Open Accessibility Menu

Internship Course Objectives

The objectives of the CPE Summer Intensives and Extended Unit Programs are 1) to assist students 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; 2) to increase self-awareness as it relates to the art of pastoral ministry; 3) to engage in the practice and understanding of the clinical method of learning; and/or, if applicable, 4) to help students discern and prepare for a vocation in professional chaplaincy or meet ordination requirements for one's faith community.

Crucial to this process is giving and receiving feedback and critique of one's ministry. This critical reflective practice serves to increase students' awareness of how their strengths and growing edges as a caregiver aide in the expression of God's healing love or limit it. Through individual and group supervision, students will be invited to explore how their personhood informs their style of ministry, articulate deliberative theological themes of their pastoral ministry, and develop their pastoral competence of the human condition to engage Providence's promise with patients: "Know me, care for me, ease my way."

Given the context of the hospital setting, students will be confronted with transformative learning experiences that challenge their self-understanding and confront the inevitable social and structural dimensions of health care. Caring for the poor and vulnerable and engaging diversity from staff, colleagues, and patients, CPE students will learn ways in which to promote unity and reconciliation and thereby justice for all. Through family meetings and interdisciplinary team work, students will learn to discuss their spiritual assessment and design a care plan to help patients and families address spiritual issues created by physiological and safety needs, social constructs, family dynamics, 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 16 hours per week in direct ministry to patients, families and staff, and at least six hours per week in structured educational activities. In addition to ministry in assigned clinical placements, students may be asked to participate monthly in the 24-hour call-duty in rotation with staff chaplains, covering weekends, holidays, and/or a possible overnight duty. 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.

Application Form

Admission Requirements


  • Education: A master’s Ddegree (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 ability 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 $50 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, and possible overnight rotation.
  • Complete written assignments such as verbatim reports, reflection papers, evaluations of each CPE unit and other assignments as required.


  • Application fee: $50.
  • Non-refundable down payment fee at acceptance: $150.
  • Tuition: $625 per unit of CPE (less down payment) is due the first day of the unit.

Accredited to provide Level 1, Level 2 CPE, and Certified Educator CPE by ACPE: The Standard For Spiritual Care & Education, 1 Concourse Pkwy, Suite 800, Atlanta, GA 30328, Phone: 404/320-1472, Fax: 404/320-0849, Email:, Website: