Clinical Pastoral Education

William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital at night

UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program is accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE), to offer all levels of CPE, including Certified Educator Certification. ACPE is the standard for spiritual care and education. The diverse membership includes Certified CPE Educators, Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapists, Spiritual Care Professionals and Practitioners, Pastoral Counselors, Chaplains, Faith Communities, and Seminaries. This multi-disciplinary, multi-faith, multi-racial community of professionals provides education, connection, and formation through continuing education, networking, and leadership development.

About the Programs

UTSW offers two CPE programs each year. We offer a single-unit internship from September to May. The internship program provides an introduction to ACPE outcomes of hospital chaplaincy and prepares students for the yearlong residency program. We also offer a full-time, four unit, yearlong residency that begins in mid-August of each year through August of the following year. The residency offers a competitive stipend and generous benefits package. It prepares students towards completion of ACPE outcomes and professional certifications of chaplaincy.

What Students Will Learn

We create a space that enables a person to use their imagination, wonder, and curiosity to learn the art of spiritual care, and to promote health and well-being for themselves and others around the world. Through the use of case studies (verbatim), theological reflection, group discussion and interaction, student art, film, and a variety of other educational methods, students are introduced to a variety of themes, including narrative pastoral care, listening and leadership skills, and care for individuals and groups in cultural context. Focus of educational materials and outcomes are in alignment with ACPE Outcomes and Indicators.

What the Program Prepares Students to Do

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 seeking board certification will need to have completed a minimum of four CPE units, among other requirements for professional certification as a chaplain with APC, NACC, NAJC, etc.

Requirements for Applicants

  • Completed bachelor’s degree.
  • Master’s level degree or equivalent based on faith tradition (in progress or completed).
  • English language proficiency adequate to function effectively in the clinical and educational settings is necessary.
  • For the residency program, a prior unit of CPE is strongly preferred.

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