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Residency Course Objectives

The objective of the CPE Residency Program is to build expertise in spiritual care skills and the knowledge necessary to provide spiritual care to a broad range of patients, their families and staff. We increase chaplain residents’ self-awareness as it relates to the art of spiritual by practicing the Clinical Method of Learning, the Action-Reflection Model. And, we prepare chaplain residents for professional chaplaincy. Awareness of one’s strengths and growing edges in ministry is crucial to the development of a professional chaplain. Individual and group supervision offer chaplain residents the opportunity to explore how personal history and identity inform their style of spiritual care. They will be asked to develop spiritual assessments, identify spiritual interventions, and articulate the theological themes in their patient encounters. Chaplain residents will be presented with the social and structural dimensions of health care as well as issues of economic status, race, gender, family systems, and religious diversity in the health care setting. These provide the context for reflection in group seminars and individual supervision.

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 chaplain resident 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, chaplain residents participate in evening on-call three or four evenings per month. On-call is an essential element of experiential learning; offering spiritual care in trauma and code situations, offering supportive care to the dying, supporting patient and families at time of death and grief support.

The CPE Residency Program is a calendar year, plus one day. Applicants who enroll in the CPE Residency are expected to complete all four CPE units and remain with PSJH for 366 days. *Those entering the CPE Residency with prior CPE unit(s) are not granted exception to this commitment.

Admission Qualifications

  • Education: Bachelors of Divinity or equivalent. * Please note that those without a M.Div. or a 72 credit M.A. in Theology (48 credits for NACC) are not eligible to apply for full chaplaincy Board Certification.
  • Prior CPE: An initial unit of CPE is preferred, but not required.
    • We do not offer a second-year residency.
    • We do not have a Certified Educator Candidate (CEC) at this time.
  • Other Qualifications:
    • A CPE resident is training to become a professional interfaith chaplain. They will have the aptitude for interpersonal work, sound emotional health, mental acuity, and the ability to offer spiritual care across many cultures and faiths, including with patient-families who are not religious or spiritual. Interfaith chaplaincy also includes the capacity to establish and maintain professional relationships, be open to continuous learning, and continually grow in self-awareness.
    • The field of interfaith chaplaincy values progressive developments in theology and the growth of faith, including spiritual and personal growth. We strive towards compassion and justice for those in our hospitals and in our communities.
    • Professional chaplaincy in Providence includes the capacity to meet organizational stress with flexibility and openness. The CPE Residency evolves quickly to meet the changing needs of acute care patient, families and staff, as well the organizational needs of our hospital-based ministries.
    • Strong written and interpersonal skills are required to meet rigors of CPE curriculum and professional communication within our hospital-based ministries.
    • The ability to listen actively and project an open, nonjudgmental attitude toward all people of diverse ethnic, social, cultural and spiritual traditions is essential.
    • Previous experience in spiritual care, clergy, ministry, or health care settings is preferred, but not required.
    • International applicants are expected to have a visa that allows them to work independently or their seminary or diocese in the U.S. prior to applying to CPE.

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