• Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at HSHS St. John's Hospital

    100+ structured classroom hours

    10+ individual supervisory hours

    300+ clinical ministry hours


    HSHS St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, IL is a nationally accredited training center not only for persons pursuing employment and/or board certification as professional chaplains, but also for clergy wishing to enhance their pastoral skills, for students of ministry who need a clinical component as part of their formal studies, and for qualified lay persons who want to assist with and participate in pastoral care ministries.

    Our accreditation is with the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc., Decatur, GA, (ACPE), which 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.

    Qualified students may enroll in single or consecutive units. We provide a clinically based, four-quarter, two-year, extended unit curriculum that utilizes a “one-room-schoolhouse” learning environment. Instruction is primarily provided by a certified ACPE Supervisor with assistance from chaplains and other health care professionals.

    Each six-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 address:

    • 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. 

    Objectives and Outcomes

    Program Outline

    A program brochure, course syllabus and application form are available by contacting:

    Tammy Caspar
    Administrative Assistant
    Clinical Pastoral Education Department
    HSHS St. John's Hospital
    800 E. Carpenter
    Springfield, IL  62769
    Ph: (217) 544-6464, ext. 44577
    Email: Tammy.Caspar@hshs.org

    If you have questions about the program, then feel free to contact our ACPE Supervisor, Fr. Charles Hart.


    Fr. Charles Hart, O.F.M., M.Div

    Ph: (217) 544-6464, ext. 46773

    Confidential Fax: (217) 535-3896

    Email: FrCharles.Hart@hshs.org

    If you want more information about CPE in the St. Louis area visit: http://www.stlouiscluster-acpe.org or www.acpe.edu for a listing of nationwide CPE centers.