In the past decade, Denver Seminary’s Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) Center has trained hundreds of students to serve in a variety of diverse ministry contexts and is one of the few community-based programs accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE). As a seminary and a community-based program, we are able to place students in clinical sites that match their unique interests and passions. We have placed students with hospitals, hospice, the U.S. military, churches, senior adult communities, urban ministries, first responders, and other unique ministry contexts.
Listen to our Engage360 Podcast episode titled Chaplaincy and COVID-19 Challenges, featuring three of our alumni, read an article on five other alumni entitled “Staying Awake: Denver Seminary Trained Chaplains Minister through Faithful Presence", and read testimonials from five our our alumni.
At Denver Seminary, one unit of CPE is required in order to graduate from our chaplaincy degree programs. As a result, we are only able to provide CPE to currently enrolled Denver Seminary students. Learn more about our degree programs.
Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) provides students with the opportunity to integrate their personal history and their theological heritage into an authentic pastoral identity. Students work with their ACPE Certified Educator to craft individual learning goals that will guide the students' educational process.
The Denver Seminary CPE Center is accredited solely by The Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE) to offer Level I and II CPE student education and Certified Educator Candidate CPE supervisory education.
At Denver Seminary, we offer 15-week Extended Level I/II CPE units in the Fall (August-December) and the Spring (January-May), mirroring the academic school calendar. Each extended unit of CPE consists of at least 400 hours of training – 100 hours of group and individual education/supervision and 300 hours of person-centered clinical site work. In our program, a typical week of CPE will require between 25-30 hours.
We also offer year-by-year Certified Educator Candidate (CEC) CPE supervisory education. Prospective candidates will need to qualify as Associated Denver Seminary Faculty. There is no stipend for an accepted CEC student; CEC students pay a yearly tuition to the seminary for their training. However, as associated seminary faculty there are contract opportunities to teach seminary classes in addition to teaching Level I/II CPE students once the CEC has reached Phase 1B in the CEC process.
Our curriculum is based on the clinical “action-reflection-action” method of learning, utilizing information from the actual practice of ministry as the context for learning with one’s peers, ministry site mentor, and ACPE Certified Educators.
The following will be a part of your CPE experience:
Students experience firsthand a wide variety of real-life ministry situations while engaged in direct, person-centered care. These interactions will look different depending on the CPE Student’s ministry site placement, or if they are a CEC CPE student. Denver Seminary students have been placed in many different sites depending on their interests and desired training.
Individual and Group Supervision
Students present weekly written verbatim reports of interactions with care recipients to their ACPE Certified Educator(s) and peer group. These opportunities for feedback help assess one’s strengths and areas for growth for providing pastoral care. Additionally, students will have one hour of individual supervision with their ACPE Certified Educator every other week.
Formally structured seminars on a variety of ministry-related subjects are presented by professional chaplains, clinical health care professionals, Denver Seminary faculty, and ACPE Certified Educators. Each seminar provides helpful, practical, theoretical and theological foundations for pastoral care development.
Sharing personal experiences in a small-group setting teaches group process and leadership skills. Students learn from insights gained from peers about their pastoral effectiveness, from situations other colleagues encounter, and their interpersonal relationships.
How to Apply for a CPE Program
Level I and II CPE
At present, we are only able to provide introductory CPE units for students currently enrolled in degree programs at Denver Seminary. Nor do we offer residencies.
- All CPE students must meet the requirements for entrance to Denver Seminary prior to being considered for CPE.
- No CPE applications from non-enrolled Denver Seminary students will be accepted.
- From the pool of enrolled Denver Seminary students, this ACPE accredited center does not discriminate against persons because of race, ethnicity, religious/spiritual tradition, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, or disability.
- We presently have a two-year waitlist for our currently enrolled Denver Seminary students.
- Acceptance into a Level l/ll unit will require a $300 fee in addition to class tuition for the CHP 650/775 seminary unit/course.
Certified Educator Candidate (CEC) CPE
Only those CEC applicants accepted, or able to be accepted, under Denver Seminary’s requirements for hiring as Associated (Adjunct), Part-time, or Full-time faculty are eligible for acceptance into the Center’s Certified Educator Candidate CPE program. Our earliest application acceptance date is in Fall 2021. The earliest start date would be in Spring 2022.
- From the pool of employable/employed Seminary Faculty, this ACPE accredited center does not discriminate against persons because of race, ethnicity, religious/spiritual tradition, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, or disability.
- There are two parts to acceptance into the Certified Educator Candidate CPE Program:
- Part 1 details the procedure for admission into the local Denver Seminary CPE Center as a Certified Education Student
- Part 2 details the procedure for admission at the ACPE national level as a Certified Education Candidate
(Please see the admission policy below and the ACPE website.)
- CEC Candidates will be accepted on a year-year renewable bases.
- There is no stipend for a CEC; they are expected to pay yearly tuition to Denver Seminary for their CEC education
- However, as seminary faculty, CECs may be contracted to teach other seminary courses in addition to Level I/II CPE as early as Phase 1B of their CEC CPE process.