Copyright

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE): Program and Training Information

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is a professional ministry training program for theology students of all faiths. They learn to act as counselors for individuals and families in crisis, such as people with chronic disabilities or those facing death.

View popular schools

Essential Information

Students studying clinical pastoral education (CPE) come from several backgrounds like Judaism, Christianity, Islam or other religions. These programs are heavily geared towards clinical work with patients and their loved ones. There are three levels of training; however, some institutions only feature the first or second level. Students must complete one level before progressing to the next; those progressing to Level II or beyond may qualify for a paid 1-year residency.

Students must meet clinical experience and residency program requirements for graduation. Many programs have a ratio of three hours of clinical experience to one hour of education. Clinical responsibilities may include being on-call for hospital visits.

Applicants should have a high school diploma or GED. Alternatively, ordination by a religious authority may also qualify potential students. Some schools may require applicants to have completed one or more years of theological school.


Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Clinical Pastoral Counseling
  • Community Health Services
  • Genetic Counseling
  • Marriage and Family Counseling
  • Medical Social Work
  • Mental Health Counseling
  • Mental Health Services Technician
  • Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis
  • Substance Abuse Counseling

Clinical Pastoral Education Training Programs

Instruction involves reading, written reflection assignments, seminars, group discussions and case studies. Course topics include:

  • Cultural perspectives on pastoral care and counseling
  • Pastoral identity
  • Spirituality and health
  • Systems and groups of ministry
  • Patient relationships
  • Personal growth and development

Popular Career Options

Many residential and outpatient facilities employ individuals who have completed a Clinical Pastoral Education program, including hospitals, hospices, veteran's facilities, geriatric care centers, rehabilitation centers, correctional facilities and children's medical centers. Common job titles include:

  • Pastor
  • Chaplain
  • Parish or lay minster
  • Pastoral counselor
  • Pastoral educator
  • Licensed professional counselor

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2014, 244,200 clergy members were employed. The median annual wage for clergy members was $44,250 in 2015. The BLS predicted 6% job growth for clergy in general, from 2014 to 2024.

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) programs include clinical/residency components along with coursework. Graduates may be employed by medical or correctional facilities.

Next: View Schools

What is your highest level of education?

Some College
Complete your degree or find the graduate program that's right for you.
High School Diploma
Explore schools that offer bachelor and associate degrees.
Still in High School
Earn your diploma of GED. Plan your undergraduate education.

Schools you may like:

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

    • Master of Science in Health Informatics

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Master of Science in Healthcare Management

    What is your highest level of education?

  • What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision
    • Ph.D. in General Psychology - Performance Psychology
    • EdD in Organizational Leadership - Health Care Administration
    • MS in Christian Counseling
    • MS in Christian Counseling of Substance Use & Addictive Disorders
    • MS in Professional Counseling
    • MS in Addiction Counseling
    • M.S. in Mental Health and Wellness with Emphasis in Grief and Bereavement
    • M.S. in Mental Health and Wellness with Emphasis in Prevention
    • BS in Counseling - Addiction, Chemical Dependency, and Substance Abuse
    • BS in Health Care Administration
    • BS in Health Sciences: Professional Development & Advanced Patient Care
    • Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Health Science

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Graduate Certificate in Clinical Operations and Healthcare Management

    What is your highest level of education?

    • MS in Psychology - General Psychology
    • MS in Psychology - Applied Behavioral Analysis
    • MS in Psychology - Addictions
    • Master of Healthcare Administration
    • MS in Nursing
    • MS in Educational Psychology
    • BS in Psychology in Addictions
    • BS in Health Science

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • MA Counseling
    • MA Counseling - Addiction Counseling Specialization
    • MA Counseling - Clinical Mental Health Counseling Specialization
    • MA in Human Services, Mental Health Administration
    • MA Counseling - Marriage, Couples, and Family Counseling Specialization

    What is your highest level of education?

    • MS in Health Administration
    • MS in Criminal Justice Behavior Analysis

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • AS in Medical Assisting

    What is your highest level of education?

  • What is your highest level of education completed?

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?