Education, Residency Programs & Research  > Pastoral Education Programs  > Clinical Pastoral Education  > Benefits of CPE to Student 

Benefits of CPE to Student

The Clinical Pastoral Education Program through Palmetto Health ...

Develops Pastoral Competence chaplain comforting patient

Comprehending the extent of illness, grief, and family conflict calls for profound sensitivity and knowledge. Coming to self-awareness as a chaplain responding to each situation requires courage and honesty. Learning with fellow CPE students while serving people in crisis is key to acquiring a high degree of pastoral competence.

Integrates Theory and Practice

By fully integrating theory and practice in the clinical setting, Palmetto Health's CPE program offers students the opportunity to cultivate a strong pastoral identity and test vocational call. At Palmetto Health, the CPE program places equal emphasis on clinical and educational experience within a theological framework. Once clinical assignments are made, students function autonomously as chaplains and are viewed as an integral part of the staff team.

Facilitates Interrelational Learning

The peer group and CPE supervisors/faculty are central to the clinical method of learning. The peer group structure allows students to work through personal issues, attitudes, and beliefs in a supervised setting. It also offers a unique experience of covenant community that enables each person to experiment with his or her gifts and graces for ministry. The supervisors/faculty provide the context for ministry and facilitate the group process of reflection, critique and support that is basic to the CPE process. In this way, students become known to the faculty and faculty become known to the students.

Involves Committed Supervisors/Faculty

CPE supervisors rotate seminar presentations and teach specialty topics, exposing students to a variety of supervisors and providing more opportunities for personal growth. Supervisors are both male and female and model shared power between genders. Ongoing seminars in family systems theory and gender, power, and sexuality are exceptional curriculum features. These seminars provide preventive training to students who will likely face sensitive situations once serving in a parish or community ministry.

Enjoys Hospital Administration Support

Palmetto Health's CPE Program enjoys full support from hospital administration which sees spiritual health as a vital component of medical treatment and care. The CPE program offers a competitive stipend and is accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc. to offer CPE and Supervisory CPE.

Pchaplains at patient's bedsiderovides Diverse Chaplain Placement

A diverse CPE experience is available through the two Palmetto Health hospitals, Palmetto Health Baptist and Palmetto Health Richland. Each year, the two hospitals treat nearly a half million patients, welcome over 6,000 newborns, and make nearly 120,000 home care visits. The hospitals are staffed by more than 1,000 physicians and 8,000 employees. In total, they operate approximately 1,280 beds, including Baptist Easley Hospital in Easley, South Carolina.

Occurs in Hospitals, Outpatient, and Community Settings

Both hospitals are highly respected, long-time members of the community with well-established CPE programs administered through the Chaplaincy & Pastoral Education Department. CPE clinical placements as a chaplain are available in the two hospitals as well as outpatient, hospice, Celia Saxon Community Health Center, Columbia Free Medical Clinic, Palmetto Senior Care facilities and in conjunction with our parish nurse program.

Clinical Pastoral Education through Palmetto Health provides these opportunities:   

  • To serve with a multi-staffed, interdenominational, and multicultural Chaplaincy & Pastoral Education Department with staff chaplains, CPE supervisors, chaplain residents and interns.
  • To serve as a chaplain in inpatient areas of the hospitals including oncology, psychiatry, cardiology, pediatrics, orthopaedics, urology, OB/GYN, labor and delivery, intensive care, medical-surgical, emergency and trauma departments.  
  • To serve as a chaplain in outpatient clinic settings including oncology, surgery, Celia Saxon Community Health clinic and the Columbia Free Medical Clinic. 
  • To serve as a chaplain through Hospice Home Care Resources, providing pastoral care to terminally ill patients and families in their homes.  
  • To become an integral member of treatment teams and specialty units. 
  • To lead and co-lead in a variety of support groups, patient/staff education and group therapy (offered to qualified residents).  
  • To lead in worship within the hospital and community setting participating in chapel services, memorial services, vespers and other special services. 
  • To learn to think theologically as your faith, values, beliefs and assumptions about life are challenged by those in crisis. 
  • To have your ministry supervised by an experienced minister certified by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc.