Maureen Jenci Shelton, M.Div

ACPE Educator, Senior CBCT Certified Instructor for Spiritual Health, CCSH-RC, CCSH-RT, System Director of Education, Spiritual Health at Emory Healthcare, Director of the Division of Compassion-Centered Spiritual Health, Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University

Maureen attended Candler School of Theology of Emory University and completed her MDiv in 1991. She then went on to pursue her Chaplain Residency through the Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at Emory Healthcare’s Clinical Pastoral Education program. Upon completion of her Residency, she began her training to become an ACPE Certified Educator and completed this training in 1999. In 2001 she became the Director of Education at Spiritual Health at Emory Healthcare’s CPE program. Maureen became a Certified CBCT® (Cognitively-Based Compassion Training) instructor in 2016. 

Maureen is interested in innovation in the field of Spiritual Health and CPE Education and has an abiding interest in nurturing the next generation of leaders in ACPE. To contribute to this effort, she has served on the Regional Certification Committee for ACPE for the last 15 years as well as recently completing a term of service on the National Certification Commission for ACPE.

Additionally, Maureen has been interested in Contemplative Practices, frequently attending personal retreats at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, GA. Maureen is an ordained United Church of Christ Minister and part of her on-going involvement in serving her Faith community has been through the writing and playing of music which promotes contemplative spaces for her local Church. She has also contributed two hymns for the United Church of Christ’s “Sing” Hymnal.

Meet Maureen Jenci Shelton

Out of this love of music and its possibilities, she also trained to receive certification as a Music for Healing and Transition Music Practitioner (MHTP) which targets providing therapeutic music at the bedside of patients. In order to help utilize this resource at a more systemic level, she helped to foster the Creativity and Arts program at Emory Healthcare and the effort to bring MHTP trained musicians to the clinical areas across Emory Healthcare.

Role, Responsibilities and Vision for Spiritual Health

Announcement about Maureen's New Role

Emory’s Compassion-Centered Spiritual Health (CCSH™) is growing exponentially in service, research and training efforts. With this expansion, and the complexities of its various components, it necessitates the need to implement central leadership that can provide guidance to internal and external operations. With this need in mind, Maureen Shelton, MDiv, certified educator with ACPE and Spiritual Health’s lead certified instructor in CBCT® is now appointed the Director of the Division of Compassion-Centered Spiritual Health in the Department of Spiritual Health, Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University (ESH). In addition to her role as System Director of Education for ESH, she will also now serve as liaison to the partnership with the Center for Contemplative Science and Compassion-Based Ethics at Emory, provide leadership and guidance in coordination and communications and to monitor and collaborate with the needs associated with CCSH™ training, research and service.

Maureen also serves as a co-developer/author, along with Tim Harrison (Associate Director of CBCT®), Dr. George Grant and Dr. Lobsang Tenzin Negi (Executive Director of Center for Contemplative Science and Compassion-Based Ethics), of the CCSH™ Intervention Model and CCSH™ Manual as well as the supporting Curriculum for the training in CCSH™. We are excited that the CCSH Intervention Model is also being researched through funds received by a Peace Grant from the Mind and Life Institute. We are hopeful that the CCSH™ Intervention will be a helpful and supportive tool as we deepen our efforts in bringing compassionate care to our care seekers. Please see the CCSH™ section of our website for more information about this collaborative program as well as viewing

As the System Director of Education for Spiritual Health at Emory Healthcare, her hope for Spiritual Health involves the integration of researched best practices for the offering of intentional and meaningful Spiritual Health consultations which support the relief of Spiritual distress. In order to empower these best practices, we at Spiritual Health at Emory Healthcare have invested in resources to supply the educational resources needed to support a CPE program which values providing meaningful and engaging Spiritual Health to the patients, families and staff across Emory Healthcare.

We are so fortunate to have 9 ACPE Educators and 7 Certified ACPE Candidates in our Program to support this Educational effort. Providing the opportunity for training for those interested in becoming ACPE Educators is another way in which we support the development of future leadership in ACPE. We as a System support our relationships with our Professional Cognate groups (including APC Board Certification) and Faith Group partnerships as we craft our CPE curriculum to help prepare those who train with us for success in the rigor of Certification paths available after the completion of a Residency.

We greatly value our Internship CPE opportunities and are committed to finding a variety of pathways for those interested in ACPE education to participate in our program. For example, we have recently launched an on-line CPE program for those not able to access an in-person ACPE program. We utilize the resources of our Educators and Staff Chaplains across our System to strengthen and diversify the educational experience available to those who join us for any of our internships.

We also have invested in a rigorous Research Literacy Program for our Chaplain Residents as well as the integration of Cognitively-Based Compassion Training (CBCT®) for our Residency Program. We are currently researching the impact of CBCT on our Resident Curriculum. To support these efforts, we are privileged to have a top-quality Research Team headed by Dr. Chuck Raison and Dr. Jenny Mascaro and Kim Palmer (a recipient of the Transforming Chaplaincy Grant).

We hope to “empower” our intuitions so that we can see more clearly how to engage in this work of Spiritual Health with resilience and warm-heartedness both for ourselves and for those we serve. We can empower our intuition by looking more closely at our assumptions and biases as well as learning how to enter the Spiritual Health consultations with: openness to the unknown, empathic balance, and the use of disciplined compassionate care for our Care Seekers (patients, families and staff). This work is supported by the on-going reflection process of CPE and the integrational process, which it provides. Through engagement with our CPE program, we hope you can gain the skills needed to bring forth compassionate care for yourself and for others in a way, which will be sustainable in your on-going work of offering Spiritual Health.


  • The Association of Muslim Chaplains - "Compassion-Centered Spiritual Health: Insights from CBCT®” - September 9, 2020
  • Virginia ACPE Community of Practice - "Sustaining the Caregiver's Heart, Insights from CBCT and CCSH" - July 15, 2020 (Maureen Shelton, Tim Harrison, and Jose Montenegro)
  • Racial, Ethnic, Multicultural Conference (ACPE) -  “Compassion-Centered Spiritual Health: Insights from CBCT®” - February 7th, 2020 (Maureen Shelton and Jose Montenegro)
  • The Compassion in Action Healthcare Conference sponsored by the Schwartz Center – “Sustaining a Caregiver’s Heart: Skills and Insights from CBCT® - September 10th, 2019, Boston, MA  (Tim Harrison and Maureen Shelton)
  • ACPE National Conference - “Compassion-Centered Spiritual Health: Insights from Cognitively-Based Compassion Training – May 10th, 2018 Atlanta, GA  (Tim Harrison and Maureen Shelton)
  • Mind and Life Institute Conference, 2018– “Evaluation of a Compassion-Informed Program to Improve Chaplain and Patient Oucomes”  - (Jenny Mascaro,  Kim Palmer,  Maureen Shelton and Tim Harrison)  - November 19th, 2018- Phoeniz, AZ 
  • APC/NACC Joint Conference- “Sustaining the Caring Heart: Insights from Cognitively-Based Compassion Training”– July, 2018 Los Angeles, CA
  • Cultivating Reslience and Compassion Conference- “Compassion-Centered Spiritual Health: Insights from Cognitvely-Based Compssion Training (CBCT®) – July 16th, 2018- University of San Francisco, CA


Trees and Education; The Journal of Pastoral Care and Counseling; Published 2009

Innovation At Emory Spiritual Health: Compassion-Centered Spiritual Health; ACPE; Published May 4, 2020

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