Clinical Pastoral Education Program

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is professional education for interfaith spiritual care giving and religious leadership. It brings participants of all faiths (seminarians, pastors, priests, rabbis, imams and lay persons) into supervised ministry with individuals in crisis. CPE consists of clinical service, formational opportunities and significant introspection.

In CPE participants

  • Engage intensive and extensive encounters with persons in crisis
  • Grow personally and professionally from feedback of CPE peers and educators
  • Reflect theologically on specific human experiences
  • Develop interpersonal and interprofessional relationship skills
  • Deepen their understanding of spiritual care

The CPE Programs at Yale New Haven Hospital are accredited by

The Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc.
One West Court Square, Suite 325
Decatur, GA 30030
Phone: 404-320-1472
Fax: 404-320-0849
Email: acpe@acpe.edu
Website: www.acpe.edu

Clinical Pastoral Education

Part-time Program

The part-time program is attractive to participants who wish to enroll in CPE while studying or working part-time. The program consists of at least 300 clinical and at least 100 educational hours. In a CPE group four to six participants meet weekly for didactic presentations, case review, supervisory consultation and process group. CPE students are responsible for providing emergency spiritual care during on call and offer spiritual support in assigned clinical areas. The clinical work schedule can be negotiated based on participants’ and departmental needs. There is no application fee.

Summer Intensive Program

The summer intensive program offers a 12-week full-time CPE experience for seminarians, theological students and religious leaders. The program includes of at least 300 clinical and at least 100 educational hours. The CPE group consists of four to six participants. Students’ regular day starts at 8 am and ends at 4:30 pm. Educational sessions consist of didactic presentations, case review, supervisory consultation and process group. When class is not in session students are expected to engage in direct spiritual care with patients, families and staff in their assigned clinical areas. CPE participants also provide emergency spiritual care during a number of daytime, overnight and weekend on call shifts. There is no application fee.

Residency Program

The residency program is designed for religious leaders, ordained clergy or persons who have completed a Master’s of Divinity degree or equivalent. This nine-month full-time program is comprised of three units of ACPE-CPE. Between units, participants have the opportunity to enjoy 10 days of paid time off (plus five holidays and five professional days). Graduates from the residency are eligible to apply for board certification as professional chaplains. The program includes a total of at least 900 hours of clinical and at least 300 educational hours. The CPE group consists of four participants. Residents’ regular day starts at 8 am and ends at 4:30 pm. Educational sessions consist of didactic presentations, case review, supervisory consultation and process group. When class is not in session students are expected to engage in direct spiritual care with patients, families and staff in their assigned areas. CPE participants also provide emergency spiritual care during a number of daytime, overnight and weekend on call shifts. The program requires a weekly time commitment of an average of 55 hours.

In the residency participants have the opportunity to engage in professional development in CPE, while actively providing intensive and extensive spiritual care, contributing to the interdisciplinary team, and collaborating in a large department. The consistency and structure of the CPE group offers a supportive and challenging environment for in-depth education and formation. Prerequisites to this program include a completed a unit of ACPE-CPE, endorsement by a faith group, participation in a faith community for at least three years. The residency program offers three units of CPE and prepares participants for certification in professional chaplaincy. The nine-month stipend is $30,000 and includes basic medical insurance, free parking and free meals while on call. The application fee is $30. In addition to the CPE admission process, successful candidates will also participate in a Human Resources application process to qualify for employment as a CPE resident. Human Resources requires contact information for two peers and two previous managers or supervisors, who can speak for the candidate.

Supervisory Education Program

The supervisory education program is designed for healthcare chaplains who have completed at least four units of ACPE-CPE and have met the outcomes for Level II ACPE-CPE. Ordination or endorsement of a religious group and membership in good standing in a faith community are prerequisites. The supervisory education program requires passion and commitment to life-long learning and education. In addition to the experiential components of observing, co-supervising and supervising students in Level I and II CPE, a supervisory education student also formulates theories undergirding the practice of supervision in theology, personality theory, as well as group and educational theory. A regional peer group and opportunities for consultation with a larger community of CPE supervisors are part of the supervisory education curriculum. There is no application fee.

The department of Spiritual Care at Yale New Haven Hospital offers a prime educational environment. CPE participants work alongside experienced chaplains of a variety of religious backgrounds. Yale New Haven Hospital is a 1541-bed hospital, which includes Smilow Cancer Hospital, Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital and Yale New Haven Psychiatric Hospital. It is the primary teaching hospital for Yale Schools of Medicine and Nursing and combines academic medicine with a deep commitment to serving the community. Yale New Haven Hospital has two campuses in New Haven – York Street Campus and Saint Raphael Campus.

The department of Spiritual Care has a proud history of over 50 years. Chaplains are well respected and integrated into the medical services at this Level I trauma center for adult and pediatric patients. Chaplains at Yale New Haven Hospital may touch the lives of more than 75,000 patients who are discharged annually. The department is delighted to share its ministry with CPE students, who are eager to live their call and make a difference.

In the CPE programs at Yale New Haven Hospital CPE students:

  • Become confident spiritual caregivers and respected team members
  • Learn to be effective as they assist persons in the process of meaning-making
  • Cultivate their pastoral identity and grow personally
  • Deepen their ability to utilize spiritual and religious resources
  • Participate in a simulation practicum to improve spiritual care giving skills
  • Practice outcome-oriented spiritual care
  • Experience a wealth of cultural, spiritual and religious diversity
  • Learn about latest advances and complexities in medicine and healthcare
  • Are supported by a group of diverse peers and a committed team of chaplains
  • Make use of educational relationships based on trust, support and challenge
  • Learn to bring their whole selves to their work as chaplains

Yale New Haven Hospital’s commitment to experience, innovation, tradition and excellence shapes the Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program. With specialty assignments in oncology, cardiology, surgery, neuroscience, psychiatry, general medicine, emergency medicine, maternity and pediatrics, CPE participants are challenged and supported as they provide spiritual care to patients, families and staff of a wide variety of spiritual, religious and cultural backgrounds.

In the CPE program, participants will:

  • Respond to crisis situations in the Emergency Department and throughout the hospital
  • Participate in the department’s daytime, overnight and weekend on call rotation
  • Provide spiritual care in intensive care units and connected patient care areas
  • Offer pre-surgical visits to patients and families
  • Participate in departmental quality improvement projects
  • Contribute as members of the interdisciplinary team
  • Offer opportunities to support staff
  • Be emotionally, mentally and spiritually engaged in examining their spiritual care practice
  • Explore opportunities for growth in interpersonal relationships
  • Deepen their capacity for compassionate spiritual care giving
  • Function in a complex, fast-paced institutional environment

All CPE programs consist of at least 300 clinical and at least 100 educational hours. CPE participants will actively participate in

  • Direct spiritual care encounters with patients, families and staff
  • Regular on call coverage as part of the department’s on call rotation
  • Didactic presentations, workshops, case review, individual supervisory consultation and process group sessions
  • Study and reflection on readings pertinent to the practice of healthcare chaplaincy

How to apply?

After reviewing the information on this website, download the application and reference form. Email your completed application to CPE@YNHH.org or mail your application to the Department of Spiritual Care six to eight months before the start of the unit. The application needs to include the essay questions and three references. Please specify your program of interest.

What are the application deadlines?

Our programs are competitive and we usually have many more applicants than positions available. Programs are filled on a first-come-first-serve basis.



What are the different types of CPE?

The Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc. 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. Please contact the Department of Spiritual Care for specifics on the availability of openings in each of the different programs.

I am a minister in my faith community. Can I apply to CPE?

Yes, you may apply to the part-time CPE program. CPE is helpful training for lay ministry, spiritual care giving, counseling and teaching in a faith community. CPE aims at integration of theological, psychological and practical learning into any ministry. A basic unit of CPE is considered a volunteer educational opportunity; it does not result in employment.

What are the essential elements of CPE?
  • The actual practice of spiritual care
  • Detailed reporting and evaluation of that practice
  • Process-oriented, relational learning
  • A theoretical rational for all program elements
  • A small group of peers in a common learning experience
  • A specific time period
  • An individualized learning contract consistent with the objectives of CPE
  • Clinical Supervision by an ACPE certified CPE supervisor in an ACPE accredited CPE Center
What kinds of things might I learn in CPE?
  • Reflection on one's self as person and spiritual caregiver in relationship to people in crisis, the supervisor, other chaplains and peer group members
  • Active and reflective participation in an adult education curriculum and an institutional setting
  • Deeper understandings of personal and pastoral identity issues in learning and ministry
  • Increasing competence in functioning as spiritual care giver in a professional ministry role
  • A variety of spiritual care skills as well as theoretical knowledge relevant to effective ministry
  • Ability to keep in mind and assess outcomes in ministry and spiritual care giving
  • Beginning ability to relate one’s own reflections to results rendered by research in the field
I want to become a professional chaplain. What do I need to do?

The path towards becoming a professional chaplain starts with graduate level theological education. Students must earn a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from a nationally or regionally accredited university or seminary. The following websites will help determine if an educational institution’s accreditation is recognized:

After graduating and gaining some experience in ministry, completing at least four units of CPE, and being endorsed by their faith group, chaplaincy candidates are eligible for certification. In addition to demonstrating the competencies of professional chaplaincy in writing, candidates also appear in front of a committee, which assesses the competencies in person. The professional standards which all certifying bodies share are called the Common Standards. The following websites of the certifying bodies are also helpful: The Association for Professional Chaplains; The National Association of Catholic Chaplains; The National Association of Jewish Chaplains; The Association of Muslim Chaplains; The Buddhist Chaplains Network.

What should I expect when I am invited to an admission interview?

The interview is different from a regular job interview. The main goal is to get to know you and determine your ability to make use of an experiential educational program. You will be invited to share your learning goals, describe formative experiences and speak to your potential as an effective professional spiritual care giver. The admission interview will engage you on multiple levels – emotional, intellectual, personal and professional.

When might I hear back after an interview?

Generally you can expect that a response in writing may take several weeks. However, decisions are made as close to the interview date as possible.

Are there any stipends or scholarships?

The stipend in the nine-month residency is $26,000. All other programs do not offer a stipend. There are no scholarships. You may negotiate a payment plan with your supervisor after the admission interview and prior to the beginning of the program. Some seminaries and theological schools offer work-study money.

I am an international student. What should I know about the visa process?

Once you have applied to our center, had an admission interview and were accepted, you need to contact the national office of the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education. The visa process can take six to nine months to complete. The visa must be obtained prior to the beginning of your CPE program at Yale New Haven Hospital.

Do I have to be ordained?

No. However, if you are eligible for ordination in your faith group, you need to be in the ordination process when you join the CPE residency at Yale New Haven Hospital.

How do I find out about academic credit for CPE?

Many seminaries and theological school grant academic credit for CPE. For more detailed information you need to contact your school or seminary.

The Reverend Susan L. Asher

Sue has been a member of the department of Spiritual Care since 1998, initially as the coordinator of Pastoral Education, and since 2010 as the director. In that capacity, Sue manages a large staff of full-time and part-time chaplains and CPE students who provide spiritual care to patients and caregivers in Yale New Haven Hospital (York Street and Saint Raphael campuses) inpatient units as well as to the hospital at-large. Sue is co-chair of the hospital bio-ethics committee.

Sue received her bachelor of Science degree from Susquehanna University and her Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary. Ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 1989, Sue served as associate pastor for five years at Ladue Chapel Presbyterian Church in St. Louis, MO. Sue trained for supervisory CPE at St. Luke's Hospital in Chesterfield, Missouri, and was certified in 1999 as an ACPE Supervisor. In 2001, Sue was certified in The Association of Professional Chaplains as a board-certified chaplain. Sue is also a member of The Presbytery of Southern New England.

The Reverend Angelika A. Zollfrank

Angelika joined the department of Spiritual Care in 2014 initially as Coordinator of Pastoral Education and since 2016 as manager. She received her bachelor’s degree in German language and literature and master's of Divinity from the University of Heidelberg, Germany. She served in a parish near Munich, Germany, and was ordained by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria. She came to the United States in 2000 and is on the roster of the New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). She is a board-certified chaplain in the Association of Professional Chaplains, is endorsed for chaplaincy by the ELCA and is nationally certified as supervisor with the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc. From 2005 – 2014, she directed the CPE program and served as chaplain at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Angelika joined a research group which was awarded with a Templeton Foundation grant through the Healthcare Chaplaincy, NYC in 2013. In 2011 Angelika became a licensed practitioner with the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute (SCTRI). In 2009/10 she was awarded a fellowship in medical ethics at the Harvard Medical School, Division of Ethics.

Kendall Palladino

kendall palladino

Kendall was motivated to enter the field of spiritual care after having worked with Mother Teresa in Calcutta, India. After she encouraged Kendall to consider the physical, spiritual and emotional poverty that exists in the United States, he enrolled in CPE. From 1996-1998, he served as a chaplain at the Loma Linda University Medical Center. In 1998, he managed the bereavement, pastoral and volunteer services for a VITAS Hospice branch in California. From 2000-2010, he was director of spiritual and bereavement services for Regional Hospice of Western CT and the Healing Hearts Center for Grieving Children and Families. Kendall was licensed as a Baptist minister in 1995, but since 1997 has been theologically catholic and later converted to Roman Catholicism. He is recognized by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops as a board-certified chaplain with the National Association of Catholic Chaplains. He has a BA from Harvard College, a master’s of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a doctor of Ministry from Princeton Theological Seminary. Since 2010, Kendall has managed Spiritual Care at the Hospital of Saint Raphael, which in 2012, became Yale New Haven Hospital, St. Raphael Campus. Kendall started training for supervisory CPE at Yale New Haven Hospital in May 2014 and was certified in May 2017 as an ACPE-certified associate educator.

Email: CPE@YNHH.org
Phone: 203-688-2151
The Rev. Angelika A. Zollfrank
Coordinator of Pastoral Education
Department of Spiritual Care
Yale New Haven Hospital
20 York St., Hunter 507
New Haven, CT 06510-3202
Phone: 203-688-2151
Email: Angelika.Zollfrank@ynhh.org

Clinical Pastoral Education Programs at Yale New Haven Hospital are accredited by
The Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc.
One West Court Square, Suite 325
Decatur, GA 30030
Phone: 404-320-1472
Fax: 404-320-0849
Email: acpe@acpe.edu
Website: www.acpe.edu