Policies for Clinical Pastoral Education

Admissions policies

EMS intends to ensure that the CPE Program does not discriminate against persons because of race, gender, age, faith group, national origin, sexual orientation, or physical disability. EMS also intends to ensure that inquirers regarding the CPE Program are informed of the Policies and Procedures that govern the admission process.

Eastern Mennonite Seminary shall not discriminate against any individual for reasons of race, gender, age, faith group, national origin, sexual orientation, or physical disability. Equal access to educational opportunities is extended to all qualified persons who are prepared to commit themselves to abide by the EMS CPE Program Policies and Procedures and the standards of ethical conduct as identified by the institutions in which they would serve as a participant in the CPE Program. However, if a student becomes a member of ACPE, Inc. they would then also be expected to abide by the ACPE Code of Professional Ethics.

All members of the faculty and consultation group are expected to cooperate in making this policy valid in fact.

This policy notwithstanding, all students accepted in the program shall be able, with reasonable accommodation, to physically perform the duties as contained in the position description for Chaplain/Pastoral Intern.

Admissions Requirements

Requirements for Admission to Level I CPE include:

  1. Graduation from high school/GED or ordination (or equivalent) by a faith community or commission to function in ministry by an appropriate religious authority.
  2. The capacity to sustain sufficient physical and emotional health to deliver pastoral care.
  3. The demonstrated ability to initiate and maintain relationships at significant levels and be open to learning, change and growth. Additionally, the student must demonstrate a capacity to manage the amount of stress that is typically a part of ministry and institutional culture.
  4. A completed application form accompanied by all requested materials.

Requirements for Admission to Level II CPE include:

  1. The requirements for Level I CPE.
  2. The satisfactory completion of a unit of Level I CPE.
  3. The demonstration of the Outcomes of Level I CPE.

Requirements for admission to the EMS Supervisory CPE Program include:

  1. Demonstration of Level I and Level II CPE Outcomes as evidenced in prior CPE evaluations and in the Admission Interview.
  2. Have completed a graduate theological degree—a Master of Divinity degree or prepared to demonstrate or achieve its equivalent
  3. Membership in good standing and ordination or commission to function in ministry by an appropriate religious authority within one’s faith community or in process of being so recognized.
  4. Group consultation on Readiness for Supervisory CPE with a professional committee arranged by the proposed training supervisor either before or shortly after acceptance into a program of Supervisory CPE.
  5. Previous ministry experience in which the applicant demonstrated ability to function pastorally. Experience in congregational pastoral ministry is a plus, though not a requirement.
  6. Clinical membership in the ACPE

Admissions Procedure

All Programs:

  1. At their request, potential applicants are sent a program brochure, an application form, and a letter that includes information about the admission process, tuition, fees and program dates.
  2. When possible, telephone or e-mail contact is made in order to respond to questions and provide a more personal context for discussion of the CPE experience.
  3. Upon receipt of a completed application, the applicant is sent a letter acknowledging receipt of the application and is informed of the next steps in the application process. Each applicant is provided a copy of the Eastern Mennonite University Community Lifestyles Commitment and the ACPE Code of Professional Ethics.

For Intern (Summer or Extended) Level I and Level II CPE Units:

  1. Within two weeks of the arrival of the requested reference letters, the unit supervisor reviews the application and contacts the applicant and invites him or her to an Admission Interview, or informs the applicant of the selection timetable or communicates denial of admission. If the application material includes a report of an Admission Interview, this report may be accepted in lieu of an Admission Interview by a EMS CPE Supervisor. A brief summary report of Admission Interviews conducted at this center for applicants to this center will be written and placed in the student’s file.
  2. Each potential student may be asked to arrange an interview with the Clinical Coordinator of the institution where he/she would practice ministry as a CPE student. It is the privilege of the Clinical Coordinator, representing the interests of their institution, to deny any student the privilege of ministry practice in their setting. An institution denying a student the privilege of ministry practice in their setting does not constitute denial of admission to the program.
  3. Within two weeks of the Admission Interview the unit supervisor reviews the completed application and results of the interview and informs the applicant of the decision to accept or not accept the applicant or to delay a final decision.
  4. Students invited to a position in a CPE unit will receive a letter of invitation to a position in the CPE unit that will include instructions about the next steps of the applicant—such as acceptance deadlines, tuition deposits, starting dates, etc.
  5. When the applicant sends a letter of acceptance with the tuition deposit, a permanent file is established for that person.

For Supervisory CPE:

Applicants will complete the basic application form used for all CPE units. In addition, applicants will provide the following materials:

  1. In addition to the basic application materials, the applicant will be asked to write several essays. These essays will include papers entitled: “My Vision for Ministry,” and “My Understanding of CPE Supervision.” In addition the applicant will include a list of possible learning goals and a recent Pastoral Care Verbatim Case Study. Other papers may be required based on the individual needs of the applicant.
  2. Applicants will be expected to give evidence of pastoral experience and ecclesiastical endorsement for supervisory education.

The admissions process for Supervisory CPE will be the same as for other CPE programs with the following additions:

  • An Admissions Interview Committee will review the application and participate in the interview process along with the CPE Program Director.
  • The Admissions Interview Committee will consist of CPE Professional Advisory Committee Members and the EMS Dean or Associate Dean.
  • Applicants will be expected to identify their own resources for completing the supervisory education process. Applicants will also be informed of the resources that the department will provide.
  • The process for notifying applicants of acceptance or rejection will be the same as the procedures for other CPE positions.

Financial Policy

EMS intends to ensure that the Clinical Pastoral Education program is timely and clear in its communication regarding fees, tuition, payment schedule, refunds, stipends and benefits.

The EMS CPE Program shall provide each potential CPE student with a copy of the tuition and fee schedule upon request of program information. Tuition and fees may be reviewed and/or changed annually. Registration of credit for the CPE unit or the Supervisor’s written evaluation may be withheld pending payment of all fees.



  1. The tuition expense for units of CPE is communicated in the Financial Policy and this Financial Policy is provided to each inquirer requesting application information.
  2. Tuition for a Unit of CPE or Unit of Supervisory CPE is due on the first day of the unit unless, the student submits in writing an alternate payment plan seven (7) days before the beginning of the unit; and the supervisor agrees to the plan, and the plan is submitted to the CPE Program Director for approval with signatures of student and supervisor.
  3. All tuition must be paid by the last day of a unit. The supervisor’s Final Written Evaluation of the student is not to be issued without confirmation of tuition payment.
  4. No credit is to be registered for the unit until tuition is paid.
  5. Collection costs or charges along with all attorney fees necessary for the collection of any debt to Eastern Mennonite University will be charged and paid by the debtor. All accounts in collection are reported to three major credit bureaus. (EMU Student Handbook)


A non-refundable deposit is required upon acceptance into any CPE unit to hold a place in that unit. This deposit will only be refunded if the CPE unit is canceled.


If a student leaves the unit through mutual consent, personal choice, or by choice of the supervisor in the first fourth of the CPE unit, one half of the tuition is refunded. Students withdrawing during the first half of the unit will be refunded one-fourth of the tuition. No refund will be issued after the midpoint of the unit.


There are currently no stipends or employee benefits paid to students in any EMS CPE Program.

Tuition and Fees

Check the Finances page for current tuition and fees.

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