Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is Clinical Pastoral Education? 
  2. What do the essential elements of CPE include?
  3. What kind of things might be included in the Individual Learning Contract?
  4. What are the different types of CPE?
  5. What does CPE prepare a person to do?
  6. I want to be a chaplain or a pastoral counselor. Do I need CPE?
  7. What are some vocations in pastoral care?
  8. Who is eligible to enroll in CPE?
  9. Do I have to be ordained to do CPE?
  10. Do NHRMC CPE Residents get paid?
  11. How may I enroll in CPE?
  12. What are the dates for CPE and deadlines for application?
  13. What does CPE cost and are scholarships available?
  14. I am an international student. How do I enroll in CPE?
  15. Can I get academic credit for CPE?
  16. Can I get CPE credit for previous work/ministry experience?
  17. Can I do CPE on-line or through some other distance learning process?
  18. How do I become a member of ACPE?
  19. Do you provide housing for students?
  20. Where will I be ministering?
  21. What is a typical day in CPE?
  22. Additional Information for Prospective Students

What is Clinical Pastoral Education?

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 interprofessional relationships.

What do the essential elements of CPE include?

  • The actual practice of ministry to persons
  • Detailed reporting and evaluation of that practice
  • Pastoral supervision
  • Action reflection clinical method 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 supervisor (faculty) attached to an ACPE accredited CPE center, such as New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

What kind of things might be included in the Individual Learning Contract?

The CPE participant's contract is developed around the learning goals of:

Pastoral Reflection - reflection on one's self as person and pastor in relationship to persons in crisis, the supervisor, and peer group members, as well as the curriculum and institutional setting.

Pastoral Formation - focus on personal and pastoral identity issues in learning and ministry.

Pastoral Competence - deepening and unfolding of competence in pastoral function, pastoral skills and knowledge of theology and the behavioral sciences.

NHRMC does not offer Pastoral Specializations; however, we do have residents serving with Palliative Care, Emergency Transport Services, Oncology, Outpatient Clinics, Behavioral Health, and other areas of special interest. We also practice Outcome Oriented Chaplaincy. 

What are the different types of CPE?

ACPE offers Level I and Level II CPE, as well as Supervisory CPE, in sequence. The Outcomes for each level must be completed before moving to the next level. Level I and II Outcomes are addressed in our year-long residency program

What does CPE prepare a person to do?

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 CPE, choose to enroll in Supervisory CPE working toward certification as a CPE Supervisor. In Supervisory CPE the student learns the theory and practice of supervision and has an experience of supervising CPE students under the guidance and with the consultation of a CPE Supervisor.

CPE develops the capacity for the pastoral and spiritual care of individuals, families, and systems. Many theological schools require one unit of CPE as a part of a theological degree program. 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 ACPE have graduate degree programs which combine academic study and Supervisory CPE.

I want to be a chaplain or a pastoral counselor.

Do I need CPE?

The Association of Professional Chaplains (www.professionalchaplains.org), the National Association of Catholic Chaplains (www.nacc.org), Neshama: Association of Jewish Chaplains (www.najc.org) and other organizations certify chaplains. The American Association of Pastoral Counselors (www.aapc.org) trains and certifies pastoral counselors. Some CPE is required as a pre-requisite. You should contact these organizations directly about their requirements.

What are some vocations in pastoral care?

 

Areas of Service

Training Recommended or Required

Contact

Pastoral Care

Pastor, Church Staff, Social Services

Clinical Pastoral Education (minimum of one unit)

Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc. (ACPE) or CASC/ACSS (Cannadian Association for Spiritual Care)

Professional 
Chaplaincy

Hospital, hospice, military or other institutional chaplaincy

 Clinical Pastoral Education
(4 units required for Board certification)

ACPE for training and Association of Professional Chaplains (APC) or NACC or NAJC for certification

Pastoral Educator  
(CPE  Supervisor)

Supervisor of CPE programs in a variety of settings

CPE (Level I, Level II and Supervisory) Successful completion of certification process

Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc. (ACPE)

Pastoral Counselor

Counselor on church staff, counseling center or agency

CPE (at least 1 unit) PLUS Pastoral counseling training program

ACPE for introductory unit and American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC) for pastoral counseling training

Licensed Professional 
Counselor

 

 Varies from state to state, can often be done in conjunction with pastoral counseling training.

 AAPC or state credentialing agency

Who is eligible to enroll in CPE at NHRMC?  

An individual who, through a written application and an admissions interview, has demonstrated the ability to participate in a CPE Residency. We require that the applicant has successfully completed at least one unit of CPE.

We prefer a Masters degree in some theological field, but it is not required. We do require a Bachelor’s degree.

Do I have to be ordained to do CPE?

Ordination is not required for our CPE program.

Do NHRMC CPE Residents get paid?

Residents are paid a stipend.  Currently, NHRMC offers a stipend of $14.80 an hour, or $30,784 a year. Residents also receive various benefits from NHRMC.

How may I enroll in CPE?

See our application page. We will contact you for an interview.

What are the dates for CPE and deadlines for application?

The Residency Program begins the end of August and continues for one calendar year. The programs are offered on a space available basis, and there is no application deadline.

What does CPE cost and are scholarships available?

The Residency Program has a $400 tuition charge for each of the three units and a $25 application fee.  We do not offer any scholarships, and, currently, there are no scholarship programs at the national level.

I am an international student. How do I enroll in CPE?

International students should read the ACPE International Student Information page before applying to New Hanover Regional Medical Center. NHRMC does not sponsor students.

The visa process can take from six to nine months to complete. The visa must be obtained before you can begin CPE at New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

Can I get academic credit for CPE?

Many theological schools and seminaries grant academic credit for CPE. You should contact them directly for this information.

Can I get CPE credit for previous work/ministry experience?

No. ACPE credit is not granted for previous work experience. There is no substitute or equivalency for CPE. However, your previous work/ministry experience will be considered during the interview/acceptance process.

Can I do CPE on-line or through some other distance learning process?

NHRMC does not currently have any distance learning programs. Some ACPE Centers are experimenting with this mode of learning.

How do I become a member of ACPE?

There is a Student Affiliate level of membership with ACPE. Membership with ACPE allows you the opportunity to participate in the National and Regional conferences, and the ACPE News, our bi-monthly newsletter.

Do you provide housing for students?

We do not provide housing. Our Human Resources Department has brochures and information on apartments. We also recommend you look online at several apartment complexes in the area.

Where will I be ministering?

Clinical assignments at New Hanover Regional Medical Center include NHRMC Orthopedic Hospital, our Emergency Transport Services, Palliative Care, Behavioral Health Hospital, and inpatient Rehabilitation Hospital. Our New Hanover 17th Street campus has multiple adult Intensive Care units, a Heart Center, and a very busy Emergency Department. Our Women’s and Children’s Hospital includes a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Pediatric ICU. We are a Level II Trauma Center serving a 7-county area. You will have a combination of clinical areas as your primary assignment, and serve as chaplain to all areas of these hospitals while on call.

What is a typical day in CPE?

Since the heart of CPE is ministering and learning from the experience, a day’s schedule frequently includes a clinical seminar in which a student presents a pastoral encounter to other students and the supervisor for discussion and feedback. Other typical sessions are: didactic seminars in which discussion follows a lecture; discussion of a book or article; exploration of theological concerns; peer group meetings or interpersonal group sessions in which mutual sharing, caring, support and relationship concerns are explored; and worship or sharing occasions which provide opportunity for spiritual nurture

Field trips, workshops, and clinical observations may be periodically included. Evaluation experiences with the other students and your supervisor are also part of CPE and are scheduled at the end of a unit to sum up the experience, and midway through the year to assess your learning objectives. You will discover that a CPE schedule asks for active investment but also provides time for sharing, reflection, preparation, and relaxation.

Additional Information for Prospective Students

CPE is an experience in process education which has been shaped by history and yet remains responsive to the present-day cultural developments which will affect your pastoral formation. The heart of CPE is your ministry with people and learning from that ministry through reflection, discussion, and evaluation with other students and your supervisor 

In your CPE experience, you will utilize verbatims, case studies, and other ministry descriptions to present your ministry to supervision. The focus in some seminars will be on what is happening to you, the caregiver, as much as on what is happening to the people receiving your ministry. There will be discussions which assist you in understanding theological issues arising from experience. There will be opportunities to learn from behavioral sciences while also reflecting theologically, so you can draw from both in understanding the human condition. You will be challenged to think about groups and social structures as well as individuals in defining your ministry. You also will be part of a dynamic learning group with other students and your supervisor, which will provide opportunities for mutual supervision, care giving, challenge and appreciation.

Vocations in
Pastoral Care


Areas of Service
 

Training Recommended or Required

Contact

Pastoral Care

Pastor, Church Staff, Social Services

Clinical Pastoral Education (minimum of one unit)

Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc. (www.ACPE.edu) or CASC/ACSS (Canadian Association for Spiritual Care (www.spiritualcare.ca)

Professional

Chaplaincy

Hospital, hospice, military or other institutional chaplaincy

Clinical Pastoral Education  (4 units required for Board certification)

ACPE for training and Association of Professional Chaplains (APC) or NACC or NAJC for certification

Pastoral Educator  

(CPE  Supervisor)

Supervisor of CPE programs in a variety of settings

CPE (Level I, Level II and Supervisory) Successful completion of certification process

Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc. (ACPE)

Pastoral Counselor

Counselor on church staff, counseling center or agency

CPE (at least 1 unit) PLUS Pastoral counseling training program

ACPE for introductory unit and American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC) for pastoral counseling training

Licensed Professional

Counselor

 

Varies from state to state, can often be done in conjunction with pastoral counseling training.

 AAPC or state credentialing agency

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