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Association for Clinical Pastoral Education - CPE

What is CPE?

CPE is theological and professional education for ministry. CPE at Centered Life is provided in a learning environment which emphasizes human growth and dignity both of the CPE participants and the people who are served.

Seminarians, institutional clergy and leaders, and chaplains learn practical, pastoral ministry skills in an interfaith, interdisciplinary setting. Challenged to integrate their religious perspectives, personal experience, behavioral sciences and theological assumptions with the realities of human care, participants will find both strong educational and emotional support through individual supervision and peer group seminars designed to encourage personal growth and professional development. Each participant has the opportunity for reflection through seminars, lectures, reading, writing, a group website, group process and hands-on individual ministry sites.

This training can be applied to: Association of Professional Chaplains.professional  board  certification; membership in ACPE, APC, NACC, NAJC: ordination/seminary requirements; pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Graduate Theological Education credit can be received for persons enrolled in participating theological school degree curricula.

What is Congregation and Community-based CPE?

Congregation and Community-based CPE is designed to meet the learning needs for both newcomers in ministry and persons with years of experience in ministry! CPE participants may use the context of their own parishes, institution or agencies as clinical placements or CPE participants may wish to be in a new clinical placement to enhance their learning of new skills. 

This type of CPE typically has people from diverse settings, diverse cultures, and diverse ethnicity which adds depth to the supervision received in group settings. Many institutional clergy appreciate the opportunity to receive consulting on their ongoing pastoral work within their congregations. CPE in  these settings  promotes longer term pastoral relationships, system dynamics and the power of using systemic interventions.

Community-based placements can either be for a single unit or multiple units depending on the needs of the learner and the institution in which they are serving.  We have multiple clinical placements available locally or can contract clinical placements in your community.  

Ministry Sites and  Placements

:These are samples of  ministry sites and placements that we use.  Call us if you have a question about another type of site.

  • Congregations
  • Camps
  • Hospices
  • Medical Care Facilities
  • Facilities offering Palliative Care
  • Military Chaplaincy
  • Prisons
  • Community Agencies
  • Dementia Care Facilities
  • Senior Care Facilities
  • Campus Ministry
  • Agencies supporting low income families

Learning Modalities

  • Practical experiences  offering spiritual care with individuals, families and groups.
  • Didactic Seminars include lectures and presentations from a variety of resources. Program participants will have the opportunity to learn about their leadership styles through their presentations.
  • Individual Supervision offers time to reflect and consult  with the ACPE Supervisor.
  • Interpersonal Relationships (IPR) is a peer group learning experience designed to assist participants in exploring personal and professional issues that arise.
  • Theological Reflection Seminars focus on integrating formal theology and operational theology by use of actual ministry events and right brain modes of expression or storytelling.
  • Verbatim Seminars focus on pastoral skills by reviewing and critiquing verbatim reports of actual pastoral encounters.
  • Equine Facilitated Learning Experiences help participants learn to manage their emotions while caring for others. Five horses teach participants about pastoral authority, leadership, and use of self in negotiating caring relationships.
  • Group Website provides a plethora of  reading, pertinent movies and  video programs to provide both theoretical  and practical information on providing spiritual care and leadership in various environments with various populations.  
  • CPE participants are encouraged to develop their knowledge and skill of working with computers, websites and on line programs as a way of using these modalities in their ministry with varying generations of people..

Types of ACPE programs offered:

  • Extended On site CPE units are designed to match the schedules of the busy people who participate in them.  They can be either 18 weeks with a half day of class per week OR 9 months with class one full day per month.  Individual supervision is offered either on the day of  class or on line, as it fits in participant and supervisor schedule. Ministry placement hours are determined by the length of the program.  Call for more specific information.  Extended units are offered in Denver, Greeley and other areas of Colorado.
  • Single or Multiple Intensive Onsite CPE units are offered for seminarians and persons in a full time ministry setting in the Colorado Springs, Denver, or Southern Colorado Area. .  These units are 12 weeks long and include a retreat in the mountains of Colorado. Classes are held 1 day per week plus weekly individual supervision.  32 hours per week are spent in a ministry setting..  Classes for the intensive units are offered in Colorado Springs. Some stipends available for persons doing 4 units as a Residency program..
  •   Online CPE units are offered for persons who live at a distance, in rural areas or other locations in the world that want to do CPE with a clinical placement in their home area. the length of the unit is 5 months and participants must have atleast 17 hours per week spent in their ministry setting. Class meets 2.5 to 3 hours each week on line. Classes may be held during the day or in the evenings.  Each on line unit begins with a retreat in order to do orientation, and group building.  Travel to the retreat is required.

Application Requirements:

An application fee of $25 is required to accompany an electronic ACPE application, as well as, an interview with an ACPE Supervisor of Centered Life.


Call   719-471-2500 ext 2  

Email   centeredlifecs@aol.com

Accrediting Agency::
 Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc
One West Court, Suite 325
Decatur, GA  30030