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?
What kinds of things might I learn in 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
I want to become a professional chaplain. What do I need to do?
- 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
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:
- Council of Higher Education Association (www.chea.org)
- Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges (www.neasc.org)
- North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (www.sacs.org)
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges (www.acswasc.org)
- Association of Theological Schools (www.acswasc.org)
- U.S. Department of Education (www.ed.gov)
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 $30,000. 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.