Clinical Pastoral Education
Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is multicultural and interfaith professional education for ministry. It brings theological students, ministers, and others into supervised encounters with persons of crisis. Out of an intense involvement with persons in need, and the feedback from peers and teachers, students develop 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.
Students may transfer CPE credit toward their YDS degree. Beginning September 2013, one unit of CPE will transfer as six elective credits. One unit of CPE (typically, 400 hours) fulfills the Supervised Ministries requirement for the Master of Divinity degree.
CPE programs are generally offered in hospitals, but also occasionally in mental health facilities, correctional institutions, geriatric care centers and even some parishes. Yale Divinity School grants credit for CPE programs accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE), the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care, or the National Association of Catholic Chaplains.
A typical CPE program involves case studies or verbatims, peer group meetings, didactics taught by medical professionals, and the practice of ministry. The education is relevant to all types of ministry and requisite for those considering ministries of counseling and chaplaincy. Some denominations require ordination candidates to complete a unit of CPE.
CPE units are typically full-time for ten weeks during the summer ("summer CPE") or part-time during an academic year ("extended CPE").
Every fall, usually in October, the Office of Supervised Ministries sponsors a CPE Day to which area CPE Supervisors are invited to recruit for their programs. You can also contact programs directly to inquire about their schedule and application process. A list of accredited centers and their contact information can be found on the ACPE web site.
Students doing CPE may be eligible for work-study funding. The process is initiated after you have been accepted to a program and receive a hard copy of your letter of acceptance. Submit a completed Application for CPE Funding, with a copy of your acceptance letter, to the Office of Supervised Ministries. Then the Business Office will contact you with information about how to file your weekly time sheets. Note: Students in CPE will receive work-study funding as a weekly paycheck, the first being one week after you begin CPE and submit your first time sheet.
For more information, contact the Office of Supervised Ministries at 203-432-5466.