Clinical Pastoral Education is interfaith professional education for ministry. It brings theological students and ministers of all faiths (pastors, priests, rabbis, imams and others) into supervised encounter with persons 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 inter-professional relationships.
WHAT DO THE ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF CPE INCLUDE?
The actual practice of ministry to persons
Detailed reporting and evaluation of that practice
A process conception of learning
A theoretical perspective on all elements of the program
A small group of peers in a common learning experience
A specific time period
An individual contract for learning consistent with the objectives of CPE
The CPE program must be conducted under the auspices of an ACPE certified educator (faculty) attached to an ACPE accredited CPE center.
WHAT DOES CPE PREPARE A PERSON TO DO?
ACPE certified CPE serves as a part of one's preparation for parish ministry, chaplaincy, lay ministry, teaching, and counseling. A student's learning contract may be focused toward integration of theological, psychological, and pastoral insights into pastoral functioning for parish work. Or the contract may be designed with a career goal of chaplaincy or pastoral counseling.
Some students, after completing several units of ACPE certified CPE, choose to enroll in Educator CPE working toward certification as an ACPE certified educator. In Educator CPE the student learns the theory and practice of education and has an experience of educating CPE students under the guidance and with the consultation of an ACPE certified educator.
ACPE certified CPE develops the capacity for the pastoral and spiritual care of individuals, families, and systems.
Other schools accept a year of CPE as the required intern year of ministry for a theological degree program.
A number of theological schools which are members of the ACPE have graduate degree programs which combine academic study and Educator CPE.
Many theological schools require one unit of CPE as a part of a theological degree program.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO ENROLL IN CPE?
For units of ACPE certified CPE: An individual who, through a written application and an admissions interview, has demonstrated the ability to participate in ACPE certified CPE, usually one who has successfully completed at least one year of theological school. And such other requirements or education and experience as a specific CPE accredited Center may require.
For ACPE accredited Educator CPE programs: An individual who has successfully completed several units of CPE and has demonstrated a readiness to utilize Educator CPE, usually one who has a theological degree and several years of pastoral experience.