Information About Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)


“Clinical Pastoral Education is interfaith professional education for ministry. It brings theological students and ministers of all faiths (pastors, priests, rabbis, imams and others) into supervised encounter with persons in crisis [typically in a hospital]. 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 interested in CPE should visit this website:


  • Prerequisite for almost any career containing “Chaplain” in its title.
  • Involves a high level of self-reflection and self-awareness.
  • Steep learning curve.

Possible Weaknesses:

  • Interfaith nature of CPE may be frustrating for those without a solid foundation, or those uncomfortable in interfaith settings.
  • Requires significant time commitment.

Keep In Mind:

  • In general, CPE will discourage student-chaplains from evangelizing.
  • Intern’s individual supervisor’s faith, denomination, personality, etc., will be significant factors in determining the nature of the CPE experience.