Chaplaincy Settings

If you want to expand your chaplaincy knowledge to include professional settings such as healthcare providers (hospitals, hospice centers, psychiatric wards), prisons or correction agencies, the military, police and fire departments, business, or other clinical field settings, then you will need more than an ecclesiastic endorsement or ordination. You need to engage in Clinical Pastoral Education/Training (CPE) at ICPT. Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) training at ICPT expands access to interdisciplinary settings by teaching students from diverse faiths to offer spiritual care to a multi-faith population in a manner that is authentic to their own beliefs while respecting and being mindful of their patients’ faiths.


What Is CPE?

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is a unique interfaith experience, open to people of all faiths. ICPT offers CPE to spiritual professionals and theological students seeking professional growth and development in clinical pastoral settings. CPE students learn through action-reflection instructional methods and supervised practice in real-world settings to provide pastoral services to persons in crisis.

At ICPT, students engage in hybrid learning which blends both on-site and interactive distance learning modules.

The CPE training program includes various methods of didactic and applied learning:

  • Students participate in 100 hours of didactic lectures offered live and via interactive distance learning (IDL).
  • Students journal their learning in weekly Reflection Reports which depict significant experiences with patients and thoughts about ministry.
  • Students prepare Case Studies that outline interactions with patients or counselees.
  • Students engage in weekly one-on-one Coaching/Supervisory Sessions with experienced CPE Supervisors. The weekly sessions allow students to receive personalized instruction, guidance and mentoring. Sessions may be conducted live or via interactive distance technology such as Zoom or Skype.
  • Students participate in interactive Peer Reviews where they discuss their work and the work conducted by their classmates. Peer review in the CPE program provides opportunities for students to expand their perspectives and to collaborate with interdisciplinary teams.
  • CPE students partake in 300 hours of supervised Clinical Training at their current place of ministry or any number of settings including but not limited to; hospitals, hospice houses, corporate settings, prison systems, skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and community organizations.

Do I Have to Apply for Certification to Take CPE?

No. Students are not required to apply for CPE certification to enroll in the program. The CPE program offered at ICPT qualifies graduates to sit for certifications available through a wide array of certification providers; however, ICPT does not provide certification or licensing for any of its courses or programs. ICPT issues a certificate of completion and continuing education units upon completion of the program and at the end of each unit. Graduates that complete all four (4) CPE units may apply for board certification in chaplaincy with a wide array of certifying agencies that offer board certification. Depending on the certifying agency, there may be other requirements. As such, ICPT does not guarantee graduates the ability to sit for or garner board certification.

Students that wish to become a certified chaplain upon completion of the program are not required by state or federal law to garner certification to work in the field; however, those that wish to obtain certification should conduct a thorough analysis of the many certifying agencies throughout the nation. Here are a few CPE certifying agencies students may consider:

Spiritual Care Association at www.spiritualcareassociation.org

Association of Certified Christian Chaplains at www.certifiedchaplains.org

Association of Professional Chaplains at www.professionalchaplains.org

National Association of Catholic Chaplains at www.nacc.org

National Association of Jewish Chaplains at www.jewishchaplain.net


How Long are CPE Units?

ICPT offers four (4) units of CPE and SIT training. Students may engage in fulltime or part-time study. Students do not have to enroll in every unit. Students may enroll for 1, 2, 3, or 4 units. Training units are 400 clock hours each.

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) Units

  • Fulltime: A full-time unit is 12 weeks long and includes at least 300 hours of direct clinical contact hours with designated clientele or patients and 100 hours of lecture and peer review with a group of not less than two peers. The student must be engaged in a clinical ministry setting no less than 25 hours per week.
  • Part-time: A part-time time unit is 24 weeks long and includes at least 300 hours of direct clinical contact hours with designated clientele or patients and 100 hours of lecture and peer review with a group of not less than two peers. The student must be engaged in a clinical ministry setting no less than 12.5 hours per week.

Supervisor in Training (SIT) Units

  • Fulltime: A full-time unit is 12 weeks long and includes 100 hours of didactic and 300 hours of supervisor in training clinical training. During the 300 hour the applied learning involves taking theories and principles garnered in the didactic training to solve problems students might encounter. The SIT applies theoretical learning to help students overcome mental or spiritual hurdles thus, improving student learning outcomes with patients/clients. The clinical part involves working one-on-one with students to help them achieve a higher level of CPE skills. This may include addressing individual learning differences and designing academic plans to help students rectify issues at their clinical sites. The student must be engaged in a clinical supervision no less than 25 hours per week.
  • Part-time: A part-time time unit is 24 weeks long and includes 100 hours of didactic and 300 hours of supervisor in training clinical training. During the 300 hour the applied learning involves taking theories and principles garnered in the didactic training to solve problems students might encounter. The SIT applies theoretical learning to help students overcome mental or spiritual hurdles thus, improving student learning outcomes with patients/clients. The clinical part involves working one-on-one with students to help them achieve a higher level of CPE skills. This may include addressing individual learning differences and designing academic plans to help students rectify issues at their clinical sites. The student must be engaged in a clinical ministry setting no less than 12.5 hours per week.

Do I Have to Serve in a Clinical Setting for CPE?

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)

Clinical hours may be completed at your current place of ministry (if you are currently employed as a Chaplain or Pastor of a church), or any number of institutions including but not limited to; hospitals, hospice houses, corporate settings, prison systems, skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and community services. Your hours may be paid or volunteer.

Supervisor-in-Training (SIT)

The setting for SIT clinical training is in general or psychiatric hospitals, hospice, long-term care and other health care settings, faith communities, prisons, and/or community-based organizations.

The SIT student will work with the CPE Supervisor and/or the ICPT Director of Education (DOE) to learn how to successfully guide CPE students enrolled in Units 1, 2, 3, and 4. Each 300-hour clinical/applied learning unit will be taught by a board-certified CPE supervisor. The CPE supervisor will provide guidance, training, and oversight about the tacit knowledge of becoming a CPE supervisor while providing theoretical training about how good CPE supervisory work is done. Training will include instructing, grading, evaluating, counseling and tracking CPE students regarding their interactions with patients, families, and staff in hospitals/hospices/long term care or other health care settings, members of faith communities, prisoners and/or workers in prisons, and/or other clinical facilities on best practices in clinical pastoral care.