In 1948 The Rev. Richard Young began to develop a vision for a new ministry in the Episcopal Church, one that sought to help graduate medical students integrate science and religion in the healing sciences. He drew his inspiration from the humanistic aspirations of the Social Gospel and the work of Bishop Charles Palmerston Anderson, 4th Bishop of Chicago. Bishop Anderson had a vision of the Church as a transformer of society, an agent of change and healing in a culture where the institutions of humanity fall short of the Kingdom of God.
Under Fr. Young’s leadership as Executive Director, Bishop Anderson House combined traditional chaplaincy duties with a ministry to graduate students in the Illinois Medical District, one of the world’s largest medical districts.
The Rev. Dr. Christian Hovde succeeded Fr. Young as Executive Director in the l970’s, and during his tenure new approaches to providing pastoral care were adopted. He developed a relationship between BAH and Rush University which culminated in the establishment of the Department of Religion, Health and Human Values at Rush University. That relationship flourishes in research collaboration, teaching Clinical Pastoral Education students, chaplaincy and education.
Pastoral Care Visitors
During the tenure of The Rev. Trenton Pitcher, Bishop Anderson House implemented chaplaincy training programs for clergy and laity, including the Pastoral Care Visitor Program. This program has over 400 graduates serving as volunteer pastoral caregivers in hospitals, nursing homes, parishes and other institutions across Northern Illinois.
Growth and Stability
The Rev. James Risk succeeded Fr. Pitcher in 2003. The successful Campaign for the Future established a secure financial foundation for Bishop Anderson House to thrive in the face of deep cutbacks in hospital chaplain departments. Expansion of education programs and active collaboration with the Department of Religion, Health and Human Values ensures that Bishop Anderson House continues to grow as member of the Medical District community.
Under The Rev. Tommy Rogers’ leadership, the Spiritual Care Visitors Program has expanded to 2 sessions per year, CPE supervision is a part of our partnership with Rush University, and a full-time Chaplain fellow at Stroger Hospital is a reality. Today we continue to push the envelope that Bishop Charles Anderson opened in the early part of the 20th century, creating a “house” where spirituality and medicine meet to advance healing of the whole person.