Walking Together Through Challenging Places: the Companionship Model for Providing Supportive Care

Walking Together Through Challenging Places: the Companionship Model for Providing Supportive Care

A two-day workshop for priests, deacons, seminarians, and lay people in ministry.

December 2: 9:30am – 12:30pm and 1:30pm – 4:30pm

December 3: 9:00am – 11:00am and 11:30am – 12:30pm

St. Nersess Seminary is pleased to offer a two-day workshop on pastoral care for people experiencing chronic illness and their caregivers.  This workshop will offer clergy, lay ministers, and seminarians thoughtful and thought-provoking insights into the challenges and demands of life-limiting illness, under the guidance of presenters Dn.  Yervant Kutchukian and Rami Shami. 

The Companionship Model of Caregiving serves to safeguard the well-being of all those within the circle for care: the pastor or lay minister, the caregiver(s), and the person living with illness. By applying this model of care through a spiritual/pastoral lens, attendees can garner specific skills and techniques to provide a truly person-centered quality of pastoral care to community members from diverse cultural backgrounds and walks of life. Click here to REGISTER.

Workshop Schedule


Session 1: 9:30am – 12:30pm  (15 min break at 11am)

Introduction to the Companioning model — active listening, entering the bedside space. Mindfulness presence.

Session 2: 1:30pm – 4:30pm    (15 min break at 3:00pm)

Cultural humility. Mindfulness presence. Compassion, empathy, grief, and types of loss 


Session 1: 9:00am – 11:00am  (30 min break at 11am )

Trauma Informed Approach. Personal reflection on specific cases

Session 2: 11:30am – 12:30pm

Kintsugi – The Art of Precious Scars

12:30 onward: optional time for questions, clarifications, and discussion

Meet the Presenters

Dn. Yervant Kutchukian graduated from Georgetown University with a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service and obtained a Master of Arts in Religious Studies from St. Nersess and St. Vladimir’s Seminaries. He completed nine units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at Albany Medical Center where he also worked for several years as an interfaith chaplain specializing in behavioral health and palliative care chaplaincy. He currently serves as spiritual director at St. Nersess Armenian Seminary and as a per diem chaplain at Stamford Hospital in Connecticut.

Rami Shami has been serving within Hospice Palliative Care for over three decades. He feels privileged to practice as a consultant as well as a case manager for the Second Mile Club at Kensington Health, and as the Community Relations Advisor for Lighthouse for Grieving Children. While harvesting a conviction that everyone should have access to quality Hospice Palliative Care, Rami strongly advocates and supports the development and growth of programs and services for those travelling the journey of a life-limiting illness, their caregivers, and those who are bereaved. For additional information, please see