Duane R Bidwell


Department of Primary Appointment:
School of Medicine
Assistant Professor of Health Professions Education
Location: Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD
Research Interests:
Health professions education, medical humanism, psychotherapy, spirituality
Office Phone


Ph.D. Texas Christian University
M.Div., Texas Christian University
B.S., Texas Christian University


Duane's forthcoming text, "After the Worst Day Ever: What Sick Kids Know about Sustaining Hope in Chronic Illness" (Beacon, 2024) "enters a world not yet fully discovered in healthcare research," offering "new insights not only for healthcare professionals, but for everyone, from kids to adults of all ages, who seek to sustain hope in the midst of challenge and adversity" (Dagmar Grefe, Children's Hospital Los Angeles).

An award-winning teacher and mentor, Duane has thirty years of experience as a faculty member, psychotherapist, nonprofit director, clinical supervisor, and accreditation specialist. He has published six books and more than 40 peer-reviewed articles and chapters, and his work has been featured on NPR, CNN, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

At CHPE, Duane directs the DEO Development Program in collaboration with the VA Office of Academic Affiliations, offering a leadership curriculum for educational executives who oversee clinical training at each VA medical center.

His research in leadership competencies, spirituality, and mental health uses qualitative data to explore how identity, agency, and possibility contribute to behavioral change and effective leadership. He works from a relational, strengths-based perspective, with expertise in solution-focused, narrative, and appreciative practices. His next project examines interbeing and existential experience in the treatment of cancer.

Duane has worked as an oncology, orthopedics, and trauma chaplain in public and pediatric hospitals, and he has a long interest in narrative and relational medicine and humanism in medicine. His career has placed him into relationship with people from diverse racial-ethnic, geographic, social, political, and socioeconomic contexts, leading him to use intersectional, intercultural, and decolonial theory to cultivate justice, equity, diversity, and inclusivity in clinical, educational, and leadership practices.

Previous to joining CHPE, Duane was on faculty at Claremont School of Theology, an interreligious graduate school in Southern California, where students selected him for teaching and mentoring awards three times.

Duane has also directed an HIV/AIDS services organization; directed a community counseling and training center; and designed, implemented, and directed an international diploma in professional practice. For six years, he served on the board of The Taos Institute, an international educational organization that promotes relational approaches to education, organizational development, mental health, and other issues.

Representative publications, projects, and/or deployments

2010-2022 - Professor of Practical Theology, Spiritual Care, and Counseling and Accreditation Liaison Officer - Claremont School of Theology

2018-2021 - Director of International Diploma in Social Construction and Professional Practice - The Taos Institute

2009-2019 - Senior Staff Clinician and Supervisor - The Clinebell Institute for Pastoral Counseling and Psychotherapy

2002-2007 - Director, Pastoral Care and Training Center - Texas Christian University

2009-2012 - "Beyond Apologetics: Sexual Identity, Pastoral Theology, and Pastoral Practice" research grant with Joretta Marshall, PhD

2008-2012 - "Children's Accounts of Hope in Chronic Illness," collaborative research with Donald L. Batisky, MD

2007-2009 - Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology - Phillips Theological Seminary

2006-2007 - “Promotion of Health and Community through Parish Nursing,” a strategic-initiative fund grant between Texas Christian University and Brite Divinity School (Rhonda Keen, Ph.D., principal investigator; Nancy Ramsay, Ph.D., co-investigator)


After the Worst Day Ever: What Sick Kids Know about Sustaining Hope in Chronic Illness (Boston: Beacon, 2024)

"Leading and Facilitating Spiritual Reflection" in Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care in the Twenty-first Century, Wendy Cadge and Shelly Rambo, eds., pp. 90-109 (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2022). Co-authored with Victor Gabriel, Ph.D.

"The Human Is Not Bound: Buddhist-Christian Thought, Spiritual Care, and Complex Religious Bonds," Buddhist-Christian Studies 41 (2022): 151-161.

"The University as a Maquila: Whose Voice, Whose Ideas, Whose Knowledge?" in Postdisciplinary Knowledge, Tomas Pernecky, ed., pp. 200-214 (London: Routledge, 2019). Co-authored with Marlene Ferreras, Ph.D., and Tomas Pernecky, Ph.D.

"Spiritual Care in Totalitarian Contexts: Lessons from Cuba and Vietnam" in Navigating Religious Difference in Spiritual Care and Counseling: Essays in Honor of Kathleen J. Greider, Jill Snodgrass, ed., pp. 115-133 (Claremont: Claremont Press, 2019). Co-authored with Daniel S. Schipani, Dr.Psy., Ph.D.

When One Religion Isn't Enough: The Lives of Spiritually Fluid People (Boston: Beacon, 2018)

Spirituality, Social Construction, and Relational Processes: Essays and Reflections (Ed.) (Chagrin Falls, OH: WorldShare Books, 2016)

Empowering Couples: A Narrative Approach to Spiritual Care (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2013)

The Formation of Pastoral Counselors: Challenges and Opportunities (co-editor with Joretta Marshall) (New York: Routledge, 2007)

Short-term Spiritual Guidance (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2004)