Education and Training

What is CPE?
Clinical Pastoral Education 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 people in crisis. Out of an intense involvement with persons in need, and the feedback from peers and educators, 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.

CPE is For You
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. The contract may also be designed with a career goal of chaplaincy or pastoral counseling. CPE develops the capacity for the pastoral and spiritual care of individuals, families, and systems. Some seminaries or denominations require CPE, others take CPE to be better in their chosen field. CPE is required to become a board certified chaplain or an ACPE supervisor.

Why Memphis?
Memphis is nationally recognized as a city and community demonstrating the synergy of faith and health. We strive to bring people who are passionate about this intersection from all disciplines here to work and to learn.

At Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare (MLH), faith drives everything we do. We believe that healing is more than treating specific medical symptoms. Healing begins with people, families and entire neighborhoods. MLH and its aligned primary care and specialty care physicians work together, teach and learn from each other, and conduct research to advance science and the quality of medical care. This partnership supports multidisciplinary collaboration among all team members, leading to more advanced care for our patients. As the major academic campus and principal teaching hospital of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Methodist University Hospital is proud to bring research, medicine and innovation together. Methodist educators help you provide the best care to your patients by increasing your knowledge and skills. Few academic institutions offer such experience and extensive commitment to your success. The Center of Excellence in Faith & Health is an engine of training and education for congregations, religious leaders, communities, health professionals, community health workers, seminary and public health students, and MLH Associates. Using an ever-evolving creative blend of academic and experienced practitioners as faculty, the learning is focused
on building the capacity of all partners so that together we advance the healing and health of patients and communities.

Program Options
As an ACPE accredited Center, Methodist offers Level I and Level II CPE, as well as Supervisory CPE, in sequence. The outcomes for each level must be completed before moving to the next level. CPE is offered in “units.” A unit of CPE has a minimum of 400 hours of which at least 100 are educational with the balance being clinical practice. CPE is an ‘action-reflection- action model’ meaning it is not only about learning, but also about doing and learning from what you do.

MLH offers year-long residencies of three units beginning in August of each year. When able, individual units are offered in the Spring, Summer, and Fall. The yearlong residency is paid full-time work and includes some weekend time. The Spring and Fall units are ‘extended units,’ allowing you to have the educational portion one day a week and work the clinical hours in around the rest of your schedule during the week. Extended units allow you to continue working at another job while engaged in the CPE program.
The part-time nature of an extended unit requires approximately 17-18 weeks to complete a unit. The Summer unit is full-time for ten weeks in the Summer. Summer and extended units also require weekend work.