Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is experience-based theological education for seminarians, clergy and lay persons of diverse cultures, ethnic groups and faith traditions. As the program’s name implies, CPE is:
CPE has a strong “hands-on” component. Participants meet with patients and interdisciplinary team members to develop their awareness and skills for pastoral care. Edward-Elmhurst Healthcare provides a variety of clinical possibilities.
CPE is pastoral, focusing on putting an individual’s theology into practice. Some describe CPE as “doing” theology versus “learning” theology. Depending on the particular CPE program, participants bring to their work a graduate degree in theology, work toward such a degree, or sufficient theological background to do pastoral ministry.
Above all CPE is adult learning. A unit of CPE is “at least 400 hours combining no less than 100 hours of structured group and individual education with supervised clinical practice in ministry” (ACPE).
Most national certifying bodies require a minimum of four accredited units of CPE prior to application for chaplain certification. For certification information consider the following:
- American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC) www.aapc.org
- Association of Professional Chaplains (APC) www.apc.org
- National Association of Catholic Chaplains (NACC) www.nacc.org
- Neshama: Association of Jewish Chaplains (NAJC) www.najc.org
CPE units taken at Edward-Elmhurst Healthcare are recognized by all of these certifying bodies.
Edward-Elmhurst Healthcare has offered Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) since 1983 through accreditation by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc. (ACPE), Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc., (ACPE) One West Court Square, Suite 325 Decatur, GA 30030. Phone: 404-320-1472; Fax: 404-320-0849; Web: www.acpe.edu. For more information please contact Edward-Elmhurst Healthcare CPE Program at 331-221-8398.
Description: Full-time, twelve-month, three-unit CPE program from early September to late August, intended for persons aiming at a level of competence that permits them to attain professional board certification as chaplains.
- Education: Graduate theological degree (Master of Divinity; may be theology, religious studies, pastoral ministry, pastoral studies, spirituality if accepted by certifying body). If a person has not yet completed such a degree when beginning a residency it is understood that (s)he would be able to be certified within 24 months of completing the residency.
- Experience: Pastoral experience. Successful completion of one previous CPE unit.
- Skills and knowledge: appropriate to, and sufficient for, expectations and realities of the program. Evidenced in application materials, interview, and references.
Stipend and benefits: CPE Residents receive a stipend and benefits. They are Edward-Elmhurst Healthcare Associates for the time that they are in the program.
Tuition: $300 per CPE unit, payable at the beginning of the respective unit, unless financial payment plan is worked out in advance with CPE Certified Educator.
Calendar: Limited group work on breaks between CPE units and around holidays, but clinical responsibilities continue.
Applications are accepted after December 1 of the previous year. Application deadline: when program is full. No application fee.
Certification: consult www.nacc.org or www.professionalchaplains.org for chaplain board certification requirements. Consult www.acpe.edu for Certified Educator process and requirements.