What is Clinical Pastoral Education?
Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is interfaith professional education for ministry. It brings theological students and ministers of all faiths into supervised encounters with people in crisis. Out of an intense involvement with persons in need, and the feedback from peers and teachers, students develop new awareness of themselves as persons and of the needs of those to whom they minister. From theological reflection on specific human situations, they gain a new understanding of ministry. Within the interdisciplinary team process of helping persons, they develop skills in interpersonal and interprofessional relationships.
What does CPE prepare a person to do?
CPE may be used as preparation for parish ministry, chaplaincy, teaching, counseling and certification as a CPE educator.
Many theological schools require one unit of basic CPE as part of the theological degree program. Mercyhealth requires volunteer chaplains to have been or be currently enrolled in at least one CPE.
Clinical Pastoral Education objectives
The standards of the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE) indicate that CPE focuses on self-awareness. Basic CPE students at Mercyhealth are accepted as possessing readiness to provide patients, families and employee partners with supportive care. The objectives of serving our communities include:
- Utilize the clinical method of learning through the use of verbatim, case studies, peer discussions, critical incident reports and supervision.
- Recognize the relationship between personal attributes and pastoral functioning.
- Integrate pastoral, professional and personal functioning.
- Recognize the role of beliefs and value systems in pastoral care.
Criteria for admission to basic CPE includes:
1. Graduation from college or denominational equivalent.
2. One academic year of theological education or equivalent.
3. Satisfactory completion of application materials. A $25 application fee must accompany the application. This will be credited toward the tuition if the applicant is accepted.
4. Admission interview with the CPE educator.
Students are admitted regardless of race, creed, color or national origin.
Extended Basic, Unit A (part time)
Schedule: Students meet in class sessions for six hours per week. Ten additional work hours are required each week and can be arranged
to accommodate a student’s schedule. Ten weekend or overnight shifts on-call are required.
Retreat: One 24-hour retreat is required. Program dates: October through March, with
breaks around major religious holidays. Tuition: $450
Extended Basic, Unit B (part time)
Schedule: Students meet in class sessions for eight hours per week. Twelve additional work hours are required each week and can be arranged to accommodate a student’s schedule. Ten weekend or overnight shifts on-call are also required.
Retreat: One 24-hour retreat is required. Program dates: January through May Tuition: $450
Summer Intensive Unit (full time)
Schedule: 40 hours per week plus overnight on-calls. Weekend on-calls are also required.
Retreat: One 24-hour retreat is required. Program Dates: June through August Stipend: $700
Applications and information
For more information, or to request an application, contact:
Rev. Ardella Gibson, MA, NHA, BCC
Pastoral Services Department
Phone: (815) 971-5179
Javon Bea Hospital–Rockton
2400 N. Rockton Ave.
Rockford, IL 61103
The Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc.
One West Court Square, Suite 325, Decatur, GA 30030
Phone: (404) 320-1472 | Fax: (404) 320-0849