Clinical Pastoral Education

What is CPE?

Clinical Pastoral Education is interfaith, professional education for ministry. It brings theological students, qualified laypersons, and ministers of all faiths into supervised encounter with persons in crisis. Out of an intense involvement with persons in need, and the feedback from peers and teachers, CPE participants develop new awareness of themselves as persons and of the needs of those to whom they minister. From theological reflection on specific human situations, they gain a new understanding of ministry. Within the interdisciplinary team process of helping persons, they develop skills in interpersonal and inter-professional relationships."  - The Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc.


The CPE program began at Immanuel Medical Center in 1965 and remains today an important component of the faith-based ministry of CHI Health. The program is highly regarded and appreciated by the many healthcare professionals across the region that experience the dedicated pastoral service provided by the program’s graduates. The program contributes to the CHI Health pledge to "be creative, visionary leaders committed to holistic healthcare in the region."

Preparation for Ministry

Preparation of Pastoral care leaders is part of CHI Health’s ongoing ministry. Participants enrolled in the program contribute to the persons they serve by their pastoral care in hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities and other services within CHI Health.

Preparation for Leadership

In addition, CPE participants’ work in the local community supports and furthers CHI Health’s commitment to improving the health of the communities in which they serve. Preparation of CPE Supervisors contributes to the future development of Clinical Pastoral Education.

Supporting Our Mission

Clinical Pastoral Education supports CHI Health's mission, "to nurture the healing ministry of the Church, supported by education and research. Fidelity to the Gospel urges us to emphasize human dignity and social justice as we create healthier communities.

CHI Health provides administrative and financial support for the CPE program out of the belief that the persons enrolled in CPE will take with them a commitment to care for the whole person, including the spiritual and pastoral dimensions.