• Clinical Pastoral Education at St. Catherine Hospital

  • The nationally accredited Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program offered at St. Catherine Hospital is a unique experience in professional adult education. It invites participants seeking growth and competence in spiritual care (ranging from helping and lay ministries to professional chaplaincy) to new levels of personal development. CPE is a dynamic, interpersonal, process-oriented educational experience. It opens an environment where participants enjoy the freedom to openly share, care for, support, challenge, and respect one another. In CPE, the faculty works to develop a learning environment that is transformative, supportive and stimulating. You will be encouraged to stay “True North” to your faith tradition and/or beliefs. Student support is structured to develop individualized achievement and learning through an accredited program. Clinical hours are completed at your CURRENT place of ministry AND St. Catherine Hospital.

    Some benefits of CPE include:CPE

    • Earning seminary or college credit, or accomplishing a religious denomination's pre-requisite for ordination via a nationally recognized program
    • Professional continuing education requirements
    • Satisfaction of clinical pastoral education requirements for certification as a professional chaplain or as a CPE supervisor
    • Help in clarifying vocational interests and calling
    • Strengthening and improving spiritual care awareness and skills for church workers, those in helping professions, and those engaged in full time ministry
    • Gaining a better sense of personal and/or pastoral identity
    • Providing qualified graduates the opportunity to earn primary or supplemental income working as a staff chaplain, pool, or contract chaplain
    • Availing oneself to service opportunities with local organizations such as hospitals, hospices, Veterans Administration facilities, businesses and corrections facilities
    • And the satisfaction of personal accomplishment and growth

    CPE PrayingWhy CPE?

    If you want to practice professional chaplaincy, you will need Clinical Pastoral Education. The military, correctional institutions, business or one of the many diverse healthcare settings (e.g. hospice, rehabilitative care, emergency care, etc.) typically require some level of CPE.

    Most vocations require more than an ecclesiastical endorsement as a chaplain. Even a Masters in Divinity or Theology will not guarantee you a position. The question applicants face is; “Where did you take CPE?” The employer’s expectation is that applicants will have engaged in CPE if they plan to qualify for, and undertake, professional chaplaincy.

    CPE offers benefits broader than “professional” chaplaincy. Clinical Pastoral Education is a unique interfaith experience in pastoral training for those seeking growth and competence in their field of service. Many “lay” ministers and church workers, ordained clergy, and those in secular helping occupations, undertake CPE to enhance and polish their abilities.

    The Training Focus

    At St. Catherine, CPE training is focused on the development of the individual. It seeks to expand your knowledge and understanding of the pastoral role in both routine and critical situations. We help with the development of effective intrapersonal, interpersonal, and inter-professional relational acumen. Clinical Pastoral Education offers practical learning and skills development related to helping people. These skill sets include increased confidence and competence in supporting those dealing with life-altering events. These pivotal events can include trauma, loss, suicide, death and dying, and other “life-coping” issues. CPE offers you growth through shared learning (action/reflection, case studies, etc.), didactics, and peer group interaction. Your supports come through individual supervision, on-site classroom, parish/community surroundings, and clinical settings. Learning is designed to draw out aptitudes and enhance gift-sets to help you polish your talents.CPE celebrating

    During a typical St. Catherine CPE Unit (quarter year), students engage in a variety of assignments, activities, and duties. For example:

    • 400 hours of clinical/pastoral/helping engagement and study
      • Half “flexible in-system” scheduling throughout the St. Catherine medical arena
      • Half working in their chosen pastoral/helping arenas (it may include present work)
    • The program is designed to allow employment outside of CPE
    • Students often find that the program offers the ability to commute from outlying areas while maintaining their current career
    • Reflective, academic, and personal-professional goal assignments
    • Designating a parish or community board with which they share their CPE journey
    • Students often engage in a joint project related to the clinical environment
    • Weekly sessions presented by subject matter experts
    • Weekly meetings with the student’s supervisor
    • A group travel or educational activity, which offers new experiences not normally afforded to those who engage in lay or full time ministries


    For questions, please call 620-272-2512.

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