Objectives for Clinical Pastoral Education

CPE programs accredited by the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education must meet specific standards adopted by the ACPE.  The objectives for Clinical Pastoral Education as stated in the ACPE Standards are as follows:

  • To become aware of oneself as a minister and the way one’s ministry affects persons
  • To develop the skills to provide intensive and extensive pastoral care and counseling to persons in their crises and situations
  • To understand and utilize the clinical method of learning
  • To accept and utilize the support, confrontation and clarification of the peer group for the integration of personal attributes and pastoral functioning
  • To utilize individual and group supervision for personal and professional growth and for developing the capacity to evaluate one’s ministry
  • To develop the ability to make effective use of one’s religious/spiritual heritage, theological understanding, and knowledge of the behavioral sciences in pastoral ministry to persons and groups
  • To become aware of how one’s attitudes, values and assumptions, strengths and weaknesses affect one’s pastoral care ministry
  • To become aware of the pastoral role in interdisciplinary relationships and to work effectively as a pastoral member of an interdisciplinary team
  • To become aware of how persons, social conditions, systems, and structures affect the lives of self and others and to address effectively these issues in ministry
  • To develop the capacity to utilize one’s pastoral and prophetic perspectives in a variety of functions such as: preaching, teaching, leadership, management, pastoral care, and as appropriate, pastoral counseling
  • Objectives of pastoral specialty, if selected are to develop:
    1. Familiarity with the theories and methods for the ministry specialty
    2. One’s own philosophy and methodology or the ministry specialty
    3. Pastoral competence in the practice of the specialty