Clinical Pastoral Education

Clinical Pastoral Education

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is hands-on professional education for ministry that brings students into supervised encounters with persons in crisis. Out of an intense involvement with persons in need,  and of the needs of those to whom they minister. From theological reflection on specific human situations, they gain a new understanding of ministry and develop skills in interpersonal and interprofessional relationships. 

Candler students may receive academic credit for intensive pastoral care and counseling training completed through programs accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE).

Accredited CPE programs are located across the country in hospitals, clinics and community agencies.

Students participating in CPE gain:

  • Skills and preparation for parish, chaplaincy, lay ministry, teaching or counseling.
  • Critical thinking toward vocational options and identifying gifts for service.
  • A credential and experience necessary for work as a chaplain in many settings and required by some denominational bodies for ordination. 

You can find more information about CPE for Candler students here.

CPE programs use a common application form, which you can download here.

Once you have been admitted to a CPE program, you may register for academic credit here.

Non-Candler students wishing to apply for a CPE placement should contact ACPE or reach out directly to the CPE program in which they are interested.

Candler does not operate CPE Programs of its own, but students may receive academic credit for work complete with ACPE-accredited CPE Programs.

  • Students apply directly to the program where they would like to do CPE.
  • An initial internship “unit” of CPE consists of 400 hours: 300 hours of hands-on clinical or pastoral work, and 100 hours of supervision, reflection, and other forms of learning.
  • Students may earn up to six hours of elective credit towards the MDiv degree.
  • Some denominations (e.g., Anglican, some United Methodist Conferences, some Presbyteries) require CPE for ordination. Students are responsible for determining and fulfilling these requirements.
  • International students who qualify for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) may enroll in CPE. For more information, contact the Contextual Education Handbook and the Office of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS). International students must receive authorization before beginning CPE.
  • Students who have completed an initial unit of CPE are eligible to apply for a post-graduation CPE Residency program. These programs are full-time jobs that combine hands-on spiritual care experience with specialized education. Residencies generally provide a salary and benefits and are hosted in many healthcare settings across the country.

Additional Information & Educational Events

Interested in learning more about CPE and Chaplaincy? Check out video from the following events:

Panel Discussion on Preparing a CPE Application, Candler Academic Writing Center, February 14, 2020

CPE Information Session, with student and alumni panel, Candler School of Theology, October 2021



Candler does not operate CPE Programs of its own, but students may receive academic credit for work complete with ACPE-accredited CPE Programs.

ACPE-accredited CPE programs are located across the country and can be found by searching the directory on the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE) website.

The Atlanta Metro area is home to a wide variety of APCE-accredited CPE Centers, including programs in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and community-based agencies. You can find information below from CPE Programs in Georgia and beyond that regularly work with Candler students.

CPE Opportunities: Georgia

Atlanta VA Medical Center CPE Program Information 

Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center (Augusta)

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta (Egleston and Scottish Rite locations)  CPE Program Information

Institute for Spiritual Health and Wellness (Chris180) 

Northside Hospital Gwinnett (apply through Chris180

Northside Hospital (apply through Chris180 CPE Program Information

Grady Health System

Northeast Georgia Health System - CPE Program Information

Spiritual Health at Emory Healthcare — Apply Now! - CPE Program Information

          Emory University Hospital

          Emory University Hospital Midtown

          Emory Johns Creek Hospital

          Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital

          Southern Regional Medical Center 

          Wesley Woods Medical Center 

          Emory Counseling and Consultation

          Emory Orthopedic and Spine Hospital

St. Francis Hospital  (Columbus) 

Training & Counseling Center at St. Luke's-TACC - 2021 DATES

    Hybrid CPE at TACC & Wellstar - SPRING 2021 INFO 

          Atlanta Medical Center & Kennestnone Hospital - 2021 CPE INFO

          Crossroads Community Ministries

          Central Outreach and Advocacy Center (OAC)

          Church of the Holy Comforter

          Church of the Common Ground (CCG)

          Emmaus House

          Trinity House/Big Bethel

Other CPE Centers: 

Centered Life (Boulder, CO)

Community Hospice (Jacksonville, FL) — CPE Program Information

Greenville Heath System— CPE Program Information

Mayo School of Health Sciences — CPE Program Information

Roper St. Francis Hopstial (Charleston, SC) - CPE Program Information

Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare (Tallahassee, FL) - CPE Program Information

UCLA Health (Los Angeles, CA)

UC San Diego Health (San Diego, CA) - CPE Program Information

Urban CPE Consortium (Chicago, IL)

Vidant Medical Center (Greenville, NC) 

Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, VA)  CPE Program Information

Yale-New Haven Hospital (New Haven, CT)

NOTE: This is a partial list of CPE Centers where Candler students have completed CPE units. For a full list of all accredited CPE sites, visit the ACPE website.

Candler students are eligible for elective credit for completing CPE. Academic credit, ranging from one to six hours for basic CPE, is only granted for work in ACPE-accredited sites. Up to three academic credits are awarded for a half unit of CPE and up to six academic credits for the successful completion of one unit of CPE.

Candler students may apply for academic credit for CPE through the Contextual Education office by completing Candler's CPE Registration Form. Non-Candler students wishing to apply for a CPE placement should contact ACPE or reach out directly to the CPE program in which they are interested.


Students are responsible for paying fees to the CPE site as assessed by the site and according to the terms and policies established by the CPE program. Candler is not responsible for any expenses you incur.

If you enroll in CPE in the summer for academic credit, you may apply your CPE elective credits (up to six academic credits) towards the fall semester and not pay summer school tuition if the CPE program overlaps with Candler's August term.

"My experience at Grady taught me to offer care in a cross-cultural, inner-city environment where I learned to minister to all who walked the halls of Grady...Grady's environment fostered relationships, mutual respect, challenge, and conflict in a way that I will surely use in future ministry."
-Julia Falgout, MDiv '23