.)    Indicate your interest in the fellowship in the personal statement that is submitted with the degree program application

2.)    Submit a separate 1-2 page Statement of Interest in the fellowship to DukeTMC@div.duke.edu.

The applications for this fellowship will be considered on a rolling basis.  We strongly encourage applications be submitted by March 1.  For more information please see: http://sites.duke.edu/tmcfellowship/

Our vision is that the TMC Fellowship will equip the Church’s ministers and its healers with an imagination for faithfully engaging their vocations with respect to health and medicine—that they would be salt and light in the varied contexts and communities they inhabit.

For more information about the TMC initiative, see http://divinity.duke.edu/tmc

Lunch Discussions at Siloam

Whole-person care is a word that gets thrown around inside the walls of our clinic daily.  Inspired by the way that Jesus healed in the Gospels, we recognize that when a person is ill, more is ill than only the physical denominators of their health, but their feelings, emotions, heart and spirit also play a part.

Dan Fountain illustrated this brilliantly in an address he gave to the World Congress of the ICMDA in Durban in July 1998, drawing from a case study found in Mark 5: 25-34 – the healing of the woman with the hemorrhage.

Considered unclean by the social structure that surrounded her, her daily condition was one of abandonment, rejection, and despair.  Her life became defined by her illness and her hope for a cure had long been extinguished.  Yet hope was awakened the day that she heard stories about this man named Jesus and the accounts of the way He healed people.  With no other direction out, she knew that she needed to somehow encounter this man for her healing.

One day she hears that He’s passing through her town and she steps outside of the boundaries of what was allowed by her society.  She, unclean, reaches out as Jesus walks by and touches the hem of His garment, instantly healed.

Painting by Howard Lyon

Painting by Howard Lyon

Dan Fountain continues the narrative: “He [Jesus] knew she had been physically healed. We doctors are usually delighted when we have healed someone physically. Could Jesus not be content with that? No, because the woman herself had not been healed; her life had not yet been restored. Jesus wanted to heal her as a whole person, so he called her back to him. As she lay prostrate on the ground before Jesus, waiting to hear words of condemnation, she heard instead two absolutely incredible words [“My daughter…”], and these two words healed her.

… What heals the broken heart and the wounded spirit? What heals the heart is simply a word spoken to the depths of the spirit of the sick person. It is a word that is understood by the spirit of the person in such a way as to resolve the psycho-spiritual pathology – the fear, the conflicts, the anxiety, the guilt, the despair. When this word heals the inner pathology, the whole person can be healed.”

The question is: Is it possible for us to heal our patients in this way?  And if so, how?

Beginning November 18th, Siloam Family Health Center will be featuring a lunch discussion on whole-person care every 3rd Tuesday of the month.  All members of Siloam staff, volunteers, trainees and members of the Nashville medical community are welcome to attend.

An article will be selected that focuses on what it means to offer whole-person care with Dr. Morgan Wills facilitating a discussion around the topic presented.

If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to me at Rachel.lantz@siloamhealth.org to receive the reading for the discussion and bring your lunch to join us while we discuss what it means to offer whole-person care.

This week we will be spending time discussing “The Healing Team” from Dan Fountain’s book God, Medicine, and Miracles.

If you would like to read the full length of his 1998 address, we encourage you to read the article here: http://www.cmf.org.uk/publications/content.asp?context=article&id=694

Joseph Pearce: Healing through a Fairy-tale

Those who work in healthcare are no strangers to the struggles their patients face in the areas of suffering and addiction. As ones whose work is to heal, we are brushing against the hurt underlying the physical symptoms we diagnose, but how do we navigate the messy waters of another person’s suffering and their methods of coping?

It was G.K. Chesterton who once wrote, “The more truly we can see life as a fairy-tale, the more clearly the tale resolves itself into war with the dragon who is wasting fairyland.” Through the lens of a story, we are often provided an understanding to our own human psychology that provides unprecedented value to our approach to healing.


Joseph Pearce, writer of the recent book, “Bilbo’s Pilgrimage” and Director of the Aquinas Center for Faith and Culture, will be speaking on the connection between Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series and its way of imaginatively reflecting on reality in a lecture titled, “Suffering, Addiction and Healing in The Lord of the Rings.” This lecture, presented by St. Thomas Health, will be held on October 21st at Saint Cecilia Academy on the Dominican Campus.

If you live in the Nashville area, we encourage you to consider attending Joseph Pearce’s lecture and to be inspired to see the struggles & addictions that you and your patients face in a whole new light.

Please view this flyer for more information about the event and the availability of CME.

Contact mdreger@sth.org for more information and to RSVP.

Upcoming Event – Grace Prescriptions

save the date website version

As a Christian medical professional, treading the waters where faith and medicine intersect can seem murky with the feeling of being ill-equipped to approach the topic of faith with patients.  Yet it is this patient–provider relationship that provides such rich ground to plant seeds of spiritual hope in patients as they face their hours of deepest hurt and fear.

On the weekend of February 6-7th, Siloam will host Grace Prescriptions – a conference designed specifically for Christian medical practitioners to become equipped to integrate their faith with their practice.  Formerly known as “The Saline Solution,” Grace Prescriptions is a training paradigm pioneered by the Christian Medical and Dental Association.  Written by Bill Peel and Dr. Walt Larimore, the curriculum is designed to explore the topic of spirituality in healthcare and equip those of us in the medical profession to integrate faith into our practice.

We invite you to come and be a part of this weekend of gathering with other Christian healthcare practitioners and their teams from around the Nashville region.  For more information, please visit our Events page as we announce further updates.

Registration opens October 6th.

Commissioned to go!

The last evening of the Community Health Immersion the students were anointed with oil and commissioned with a blessing to allow their study of medicine to reflect the healing love of Jesus.

Dr. Morgan Wills anoints the CHI students for service in Jesus name.

Dr. Morgan Wills anoints the CHI students for service in Jesus name.

Chelsea Travis, Stewart Goodwin, and Will Tucker receive a blessing.

Chelsea Travis, Stewart Goodwin, and Will Tucker receive a blessing.

Frances Cobb is anointed and blessing is prayed over her.

Frances Cobb is anointed and a blessing is prayed over her.

God with us…

An incarnate God is beyond my comprehension. Yet, that is who Jesus is…God with us, the Incarnate One…choosing to become human to suffer with us – a God of compassion.Jesus_in_Golgotha_by_Theophanes_the_Cretan 4-2014

As we move through the final days of Passion Week for the Christian community (Jesus’ final days that include his crucifixion, burial, and resurrection), I wanted to share another of Siloam’s core values that guides us as a ministry: Compassion.

Active, compassionate care means caring intentionally for the whole person—body, mind, and spirit.  The biblical concept of health—rooted in words like Shalom (Hebrew) or Sozo (Greek)—implies that man is a unified being, who is not so easily reduced to component parts as we might like.  In fact, both of these words can be interpreted to mean not only health, or well being, but also convey the concept of “salvation.”  Compassionate care for the whole person means seeking to alleviate suffering, and this may occur on many levels.  As we begin our relationships with our patients, we will seek to be genuine learners of their suffering.  This includes learning about their various social, religious and cultural backgrounds as we “incarnate” ourselves into their special contexts.  By building a base of mutual respect, we commit to explore issues beyond their presenting medical issue, asking permission as appropriate.  We do not condone forcing any beliefs on anyone—biomedical, Christian, or otherwise—but rather, from an early stage in our relationship with a patient and with the humility of Christ, will seek to discern where God is already at work in their life.  Compassionate care then means being prepared to help them take the next, appropriate step with God—or to refer them to someone who can.  In the meantime, compassionate care also means being willing to enter another’s suffering and share it with them when it can’t be alleviated.

The good news is that the incarnate God is still with us through the Holy Spirit…helping us to be compassion to the world!  Have a great weekend!

Two untruths in medicine…

Sister Mary Diana Dreger, MD, meets with a patient at her south Nashville clinic.   Photo credit: www.ncronline.org

Sister Mary Diana Dreger, MD, meets with a patient at her south Nashville clinic.
Photo credit: http://www.ncronline.org


Sister Mary Diana Dreger, MD, spoke at the C3:Christ-Church-Culture conference on March 8, 2014.

To learn more about the untruths she spoke of and other great insights into merging faith and medical practice, click here to watch a video of her presentation.

Courageous Conversations with Sister Mary Diana Dreger, MD

If you are in Nashville this Saturday, consider participating in this the C3 conference focus on medicine.

Saturday, March 8 – Only $25

9:00am Keynote Presentation, Sr. Mary Diana Dreger

10:00am Courageous Conversations: Your choice!

1. How Shall We Reach Them? Health Care Access for the Poor and Immigrants.

Facilitated by Dr. Morgan Wills and Sr. Mary Diana Dreger, MD

2. Fearfully and Wonderfully Made: The Ethics and Urgencies of Invitro-Fertilization.

Facilitated by Dr. D. Joy Riley

3. Christ the Physician: The Physician/Nurse-Patient Relationship and Patient-Centered Care.

Facilitated by Dr. John Leonard and Dr. Wes Ely


10:50am Courageous Conversations: Your choice!

1. When Helping Hurts: Can We Do Global Health Wisely?

Facilitated by Dr. Doug Heimberger

2. Living v. Flourishing: Medicine and the Whole Person

Facilitated by Dr. Morgan Wills and Dr. Wes Ely

3. I Will Rise Again: Seeking Abundant Life in the Face of Death

Facilitated by Dr. John Shuster and Dr. D. Joy Riley

Click here for more information.

Lunch Talk at Vanderbilt


On Monday, March 10th, Dr. Ralph Wood will be having a lunch talk from noon to 1 PM at Vanderbilt Medical School titled the “Literature of C.S. Lewis and Considerations for Formation of Moral Character of Physicians.”   This event, sponsored by SSCD, CMA and MCF, is open to the public and will be a lecture in which the literature of C.S. Lewis is used as a lens through which to explore character formation in the world of the medical community.

For more information about Dr. Ralph Wood and the event, please visit the event’s website to learn more.

Instruments of God’s Love

For Valentine’s Day, it seems appropriate to feature Siloam’s core value on Love.

“Sharing the love of Jesus is an intentional process which begins with the Siloam board and staff knowing and experiencing Christ’s love themselves.  As a medical center dedicated to sharing this love in a variety of ways, we have a constant need for the grace and truth of the gospel to overflow from our lives to others.  As God pours out this love through us, it is vitally important to attribute it to the original source–the sacrificing love of Jesus as God in the flesh, and not just the goodness of our own human hearts. “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”  (1 John 4:10, Bible).  Consider how Jesus approached the healing of the blind man at the pool of Siloam in John chapter 9.  The man was physically healed by the touch of Jesus, but Jesus did not stop there.  Jesus pursued the more complete healing of the man by revealing to the man who He really was—the Messiah. It is our hope that Siloam patients will, in due time, both experience God’s love through our care and grow to know the Great Physician who provides it!”

Click here to see all of Siloam’s core values.