For Students

Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE), Inc. ( is a national multi-faith theological education organization providing certification programs in accredited centers across the United States. Applicants may enroll in a unit of CPE to fulfill requirements for ordination or seminary education. A growing number of lay caregivers take one or more units to enhance their practice of parish or institutional nursing and allied professions and to integrate their own practical theology. All of the major chaplaincy certifying bodies require at least several units of Clinical Pastoral Education through ACPE, Inc. for Board Certification.

One Unit of Clinical Pastoral Education consists of a minimum of 400 hours to include supervised spiritual care to the service population, and structured group and individual learning modalities. The CPE curriculum includes case presentation and discussion, peer group meetings, didactic instruction, focused reading assignments, individual supervisory conferences, and group and individual evaluations.

Following an initial unit of CPE, a student may choose to apply for additional units or residencies available in the Pacific Region or the nation. Openings are also available for those who are interested in becoming clinical pastoral educators themselves. Admission to all programs is contingent on completion of an application form and essays and a confidential interview at an accredited center. Tuition fees are determined by the center. Some seminaries subsidize tuition, and some scholarships may be available. Ask your program supervisor.