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.

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.

Impacting Lives – Helping Others


Residency can be a daily grind of paperwork, conferences, and constant pages, running from patient to patient, to the point where a feeling of disillusionment can come over you at times as medicine just doesn’t seem all the grand things you thought it would be. Siloam is a place that reminds me of the excitement I had when entering medicine with the simple hope of impacting lives and helping others.

During my time at Siloam I was able to sit and just listen, which is so enjoyable as I am usually stretched thin for time. And I learned so much by just listening. One patient told me that her dizziness was cured by drinking water that had been boiled with garlic, which she said was a common remedy people have used in her family for years.

Another described to me the overwhelming feeling of confusion when going to a drug store and seeing 30 different name brands of ibuprofen in a foreign language and not knowing which is better or which one he should get; he wanted a prescription for ibuprofen so he could bring it to the pharmacist and have her pick it out for him.  These views into what it is like to wade through the healthcare world from a different background were interesting and enlightening.

It was also a good experience to work in a setting where I had fewer resources immediately available and so had to think broader and utilize a good thorough history and physical to guide decision making. I am so used to ordering a litany of labs and imaging without thinking of the cost, but when the patient before you will have to pay for any testing you order, it makes you think harder about what is really necessary and be more judicious.  We should do this all the time but we certainly do not.

I appreciated being part of a place where kindness and compassion infuse the daily work and the patients feel like they have someone who cares about them. At every step the patients are greeted with smiles and concern and open ears and hearts and I think this impacts their health and well-being in as much a way as the practice of medicine does. It is a beautiful reminder of the initial intent we all have when we choose to go into a field of service, but that can get lost in the years of training under layers of jadedness.  It’s nice to know the ideal still exists.

Guest blog written by Dr. Stacey Tillman.

Dr. Stacey Tillman-
a Vanderbilt internal medicine resident
who recently completed four weeks of training at Siloam.


Dr. Wills at Undercurrent – Nov. 14

One of the passions of Siloam is the integration of  faith in Jesus with our work as healers.   Whole-person health care is the result—an integrated approach to forming healing partnerships with broken people of any culture or creed.  One of the goals of the Siloam Institute is to multiply whole person care through dialogue in the community and beyond.  Unto this end, on Thursday Nov. 14, Dr. Morgan Wills will be joining two other Siloam volunteers as a panelist at an event called UnderCurrent.

UnderCurrent is a monthly  gathering designed in a TED talks format, with the intention of exploring the ideas of faith, vocation, community and culture.  UnderCurrent is hosting three events this fall, with 4 presenters at each event.  Each presenter will share a brief vignette from their own lives that relates to the theme for the month.  Join us as we explore how God calls us to “practice our faith” daily and how it impacts our work lives, our community & our stories.  November’s panel will focus on work related to health, so you won’t want to miss it!

Date: Thursday, November 14, 2013
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: The Warehouse, 1423 2nd Avenue North, Nashville TN, 37208
Reserve Your Ticket – Tickets Are Limited

Theology of Health in Culture

In January 2014, Denver Seminary will be hosting a unique opportunity for both seminary students and healthcare professionals to come together and learn from one another.

As the course directors write, “We live in a time when we have never possessed so much power for treating disease and improving health, yet there is rising dissatisfaction with how health care is delivered by a system that now con­sumes nearly 20% of our GDP. We have failed to ask where we are trying to go, leaving each individual to seek their own autonomous path toward health. What might the pursuit of health and the delivery of health care look like if God’s promises were true and his call to justice relevant? We hope to ask the right questions, and seek biblical truth for current day dilemmas.”


For more information, please visit http://www.denverseminary.edu/become-a-student/theology-of-health-in-culture/#course

Tear down that wall!

God’s plan was always multi-national and cross-cultural (Isaiah 56:7, …a house of prayer for the nations). Wall - break down - www.newlandchase.comThere is no barrier too great or difference too significant to keep Him from reaching His children. To be present at Siloam is to see barriers of every kind be broken down by the love and light of Jesus Christ.

This week during the Monday Refugee clinic, I met a volunteer, a member of the Pastoral Care team at Siloam. He moved to America a few years ago from a middle eastern country. While working as a Civil Engineer, he invited Jesus into his heart and found his life was changed forever.

He attended an underground seminary in the middle east alongside several others including those imprisoned for their Christian faith. While the pastor was there, he received a call to go to America as a missionary. I thank God for his boldness and his love for God and His children. A missionary from a Muslim country to America: God’s love is truly unconditional and great! The pastor encouraged me, “Ask for the Holy Spirit and pursue Him. He is God’s gift to His people. He is there to help you every day”.

Three of us on the Community Health Immersion project are attending a local Spanish-speaking church. Even though the sermon can be difficult for us gringos to understand, we are always encouraged by their faith! Their families are tightly knit and  it was so encouraging to see them celebrate el dia del padre (Father’s Day!). We are learning a great deal from them about thankfulness, faith, and how important it is to invest in people! They communicate God’s love clearly to us despite the language-barrier that is present.

So often on this CHI journey I have realized that even though I signed up for this program in order to serve others, I spent the entire day being encouraged and built-up by they very same people I came to aid! I am sure this was God’s plan all along. He does not make plans for us to become spent and worn down. Instead, he lays us down in green pastures and leads us beside quiet waters (Psalm 23)! God is so good, He arranges His call to you so that when you go to serve others, you leave stronger than you were before!

Caleb Huber - CHI 2013 participant  Caleb is a participant in Siloam’s Community Health Immersion.