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
CPE has a strong “hands-on” component. Participants meet with
patients/residents/clients, and from their interaction develop their
awareness and skills for pastoral care. St.Vincent provides a variety of
clinical possibilities and a number of certified chaplain staff who
serve as clinical preceptors.
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
- National Association of Jewish Chaplains (NAJC) www.najc.org
CPE units taken at St.Vincent are recognized by all of these certifying bodies.
St.Vincent has offered Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) since 1991
through accreditation by the Association for Clinical Pastoral
Education, Inc. (ACPE), 1549 Clairmont Road, Suite 103, Decatur, GA
30033. Phone: 404-320-1472; Fax: 404-320-0849; Web: www.acpe.edu. For more information please contact St.Vincent Hospitals and Health Services CPE Program at 317-338-3554 or 317-338-9874.