Pastoral Care

When your child is sick, your world is turned upside down. But you don’t have to travel this journey alone — our pastoral care team is always here for you to provide strength and support when you need it the most.

We can help you:
  • cope with the stress of an illness
    or hospitalization
  • discuss difficult decisions
  • deal with bad news
  • ease the loneliness and isolation of a hospital stay
  • offer religious rituals (sacraments, scriptures, and prayers)
  • contact a clergy in your own
    religious tradition

Please feel free to call us for spiritual and emotional care for you, your child, or your family. We’ll meet you in the chapel, your child’s hospital room, or wherever you feel most comfortable.

Chapel & Worship Services

About Our Chapel

Located on the first floor, near the cafeteria
Hours: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Our nondenominational Jessie Ball duPont Memorial Chapel is a sacred place for respite, prayer, quiet meditation, and reflection for people of all faiths. While you’re here, you can read the Bible and other sacred texts from a variety of faith traditions. We can also provide other devotional literature upon request.

Worship Services

Join us for one of our regularly scheduled worship services in the chapel.

  • Protestant Service

    Sundays at 9:30 a.m.

  • Roman Catholic Mass

    Tuesdays at 12:15 p.m.

  • Eucharist

    Most Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

  • Dhuhur Prayer

    Every day at 1:30 p.m.

Words of Comfort

Our pastoral care team has collected some prayers, quotes, and inspirational passages to keep with you to provide comfort during this stressful time.

Printable Words of Comfort (PDF) »

Meet the Pastoral Care Team

Meet Our Team

Pastoral care services are provided by a dedicated staff of chaplains, volunteers, and interns who are trained in counseling and religious disciplines. We serve all families of all faiths, providing nondenominational support or care guided by your specific religion. We honor your beliefs — and we’ll never impose different values onto you or your family.

Al Carden, D.Min, APC, AAPC, CPSP

Director of Pastoral Care
(302) 651-5413

Scott D. Smith, M.Div., BCCC, BCPC

Pastoral Care Associate
(302) 298-7552

Pat Weikart, M.Div.

Pastoral Care Associate
(302) 651-5213

Clinical Pastoral Education

Clinical Pastoral Education & Training Program

We offer a nationally accredited Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program — one of only eight pediatric CPE programs in the United States — that educates participants of all faith traditions. We designed the program for:

  • candidates preparing to be hospital chaplains
  • seminarians
  • community clergy
  • lay religious leaders
  • other  spiritual caregivers seeking continuing education
Program Specifics

The Nemours Children’s Hospital, Delaware Center for Education & Training is accredited by the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy (CPSP).

Our program combines weekly classroom sessions (100 hours) with clinical practice (300 hours), including:

  • direct ministry as a chaplain to patients and families
  • interaction with interdisciplinary staff members
  • individual and group supervision
  • peer group sessions to share patient case studies, simulate incidents and practice responses, and reflect on faith traditions
  • didactic workshops and seminars
  • reading and writing assignments
What to Expect

The Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program is a unique blend of “action-reflection-action” designed to help you develop self-awareness and skills that you can put in practice to help children and families confronted with a crisis or bereavement.

Each unit of study unfolds in a similar way.

  • Case studies are an important component of the learning experience.
  • You will practice a step-by-step process adapted to your personal gifts and faith tradition.
  • Clinical ministry forms the bulk of coursework. Classroom activities occupy approximately one half day per week.
  • The program puts you in direct contact with patients, families, and a wide variety of pediatric subspecialties in a hospital that serves children and teens with chronic and serious illnesses or trauma.
  • You will learn how to identify child and adolescent development and family systems.
  • You will respond to all patient codes and participate in clinical rounds and case reviews.
  • You will learn how to help process advanced directives and end-of-life decisions.
  • Supervision and evaluations are part of the curriculum.

All CPE participants are encouraged to share their experiences and personal reflections in a supportive learning environment that respects diverse points of view.

Tuition, Fees & Application Process
  • Tuition for the first unit is $500.
  • Additional units are $300.
  • We require a nonrefundable $100 application fee, which will be applied to the tuition if accepted.
  • The Director and members of the Pastoral Consultation Advisory Committee will schedule a personal interview with applicants who submit an application and application fee.

For More Information

Contact Rev. Dr. Alan Carden at (302) 651-5413 or

Contact Us

Al Carden, D.Min, APC, AAPC, CPSP

Director of Pastoral Care
(302) 651-5413

Pastoral Care Services

Nemours Children’s Hospital, Delaware
24 hours a day, 7 days a week