We offer two different levels of Clinical Pastoral Education. Level I (Internship) is an entry level program for anyone who has no previous CPE. Level II (Residency) is for students who have taken at least one unit of CPE and have sufficiently addressed the Level I Outcomes.

All applicants are evaluated for readiness to learn, self-reflect and provide ministry. Since charting and patient tracking are computerized, students must be computer literate. Students must also have the ability to communicate in English, both verbally and in writing. 

Level I CPE: Internship

Now recruiting for the October 2021 – April 2022 program

This program is offered as an extended unit over a seven-month period (October - April). Applications are accepted beginning in January each year for the program that begins that same calendar year. The curriculum, and accompanying oral and written reflections and responses, is designed to help the intern meet the Outcomes of Level I CPE including:

  • Articulate central themes of her or his religious heritage and the theological understanding that inform one’s ministry.
  • Identify and discuss major life events and relationships that impact on personal identity as expressed in pastoral functioning.
  • Demonstrate the ability to initiate helping relationships.
  • Initiate peer group and supervisory consultation and receive critique about one's ministry practice.
  • Risk offering appropriate and timely critique.
  • Utilize the clinical method of learning to achieve their educational goals.
  • Demonstrate the ability to integrate in pastoral practice conceptual understandings presented in the curriculum into their pastoral practice.
  • Formulate clear and specific goals for continuing pastoral formation with reference to their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Recognize relational dynamics within group contexts.

One unit of CPE involves at least 400 hours of structured group and individual education with supervised clinical practice in ministry. This 400 hours is extended over 7 months. Each week will include 3.5 hours of educational seminars, and 10-12 hours of clinical experience in the hospital. Weekend, evening, and night shifts are included. There is a mandatory, 2-day orientation at the beginning of the program. Full-time clergy, working in Lancaster County, may do some of the clinical work in their setting with approval of the educator. 

Internship Admission Requirements

The minimum requirement for Internship program is a high school diploma, GED, or ordination from an appropriate religious authority. Students with college degree will be given preference. Lancaster General Health is a tobacco-free facility.

Tuition and Fees

The tuition for this single-unit program is $500, including a $150 non-refundable deposit due upon acceptance to confirm a place in the program. The balance of the tuition ($350) is due the first week of the unit, unless other arrangements are made with the educator. Because interns work directly with patients, each intern is responsible for submitting proof of three required background checks that cost approximately $50. Proof of immunizations is also required which may lead to an associated expense to verify or receive immunizations. Interns will need to cover mandatory flu shot expenses.

Level II CPE: Residency

Now recruiting for the August 2021 – August 2022 program

This program is a year-long pastoral and educational journey that begins in August each year. Applications are accepted beginning in January each year for the program that begins that same calendar year. The curriculum is designed to help the resident meet the Outcomes of Level II CPE and the certification requirements of the Association of Professional Chaplains, National Association of Catholic Chaplains, and the Neshama: Association of Jewish Chaplains. Level II Outcomes include:

  • Articulate an understanding of the pastoral role that is congruent with their values, basic assumptions and personhood.
  • Provide pastoral ministry to a variety of people, taking into consideration multiple elements of cultural and ethnic diversity, social conditions, systems, and justice issues without imposing their own perspectives.
  • Demonstrate a range of pastoral skills, including listening/attending, empathic reflection, conflict resolution/confrontation, crisis management, and appropriate use of religious/spiritual resources.
  • Assess the strengths and needs of those served, based on an understanding of behavioral science and grounded in theology.
  • Manage ministry and administrative function in terms of accountability, productivity, self-direction, and clear, accurate clinical communication.
  • Demonstrate competent use of self in ministry and administrative function including: emotional availability, appropriate self-disclosure, positive use of power, a non-anxious and non-judgmental presence, and clear and responsible boundaries.
  • Establish collaboration and dialogue with peers, authorities and other professionals.
  • Demonstrate awareness of the Spiritual Care Collaborative Common Standards for Professional Chaplaincy.
  • Demonstrate self-supervision through a realistic assessment of their pastoral functioning.
About the Residency Program

During this full-time, year-long program, residents complete three units of CPE as they enhance their ministry and prepare for a career in pastoral care. Integration periods between the structured CPE units provide opportunities to integrate theory with practice and work on on-going projects. In addition to pastoral care opportunities throughout the hospital, residents will become part of multi-disciplinary teams and focus their ministry in particular patient care areas, such as women and children’s health, cardiology, oncology, orthopedics and trauma/emergency care. By the end of the program they will have a clear understanding of the role of a chaplain in a healthcare setting. The knowledge gained, skills developed and personal growth experienced will help prepare them for certification. The residents’ schedule involves a combination of day, evening and night shifts. Some weekend and holiday shifts are required.
The curriculum builds upon the students’ prior CPE experience and theological training. Relationship building is accentuated as the residents form a learning community with each other, become part of the inter-disciplinary health care teams, provide care to patients and family members and mentor CPE interns. The first unit focuses on Pastoral Theology and Contexts. The second unit focuses on Behavioral Sciences and Assessment and the focus of the third unit is Pastoral Integration. 

The residents’ schedule involves a combination of day, evening and night shifts. Weekend and holiday shifts are required.

Residency Program Dates

Applications accepted starting January. Program starts in late August each year.

Admission Requirements

Since the residency program builds upon a previous unit of CPE from any accredited CPE program, satisfactory completion of a previous unit is required for admission. The residency program also requires Master’s level theological courses from an accredited graduate school or seminary. A theological Master’s degree is preferred. Lancaster General Health is a tobacco-free facility.

Salary, Tuition and Fees

In recognition of the time commitment involved in a residency, the residents are paid a competitive salary for the year divided into bi-weekly checks. The residents are offered medical and dental insurance at nominal rates. Additionally, they receive 25 days of time off to use for holidays, vacations, sick time, and personal days. As much as possible, time off is not to interfere with educational seminars.
Upon acceptance, a non-refundable deposit of $100 is due. There is no further tuition for the residents.
Residents are responsible for submitting proof of three required background checks that cost approximately $50.

Proof of immunizations is also required and may involve the expense to verify or receive immunizations. 

Share This Page: