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Clinical Pastoral Education - CPE 

What is CPE?

CPE is theological and professional education for ministry. It is provided in a learning environment which emphasizes human growth and dignity both of the CPE participants and the people who are served. Seminarians, laity, ordained clergy and those in religious orders 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, group process and individual clinical assignments.

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

What is Congregation and Community-based CPE?
Congregation and Community-based CPE is designed to meet the learning needs for both newcomers and persons with years of experience in ministry! Participants may use the context of their own parishes, institution or agencies as clinical placements or participants may wish to be assigned to a new clinical placement for their learning. This type of CPE typically has people from diverse settings which adds depth to the supervision received in group settings. Many parish pastors appreciate the opportunity to receive consulting on their ongoing pastoral work within their congregations. CPE at Centered Life tends to attract participants that are motivated to learn about their longer term pastoral relationships, congregational dynamics and the power of using systemic interventions.
Clinical Placements
In Centered Life CPE programs, participants who are currently working in ministry settings are encouraged to utilize their existing ministries for feedback and supervised learning. For those needing a clinical placement, a variety of settings are available.

Ministry contexts may include the following:

  • Churches
  • Hospices
  • Hospitals
  • Prisons
  • Community Agencies
  • Alzheimer’s Care
  • Senior Care
  • Agencies supporting low income families

Learning Modalities
Actual experiences of offering ministry 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 with the supervisor.
Interpersonal Relationships (IPR) is a peer group learning experience designed to assist participants in exploring personal and professional issues that arise during ministry.
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 relationships.