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 have the option of taking 100% of each training unit via interactive distance learning (IDL) or via 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 prepare Orientation Papers that reflect their opinions and feelings about terminal illness, human suffering especially among the innocent, and/or pain and destruction in the universe.
  • 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 Customized Coaching Sessions with experienced CPE Supervisors. The weekly sessions allow students to receive personalized instruction, guidance and mentoring. Sessions can be conducted live or via interactive distance technology such as Skype.
  • Students participate in interactive Peer Reviews where they discuss their work and the work conducted by their peers. Peer review in the CPE program provides opportunities for students to expand their perspectives and to collaborate with interdisciplinary teams.
  • 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 desire to 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.

ICPT publishes information about CPE certifying entities in the Student Handbook. Students may choose to become a certified chaplain upon completion of the program but are not required by state or federal law to garner certification to work in the field.

ICPT provides the following list of CPE certifying agencies for students to consider:

Spiritual Care Association at
Association of Certified Christian Chaplains at
Association of Professional Chaplains at
National Association of Catholic Chaplains at
National Association of Jewish Chaplains at


How Long are CPE Units?

ICPT’s program includes four (4) units. Students may engage in full-time or part-time study.

Students do not have to enroll in the full program. They may enroll for 1, 2, 3, or 4 units

Full-time units are 12 weeks

Part-time units are 24 weeks


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

CPE is available for chaplains, clergy, lay persons, and others of all backgrounds. As such, clinical training may be accomplished at your current place of ministry. If you serve in a spiritual community as a pastoral care minister or practitioner, you may also participate in the CPE program.

ICPT’s CPE program provides a combination of didactic and applied learning which allows students to increase their confidence and competencies while supporting persons dealing with crisis, trauma, life-altering change, death and dying, loss, suicide, and other issues. Students gain professional insight and participate in shared learning activities with their peers.

Are you ready to begin? Go to the Enroll tab to begin the process.