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Clinical Pastoral Education

Clinical Pastoral Education, or CPE, is a nationally certified program that trains individuals to meet the emotional and spiritual needs of people in crisis. CPE is related to chaplaincy, however the training includes intensive self-reflection as well as spiritual and theological elements. RRC offers supervision credits for students who complete one unit (400 hours) of CPE training.

Oversight for CPE training is provided by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE), a multicultural, multifaith organization.

How Is CPE Offered?

Students generally choose from three options:

  • full-time summer programs (the option RRC students choose most frequently)
  • extended-unit programs, which allow students to schedule their patient-care time around other obligations  
  • residency programs, usually full time for 12 months (These advanced, three-unit programs have a one-unit CPE prerequisite; residency programs generally offer trainees a stipend for providing patient care.)

Every CPE center has an elaborate admissions process and virtually all require the standard application prepared by the ACPE.