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Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is an interfaith professional education program for ministry and spiritual care.experience-based learning program that combines daily service in hospital ministry to patients, staff, and families with small group work, intensive reflection and feedback, and individual supervision.

Rev. Ute Schmidt, Manager of Spiritual Services and the Clinical Pastoral Education program, oversees the chaplains in the department and is the certified ACPE Supervisor leading the CPE programs.

The basic three-fold purpose of CPE is:

  • To learn the skills of pastoral ministry
  • To know and use theological reflection in the practice of ministry
  • To know and experience one's self as a pastoral person.

Baystate Medical Center currently offers Level I and Level II curriculum within the context of summer and extended CPE units.

  • Level I CPE addresses basic competencies and issues of pastoral reflection, information, identity and functioning in one or more units of CPE.
  • Level II CPE addresses advanced competencies and issues of pastoral function, reflection and integration.

Baytstate Medical Center is an accredited CPE center of the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc. (ACPE).

Summer Program

An intensive unit assists students with development of their personal and pastoral identity and growth of their professional competence in ministry. 

Extended Program

A part-time program assists students with clergy and selected lay professionals in learning new skills in ministry and exploring a new career in ministry.  The program begins in October and ends in April.

Admission Requirements

  • Completed the Baystate CPE application
  • Three letters of reference (Academic, Denominational and Personal)
  • Paid application fee.


There is an open admissions process of enrollment, and thus, nor formal application deadline.  Once the class is full, no more applicants will be interviewed.

Time Requirements

All students are required to provide some overnight in-house, on-call weeknight and weekend coverage.  Summer students are scheduled for a 40-hour work week.  Extended unit students attend class on Wednesdays and schedule clinical hours as negotiated with the supervisor.

Parking and meals are provided.

Application and Forms