The Rev. Dr. Storm Swain

Associate Professor, Pastoral Care and Theology; Director of Anglican Studies



This presentation examines the gift and challenge of training clergy as disaster spiritual care chaplains.  How chaplaincy training contributes to disaster operations, sites, and specifics of a particular disaster, mental health and spiritual care, and self-care issues.  Interdisciplinary relationships and interaction with FEMA, VOAD, local OEMs, etc.  I will touch on my research with the chaplains that worked at the Temporary Mortuary at Ground Zero in the 9/11 response.

The question of ministering to the traumatized whilst being impacted by the disaster itself.  The differences between impact on chaplains responding to the Murrah building bombing, OK, and 9/11 in New York.  How chaplains can be part of an effective response rather than creating a problems for disaster response, i.e. “the clergy circus at Ground Zero.”  Faith communities partnering with Emergency Management services, e.g. New York Disaster Interfaith Services HOWCALM – House of Worship Communitywide Assets and Logistics Management services.
Upcoming research and questions of disaster preparedness rather than simply disaster response, through national and global disaster case studies.


Dr. Swain completed a PhD in the Psychiatry and Religion program at Union Theological Seminary in New York, with her dissertation topic “Trinity, Trauma and Transformation: A Trinitarian Pastoral Theology reflected in the experience of the Chaplains at the 9/11 Temporary Mortuary at Ground Zero” under Dr. Ann Ulanov.  This led to the publication of Trauma and Transformation at Ground Zero: A Pastoral Theology, Fortress Press, 2011.  Dr. Swain has written on the formation of the chaplaincy at Ground Zero; provided entries for the Encyclopedia of Religion and Health on ‘Compassion Fatigue’ and ‘Coping Skills,’ and frequently presents on issues of trauma and religious experience.

Dr. Swain holds a Bachelor of Theology from the University of Otago, New Zealand, having attended Knox Theological Hall majoring in Christian Thought and History. After graduation from Otago University, she served as Chaplain to Mental Health Services and later also as a Clinical Pastoral Education supervisor in Dunedin, New Zealand. She was ordained as an Anglican priest in 1995 in the Diocese of Dunedin of the Anglican Church of Aoetaroa, New Zealand and Polynesia. Her STM thesis, CAIRA: A Model of Professional Formation for the Supervision of Pastoral Ministry, became the theoretical component of the CAIRA(NZ) Supervisors Training Course in NZ.

Dr. Swain’s psychoanalytic residency was served at the Blanton Peale Counseling Center, NY. Her psychoanalytic integrative paper was titled “My God, my God. Why have your forsaken me? Psychic self-murder as a response to trauma.” She served as a Chaplain for the American Red Cross in 2001, and thereafter with Disaster Chaplaincy Services, NY on their Leadership Team, and now as part of their CISM team.

Canonically resident in the Episcopal Diocese of New York, Rev. Dr. Swain most recently served the church as Canon Pastor at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York (2002-7). She has served as the Diocese’s representative on the Board of New York Disaster Interfaith Services. She now oversees Anglican Studies at LTSP in addition to her Pastoral Care and Theology academic responsibilities.

Dr. Swain’s research interests include pastoral formation, trinitarian pastoral theology, disaster spiritual care, the contribution of Object Relations psychoanalytic theory to pastoral ministry, Kohut’s transferences in pastoral ministry and pastoral psychotherapy for issues of trauma and complicated grief.

Education: BTheol, University of Otago, Dunedin NZ, 1992; STM, Union Theological Seminary, NY, 1999; MPhil, Union Theological Seminary, NY, 2004; PhD, Union Theological Seminary, NY, 2009.

Accredited NZHCA Hospital Chaplain 1995; NZACPE Supervisor in Training 1994, Provisional Supervisor 1996, Certified ANZACPE Full Supervisor, 2000.

Certificate Theory of Psychotherapy, Ashburn Hall Research and Education Foundation, Dunedin NZ, 1996; Graduate Certificate in Pastoral Psychotherapy, Graduate Certificate in Psychoanalysis, Blanton Peale Graduate Institute, 2004.


Meeting Recording (link coming soon)

Meeting Presentation (link coming soon)

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