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Clinical Pastoral Education

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

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 

This part-time program assists students, 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 


There is no formal application deadline: applications are interviewed until the class is full.

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.