I'm Dr. Clare Biedenharn

My passion is listening. With over twenty years of experience as an industrial chaplain, hospital chaplain, and a pastor, I have had plenty of opportunities to hone my skills.

My study with critical care nurses in hospitals supported the idea that in both professional and personal settings intentional listening leads to deep connection. My new book, Heart to Heart: Spiritual Care Through Deep Listening, is a practical guide to listening as both an art and a practice.

To be perfectly honest after college I did not pick up a book for over five years. When I did, though, the floodgate opened. I reconnected with my love of learning. Some people go to the mall. I go to school. My mother went back to school in her 40s. Like her, I raised two very active sons, Jay and Robert, with one eye on a textbook and the other on the ballfield.

For me, learning is like poison ivy. The more you scratch, the more you itch. I first went back to school when my boys were in grade school. They were both married with children when I finally decided I had enough letters behind my name.

It is now time to share knowledge. As my son Robert said, “Gee, Mom. You’re always going to school. Isn’t it time you did something with what you learned? Like maybe you need to teach.” What a novel idea! Thank you, Robert.

Along much of my journey I was joined by my husband of 41 years, James Biedenharn...my heart. Learn more about him here.


head shot laughing-vert


Over 25 years of experience:


  • 12 years industrial chaplain in the Mississippi Delta serving a variety of businesses that manufactured everything from flooring to food distribution to oil rig assembly
  • 7 years as a Board-Certified chaplain (BCC) serving in critical care at a hospital in post-hurricane Katrina New Orleans
  • 2 years as Planetree patient centered care training facilitator
  • 3 years as family support Liaison helping families with organ donation decisions
  • 10 years in the local church pastoring 8 churches as an elder in the United Methodist Church



Scholarships and awards:

  • Awarded the Donna Schwartzfager Education Award from the Medical Staff of East Jefferson General Hospital recognizing the listening study as of benefit to the hospital (2014)
  • Awarded scholarship to attend and present poster at the annual GWISH Spirituality and Health Summer Institute George Washington, University Medical School’s Institute on Healthcare and Spirituality (2015)





  • Reflect, Reconnect, Restore: Healing from Secondary Grief (2022)
  • Heart to Heart: Following the Path to Deep Listening (2020)
  • Heart to Heart: Companion Workbook for Nurses: Pandemic Edition (2020)
  • Heart to Heart: Companion Workbook for Nurses (2020)
  • 1998 Guideposts Workshop Participant/winner
    • One of 12 submissions selected out of over 5,000 entries
  • “A Study of Critical Care Nurses’ Listening Behavior Through The Application of the Quaker Listening Model”-dissertation (2014)
  • “At the Camellia Grill,” Miracles of Love, Mary Hollingsworth, ed., Guideposts Publications, New York, NY, (2007)
  • “His Mysterious Ways,” Guideposts, Guideposts Publications, New York, NY, November (2005)
  • “Too Tall Kid” Guideposts for Teens, Spring (2003)
  • “At the Camellia Grill,” Guideposts, Guideposts Publications, New York, NY (February 1999)
  • Extensive writing and reflection for Board certification through the Association of Professional Chaplains as well as 5-year review for recertification






  • Spiritual But Not Religious: Providing Spiritual Care in a Diverse World - AHNA’s 44th Annual Conference (June 2024)
  • "Heart to Heart: Spiritual Care through Deep Listening," 3 part-webinar - Oates Institute (May 2021)
  • "Connecting through Deep Listening" - Caring for the Human Spirit Symposium presented by the Spiritual Care Association and Westberg Institute (April 2021)
  • “Remembering Your Call to Serve” - Kentuckiana Voices for Recovery Symposium. Ivy Tech Community College, Sellersburg, IN (2018)
  • Invited Poster Presenter: “Impact of Quaker Listening Model on Nurse Spirituality and Patient Care” - GWISH-George Washington University Medical School’s Institute on Healthcare and Spirituality (2015)
  • Research Day: Flavors-Multi-Discipline Research Louisiana State University School of Nursing (2016)
  • East Jefferson General Hospital’s Cheryl Sanders Memorial Research Day (2014 & 2015)
  • Planetree Patient-Centered Care Model-facilitator at East Jefferson General Hospital, VOICE, Shared Governance Committee presentation “The Quaker Model: Deep Listening as Active Listening”
  • Successfully received Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval for Quaker study at EJGH

Certifications/ Professional Organizations

  • Association of Professional Chaplains. Board Certified Chaplain (BCC) (2011 to present)
  • Spiritual Care Association (SCA). Member
  • Watson Caring Science Institute. Member
  • American Holistic Nurses. Association. Member
  • Green Cross Academy of Traumatology. Member with certification as Compassion Fatigue Educator (2021)
  • Harvard University Graduate School of Education. Teaching Students to Ask their Own Questions: Best Practice in the Question Formulation Technique. Certificate. (2021)
  • Emotional Freedom Tapping Technique. Levels 1 and 2 (2020)
  • Spiritual Directors International. (SDI) Member

Clare sitting down with her hands out.

Clare has years of pulpit speaking experience and now brings her humor
and grace as she shares the listening model with others.

What Our Clients Say!

  • Alex, RN
    As a critical care nurse, I’ve walked many patients and their families through the death experience whether it was sudden and unexpected, or unavoidable and planned. Clare was indispensable at both.
    Alex, RN
  • Donna, RN
    Clare is a blessing! She brings joy and love to the staff and our patients.
    Donna, RN
  • Alex, RN
    She is an expert in spiritual nourishment of the soul, which is easily overlooked in the medical profession but never neglected in her hands.
    Alex, RN
  • Mary, RN
    A nurse. Overwhelmed, feeling powerless to comfort her patient, to help her peers, to find motivation. Then Clare appears. With her calm, focused, attentive listening she guides me to find my inner wisdom.
    Mary, RN
  • Layne, RN
    Clare has an instinctive way of focusing on truly what’s being said. Her reflective response triggers conversations and stimulates personal thoughts and ideas critical to clinicians in understanding the holistic patient perspectives.
    Layne, RN
  • Claudia, RN
    Working with Clare was a joyful experience! She exuded warmth, kindness and compassion to every patient, nurse and staff member who were fortunate enough to be in her presence.
    Claudia, RN
  • Alex, RN
    I hope her words act as a step by guide to inspire others to do as she does because her actions often state loud and clear what a blessing she truly is.
    Alex, RN
  • Mary, RN
    I am able to remember in those chaotic moments why I answered the call to nursing and the great purpose I have. Her support and encouragement continue to inspire me in this profession.
    Mary, RN
  • Layne, RN
    She is a true champion of the bio-psycho-social-SPIRITUAL aspect of nursing care. Blessing and many thanks for bringing the art of listening to our toolbox of care.
    Layne, RN
  • Alex, RN
    Through her knowledge and example of unshakable faith she has educated, counseled, and consoled not only patients and families but nurses and doctors during some of the most extraordinarily difficult moments in their lives and careers.
    Alex, RN
  • Bonnie, RN
    We thought she was ministering to our patients and their families, but oh, Clare has a caregiver’s heart! She quickly became one of us, an honorary nurse, caring for the caregivers. She was instinctively everywhere she was needed, with her caring, listening ear.
    Bonnie, RN
  • Teresa
    What a beautiful answer to prayer you have been, Clare! Bless you for helping me through this difficult 'transition.' I love you and am so grateful for your help.