U of L Hospital

Clinical Pastoral Education

UofL Health Care is fully accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc. to offer programs of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE). The Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc. is nationally recognized as an accrediting agency in the field of clinical pastoral education by the U.S. Secretary of Education through the U.S. Department of Education.

Consistent with our mission to serve as a major teaching hospital for education and training of healthcare providers and to provide an unequaled level of measurable quality in the delivery of health care which is responsive to the needs and values of the patient, their families and staff, UofL Health Care supports CPE training, believing that total patient care demands attention to the spiritual, as well as the physical and emotional needs of each patient. The CPE program is an integral part of the Chaplaincy Services Department and students work alongside experienced spiritual care clinicians.

Clinical Pastoral Education is interfaith professional education for ministry. It brings theological students, ministers of all faiths (pastors, priests, rabbis, imams and others) and interested laypersons into supervised encounters 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.

UofL Health Care offers both CPE internships for single training units or extended units and a year-long CPE residency program with three training units. As a major teaching hospital and the only level one trauma center in the region, University of Louisville Hospital offers unique opportunities for students and residents interested in learning the art and science of spiritual care by working with an experienced team of medical professionals in an exciting clinical environment. Along with trauma care, clinical placements include various specialized intensive care units, a burn unit, an inpatient oncology program that includes a Bone Marrow Transplant unit, and outpatient oncology services at The James Graham Brown Cancer Center, one of the nations finest cancer treatment and research institutions. Chaplains also work with the palliative medicine team and on the psychiatric units.

Internship Program

CPE intern units are offered three times per year during the spring, summer and fall. Extended units (32 weeks) stretching from fall into spring of the following year are possible. Each unit provides at least 400 supervised hours of training, which include clinical hours as well as structured educational time. Individual and group supervision provide opportunities to learn from clinical experience, grow in self-knowledge and pastoral identity, and develop spiritual care giving skills.  Certified ACPE supervisors and an interdisciplinary adjunct faculty provide clinical supervision and instruction in pastoral theology, spirituality, and the behavioral sciences.

During the spring and fall, CPE units are scheduled for sixteen weeks and require a time investment of 25 hours per week on site. The summer CPE unit is scheduled for eleven weeks and requires a fulltime (40 hours) commitment per week. Tuition for one unit is $750.00 and students will receive a stipend of $750.00 upon successful completion of a unit of CPE. Admission to CPE requires graduation from high school/completion of a GED or ordination/commission by a faith community. Applicants need to complete and submit a CPE application and schedule an admission interview. A $50.00 application fee is due when the application is received and will be applied to the tuition if the applicant is accepted into the program. The deadline for application to the CPE internship program is four weeks before start of the unit.

Residency Program

UofL Health Care offers a one-year residency program in Clinical Pastoral Education. This program is designed to prepare for board certification as a professional chaplain and to provide extensive and intensive education for spiritual care givers. Along with staff chaplains, interns and peers, chaplain residents provide spiritual care to patients, families and staff members on a full time basis and have the opportunity to develop their professional skills in various clinical settings. Over the course of twelve months (three units of CPE), the program offers a progressive curriculum that addresses educational outcomes and objectives for Level 1 and Level 2 CPE. Certified ACPE supervisors and an interdisciplinary adjunct faculty provide clinical supervision and instruction. Completion of a Master-of-Divinity degree or equivalent from an accredited school and successful completion of one unit of CPE are preferred as prerequisites for admission to the program but not required.

Chaplain residents are employees of UofL Health Care and candidates interested in the residency program need to apply both online through UofL Health Care’s Human Resources Department and by submitting a regular CPE application to the director of Chaplaincy Services. The stipend for the one-year residency is $37,000. In addition, residents can participate in the employee benefits program. Tuition for each residency unit is $400.00. The CPE residency begins January 1 and ends December 31 of each year. The application deadline for the residency program is November 15.