The Standard for Spiritual Care & Education Honors Rev. Dr. Delois Brown-Daniels with 2018 Helen Flanders Dunbar Award


ACPE is proud to announce that their member, Rev. Dr. Delois Brown-Daniels, ACPE, has been named the 2018 Helen Flanders Dunbar Award honoree. The award is presented for pioneering and innovating contributions to the CPE movement and the association.

Rev. Dr. Delois Brown-Daniels (affectionately known as Dee and Rev. Dee), a native of Cowpens, a rural South Carolina farming community, was born into the loving family of her parents, Uzie and Alline Brown, and her three siblings (Willie, Uzee, and Ethelene). Raised on her family farm, she grew up learning how to pay keen attention to detail. From her parent’s involvement in a country Baptist church, she learned about home visitation from her father, a deacon, and about attentive listening and care-giving from her mother, the president of the congregation's bereavement ministry.

Delois commenced her ACPE journey by completing her initial CPE unit in 1980 and a CPE residency at Spartanburg General Hospital. After residency, she was hired by Spartanburg General as the associate director of the pastoral care department. She worked alongside the Rev. Todd Walters, Director of Pastoral Care and CPE Education, her first CPE educator. In 1985, her ACPE supervisory training was undertaken at Yale-New Haven Hospital in Connecticut where her CPE educator was Rev. Edward Dobihal; she also served there as a staff chaplain. In 1988, she was granted associate certification status and, in 1990, she became an ACPE Certified Educator. Among her mentors in the supervisory process were Rev. Dr. George Polk and Rev. Jim Gibbons.

In 1989, Delois became the coordinator of clinical pastoral education at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago where she worked with Rev. Robert Jais, the department director. In 1994, she began a twenty-three year vocation at Advocate Health Care where she served as a vice-president and ACPE Educator: vice-president of Religion and Health at Advocate Trinity Hospital (1994-1997); vice-president of Community Ministries Advocate Health Care Corporate Office (1997-2001); and vice-president of the Mission and Spiritual Care Department (2000-March of 2017) at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center (AIMMC) where she also served as a member of the executive team. At points during her time at AIMMC, her administrative responsibilities extended to being the vice-president of the guest services and community relations departments.

At Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Delois established the first pastoral care department and CPE program in the one hundred year history of the hospital, opening the department in 2000 and launching the CPE program at AIMMC in 2006. She and her team built a CPE program that was committed to training a diverse group of students. This diversity was reflected in the faith communities, race, ethnicity, age, and sexual orientation of the CPE students and educators that trained at AIMMC. These students represented age cohorts from millennials to boomers and came from various walks of life as well as socio-economic groups. Among these students were ordained clergy and lay persons. Delois also trained two ACPE educators-in-training; both were certified as ACPE Educators while training at AIMMC.

Delois has been an active member of the ACPE for nearly forty years having joined in 1980. She served on the ACPE North Central Region, Illinois Area, and Continuing Education Committee from 1989 to 1991. She first served on the ACPE North Central Region Board of Directors from 1990 to 1998; she chaired the board in 1996. She returned to the board from 2014 to 2017. Nationally, Delois served on ACPE’s Accreditation Commission from 1993 to 1998. She initially served on the ACPE’s Racial Ethnic Multicultural (REM) Network Board from 2001 to 2008, returning to the REM board as a member from 2014 to 2016. During her time on the REM board, Delois helped plan and lead two successful national REM conferences in the Chicago area. In addition to Delois's service to ACPE, she also served on the Board of the College of Chaplains and as a part of the transition team that formed the Association of Professional Chaplains.

Rev. Dr. Delois Brown-Daniels was ordained to the Christian ministry in 1980 by the Connecticut Missionary Baptist Association and is an ordained minister in the American Baptist Churches. She has Ecclesiastical Endorsement for Chaplaincy by the American Baptist Churches USA where she serves as endorsement chair. She is a member of First Baptist Church in Chicago and an associate member of Covenant United Church of Christ in South Holland, IL.

Delois is the recipient of numerous awards recognizing her vocation in pastoral care and clinical pastoral education, including the Paul W. Strickland Institutional Chaplaincy Merit Award in 2017; the outstanding Alumnae Award Converse College in 2014; the Converse College Alumnae Career Achievement Award in 2011; the 2002 Alumnae Board Award for Distinction in Service to the Community, Yale University Divinity School; the Anton Boisen Professional Service Award in 2005.

The South Carolina House of Representatives passed Resolution 4769 on January 28, 2016 honoring the lifetime achievement of Rev. Dr. Brown-Daniels to spiritual health; the award was presented to her by SC House Representative Eddie Tallon on February 5, 2016. A resolution honoring her was also presented to her on February 5, 2016 by Michael D. Hamrick, Mayor of Cowpens, in recognition of her lifetime accomplishments in spiritual care and public service.

Rev. Dr. Brown-Daniels earned her Doctor of Ministry degree from McCormick Theological Seminary; Masters of Divinity degree from Yale University; and her Bachelor of Arts degree from Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

Anyone who hears Delois speak knows that she gives thanks for her soul-mate and number one supporter, Dr. David D. Daniels, the Henry Winters Luce Professor of World Christianity at McCormick Theological Seminary, and her two wonderful adult children: David IV, a graduate of Johnson C. Smith University (Charlotte, NC), and DeAndrea, a graduate of Howard University (Washington, DC) for their unconditional love and joy of life. She and her husband reside in Hyde Park, Chicago, Illinois.