Clinical Pastoral Education

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) began in 1925 as a form of theological education centered on the practice of ministry with people in crisis. As a form of process education, CPE utilizes an Action Reflection Learning model in a relational learning environment including structured group and individual education.

Clinical Pastoral Education at CHI Health

CPE began at CHI Health Immanuel in 1965 and has become a leading provider of clinical pastoral education regionally. Students are placed in diverse clinical settings including Level I Trauma, Trauma ICU, Intensive Care, Cardiovascular, Oncology/Hematology, OB/GYN, Geriatric and Adolescent Psychiatry, Rehabilitation, Neonatal Intensive Care, and Nebraska’s only certified Burn Unit. More information can be found under Clinical Pastoral Education Program Information.

Creating Healthier Communities

CPE professional education programs support Catholic Health Initiative’s mission to nurture the healing ministry of the Church. Our graduates include board certified chaplains, CPE certified educators, military chaplains, and pastoral care directors and denominational leaders.


Rev. Thomas F. Backer, BCC, ACPE Certified Educator. See Faculty Profile.


The CHI Health System CPE Program is accredited as a Multi-Institution Center for Clinical Pastoral Education by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE). The Center is accredited to offer Level I/II CPE.  ACPE is nationally recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as an accrediting agency in the field of clinical pastoral education.  

Association for Clinical Pastoral Education
One West Court Square, Suite 325
Decatur GA 325
Phone: (402) 320-1472