Clinical Pastoral Education for Better Care
Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is interfaith professional education for ministry. It is highly experiential and relationally based.
Students come to CPE from a variety of religious and professional backgrounds to learn spiritual care skills for serving others. CPE utilizes a process model of education where direct ministry encounters aid students in developing awareness of themselves and the needs of those to whom they provide care. Programs are offered in small groups (typically three to six people) within a supervised setting that has been accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education.
If you would like to learn more about how to become a chaplain, visit ACPE's FAQ page.
CPE Program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Northwestern Memorial Hospital is a leading academic medical center located in Chicago, Illinois, with a 900-bed tertiary care medical and Level 1 trauma center.
Serving a diverse patient population within a lively urban setting offers students a dynamic, challenging and formational learning environment. Northwestern Memorial Hospital attracts patients from throughout the region and around the world due to its leading-edge treatments, breakthrough research and commitment to excellence.
Fostering a collaborative relationship between students and staff, the Spiritual Care Department aligns its values, professional practice and pedagogical approach with the mission of Northwestern Medicine.
View the Northwestern Medicine Spiritual Care Department’s mission, vision and attributes.
We currently offer two part-time (extended) units, a full-time (intensive) unit in the summer, and a year-long residency. Please contact us with any questions about program availability.
|Programs||Begin Date||End Date||Tuition||Status|
|Winter/Spring Extended (20 Weeks)||January 16, 2023||June 4, 2023||$500||Accepting Applications after 9/6/2022|
|Summer Intensive (11 Weeks)||June 5, 2023||August 18, 2023||$500||Accepting Applications after 11/1/2022|
|August 24, 2022
||September 1, 2023
||$690 ($230 per unit)||Closed|
|Fall/Winter Extended (20 Weeks)||August 22, 2022||January 15, 2023||$500||Closed|
- Level-I CPE
- Level-II CPE
- Year-Long Residency
- Certified Educator Training
Summer Intensive, Fall/Winter Extended, Winter/Spring Extended and Residency Unit No. 1
- Establishes the clinical method of learning (Action, Reflection and New Action) as a tool for deepening self-awareness and theological reflection, as well as improving upon foundational skills for spiritual care to diverse patient populations.
- Students identify personal learning goals and utilize the ACPE Level-I Outcomes to guide their development in areas of pastoral formation, pastoral competence and pastoral reflection.
Fall/Winter Extended, Winter/Spring Extended and CPE Residency Units
- Builds upon the foundational reflective work established in Level-I Outcomes by focusing upon the application of specific spiritual care skill sets with increasing levels of self-supervision.
- Students at this level are expected to assume greater pastoral authority as collaborative interprofessional team members and take on more responsibility within the department by providing staff support initiatives.
- Designed to meet the needs of year-long residents, but can be adjusted for students in extended programs whose schedules allow for them to be in the hospital only part time.
Three-unit experience consisting of Level-I and Level-II programs
- Pre-requisite: Completion of at least one unit of Level-I CPE.
- One-year, stipend position with Northwestern Medicine employee benefits. (Note: We do not offer second-year residencies.)
- Curriculum is characterized by a progressive learning experience where residents begin by focusing upon foundational chaplain competencies (supported by one-to-one staff mentoring) and conclude their year with preparation for board certification with the Association of Professional Chaplains (APC).
- The full-time nature of the residency provides students with the invaluable opportunity to establish themselves as the primary contact for Spiritual Care on their clinical unit.
- Students strengthen their professional identity over the course of a year through sustained relationship-building within their CPE peer group, collegiality with other Spiritual Care professionals and collaborative interdisciplinary engagement within a challenging clinical environment.
Multi-year training to become an ACPE Certified Educator
- Northwestern Memorial Hospital is accredited by ACPE for training Certified Educators.
- Program includes two phases of theoretical and skill-based training through which students take on progressive autonomy in leading Level-I and Level-II CPE groups.
- Please contact us directly for more information.
How to Apply
Spiritual Care and Education
Northwestern Memorial Hospital
211 East Ontario Street, Suite 550
Chicago, Illinois 60611
If you are applying from outside the U.S., you can learn more about the International Student Visitor Program through the ACPE website.
Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s CPE program maintains student records in accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and in accordance with the recommendations of the Accreditation Commission of ACPE. View a full version of Northwestern Medicine’s annual notice.