HSHS St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, IL is a nationally accredited training center for clinical pastoral education (CPE). Our curriculum is designed to prepare qualified applicants for hospital chaplaincy and board certification as professional chaplains. The program is also open to ministers who want to enhance their pastoral skills, ministry students who need a clinical component as part of their formal studies and qualified lay persons who want to assist with and participate in pastoral care ministries in various institutional settings.

Our accreditation is with the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE), Inc., which is located at One West Court Square, Suite 325, Decatur, GA 30030. The phone number for ACPE is (404) 320-1472 and the website is www.acpe.edu. ACPE is recognized by denominations and seminaries across the United States and by the Department of Education. As such, the program meets requirements for veterans’ benefits. Our CPE program is also affiliated with the St. Louis Cluster-ACPE.

Qualified students may enroll in single or consecutive units. We provide a clinically based, four-quarter, extended unit curriculum that utilizes a “one-room-schoolhouse” learning environment. Instruction is primarily provided by a certified ACPE supervisor with assistance from adjunct faculty.

Each seven-month quarter, or unit, involves an on-the-job, theological education program that uses an acute care hospital-based learning environment, a small peer group of three to nine, and curriculum that addresses:

* Pastoral identity
* Pastoral skills
* Integration of theology with the behavioral sciences
* Knowledge and use of the clinical method of learning
* Knowledge and experience of working with hospital patients,  
   visitors and health care professionals.

Each quarter meets ACPE standards by offering a minimum 400 hours of combined supervised instruction and clinical ministry. A minimum 100 hours of the required 400 hour minimum must address classroom instruction and individual supervision by an ACPE Supervisor. The clinical method of adult education is used extensively, which requires students to report on their actual ministry to persons and then provide written accounts of some of these pastoral encounters in individual and group supervisory sessions.


For more information about CPE visit: http://www.stlouiscluster-acpe.org or www.acpe.edu.

100+ structured classroom hours

10+ individual supervisory hours

300+ clinical ministry hours


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