Clinical Pastoral Education

Spiritual Care

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is interfaith professional education for ministry. It brings you into supervised encounters with people in crisis. Through intense involvement with people in need of spiritual care, and the feedback you receive from peers and teachers, you develop new awareness of yourself as a person, your abilities as a caregiver, and the needs of those whom you serve. Through reflection on specific human situations, you learn to use your faith tradition as a lens that informs your understanding and practice of spiritual care. Within the interdisciplinary team process of helping people, you develop skills in interpersonal and professional relationships. CPE students regularly participate in educational workshops and didactic sessions with adjunct faculty.

CPE groups may include people preparing to enter professional hospital chaplaincy, seminary students, interested laypersons, others in graduate programs, and/or spiritual caregivers seeking continuing education.

We strive to incorporate diverse student groups whenever possible, including women and men of various ethnic and cultural backgrounds and faith traditions. We are committed to providing equal opportunity in our admissions process without discrimination based on age, gender, race, national origin, disability, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, or veteran's status.

What is the focus of CPE?

Our CPE program is designed to help you gain experience and expertise in the following ways:

  • Pastoral Formation - Focusing on your personal and pastoral identity issues in learning and ministry.
  • Pastoral Reflection - Reflecting on yourself as a person and spiritual caregiver in relation to people in crisis, your supervisor, and your peers, as well as the CPE curriculum and the hospital wherein you are serving.
  • Pastoral Competence - Deepening your function as a spiritual caregiver, including skill development and knowledge of faith traditions and the behavioral sciences.
  • Pastoral Specialization - Becoming competent and knowledgeable in a particular area of clinical healthcare service.

What should I expect in CPE?

As a CPE student, you can expect to participate in the following ways:

  • Direct Ministry with Patients, Families, and Staff - Most of your time will involve working as a chaplain in a particular area of the hospital, providing spiritual care to the people who are on your assigned unit, and interacting with interdisciplinary staff members.
  • Clinical Supervision - You will receive both individual and group supervision in all areas of your training (100 hours of supervised education for every 300 hours of clinical work), including a final evaluation at the end of each unit of CPE.
  • Peer Group Work - You will join a group, with other CPE students and a supervisor, where you meet to present cases based on your work with patients, reflect on your faith tradition, simulate incidents and practice spiritual care responses, and engage in interpersonal group process.
  • Didactic Workshops and Seminars - You will attend presentations on topics related to spiritual care and assessment, ethics, behavioral sciences, hospital chaplaincy, cultural sensitivity, interfaith awareness, and other issues.
  • Reading and Writing Assignments - You will be expected to do supplemental reading and prepare papers related to your learning goals and the ACPE objectives.

The CPE program at Danbury Hospital is a satellite of Griffin Hospital’s Clinical Pastoral Education program which is nationally accredited by:

Association for Clinical Pastoral Education
1549 Clairmont Road Suite 103
Decatur, Georgia 30033

Rabbi Jeffery M. Silberman, D.Min., D.D., BCC, is the Department Director and an ACPE-certified Chaplaincy Educator with more than 25 years of experience in many major teaching programs.

To learn more about CPE offerings and to apply, please review our Beginner’s Guide to Clinical Pastoral Education or contact the Department of Spiritual Care at 203-739-7059.

For More Information

We are here to help you. If you still have questions or need to speak with a member of our Spiritual Care team, please call 203-739-7059 (from within the hospital, dial 7059).