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About the Department of Religious Ministries
The Department of Religious Ministries is staffed by six chaplains, two of whom are full time. We have a full-time office coordinator, 14 volunteers and five field education students from Princeton Theological Seminary (three during the academic year and two during the summer).
Our office is located next to the Chapel of Light on the first floor of University Medical Center of Princeton, One Plainsboro Road, Plainsboro, NJ 08536.
Our office hours are from from 9:00-3:30 Monday-Friday. However, chaplains are available from
8:30-5:00 on-site, and during outside hours on-call. You may contact the Religious Ministries
Department at 609.853.6020. Outside
regular hours, contact the Switchboard at 609.853.6500
Chaplains are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Evening and weekend hours are supported by local clergy as volunteer on-call chaplains.
Our staff consists of the following members:
The Reverend Matthew Rhodes -- UMCP
Rhodes is a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and
holds a BA from Davidson College, a Masters of Divinity from Princeton
Theological Seminary, and is working on a Doctorate of Psychology in Clinical
Pastoral Supervision through the Institute for Psychodynamic Pastoral
Supervision. He has completed 7 units of
Clinical Pastoral Education. Additionally,
Matt has extensive experience working with people with intellectual
disabilities in communities of faith through his work with L'Arche. With PHCS, Rev. Rhodes serves as the Director
of the department, as a lead consultant for the BioMedical Ethics Committee, as
a supervisor to Field Education and CPE students from Princeton Theological
Seminary, as Chair of the Employee Benevolent Fund, as a preacher and teacher
at local congregations, and as a chaplain to patients, family and staff at
University Medical Center of Princeton.
The Reverend Cheryl Regis -- Princeton House
Cheryl Regis is a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary, and began her
work at PHCS as a student doing one of her field education experiences there.
After graduation, Cheryl became a full-time chaplain with the PHCS
Hospice program before becoming the Princeton House Behavioral Health Chaplain
in July of 2007. She also serves as a chaplain at UMCP. While at Princeton
Hospice, she became a Certified Bereavement Facilitator through the American
Academy of Bereavement. Cheryl is ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament
in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and is affiliated with Plainsboro Presbyterian
Church where she worships and participates in the congregation.
The Reverend Amy Fairbanks Seat -- Hospice Program
is a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary and is ordained in the United
Church of Christ (UCC). She completed
her clinical training at St. Louis University Hospital in St. Louis, MO, where
she provided spiritual care to a diverse population on the Medical Intensive
Care Unit and General Medicine floor. Prior to her residency in St. Louis, Amy
served for three years in parish ministry. Additionally, Amy has worked in
prison ministry, campus ministry, and has extensive work with adult with mental
illness. Along with her hospice work, Amy supervises seminary interns in the
field education program and coordinates community education programs for the
department as well as serving on the Bio-Medical Ethics Committee at UMCP.
Rabbi Robert Freedman -- UMCP
Bob Freedman is ordained as both a cantor and a
rabbi. He has served congregations as
both over the past 35 years in Princeton, Manchester, Vermont, and
currently at Society Hill Synagogue in Philadelphia. In 1996, he became the first Jewish chaplain
for the Princeton Medical Center and served until 2000, returning to the
position in May of 2013. Ministering
mainly to the Jewish patients at the hospital, he also visits patients at
Princeton House Behavioral Health and those in PHCS hospice care throughout the
Coordinating Diocesan Priests:
Employed by the Diocese of Metuchen, our priests are
available 7 days a week in order to provide sacramental coverage to our Catholic
Monsignor Pafnouti Wassef - UMCP - Wednesday to Sunday
Father Xavier Bruce Rajendran - UMCP - Monday to Tuesday
Additionally, Eucharistic Ministers from St. Paul's in
Princeton are available 6 days a week to provide Holy Communion.
Taylor is a student at Princeton Theological Seminary and serves
as a chaplain on the Medical-Neurological-Oncological-Psychiatric Unit and the
Emergency Department. He also helps lead
services at UMCP and PHBH.
Lauren is a student at Princeton Theological Seminary and
serves as a chaplain on the Telematry Unit and the Center for Maternal & Newborn Care. She also helps lead services at UMCP and
Mary is a student at Princeton Theological Seminary and
serves as a chaplain on the Acute Care for the Elderly Unit and the Acute Rehab
Unit. She also helps lead services at UMCP and PHBH.
Alison Van Buskirk-UMCP
Alison is a student at Princeton Theological Seminary and
serves as a chaplain on the Eating Disorders Unit and Critical Care Unit. She also helps lead services at UMCP and
Hospital Identification Badge
To obtain a clergy identification badge, contact our Office Coordinator by phone at 609.853.6020 to schedule an appointment to have your picture taken. Appointments are available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
If you are new to our area, we would welcome the opportunity to offer you a tour of the medical center.
You may request a listing of hospitalized members of your congregation from our Office Coordinator at 609.853.6020. You will also find a "Clergy List" of patients in our departmental office on the first floor of University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro. An access code is available in the event the door is locked; please contact the Coordinator's Office for more information.
During nights and weekends, please call the hospital operator at 609.853.6500 for patient information.
The Department of Religious Ministries and You
Clergy Notifications. HIPAA regulations require patients to give their consent to have the hospital notify you of their admission. We will contact you as soon as we receive such requests. Please note that only those patients who have given their consent are listed on the religious census in our Coordinator's Office.
Chaplain Visits. In the event that you are unable to visit hospitalized members of your congregation, please contact us and one of our chaplains will visit on your behalf.
Community Educational Events. Staff chaplains are available to speak to your congregation or study group on a wide range of topics related to healing, wholeness and health. Topics include:
- Pastoral Care. The Department of Religious Ministries offers a Become a Compassionate Visitor training program for local churches, parishes and synagogues. It is intended for deacons, Stephen Ministers, or other congregational care or ministry teams who visit the sick.
- Advanced Directives. We support seminars on Advance Directives for Healthcare, Planning Ahead, which can be tailored to the needs of your congregation.
- Mental Health/Addictions. We offer several different talks on mental health and chemical addictions, specifically how spirituality might support recovery and a healthier lifestyle.
- Older Adults. We offer a community presentation titled Hope - the Source of Eternal Strength, which is oriented toward older adult audiences.
To obtain more information about these programs, call us at 609.853.6020.
Pastoral Care Support
You are welcome to stop by our department at any time with questions and concerns related to your ministry. We welcome the opportunity to explore with you pastoral care issues, strategies and resources.