Saint Louis University

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What is a typical day in CPE?
For approximately 100 hours CPE students meet for "group time," instructional presentations, discussions of case studies, and reflections. For approximately 300 hours the students visit hospital patients in the role of chaplains.

What is "individual supervision?"
Students meet regularly with a CPE supervisor during which they discuss ministry events, relationship issues, and theological questions.

What is a "learning contract?"
Each CPE student develops individualized learning goals around pastoral reflection; pastoral formation; pastoral competence or pastoral specializations.

How many CPE sessions can I miss?
Students are expected to attend all CPE activities. If a student anticipates missing more than two days, a conference with the supervisor is required.

Will I be doing "rotations" or serve on a particular hospital area?
A student has a specific clinical assignment to a hospital service.  On their on-call shifts, students gain experience in all areas of the hospital.

How are the hospital Staff Chaplains involved with CPE students?
The staff chaplains act in the role of "preceptors" for the CPE students. They help with orientation, didactics, shadowing, and mentoring.

What is the "Saint Louis CPE Cluster"?
The "Saint Louis CPE Cluster" is a consortium of several CPE centers in the Saint Louis area. Each unit, the resident at SLUH will join the residents from the other Cluster centers for group time under the supervision of one of the Cluster center's supervisors.  The group will rotate at a different center for each residency unit.

What does CPE prepare a person to do?

  • CPE develops skills for pastoral care for people in parish work, chaplaincy, lay ecclesial ministry, teaching, counseling, and other forms of ministry.
  • Many theological schools require CPE as part of their field education practicum, contextual education, or supervised ministry internship.
  • Religious communities and dioceses require CPE as part of their formation programs.
  • Many denominations require CPE as an element in their ordination track.
  • Professional Chaplains' organizations require four units of CPE for board-certification as a chaplain.
  • Acceptance into supervisory education requires a minimum of four units of CPE.

Can one receive academic credit for a CPE unit?
Yes, if you are enrolled as a student in a seminary or graduate school of theology, and if your school grants credits for supervised practice or field work, you can get anywhere between 3 to 6 credits (depending on the school).  However, if one is not enrolled as a student in an academic program, one cannot obtain academic credit. 

How is the privacy of a CPE student protected?
CPE students are protected by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) which protects the privacy of adult student education records.  For more information, please see:  Student CPE evaluations are kept on file for ten years at the center in which they took CPE.  The evaluations can only be released with the student's written permission.

How many overnight on-calls....etc?
Summer students and Extended students are required to do approximately five to seven evening/night on-call shifts (eight hours each) during the course of a unit.  Residents do three (3) shifts in a month.  Shifts can be distributed between evening shifts (3:00 p.m. - 11:00 pm.) or night shifts (11:00 pm. - 7:00 a.m.).  Adjustments according to individual needs can be made.