Internship / Residency
- Residency: Atlanta VA Medical Center
- Master of Divinity – Emory University, Atlanta
- BS, Industrial Engineering – University of Tennessee, Knoxville
- Ordained – Bethlehem Baptist Church, Covington, Georgia
Cancer patients often feel blindsided by their diagnosis and wrestle with questions of faith, says Reverend LaWanda Long, a Chaplain at Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA), Atlanta.
The question, “Why?” is common but can put someone in a “vicious cycle of pity,” says Rev. Long, who joined CTCA® in April 2013. Instead, she encourages patients to ask questions that will move them toward healing and restoration.
She suggests they ask: What treatments are available for my type of cancer? Where do I need to go for help? Where do I feel a sense of peace? What shall I do?
“I try to encourage patients to put the ‘why’ questions on hold and to ask new questions that will give them life,” Rev. Long says.
Rev. Long’s goal for her patients is that they know God loves them. Neither their cancer nor their questions about it can separate them from God’s love. Being aware of the presence of God will help patients navigate their way through any challenge, Rev. Long says.
The spiritual healing and hope that CTCA offers patients makes working at the hospital rewarding for Rev. Long.
“We are mind, body and spirit: All three are important in a patient’s treatment plan here at CTCA,” she says. While Rev. Long does not focus on any particular cancer type, she says: “I am committed to loving and restoring people to a place of wholeness.”
Rev. Long answered her calling to the ministry in 2005, after 17 years as a Bible study teacher and women’s speaker in Venezuela, Germany and throughout the United States. She completed her Master of Divinity at Emory University in Atlanta in 2008. Rev. Long then had a three-month Clinical Pastoral Education internship at Emory University Hospital Midtown in Atlanta.
Following her internship, Rev. Long’s Clinical Pastoral Education residency was at Atlanta VA Medical Center in Decatur, Georgia, throughout 2009. There, she provided spiritual care to veterans, patients and employees. Rev. Long conducted spiritual assessments of those she served and led worship services and spirituality groups.
Rev. Long was ordained in 2009 at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Covington, Georgia. She serves on the church’s ministerial staff and women’s ministry. Prior to joining CTCA, Rev. Long worked as hospice chaplain in Roswell, Georgia, between 2010 and 2013.
Rev. Long is a member of the Enon Baptist Church in College Park, Georgia. Rev. Long loves working with people and is committed to serving the Lord by providing spiritual support to all.
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