Clinical Pastoral Education
Clinical pastoral education (CPE) is supervised education usually in a clinical setting or a ministry that provide services to a population in crisis (hospital, hospice, urban ministries, etc.). North Park Theological Seminary highly values the CPE experience, and therefore requires all MDiv students to complete at least one half-unit. It is strongly recommended for others pursuing placement in congregations, chaplaincy, and many other ministry settings. CPE gives you the opportunity to develop confidence and skills in dealing with individuals in crisis situations. Most CPE centers are based in hospital settings, though there are alternate settings such as urban ministries, hospice, and senior care centers in the Chicagoland area.
A unit of CPE provides you an opportunity for personal and professional growth as part of an ecumenical and accountable peer group, as you will often be working alongside other students from a variety of schools. Working under the observation and instruction of a trained and credentialed CPE supervisor is invaluable preparation for these types of ministries.
It is recommended that you complete CPE as soon as possible after your first year of seminary and it must be completed before you enter the end of studies process in preparation for graduation. Program formats vary, but can be intensive or extended. Almost all programs also require 24-hour on-call experiences, usually once a week. CPE can be done concurrently with class work at some centers in Chicago or nationwide. For more information on available programs, please visit the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education.
No academic credits are awarded for this requirement as fees are typically paid directly your the CPE site (varying from $400 to $800). Students who participate in the Swedish Covenant Hospital CPE program will be billed by NPTS. The Swedish Covenant site meets the NPTS degree requirements, but is not an accredited CPE program.