Clinical Pastoral Education Residency

The CPE Residency Program is a full-time four-unit program designed for clergy, seminary students, and qualified laypersons. CPE residents are salaried and benefited employees with all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of employment at PPMC. 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.

Course Objectives

The objectives of the CPE Residency Program are four-fold: We seek to assist the resident in building both a foundation and expertise in spiritual care skills and knowledge sufficient 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, 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, the resident will be invited to explore how personal identity and history informs one’s style of ministry. They will be asked to articulate the theological themes of their practice and to develop spiritual assessments of pastoral encounters. Given the context of the hospital setting, residents 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 Clinical Pastoral Education 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, the student will be expected to spend an average of 25 hours per week in direct ministry to patients, families and staff, and 10 hours per week in structured educational activities. In addition to ministry on the assigned unit, residents participate at least twice monthly 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.

The CPE Residency Program is normally designated for one year.

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:
    • A CPE Resident 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 resident 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.
  • Participate in a mid-year consultation and assessment process to move to Level II CPE.


  • Annual stipend of $47,000 subject to federal and/or other taxes.
  • Ability to enroll in the Providence Health Insurance Plan at the same rate as other employees, Paid Time Off, and earned Extended Illness Benefit.
  • Meal allowance while serving call duty.
  • Residents are considered temporary employees of Providence Portland Medical Center. The position ends after one year.


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