Clinical Pastoral Education

Overview and Purpose

Chaplains support and encourage people of all faith affiliations. A hospital chaplain uses the insights and principles of psychology, religion, spirituality, social science, and theology in working with individuals, couples, families and groups to achieve wholeness and health. Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is an interfaith, professional education for ministry. It brings theological students and ministers of all faiths (pastors, priests, rabbis, and others) into supervised encounters with those who are experiencing an emotional crisis. Students of the Resurrection Health Care CPE program visit patients, residents, and families in designated clinical areas under the supervision of a certified CPE Supervisor.

Resurrection Health Care's CPE residency program provides adult learning opportunities in an interactive group environment and clinical settings, including rotations at two of the six RHC hospitals and one of the six senior services facilities or in-house hospice care. RHC offers a unique mentorship component, which helps students deepen their spiritual practice and understanding of the needs of those they serve through regular one-on-one mentoring by an experienced RHC chaplain at their clinical site.

The involvement with persons in need, coupled with feedback from their peers and teachers help students to develop new awareness of their personal and pastoral identities. Students gain a new understanding of ministry and develop skills in interpersonal and professional relationships.

Resurrection Health Care's CPE program fully prepares students to apply for certification. The program is accredited by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops/Commission on Certification and Accreditation (USCCB/CCA) and the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE).

USCCB Commission on Certification and Accreditation
3211 South Lake Drive, Suite 317
St. Francis, Wisconsin 53235-3702
(414) 486-0139

Association for Clinical for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc.
1549 Clairmont Road, Suite 103
Decatur, Georgia 30033

CPE Director
Clinical Pastoral Education
1127 N. Oakley Avenue
Chicago, IL 60622
Tel 312-770-3326
Fax. 312-770-3352

Types of Programs

  • The residency program is a nine-month program consisting of 36 weeks offered in three units of 11 weeks, with a one week classroom break in between the units. Four residents are chosen each year. The program requires residents to attend classroom sessions twice a week, work in a clinical setting twice a week and be on-call on a week-end overnight each week after the first week of orientation at clinical units. In ACPE students progress through Levels I and II. Students are identified as chaplain residents.
  • The full-time intensive program consists of one 11-week unit. In ACPE this is Basic Level I. The program requires students to attend classroom sessions twice a week, work in a clinical setting twice a week and be on-call one overnight week-end each week after the first week of orientation. Students are identified as chaplain interns.
  • The part-time extended program consists of one 22-week unit. In ACPE this is Basic Level I. The program requires students to attend classroom sessions once a week, work in a clinical setting once a week and be on-call overnight biweekly, after the first week of orientation. Students are identified as chaplain interns.
    • An Extended Unit of Clinical Pastoral Education will be available at Mercy Medical Center in Aurora, IL, as a Component Site of Resurrection Health Care CPE (in process). The unit will be separated into two 11-week segments. The first segment will begin the week of March 12, 2012 and conclude the week of May 25th. The second segment will begin in the first week of September, 2012 and conclude the week of November 16th. Chaplain interns are expected to participate in both segments and will be given credit for a full unit of CPE. One day a week will be devoted to seminar participation (day yet to be determined) and one day a week dedicated to clinical visitation. Some on-call may be required. Interested applicants can apply by completing an ACPE application which can be found below or on the ACPE website under "Forms." Applications should be sent by e-mail or fax (1-773-944-5448) to Rev. Michael McMillen, ACPE supervisor, no later than March 2, 2012. Students are identified as Chaplain interns.

Each CPE unit provides at least 400 hours of supervised clinical education of which approximately 300 hours are spent at clinical sites and 100 hours in a classroom setting and fulfills all the necessary NACC and ACPE Accreditation Standards.

Application Requirements

  • A completed CPE application (either one of the following):
  • Requirements for single CPE units (chaplain interns): a completed CPE application; sufficient background in theology, ministry, spirituality, or other related fields; at least a bachelor's degree preferred; admission interview. If the applicant is from out-of-state, he/she may submit a copy of an interview conducted by a local ACPE/NACC supervisor.
  • Requirements for CPE Residency Program (chaplain residents): a completed CPE application; at least one unit of CPE completed successfully at the time of application from which final evaluations of both student and supervisor are submitted; completion (or in the process) of a Master’s degree in theology, divinity, religious studies, pastoral ministry, or spirituality; (These requirements may be adaptable per applicant). An admission interview is required.
  • Have clearly defined educational objectives for the CPE experience.

English fluency
Fluency in written and spoken English is essential for success in the program and to ensure patient safety. Applicants must demonstrate objective competency through the admission interview and may be required to submit results from a test in English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination or equivalent exam.

Additional Admission Requirements
Applicants offered admission to Resurrection Health Care CPE program must also comply with the prevailing institutional policies and procedures before beginning a CPE program.

  1. Blood titer tests for Measles, German measles, Mumps and Chicken Pox
  2. TB Skin Test
  3. Background Check
  4. Drug Screen

Specific questions about these requirements may be directed to the Director of the CPE Program.

Failure to comply or to provide requested documentation is grounds for rescinding the admission offer or terminating admission.

Equal opportunity
Resurrection Health Care upholds all federal and state laws that preclude discrimination on the basis of race, sex, age, religion, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, disabilities or veteran's status.

Technical Standards
Resurrection Health Care accepts interns and residents who are highly qualified for its programs. To be considered for admittance the candidate should exhibit strong qualifications for the health profession they wish to pursue. Applicants to programs must possess the following general qualities:

  • Emotional stability and affective maturity
  • Physical and mental stamina
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Sound judgment
  • Empathy for others
  • Ability to work with peers (in group sharing of clinical work)
  • Ability to learn and function in a variety of settings

Tuition & Financial Aid

Program Costs
Applicants who accept a position in the full-time intensive unit or extended unit of the CPE program will need to indicate their acceptance with a letter and a non-refundable deposit of $100 which is applied toward their tuition. Tuition for each unit is $550. Resident applicants are not required to make a non-refundable deposit. There is no application fee.

Applicants are responsible for providing their own living accommodations and transportation.

Students in the Clinical Pastoral Education Residency Program receive a stipend and are entitled to a benefits package similar to that of a full-time salaried position. These benefits include health plans, and optional dental and vision plan. Residents, classified as part-time employees are eligible to 40 hours of Paid-Time Off (PTO).

Financial Aid
Limited tuition scholarship may be available to residents based on demonstrated need and request at the time of their personal interview.

Application Process

Four individuals are accepted on a competitive basis each year to the Clinical Pastoral Education Residency Program. Classes begin in late August and continue until the first week of the following May.

The summer intern program begins the first week in June and concludes in mid-August.

Step 1: Submit your completed Application for Clinical Pastoral Education according to requirements identified on the application form.

Send by Internet to:

Or US Mail to:

CPE Director
Clinical Pastoral Education
1127 N. Oakley Avenue
Chicago, IL 60622
Tel. 312-770-3326
Fax. 312-770-3352

Step 2: Selection Process

There is no annual fixed application deadline. Submitted application materials are reviewed by the Admission Committee as they are received. If selected, applicants are invited to a personal interview. This is required for the residency program and for area applicants to the 11-week intensive program. Out of state applicants for the intern programs may have their personal intake interview done locally by a certified CPE supervisor. Upon recommendation of the Admission Committee, if an out-of-state applicant shows aptitude for the CPE internship program, he/she will be called by phone for a follow-up conference call with RHC CPE interviewers. All applicants travel at their own expense to an onsite interview.

Step 3: Appointment Process

The applicant will be notified in writing of acceptance or denial within seven days of the interview. If accepted, the applicant must respond in writing within one week to the Resurrection Health Care CPE program regarding the acceptance offer.

Residents and interns practice pastoral ministry in a clinical setting for eight hours a day twice a week and are on-call overnight one week-end each week following the first week of orientation in each unit. In their third unit, residents work three days a week, eight hours a day, no overnights. Residents and interns attend two classroom sessions a week that are seven hours each. They also receive one hour of individual supervision per week.

Class Size
Each year, Resurrection Health Care CPE admits four individuals to the Clinical Pastoral Education Residency Program. For the intensive 11-week program, Resurrection Health Care CPE accepts six interns. These class sizes and clinical settings ensure that one-on-one instruction is provided.

Graduation and Certification
Interns and residents who successfully complete a single unit of Clinical Pastoral Education internship or three units of residency are awarded a Certificate of Completion from Resurrection Health Care.

Graduation from the residency program qualifies resident chaplains as "eligible" for certification by national certification bodies such as the National Association of Catholic Chaplains, the Association of Professional Chaplains, or the Jewish Chaplains Association.


  • The residency program begins in late August or early September each year and concludes the first week of May the following year.
  • The full-time intensive program is only offered during the summer, from early June through mid-August.
  • The part-time extended program is a winter-spring unit. It is a flexible unit adaptable to the needs of the applicants beginning December 1 or January 1 and continues until April or May.

Program Director

Sister Paracleta Amrich, SS. C.M. has been the NACC supervising chaplain of the Resurrection Health Care Clinical Pastoral Education Program since May 2003. After spearheading the CPE program at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh and seeing it through to accreditation by the USCCB/CCA in 1989, Sister Paracleta left the program to become the General Superior of the Sisters of Saints Cyril and Methodius in Danville, PA from 1992-2000. Thereafter, while working on completing her doctoral dissertation, Sister Paracleta came to Resurrection Health Care and focused on bringing the program to a successful reaffirmation of its accreditation by the USCCB/CCA in 2005, valid through 2015. Sister Paracleta received her doctorate in theology from Duquesne University in May 2006.

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