About Us


Throughout its history, The COMISS Network has focused on providing an opportunity for its members to dialogue as equal partners. COMISS Network members come with varying individual tasks and responsibilities with the common goal of providing best practices for the provision of spiritual care in specialized settings. This dialogue primarily takes place at the annual Forum that is planned to offer time for education, “round table” discussions, networking and the sharing of information from the member organizations.

The COMISS Network is guided by a set of Guidelines approved by the member organizations. The Guidelines provide for the COMISS Network Leadership team of officers and at-large members who are elected on a rotational basis at the annual Forum and articulates leadership responsibilities and terms of service. The Leadership Team prepares the annual Forum program and oversees the preparation of annual Spiritual Care Week themes and accreditation activities of the COMISS Commission for the Accreditation of Spiritual Care Services. The COMISS Network is served by an Executive Administrator and Bookkeeper, the only employed positions of the Network.

The following persons provide leadership for COMISS Network. There are six leadership positions with some positions elected each year.

Steven Voytovich

Chair (2023-2024)

Denise Parker Lawrence

Chair Elect (2023-2024)

Carole Collins

Treasurer (2023-2024) Second Term

Barbara Speyer

Secretary (2023) Completing Vacated Term

Joseph Ozarowski

Member-at-Large (2024-2025) First Term

Selena Fox

Member-at-Large (2022-2023) Second Term

Tim Staker

Chair; Spiritual Care Week (2023-2026) First Term

Russell Davis

Chair; COMISS CCAPS (2023-2025) Second Term

COMISS Network Guidelines

Revised January 2020 by the Annual Forum, Crystal City, VA.


Organizations that provide theological and clinical education, competent practice of interfaith spiritual care through chaplaincy and pastoral counseling and research in specialized settings are invited to become members of COMISS. Membership provides the opportunity for networking, dialogue, and relationships with a diversity of groups all working to empower and promote the profession. The five categories of membership are described in our COMISS Network Guidelines. To join, please find the application for membership on this site.

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COMISS Annual Meeting 2020

COMISS Network Forum

The COMISS Network meets annually for the Forum. This meeting usually happens in January and provides the opportunity for education and for networking and the sharing of information among the member organizations. The annual business meeting takes place at this time for the presenting of annual reports, adoption of a budget, election of officers and the nominating committee, the presentation of new members and to announce proposed new initiatives. The Chair of the Leadership Team presides at the Forum and planning for the program is led by the Chair-elect.

The 2024 COMISS Network Forum met on January 7, 2024.   This year’s theme was “Specialized Ministry: Global Perspectives.”  Click below to open the Forum presentation documents.

Spiritual Care Week  October 20-26, 2024

Since the beginning of the COMISS Network, it has planned and implemented the annual observance of Spiritual Care Week. The purpose of the week is to raise awareness of the importance of pastoral/spiritual care. A committee appointed by the COMISS Leadership Team determines a theme and logo and provides educational materials to support the theme. Individual institutions are encouraged to use the theme and materials to promote the work that they do in their organizations. Consider also sharing your use of spiritual care materials with the Spiritual Care Week Committee.

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