Clinical Pastoral Education Extended Unit

The CPE Extended Unit Program is a part-time 24-week program designed for clergy, seminary students, and qualified laypersons. CPE interns are not salaried or benefited employees of PPMC.

Two extended units may be offered each year: a fall/winter unit beginning in September and ending in March and a spring/summer unit beginning in March and ending in August. Students applying for their first unit of CPE will only be admitted to the fall/winter unit. CPE extended unit interns may take up to four consecutive units over the course of two years. However, students must apply for admission to each consecutive unit and there is no guarantee that a student will be accepted into consecutive units. Upon successful completion of each unit, and on the recommendation of the CPE supervisor, a student’s participation in the program will be registered with the ACPE. Units of ACPE CPE are recognized as graduate theological education by member seminaries of ACPE.

The part-time nature of the CPE extended unit provides an opportunity for persons who are otherwise unable to enroll in a full-time program. Some applicants are hoping to take one unit of CPE to gain basic pastoral care skills. Others are in the process of discernment concerning their future vocational goals. Still others are hoping to complete four consecutive units of CPE as a prerequisite for board certification.

Course Objectives

The objectives of the CPE Extended Unit Program are five-fold: We seek to provide students with an opportunity for vocational discernment and reflection; to assist them in building both a foundation in spiritual care skills and knowledge sufficient to allow them to minister to a broad range of patients, their families, and staff; to increase self-awareness as it relates to the art of pastoral ministry; to engage in the practice and understanding of the clinical method of learning; and/or, if applicable, to prepare for a vocation in professional chaplaincy. Crucial to this process is the awareness of one’s strengths and growing edges in ministry. Through individual and group supervision, students will be invited to explore how their personhood informs their style of ministry. Students will be asked to articulate the theological themes of their ministry and to develop spiritual assessments of their pastoral encounters. Given the context of the hospital setting, students will be confronted with the inevitable social and structural dimensions of health care as well as issues of economic status, race, gender, family systems, and religious diversity—all of which will provide the context and content for reflection in group and individual supervision and educational seminars.

Participation in Ministry

One unit of CPE consists of at least 100 hours of structured education and up to 300 hours of supervised clinical practice for a total of at least 400 hours. In order to receive credit for the unit, students spend an average of 12 hours per week in direct ministry to patients, families and staff, and at least 5 hours per week in structured educational activities. In addition to ministry on assigned clinical placements, students participate once per month in the 24-hour call-duty rotation on weekends and holidays. Call-duty is an essential element of supervised learning that provides opportunity for spiritual care in a variety of settings including ministry during trauma and code situations, supportive care to the dying, ministry at time of death, and grief support.

Admission Requirements


  • Education: A Master’s Degree (M.Div. or M.A. in Theology; or an equivalent degree in other related disciplines) from an accredited college, university or theological seminary or institute. Completed or well in progress is preferred.
  • Licensure/Certification: Ordination and/or endorsement by an established faith tradition or religious superior is preferred as evidence of good standing within a faith group.
  • Other Qualifications:
    • The CPE extended unit student will have a proven aptitude for interpersonal work, sound mental/emotional health, and the ability to minister in cross-cultural, interfaith settings. This includes the capacity to consistently establish and maintain relationships, to be open to learning, change and growth and an openness to developments in faith and theology, spiritual and personal growth, outreach through compassion and justice. It also includes the capacity to endure at least moderate amounts of organizational stress with a flexibility and openness to rapid change in acute care hospital based ministry. Strong written and interpersonal skills are required as well as the abilities to actively listen and project an open, nonjudgmental attitude toward all people of diverse ethnic, social, cultural and spiritual traditions.
    • Previous experience in ministry in pastoral care and/or health care settings is preferred.
    • Completed ACPE application submitted with an application fee of $35 payable to Providence Portland Medical Center CPE Program.
    • International applicants are expected to have a U. S. Visa in place prior to applying to the program.

Program Expectations

The CPE extended unit student is expected to:

  • Actively participate in all aspects of the clinical pastoral education program.
  • Share clinical rotations with peers, other students, permanent staff, providing spiritual care to patients on assigned units.
  • Participate in the on call rotation, including weekends and holidays.
  • Complete written assignments such as verbatim reports, reflection papers, evaluations of each CPE unit and other assignments as required.


  • Meal allowance while serving call duty.


  • Application fee: $35.
  • Non-refundable down payment fee at acceptance: $100.
  • Tuition: $500 per unit of CPE (less down payment) is due the first day of the unit.