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What is CPE?

Clinical: Hands on, real life ministry. Pastoral: Addressing spiritual needs. Education: Learning through reflection.

CPE provides training for pastoral caregivers in hands on, actual ministry settings. Students are supervised by the CPE Educator. The focus of the CPE program is three-fold: pastoral reflection, pastoral formation, and pastoral competence. 

Traditionally, seminarians have participated as part of their ordination process. Today seasoned pastors and lay people also enroll in CPE as a way to hone their ministry skills and learn more about themselves as pastoral caregivers.

Written assignments, readings, interactions with peers, didactic seminars, and individual supervision provide the resources for reflections. Students take a close look at themselves, and their ministry, which provides opportunity for growth. 

Clinical experience, ranging from patient visits to emergency response, is a major part of CPE training and we offer an excellent setting for that training. Most CPE interns and residents will be based at Lancaster General Hospital in downtown Lancaster. Some residents will complete a significant portion of clinical time at Women & Babies Hospital.

The CPE programs at Lancaster General Hospital are inter-faith in nature, as Lancaster is an area rich in diverse faiths, ethnicities and spiritual practices.

The CPE Center at Lancaster General Hospital is accredited by the ACPE: The Standard for Spiritual Care & Education. CPE units completed here are recognized nationally. Certifying bodies for chaplains, such as the Association of Professional Chaplains, National Association of Catholic Chaplains, and Neshama: Association of Jewish Chaplains, require ACPE-CPE as part of the certification process. A number of denominations also require or recommend CPE as part of the ordination process. Taking CPE from a respected, accredited center ensures your training will be recognized. 

Learn more about chaplaincy work with our Beginner's Guide to Spiritual Care.

In This Section

Our CPE Programs

Learn about our CPE programs.

The Application Process

Apply to one of our CPE programs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to common questions about our program.

Our CPE Experience

Our CPE Experience

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