Clinical Pastoral Education
Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)
Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is theological and professional education for ministry. In CPE, theological students, ordained clergy, members of religious orders, and qualified laypeople provide spiritual care to people in intimate and sometimes critical life situations while being supervised. Out of intense involvement with supervisors, peers, professional colleagues, and persons in need of ministry, CPE interns are challenged to improve the quality of their pastoral relationships. Through clinical practice, written case studies and verbatims, role-plays, individual supervision, seminar participation, and relevant reading, students learn how to develop and sustain genuinely caring pastoral relationships. By viewing and participating in both complicated and ordinary life situations from different perspectives, students are able to gain new insights and understandings about human relationships to God and to neighbor. Theological reflection is important in CPE as pastoral people seek ways to integrate theology with life experience.
Students will receive one unit of ACPE credit for this 400-hour extended basic course. ACPE is the only pastoral education training program recognized by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education. Vassar is the only site in the Mid-Hudson Valley.
The CPE program at Vassar begins in late September and continues through April. It consists of a minimum of 400 hours broken down by 300 clinical hours visiting patients on assigned units; and 100 hours of supervised ministry and classroom training. CPE also requires each intern to fully participate in evening and weekend emergency on-call with an in-house response time of 30 minutes. On-call responsibilities include carrying the pager covering shifts in the evenings and on weekends on a rotating basis divided among the group. The CPE intern will spend 4 hours per week in group learning, and 10 hours per week in the hospital providing spiritual care to patients, their families and staff. The hospital hours are flexible to the student's schedule balanced with serving the needs of the medical center. Group meetings will be on weekdays, usually Tuesdays. Each student will have ten hours of individual supervision during the course. The weekday afternoon group time will include: clinical presentations by students, topic seminars, and a group process seminar each week. The number of students accepted into this program is limited to eight. A unit of ACPE credit is granted to students completing this program.
Our Director of Spiritual Care Services is Rev. John Simon, M.Div., MTS, BCC, ACMC-III. Rev. Simon oversees the mentoring, scheduling, unit assignments and day to day operations ensuring the spiritual care needs of the institution are met. Our ACPE Supervisor is Rev. Trudi Hirsch, a representative of HealthCare Chaplaincy based in New York City. Rev. Hirsch is responsible for the Tuesday's clinical didactic sessions as well as group and individual supervision. As a team, they provide balance in the fluid dynamic environment of healthcare chaplaincy.
Inquiries should be made to Sarah Street, Registrar, at The HealthCare Chaplaincy, (212) 644-1111, ext. 219. The application process involves a written application and an interview with the ACPE supervisor and Director of Pastoral Care & Education. Because of the uniqueness of this program, applications should be made as soon as possible, as space is limited. Applications may be submitted online or downloaded from The HealthCare Chaplaincy of New York. Click on Education; proceed to Clinical Pastoral Education; On-line Application for CPE and follow the instructions. Once your application filing is complete, HCC will inform the Director of Pastoral Care at VBMC stating that you are eligible for the next step in the process, on-site interviews with the CPE Supervisor and Director. There is a waiting list for our 8 internship positions-so don't delay processing your application. There is a $50.00 application fee. Tuition is $750. Scholarships are available, based on need.
The HealthCare Chaplaincy
307 East 60th Street
New York, NY 10022-1505
Phone: (212) 644-1111 Ext. 219
Fax: (212) 486-1440