Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)

This nationally certified program focusing on the practices of pastoral care and counseling is most often located in hospitals, clinics, and community agencies. CPE has a concentrated focus on pastoral care, counseling and relational skills development. CPE can be a part of a person's preparation for parish, chaplaincy, lay ministry, teaching and counseling.

Current students of Candler may apply for elective credit for CPE through the Office of Contextual Education. Persons outside of Candler wishing to apply for a CPE placement should contact the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE).

Note: Some traditions (e.g., UM Conferences) require CPE for ordination; students need to determine those specific requirements.

CPE Sites

Certified CPE sites are located across the country and can be found by searching the ACPE website. There are several certified centers for CPE in the metro Atlanta area, including several in hospitals or clinics, and some in community-based agencies.

Elective Credit

Current students of Candler are eligible for elective academic credit for completing CPE. Academic credit, ranging from one to six hours for basic CPE, is only granted for work in ACPE certified 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.

Policy Governing Payments

Students will be 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 students incur. 

Students who enroll in CPE in the summer for academic credit may apply their 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.

Directions to apply for and obtain elective Candler credit for CPE

Students may obtain academic credit through Candler by completing the following steps. (Note: If you do not want academic credit, these steps are unnecessary, but the student still needs to apply to and interview with the CPE site.)

1. Obtain the appropriate application forms. You will need the CPE (CE 546) Registration Form. This form is also available in the Office of Contextual Education.

2. Identify a certified CPE center and apply to the CPE supervisor at that site.

3. Make an appointment with a representative of that site and arrange an interview.

4. Complete the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education's application for CPE.

5. Once the interview is complete and you have been accepted at that site, bring your acceptance letter and your completed CPE Registration Form to our Contextual Education office.

6. If CPE is for Candler credit, confirm your enrollment and registration with the Registrar.

7. Once you have completed the CPE experience, your CPE supervisor will confirm the satisfactory/unsatisfactory grade in writing to our office.

This application packet is kept on file in the Office of Contextual Education for the duration of your enrollment.

Note: Some CPE Spring placements do not conclude until after commencement. Spring graduates enrolling for CPE in the spring will be required to obtain a preliminary indication of completion from their supervisor. If satisfactory, the student may participate in commencement services but will not receive the diploma until the grade has been received, in writing, by the Candler registrar.