Clinical Pastoral Education

Clinical Pastoral Education at UT Southwestern Medical Center is accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE) as a satellite program of Children’s Medical Center Dallas. ACPE is a multicultural, multifaith organization devoted to providing education and improving the quality of ministry and pastoral care offered by spiritual caregivers of all faiths through the clinical educational methods of CPE.

Each single unit of CPE consists of 100 educational hours in a group setting and 300 clinical hours of hospital ministry. Should the student have a parish or other clinical placement, up to 150 clinical hours may be applied.

About the Program

Three single-unit CPE programs are offered per year at UTSW. Part-time units include a fall/winter extended unit from September–January, and a spring extended unit from January–May. A full-time summer intensive program is offered from June–August. No stipend or benefits are provided.

What Students Will Learn

Through the use of case studies, theological integration, group discussion and interaction, movies, and more, students are introduced to a variety of curriculum, including family systems, pastoral care and leadership skills, and multiculturalism. Focus is on pastoral identity, competence, and reflection in alignment with ACPE Standards and Outcomes.

According to ACPE, CPE is “a process model of education that is student centered, vigorously reflective, and potentially transformative. We understand professional competence as the integration of personal story, religious heritage and theological understanding, and knowledge of the behavioral sciences. This integration leads to personal awareness, integrity in relationships and receptivity to diversity.”

What the Program Prepares Students For

Clinical Pastoral Education helps students prepare for a variety of ministries including hospital chaplaincy, pastoral ministry in a congregational setting, volunteer ministries, nonprofit ministry, and pastoral counseling. Students must have completed a minimum of four CPE units in order to be board-certified as a professional chaplain through APC, NACC, NAJC, etc.

Requirements for Applicants

Applicants for extended and summer CPE programs should have a bachelor’s degree from a nationally accredited institution or its equivalent. Seminary degree completed or in progress is preferred. English language proficiency adequate to function pastorally in the clinical and educational settings is necessary.

Tuition per unit is $300. No application fee is required. An interview is required. It can be conducted on site or via Skype if the applicant is not local.