• Clinical Pastoral Education Program

  • Clinical Pastoral Education at Penrose-St. Francis in Colorado Springs

    What is Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)?

    Clinical Pastoral Education at Penrose-St. Francis Health Services in Colorado Springs is an interfaith, multicultural, professional education for ministry. It is accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc. (ACPE). CPE is education for spiritual and pastoral care to clergy and laypersons through a learning process of action and reflection.  It includes theological students, and persons in ministry from all faiths (pastors, priests, rabbis, imams, and laypersons) in supervised encounters with persons in crisis. Out of a close involvement with hospital patients, families, and staff, students learn about the deeper needs of persons to whom they minister and develop a new understanding of themselves as caregivers. From theological reflection on specific human situations, students increase their understanding and effectiveness in ministry. Within the interdisciplinary process of helping persons, they develop skills interpersonally and as members of a care team. The educational focus is on pastoral formation, pastoral competence, and pastoral reflection. The Penrose-St. Francis pastoral education program is geared towards those interested in advanced education that have completed undergraduate degrees and have some theological education.

    What should I expect as a student?

    Direct ministry with patients, their families and hospital staff.
    You will work as a chaplain in multiple areas of hospital ministry providing spiritual care to those on your assigned units.  In addition you will rotate on the weekend on-call service. You will have the opportunity to interact with persons from all walks of life.  Alternative settings are optional.

    Clinical supervision

    You will participate in weekly supervision, providing an opportunity to share and reflect upon your ministry, and peer group experience.  Your peer group acts as a primary resource for learning and a platform for support through your CPE experience. The allotment of your time includes 100 hours of supervised education for every 300 hours of clinical work. At the end of each unit, you will participate in a final evaluation.

    Work within a peer group

    You will join a peer group made up of other CPE students and a supervisor, where you meet to reflect on your faith tradition, present specific cases of your ministry, practice pastoral responses and engage in an interpersonal process group.

    CPE day

    As a system CPE Center, Penrose-St. Francis joins with supervisors, residents, and interns from three other hospitals in the surrounding area for a monthly educational day.  Our program offers many didactic presentations each unit, which include utilizing outside resources to enhance your knowledge of the behavioral sciences, the hospital institution, clinical diseases, pastoral theology, culture and inter-faith awareness, hospital chaplaincy, bioethics and other issues related to contemporary spiritual care. We draw upon the many resources of our hospital and the greater Colorado community to examine the concerns of modern health care ministry.

    Reading seminars

    Each unit will provide the opportunity to examine an area of special interest through reading and research. Students often present didactics based upon their own research and learning goals.  The curriculum will vary within each unit.

    What are the requirements for applying for CPE?

    In addition to completing the ACPE application, interested students will need to go through an admissions interview process with the CPE supervisor and Professional Advisory Committee.

    All CPE applicants must demonstrate:

    • Ability to function within a pastoral role
    • Motivation for challenge and personal growth
    • Willingness to be a contributing team member of a small peer group
    • Ability and openness to support persons of diverse or no religious traditions
    • Capacity to be a team member and to communicate professionally

    How much does CPE cost?

    The internship tuition is $1,250 for one unit of CPE. In addition to a stipend and competitive health benefits, residents receive free tuition as part of their total compensation. Some scholarships are available based upon need.  

    What are the different types of CPE?

    Penrose-St. Francis offers Level I and Level II CPE, as well as Supervisory CPE. The outcomes for each level must be completed before moving to the next level. CPE is offered in single units (11 weeks), in a year-long program (4 consecutive units), or through the Extended CPE Program which offers clinical education on a part-time basis over an extended period.

    Tell me more about the Extended CPE Program.

    The Extended CPE Program is designed to offer Clinical Pastoral Education to those who choose to participate on a part-time basis. Because groups meet only once a week, along with flexible clinical hours, many students continue their present employment while participating in the program. Extended CPE students participate in the 24-hour on-call rotation throughout their internship. One unit of accredited CPE is granted on a predetermined time. 

    How do I apply for Clinical Pastoral Education?

    Complete an application and mail to:

    Penrose-St. Francis Health Services
    Spiritual Care Department
    2222 N. Nevada
    Colorado Springs, CO 80907
    719-776-6132 (fax)

    Important links:

    ACPE application  
    FERPA Guidelines

    Other Centura Health ACPE programs:
    Littleton Adventist Hospital
    St. Anthony North Hospital
    St. Anthony Central Hospital

    Centura Health Systems CPE Center is accredited to offer Level I, Level II and Supervisory Education by the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education, 1549 Clairmont, Suite 103, Decatur, GA 30033 Tel: 404/320-1472  Fax: 404/320-0849  acpe.edu

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