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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 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 spiritually and 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

ACPE, Inc.
1 Concourse Pkwy, Suite 800
Atlanta, GA 30328
Phone: 404-320-1472
Fax: 404-320-0849
Email: [email protected]

Clinical Pastoral Education

About CPE Programs

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 an 11-week full-time CPE experience for seminarians, theological students and religious leaders. The CPE group consists of four to six participants. Students’ regular days are Monday through Friday from 8 am until 4:30 pm. The program includes at least 300 clinical and at least 100 educational hours. 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, persons who have completed a Master of Divinity or other related Master’s degree in Theology, Philosophy or Psychology degree and/or those preparing for a career in professional chaplaincy. This  full-time program is comprised of three units of ACPE-CPE. Graduates from the residency will be eligible to apply for board certification as professional chaplains. Residents’ regular days start at 8 am and end 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 50 hours in the hospital as well as time at home for reading and writing assignments. 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.

To be eligible an applicant must have completed at least one unit of ACPE-CPE. 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. Endorsement by a faith 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/spirituality, personality theory and group/educational theory.


What to Expect in CPE at YNHH

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  cultural and religious backgrounds. Yale New Haven Hospital is a 1541-bed hospital that has two campuses in New Haven – York Street Campus and Saint Raphael Campus. The York Street campus includes Smilow Cancer Hospital, Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital and Yale New Haven Psychiatric Hospital. It also houses a Level I trauma center for adult and pediatric patients. YNHH is the primary teaching hospital for Yale Schools of Medicine and Nursing and combines academic medicine with a deep commitment to serving the community.

The department of Spiritual Care has a proud history of over 50 years. Chaplains are well respected and integrated into the medical services. 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 out 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 and professional identity, and grow personally
  • Deepen their ability to utilize spiritual and religious resources
  • Practice outcome-oriented spiritual care
  • Experience a wealth of cultural, spiritual and religious diversity
  • Learn about latest advances and complexities in medicine and healthcare
  • Make use of educational relationships based on trust, support and challenge
  • Learn to bring their whole selves to their work as chaplains

Why Enroll in CPE at YNHH

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 [email protected] 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.

Program Dates

Residency Program
York Street Campus

Aug. 26, 2024 - June 20, 2025

Three (3) unites of CPE, beginning with Level IB

Part-time (Extended) units
Saint Raphael Campus 

Spring 2024: Jan. 30, 2024 – May 30, 2024
Fall 2024: Aug. 20, 2024 – Dec. 19, 2024

Spring 2025: Jan. 28, 2025 – May 29, 2025
Fall 2025: Aug. 19, 2025 – Dec. 18, 2025

Summer Unit 

Summer units are currently not being offered

Each unit of CPE is at least 100 hours of group and individual supervision, in addition to at least 300 clinical hours, for a total of 400 hours.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different types of CPE?

The CPE Center at YNHH is accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc. to offer Level I and Level II CPE, as well as CPE Educator training. 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 clergy person currently working in a congregation. Can I apply to CPE?

Yes, the part-time CPE program may be a perfect fit for you. CPE is helpful training for spiritual care giving, counseling and teaching in a faith community. CPE aims to integrate theological, psychological and practical learning into any person in ministry. A single 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 rationale 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 Educator in an ACPE accredited Center

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

No, ACPE credit is not granted for previous work experience, though your previous work/ministry experience is a consideration during the interview/acceptance process.

What kinds of things might I learn in CPE?

  • Self-awareness through reflection on one's self as a person and a spiritual caregiver in relationship to people in crisis, the Certified Educator, other chaplains and peer group members
  • Deeper understandings of personal and pastoral identity issues in learning and ministry
  • 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
  • How to make a spiritual assessment and document it in an electronic chart record
  • How to consult the research literature to inform your practice of spiritual care

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 website 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 Qualifications and Competencies. The following websites of the certifying bodies are also helpful: The Association of Professional Chaplains; The National Association of Catholic Chaplains; The National Association of Jewish Chaplains; The Association of Muslim Chaplains; Buddhist Chaplains. The Board of Chaplaincy Certification Inc (BCCi, an affiliate of the Association of Professional Chaplains) process and a thorough understanding of the competencies are covered in the final unit of CPE in the chaplain residency program at YNHH.

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 residency pays a market rate stipend. 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, we will work with you by contacting the national office of the Association for Clinical Pastoral Educationwho will work with you on applying for a visa. 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 interested in becoming a Board Certified chaplain, you will have to be endorsed by a faith group that is recognized by APC. Most endorsers have a path for lay people. You will want to explore what your faith group requires.

How do I find out about academic credit for CPE?

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

Additional information for prospective students:

ACPE certified 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 ACPE certified CPE is your ministry with people and learning from that ministry through reflection, discussion, and evaluation with other students and your educator. In your ACPE certified CPE experience, you will utilize verbatims (in the form of Pastoral Care Reports), 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 care giver, 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 educator, which will provide opportunities for mutual supervision, care giving, challenge and appreciation.  -  from

About the CPE Certified Educators

The Reverend Mary Q. Browne

The Rev. Mary Q. BrownMary returned to Connecticut after a 30-year journey which began with parenthood and volunteer work in her community and church, and ended here at Yale New Haven Hospital. She graduated from the University of Connecticut, with a Bachelor of Arts, Honors Scholar in Psychology; from the University of Pittsburgh with a Master of Social Work; and from the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity. She was ordained in 2009 with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and was endorsed for specialized ministry in 2010. She became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (2010) and Board Certified Chaplain with the Association for Professional Chaplains (2011).

Mary participated in an ACPE Residency and Supervisory Training program at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System (VAPHS) where she also served as a staff chaplain. Upon achieving Associate Supervisor status she became the CPE Supervisor directing the program at the South Texas Veterans Health Care System in San Antonio. She became fully certified as an ACPE Certified Educator in 2014, just prior to joining Memorial Hermann Health System in Houston. At Memorial Hermann she served in the role of Director of the Chaplaincy Service at Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital and was on the faculty of the System CPE program. She joined the Department of Spiritual Care at Yale New Haven Hospital in 2019 as a manager. Before entering into chaplaincy and CPE supervision, Mary served on staff in several churches, was a therapist/pastoral counselor and was a contract chaplain in a state mental hospital. She has articles published in the Journal of Religion, Disability, and Health and Reflective Practice.

Dr. Kendall Palladino

photo of 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 trained for supervisory CPE at Yale New Haven Hospital beginning in May 2014. He was certified as an ACPE Certified Educator in 2018.

Contact Us

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 203-688-2151

The Rev. Mary Q. Browne 
Manager, Spiritual Care 
Phone: 203-688-7036 
Email: [email protected]