Clinical Pastoral Education Program

UAB offers a year-long residency program in which students can earn four (4) units 

of Level I or Level II CPE.  In order to maintain compliance with ACPE Standards, each CPE unit will involve a minimum of 400 hours.  This includes a minimum of 100 instructional hours involving theory, individual, and group supervision.

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is interfaith professional education for ministry. It brings theological students and ministers of all faiths (pastors, priests, rabbis, imams and others) into supervised encounter with persons in crisis. Out of an intense involvement with persons in need, and the feedback from peers and teachers, students develop new awareness of themselves as persons and of the needs of those to whom they minister.

From theological reflection on specific human situations, they gain a new understanding of ministry. Within the interdisciplinary team process of helping persons, they develop skills in interpersonal and inter-professional relationships.

 

Procedure:

The formal admission criteria and process vary depending upon the level and duration of the program. The application process includes the submission of a standard ACPE application form, a $50 non-refundable application fee, and an admissions interview by the CPE Educator and at least one member of the Professional Advisory Group/Staff Chaplain. For resident positions, the admissions interview will include the CPE Educator and at least one members of the advisory group/staff chaplain.

After receipt of the application, the student will be contacted within three weeks by phone, e-mail, or letter notifying student of the need for additional materials, the status of positions available, or to schedule an admissions interview. There is no set deadline for the submission of applications. However, it is important to submit admissions materials as early as possible as admissions are usually filled anywhere from three months to six months ahead.

POLICIES FOR ADMISSIONS TO CPE RESIDENCY PROGRAM

In addition to the above requirements, those students applying to the residency program will also meet the following requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field. A Master of Divinity degree or Master’s in Theological Studies is preferred.
  • Two (2) years of service with a faith community required. Ordination, Commission or Licensure as a minister / faith leader or in the process of obtaining such status is preferred.
  • Work experience may not substitute for the minimum education requirement.
  • On-site interview with a CPE Supervisor and at least one member of the professional advisory group and/or staff chaplain.
  • For residents, the willingness to commit to a twelve month educational process granting four units of CPE through the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education.
  • For interns, the willingness to commit to a three month educational process granting one unit of CPE through the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education.

The CPE program at University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Medicine is accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc. to provide Level 1 & 2 Clinical Pastoral Education and Certified Educator Candidate (CEC) training. The Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc. is recognized as an accrediting agency by the U.S. Department of Education.

STILL NEED

Admissions applications may be obtained in ONE of the following ways:

Download here: Microsoft Word format or in PDF format.

For Residents:

What are the minimum requirements for applying for a 12 month CPE Residency?

  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field and two (2) years of service with a faith community required.
  • A Master of Divinity degree or Master’s in Theological Studies is preferred.
  • Work experience may not substitute for the minimum education requirement.
  • Ordination, Commission or Licensure as a minister / faith leader or in the process of obtaining such status also preferred.

How to apply:

  • Fill out an electronic application by visiting uabmedicine.org/web/careers/search-open-jobs, click on “Search Open Jobs” under UAB Hospital, then click on “Search Openings,” and type in keyword “Chaplain Resident.”
  • Complete an ACPE application and mail it to Director of Spiritual Care & CPE, UAB Department of Pastoral Care, WP125, 615 18th ST S, Birmingham, AL 35249-6555. Or you can download the application in Word format, write and attach it in an email to jdippenaar@uabmc.edu. The ACPE application can be found here in Word format or PDF format.
  • Mail a $50.00 application fee. Make the check payable to “UAB Pastoral Care.”

If you have questions about applying for the one year residency starting end of August, please contact:

Suzanne Simmons, Certified Educator Candidate .

  • Email: sgsimmons@uabmc.edu
  • Phone: 205-934-3095
  • Mailing Address: WP-125-J, 615 18th ST S, Birmingham, AL 35249-6555.

Frequently Asked Questions about CPE The following information is from the national website of the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education

1. What do the essential elements of CPE include?

The actual practice of ministry to persons Detailed reporting and evaluation of that practice Pastoral Supervision A process conception of learning A theoretical perspective on all elements of the program A small group of peers in a common learning experience A specific time period An individual contract for learning consistent with the objectives of CPE The CPE program must be conducted under the auspices of an ACPE certified supervisor (faculty) attached to an ACPE accredited CPE center.

2. What kinds of things might be included in the Individual Learning Contract?

Pastoral Reflection – reflection on one’s self as person and pastor in relationship to persons in crisis, the supervisor, and peer group members, as well as the curriculum and institutional setting. Pastoral Formation – focus on personal and pastoral identity issues in learning and ministry. Pastoral Competence – deepening and unfolding of competence in pastoral function, pastoral skills and knowledge of theology and the behavioral sciences. Some centers also offer Pastoral Specialization, focusing on the student’s desire to become competent and knowledgeable in a particular area of ministry, e.g. oncology, urban ministry, parish ministry, hospice ministry, etc.

3. What are the different types of CPE?

ACPE offers Level I and Level II CPE, as well as Certified Educator Candidate CPE, in sequence. The outcomes for each level must be completed before moving to the next level. CPE is usually offered in single units (10-12 weeks) or in a year-long program (3-4 consecutive units). Some centers have other part-time options. The center of your choice can explain the options available at their location.

4. What does CPE prepare a person to do?

CPE serves as a part of one’s preparation for parish ministry, chaplaincy, lay ministry, teaching, and counseling. A student’s learning contract may be focused toward integration of theological, psychological, and pastoral insights into pastoral functioning for parish work. Or the contract may be designed with a career goal of chaplaincy or pastoral counseling. Some students, after completing several units of CPE, choose to enroll in Supervisory CPE working toward certification as a CPE supervisor. In Supervisory CPE the student learns the theory and practice of supervision and has an experience of supervising CPE students under the guidance and with the consultation of a CPE supervisor. CPE develops the capacity for the pastoral and spiritual care of individuals, families, and systems. Many theological schools require one unit of CPE as a part of a theological degree program. Other schools accept a year of CPE as the required intern year of ministry for a theological degree program. A number of theological schools which are members of the ACPE have graduate degree programs which combine academic study and CPE Supervisory CPE.

5. I want to be a Chaplain or a Pastoral Counselor, do I need CPE?

The Association of Professional Chaplains (www.professionalchaplains.org), the National Association of Catholic Chaplains (www.nacc.org) and the National Association of Jewish Chaplains (www.najc.org) and other organizations certify chaplains. The American Association of Pastoral Counselors (www.aapc.org) trains and certifies pastoral counselors. Some CPE is required as a pre-requisite. You should contact these organizations directly about their requirements.

6. Who is eligible to enroll in CPE?

What are the minimum requirements? Bachelor’s degree in a related field and two (2) years of service with a faith community required. A Master of Divinity degree or Master’s in Theological Studies is preferred. Work experience may not substitute for the minimum education requirement. Ordination, Commission or Licensure as a minister / faith leader or in the process of obtaining such status also preferred. Ordination, Commission or Licensure as a minister / faith leader or in the process of obtaining such status preferred. For Supervisory CPE programs: An individual who has successfully completed several units of CPE and has demonstrated a readiness to utilize Supervisory CPE, usually one who has a theological degree and several years of pastoral experience.

7. Do you offer a stipend?

Yes, the stipend is $30 000 for a one (1) year residency.

8. What is the tuition?

The tuition fee is $500/unit