Clinical Pastoral Education Program (CPE) CPE FAQs

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1. Do I qualify for CPE?

If you have a bachelor's degree and some theological training, you would qualify for our Intern and Extended Programs. These programs are attended by many seminarians who are often required to have one unit for their graduate education. An MDiv or other theological master's degree is preferred for our Resident Program, but is not mandatory. In addition, a unit of CPE is also preferred for the Residency since this demonstrates readiness for the program, but it is not required.

2. Where can I download an application?

You can download the standard ACPE, Inc. application under the “Programs” tab on the Seton Family of Hospitals of web site. You can also download this form from www.acpe.edu.

3. The application says I should submit a report from a screening interview with my application materials. Is this required?

Our Center does not require a pre-screening interview to apply for one of our programs. However, this type of information included with an application could help make your submission a bit more attractive. Since Seton Family of Hospitals has the only CPE Center in Austin, we are highly competitive so anything to boost your application materials could not hurt.

4. Where can I locate information on your current offerings?

You can find up-to-date information at www.seton.net/cpe, click on the “Programs” link.

5. Is there a stipend?

Our Resident and Supervisory Education Programs offer stipends plus employee benefits and mileage reimbursement for any driving done while working an on-call shift. Please see the program flyer for specifics. We do not offer stipends for our Intern or Extended Programs; however we do reimburse on-call mileage.

6. Do you offer a 2nd year Resident Program?

We do not currently offer a 2nd year Resident Program. You may be able to find an offering through the ACPE, Inc. web site at www.acpe.edu.

7. Do you have any openings in your Supervisory Resident Program (SES Program)?

We do not currently have an opening for our SES Program. You can always find information on all of our current offerings on our web site, www.seton.net/cpe, click on “Programs”.

8. What is a typical work-week for the part-time Extended Program?

The Extended Program is six months in duration, where students will complete 300 hours of clinical time, a requirement for earning one unit of CPE. Previously, CPE class time has been held on Tuesday afternoons from 1 – 5pm. Externs will also sign up to work ten (10) clinical hours per week at a schedule of their choosing. It is possible for a couple of those hours to be outside the typical work day, but it is encouraged that the majority of the ten hours be within normal business hours when Staff Chaplains are available to work with you. In addition to the ten hours per week, Externs complete a total of eleven (11) on-call shifts [eight (8) weekday and three (3) weekend] on dates of their choosing throughout the six-month Program.

9. As a CPE Student, in which Seton facility will I work?

Seton CPE Students have opportunities to work in the following eight hospitals:

  • Seton Medical Center Austin
  • University Medical Center Brackenridge
  • Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas
  • Seton Northwest Hospital
  • Seton Southwest Hospital
  • Seton Medical Center Williamson
  • Seton Medical Center Hays
  • Seton Shoal Creek Hospital

Taking into consideration clinical coverage, facility assignments are determined by the CPE Supervisors at the beginning of each program. Residents work two units at one site and then move to another hospital for the final two units. This offers CPE Residents a more well-rounded experience.

10. How does on-call work?

Weekday on-call shifts start at 4:30pm and end at 8:00am the following morning. Weekend shifts begin at 8:00am concluding at 8:00am the following morning. On weekday evenings, students are required to stay in-house until 9:00pm handling any referrals that may come in during the afternoon and evening hours. On the weekends, students are required to be in-house from noon – 4:00pm. CPE Students are given post on-call time off to offset the additional hours worked. More details about on-calls will be given during new student orientation.

11. How many hospitals would I cover while working an on-call shift?

Seton Family of Hospital continues to grow throughout Central Texas. Due to expansion, the Chaplain Services system for working on-call shifts is evolving. In 2009, hospitals were divided into two groups with students covering only one group of hospitals (four) at a time. The group assignments may change from year to year depending on coverage needs, but there is a focus to keep the two largest hospitals, Seton Medical Center Austin and University Medical Center Brackenridge, in separate groups.

12. Are there other CPE Centers in Austin?

Seton Family of Hospitals has the only ACPE-accredited Center in Austin. To find others, please visit www.acpe.edu.

13. Do I have to be ordained?

No, you do not have to be ordained to take CPE. Depending on the requirement of your denomination, earning a unit may be part of the ordination process.

14. Do you have any scholarships available?

At the present time, we have none available. You may be able to find something through a seminary or church.

15. Can I earn financial aid for tuition?

Please contact FAFSA Federal Student Aid to determine whether you would qualify for financial aid. You may learn more at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/.

16. Do you assist in finding housing?

No, we do not. Please refer to local real estate listings for housing details. In terms of location if you're new to the area, please visit the Seton web site for a map of the various Seton hospitals, www.seton.net/locations.

17. Am I required to have a vehicle?

Yes, a vehicle will be necessary for driving to the various hospitals during the day and on-call shifts.

More FAQs regarding Clinical Pastoral Education can be found at:

www.acpe.edu/faq

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