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CPE is theological and professional education for ministry. In CPE, theological students, ordained clergy, members of religious orders and qualified lay people minister to people in crisis situations while being supervised. Out of intense involvement with supervisors, other students, people in crisis and other professionals, CPE students are challenged to improve the quality of their pastoral relationships. Genuine caring pastoral relationships are enhanced through pastoral practice, written case studies and verbatims and individual supervision. Through viewing complicated life situations from different viewpoints, students are able to gain new insights and understandings about the human situation. Theological reflection is important in CPE as pastoral people seek ways to integrate theology with life experience.

Centra’s CPE Program is accredited by the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE). Our educational philosophy is a holistic, transformative, and integrative approach to pastoral education.  Grounded in the clinical method of learning, our CPE Program fosters competent and compassionate spiritual care providers who are skilled in providing care rooted in the needs of patients, families, and staff that we serve.  Our Program is aligned with the ACPE's mission, the depth of our training enables students to realize their full potential to strengthen the spiritual health of people in their care as well as themselves. CPE at Centra supports students in learning the tender and courageous work of caring for the human soul.​



  • The actual practice of ministry to persons
  • Detailed reporting and evaluation of that practice
  • Pastoral Supervision
  • 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.


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.


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.



Please complete an *application and return via email: 


​​After your application has been received, you will receive a confirmation email and will be instructed to remit the Application Fee. 

CPE non-refundable application fee is $50.00.  Please make check payable to Centra Health and send check to ​

Clinical Pastoral Education ATTN: Susana Brown 1901 Tate Springs Rd, Lynchburg, VA  24501   

Clinical Pastoral Education Program is Accredited by The Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc.
​ACPE: The Standard for Spiritual Care and Education

We Work, Floor 4, 120 West Trinity Place, Decatur, GA 30030

​​phone 404-320-1472

 Susana Brown, ACPE Educator,  susana.brown@centrahealth.com

 phone 434-200-4501​