Robert Spilman

The Rev. Robert C. Spilman


The Rev. Robert C. Spilman, M. Div., is an ordained pastor of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.  From 2003 to 2017 he directed Congregation-Based Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at the Samaritan Counseling Center of the Niagara Frontier in the greater Buffalo, New York area.  From 1987 to 2002, he directed a program of Congregation-Based CPE at the Lutheran Service Society of New York in the Buffalo area.  He is a certified CPE Educator, Retired, in the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE)


Rev. Spilman has served part-time interim pastorates of the following congregations in the greater Buffalo area:

            2008 – 2014                - The Lutheran Church of Our Savior, Buffalo, NY

            2005 – 2008                - Mount Olive Lutheran Church, Lockport, NY

            2002 – 2005                - The Lutheran Church of Our Savior, Buffalo, NY

            1999 – 2002                - Trinity Lutheran Church, West Seneca, NY

            1996 – 1997                - Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Clarence, NY

            1992 – 1993                - Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Clarence, NY

Rev. Spilman provides training and consultation services to clergy and congregations of various denominations including alumni of the Congregation-Based CPE program.  Working from a Bowen family systems theory perspective, he directs ongoing clergy consultation and seminar groups.  He has served as a consultant for Hospice chaplains in the Buffalo area.

Rev. Spilman grew up in the New York City area.  He graduated with a B. A. Degree in History from the University of Rochester in 1965, received his Master of Divinity Degree from Yale University Divinity School in 1970, and completed his theological education for ordination at Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri in 1972.

Rev. Spilman served as pastor of two congregations in North Carolina: 1972 – 1980: Grace Lutheran Church in Greensboro; and 1983 – 1987: St. Luke Lutheran Church in High Point.  He completed three years of Clinical Pastoral Education Supervisory Education at North Carolina Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem, NC in 1983.  In 1990, he was certified as a Full Supervisor/Educator in the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education.

Rev. Spilman participated for eight years in the Edwin Friedman family systems theory seminars in Bethesda, Maryland and completed a year of training in the Post-Graduate Training Program at the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family in Washington, D.C.  He has been a member of the Voyagers Bowen theory consultation seminar for twenty years.  His special interest is applying Bowen family systems theory and pastoral theology to issues of pastoral care and leadership for pastors and lay leaders in the church.

Rev. Spilman and his wife Joan live in Amherst, New York, a suburb of Buffalo.  They have four adult children and five grandchildren.

  April 2021  
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