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Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is professional education for pastoral leadership. It includes pastoral service with persons in need, feedback from peers and pastoral educators, and theological reflection on specific ministry experiences. It is one of the most effective ways to deepen the self-awareness necessary for effective interpersonal and self-leadership.

CPE is designed for:

  • Those headed for pastoral leadership in church or parachurch contexts.
  • Those seeking to enter professional chaplain service in elder care, healthcare, marketplace, law enforcement, or military contexts.

Application and Registration: Students apply directly to an accredited CPE site, and register with Bethel after having secured admission to a CPE program.

CPE as an internship

CPE can fulfill internship requirements. Follow the process for internship at your campus. The student will register for PC566A and PC566B concurrently with the unit of CPE.

CPE as an elective

Students register for PC705 as a course by arrangement, in the academic term or terms in which the experience takes place. Students may earn up to 3 semester credits in Pastoral Care (PC) for one unit of CPE.

Many students choose to do a unit of CPE for elective credit (as PC705), and to do their Professional Internship at a church or ministry agency (as TL566A and TL566B). This is an excellent way to prepare for pastoral leadership in the church or parachurch setting.

Finding a CPE program

Accredited Clinical Pastoral Education programs operate across the U.S. and Canada. To find a Clinical Pastoral Education program near you, please go to the ACPE website at www.acpe.edu. Follow links to CPE Centers, and Find a CPE Center. Search by state in the search dialog box.

Contact the Director of Internship and Placement for more information or if you do not have close access to an ACPE accredited site. 

CPE Opportunities

Find recently announced CPE opportunities.