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Why Train at BHS?

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Why Train at Baptist Health System?

The Clinical Pastoral Education program at the Baptist Health System is dedicated to teaching and ministering to pastoral care residents and students so that they can provide spiritual support to others. Chaplaincy at the Baptist Health System has a long-standing tradition of providing bedside ministry, 24-hour crisis ministry, and pastoral care for staff.

Residents and students in Clinical Pastoral Education in our center will have the opportunity to train within an extensive faith-based health system with over thirty-four years of experience in Clinical Pastoral Education. Opportunities for emergency and intensive short-term care as well as long-term pastoral relationships are abundant.

BHS hospital medical services include behavioral medicine, cardiology, emergency medicine, geriatrics, neurology, oncology, and orthopedics. A diverse supervisory staff offers students a rich experience. It is an experience that offers you the opportunity to develop your personal gifts for ministry, to understand and utilize your story and personal history in ministry; and to live more fully into your calling to ministry.


The First Unit CPE

In this unit, students work as pastors to patients, families, and staff in the hospital. The educational process requires active involvement in ministry and reflection. A primary goal is "ministry formation," the discovery and acceptance of one's own unique gifts and skills in pastoral care. This goal is facilitated through experiential learning, which combines ministering, the study of theoretical materials, feedback from peers and supervisors, personal reflection, and the application of learning to subsequent ministry relationships.

A full time First-Unit of CPE is offered in the summer as a 10-week unit. The extended unit of CPE is a 20-week program offered in the fall and spring for two days a week or a 40-week. Baptist Health System also offers 20-week extended units at the regional hospitals.

The curriculum includes individual supervision and didactic seminars designed to meet individual learning needs. Group clinical seminars provide opportunities to discuss patient ministry and discover new options for pastoral care. Interprofessional seminars provide learning from other hospital disciplines, while interpersonal relationship seminars provide an opportunity for group discussion and pastoral care.

The prerequisite for entrance to a First Unit of CPE is theological education or expertise sufficient to enable one to benefit from this postgraduate education experience. Ministers, seminary students, youth leaders, ministers of education and music, as well as lay persons are invited to apply.

The application process involves the completion of an ACPE application form, a $50.00 application fee, and a screening interview with a qualified interviewer.

First Year CPE Residency

This one-year program (four consecutive CPE Units) begins on or about September 1 of each year and ends on or about August 31 of the following year. The residency builds upon the First Unit of CPE through continued intensive involvement as a member of the health care team.

Each student focuses on the integration of personal and professional issues while growing as a person and pastor. Residents continue the process of clinical education in seminars and supervisory conferences, ending each unit with a thorough self-evaluation with supervisors, peers, and other hospital staff.

Curriculum for the residency year includes individual supervision plus didactic, interprofessional, interpersonal relationships, and clinical seminars. In the beginning of the year there is an emphasis on pastoral skill and pastoral identity formation. As the residency progresses, specialty areas of pastoral care are explored.

Prerequisites are: 1) a complete ACPE application, including a ministry event report; 2) student's and supervisor's evaluation from previous units; 3) payment of $50.00 application fee; 4) a personal interview with the CPE staff. One certified unit of Clinical Pastoral Education prior to the residency year is recommended. Upon acceptance, a student pays a non-refundable $450.00 confirmation fee applicable toward the first unit of tuition.

Other offered programs are a Second Year CPE Residency and a Supervisory Residency.


First Year Residency $27,500.00
Second Year Residency $29,000.00
Supervisor in Training $30,500.00
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