Clinical Pastoral Education

Ministry can be challenging. Those in ministry constantly face how to balance serving others with caring for self. Decisions about what to say, how to say it and how much of yourself to disclose all come into play. Ministers are also influenced by their personal history, family history, cultural expectations and assumptions.

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) helps raise awareness of why we do what we do in ministry and how we can become conscious of the choices we make when caring for others. All this can help us become more fruitful pastoral caregivers.

The Association for Clinical Pastoral Education describes this approach to skills and awareness as “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.” Learn more about Clinical Pastoral Education

CPE utilizes an experiential learning model in which students are immersed in their clinical setting (e.g. the hospital) and develop the art of spiritual care among patients, families and staff. Students then reflect about patient care experiences in a formal learning group and with the supervisor to better understand their strengths and challenges as ministers and pastoral care providers.

Programs

Introductory CPE 

Christian currently offers summer, fall and spring CPE units for those wanting an introduction to pastoral care. Candidates should:

  • Possess a bachelor’s degree or greater
  • Provide proof of coursework in theology
  • Be able to write at the graduate/master’s level
  • Possess a social security number (for background check purposes)

To apply for the summer, fall or spring unit, please submit a completed ACPE application with essays 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 detailed in the application. Please include a $50 application fee payable to St. Louis Cluster ACPE. 

Download the application.  

Submit to:
Chaplain John Allen
Christian Hospital
11133 Dunn Road.
St. Louis, Missouri 63136


Intermediate CPE

A yearlong CPE residency is also offered for those who want to deepen their pastoral identity or who want to obtain the necessary CPE units for board certification with the Association of Professional Chaplains. Resident peer group occurs within the St. Louis Cluster.

Candidates should:

  • Possess a master’s degree in theology or related field
  • Provide proof of coursework in theology
  • Be able to write at the graduate/master’s level
  • Possess a social security number (for background check purposes)
  • Be a non-smoker/non-nicotine user (per hospital policy)
  • Provide documentation of at least one completed unit of CPE
To apply for a year-long residency, please submit a completed ACPE application with essays 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 detailed in the application. In lieu of a “helping incident” essay, include a verbatim along with a reflection on feedback you received from peers and supervisor. Please include supervisory- and self-evaluations. Please include a $50 application fee payable to St. Louis Cluster ACPE. 

Download the application

Submit those to:
Cristina Stevens, Admissions Officer, St. Louis Cluster
c/o SSM/Saint Louis University Hospital
Pastoral Care 15-DT, PO Box 15250
3635 Vista @ Grand, St. Louis, Missouri 63110-0250


Christian Hospital, a member of the St. Louis Cluster, ACPE, is accredited to offer Level I/II CPE under the Standards of the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc., One West Court Square, Suite 325, Decatur, GA  30030; (404) 320-1472 or www.acpe.edu.