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Clinical Pastoral Education FAQs


How can CPE prepare me to be a chaplain?
CPE is an educational program particularly geared to professional development for ministry and chaplaincy for the individual seeking self-awareness, specific skill building, and disciplined theological reflection. The WMC program has been accredited through the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc. since 2000. WMC is an acute, quaternary care, Level I trauma, major medical center with the highest level of acuity in the nation. We seek to accept more advanced interns for our training programs. There are two levels of training – Residents and Semester Interns. A Resident is selected to serve in a full-time 12-month stipend position. A Resident could expect to spend approximately 75 percent of his/her time in the practice of pastoral service and spiritual care with WMC patients, their support persons, and staff. The remaining time is spent in instruction, supervision, group life, and study. Participants also provide weekly written pastoral care reports and attend interdisciplinary seminars. WMC CPE is geared toward pastoral specialization, which focuses on a participant's desire to become competent and knowledgeable in a particular area of ministry, such as oncology, pediatrics, cardiology, or trauma.

A student Intern is selected to enter a 20-week Part-Time internship. The  Intern could expect to spend approximately 75 percent of his/her time in the practice of pastoral service and spiritual care with WMC patients, their support persons, and staff. The remaining time is spent in instruction, supervision, group life, and study. Participants also provide weekly written pastoral care reports and attend interdisciplinary seminars.

Is a Masters degree required for CPE?
Admission standards for Residents require that the equivalent of a M.Div. be completed in order to provide a base for some theological reflection and practice. Semester Interns must have completed at least a bachelors level of college and some theological training and have experience in visitation in a faith community.

Is there a stipend?
Residents receive a stipend of $35,000.00 annually. There is no stipend for Semester Interns.

What does overnight on-call involve?
Residents and Interns currently do not provide over-night spiritual care.

How much clinical (and other) time is required each week?

Residents: The time investment required for successful completion of a unit of CPE is - 35 hours total per week, including day, evening and weekend coverage, up to 10 hours in group seminars, individual supervision, and program orientation.

Student Interns: The time investment required for successful completion of a unit of CPE is – a minimum of 21 hours per week, including day, evening and weekend coverage, 5.5-hours of group seminars, individual supervision and program orientation.

Assigned reading and writing of pastoral care reports and self-evaluations are also required for all interns. An allowance of adequate time for completion of these would also need to be factored into your plans.

In what way(s) does my learning in CPE enable me to become more effective in carrying out my own liturgical and/or homiletical responsibilities in my own religious denomination?
The leadership of worship or assistance at, WMC religious services is not currently required per Unit of CPE. Roman Catholic Masses are conducted daily, except Saturdays, at noon and on Holy Days of Obligation. Jewish holy day services are conducted. Muslim prayer services are conducted on Fridays at 1:00 pm. By prior arrangement and approval of his/her supervisor, CPE interns and residents of various faith traditions may conduct services and/or lead prayer services either at WMC or at their own places of worship. Interns may submit one written worship service report per unit for critique.

What is the cost for the program?

Residents: A $250deposit is required on admission to hold one's place in the program. Upon matriculation, this deposit is applied towards the unit's tuition. Tuition for the unit of CPE taken at WMC is currently $250 per unit for three units, or $750 per year.

Student Interns: A $200 deposit is required on admission to hold one's place in the program. Upon matriculation, this deposit is applied towards the unit's tuition. Tuition for the student -intern unit of CPE taken at WMC is currently $70 per unit.

Is one unit of CPE required before applying for a Residency?
Yes. WMC requires the successful completion of the minimum of one unit of CPE prior to being considered.

How many units of CPE are required for board certification as a chaplain?
A number of major certifying bodies, e.g., the Association of Professional Chaplains (www.professionalchaplains.org), the National Association of Catholic Chaplains (www.nacc.org), and the National Association of Jewish chaplains (www.najc.org) require a minimum of four units of CPE for Board Certification. It is recommended that you contact these organizations directly about these and other requirements.

Are residencies only for graduates of theological seminaries?
At WMC, CPE residencies are primarily for persons seeking to be certified as professional (i.e. Board Certified) chaplains. Sixty credits toward an M.Div. degree ( or equivalent) are required.

What makes a unit of CPE at WMC unique or different from what I might find in other CPE Centers?
WMC places a strong emphasis on the development of a spiritual care specialty, so interns are encouraged to consult with the supervisor after acceptance into the program to establish the medical unit for their primary assignment. Trauma ministry opportunities are also a strength of WMC with more emphasis on interdisciplinary teamwork and ministry in times of crisis and loss than many centers offer. A third unique aspect of WMC is the cultural diversity and professionalism in the midst of a multi-cultural environment in the delivery of acute-care spiritual and emotional care than the intern/resident might find in other centers.

For additional useful information and more Frequently Asked Questions about CPE in general, go to http://s531162813.onlinehome.us/faq/.