Clinical Pastoral Education

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) began in 1925 as a form of theological education that does not exclusively take place in academic classrooms, but also in clinical settings where ministry is being practiced.

Clinical Pastoral Education is interfaith professional education for ministry. It brings theological students and ministers of all faiths (pastors, priests, rabbis, imams and other faith leaders) into a supervised encounter with persons in crisis. CPE helps people learn how their life and experiences have shaped their personality and their ministry and serves as a part of the preparation for parish ministry, chaplaincy, lay ministry, teaching and counseling.

Like most classroom experiences, CPE students have text books. The most important CPE textbook is the in-depth study of the student. Through experiential learning in the classroom, at the bedside of patients and working with the health care team, students gain self-awareness and a variety of skills to help them offer spiritual and emotional support to people from all faith traditions and walks of life.

Henry Ford Allegiance Health has a rich history of offering CPE to the greater Jackson community and beyond. Typically, CPE students have at least a bachelor level education and at least two years of experience working with an organized place of worship. For students seeking professional chaplaincy, a master level education in the discipline of theology or its equivalent is required.

As an accredited CPE center, the Henry Ford Allegiance Clinical Pastoral Education Center offers two 17 week CPE opportunities. The Fall Unit begins the second week of September. The Winter Unit begins the second week of February.

CPE students are part of the Spiritual Care team. As spiritual practitioners, CPE students have unlimited clinical opportunities to positively affect the lives of our patients and others by nurturing connections to the sacred through experiential education and spiritual care.

The Clinical Pastoral Education Curriculum

The CPE curriculum prepares CPE students in their ministry practice. The program includes, but is not limited to:

  • Theological reflection
  • Didactic seminars
  • Clinical case reviews
  • Interpersonal relations group
  • Ministry presentations
  • Individual supervision

CPE units are $800 each. There is a $25 application fee. An ACPE application form can be downloaded here.

For more information about CPE, contact CPE Program Director Rev. Versey Williams at or (517) 205-4889.

The Clinical Pastoral Education program is accredited by:

ACPE logo

Association for Clinical Pastoral Education

One West Court Square, Suite 325, Decatur, GA 30030
Phone: (404) 320-1472
Fax: (404) 320-0849

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