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Clinical Pastoral Education

Clinical Pastoral Education

What is Clinical Pastoral Education?

Clinical Pastoral Education is interfaith professional education for ministry. It brings persons 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 a 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.

Who is Eligible to Enroll in CPE?

An individual who, through a written application and an admissions interview, has demonstrated the ability to participate in CPE.

The Essential Elements in CPE Include:

  • The actual practice of ministry to persons
  • Detailed reporting and evaluation of that practice
  • Pastoral Supervision by an ACPE certified supervisor
  • A process conception 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
  • ACPE accreditation of the CPE Center

The Individual Learning Contract

The CPE participants 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.

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 insight into pastoral function with a career goal of chaplaincy or pastoral counseling.

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.


Level I and Level II CPE offered

Summer Session

11 Weeks Monday - Friday; 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Late May to Mid-August


Mondays and Thursdays; 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Late September through April

Tuition: $900

Deposit: $200 (nonrefundable) Due one month before the program begins. Deposit is applied toward tuition.

Application Process

  • Completed application
  • Admissions Interview by ACPE supervisor or other qualified professional.

Family Education and Privacy Act (FERPA)

This ACPE CPE center/program guarantees to its students the rights to inspect and review education records, to seek to amend them, to specified control over release of record information, and to file a complaint against the program for alleged violations of these Family Education and Privacy Act (FERPA) rights.

A student has the right to object to record content. If not negotiable, the written objection will be kept with and released with the record. Grades are exempted from this right.

Violations of these protocols may be reported to the Chair of the Accreditation Commission at:

One West Court Square, Suite 325
Decatur, GA 30033

For further information contact:

Kim Herschaft
Central Maine Medical Center
Pastoral Care Department
300 Main Street Lewiston, ME 04240
Telephone: (207) 795-2291
Fax: (207) 795-2683


The CPE program is accredited for Level I & Level II ACPE CPE by:

One West Court Square, Suite 325
Decatur, GA 30033
Telephone: (404)320-1472
Fax: (404) 320-0489
ACPE e-mail: