Clinical Pastoral Education

Published On 07/11/2011

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is interfaith professional education for ministry. It brings theological students and ministers of all faiths (pastors, priests, rabbis, imams and others) into supervised encounters with persons in crisis. Out of an intense involvement with persons in need, and the feedback from peers and teachers, students develop individual awareness and a unique understanding of those to whom they minister.

From theological reflection on specific human situations, CPE participants gain a new understanding of ministry. Within the team process of helping people, skills are developed in interpersonal and inter-professional relationships. The essential elements of clinical pastoral education include:

  • Practice of ministry to persons
  • A process conception of learning
  • Pastoral supervision
  • A small group peer learning experience
  • An individual contract for learning
  • Development of pastoral identity
  • Growth of self and interpersonal awareness
  • Spiritual assessment and care
  • Skills in trauma care and pastoral crisis intervention
  • Integration of theology and psychology with the practice of ministry
  • Understanding family, congregational, work and community systems
  • Use of spiritual resources 
  • Leadership
  • CPE program under the auspices of an ACPE certified supervisor

Admissions and Accreditation

Admissions require a completed application and an interview. Download an application or one may be mailed upon request. Clinical Pastoral Education offers CPE (Level I and Level II) accreditation by:

Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc.

1549 Clairmont Road, Suite 103
Decatur, Georgia 30033
Phone: 404.320.1472

Clinical Pastoral Education Main Office

Methodist Healthcare University Hospital
Clinical Pastoral Education
188 S. Bellevue, Suite 316
Memphis, TN 38104-3429
Phone: 901.516.7461
Fax: 901.516.8250