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CPE Unit Offerings

- Harrisonburg (on campus) Fall/Spring Extended CPE Unit

- Online Fall/Spring CPE Unit*

These two offerings of CPE span both semesters of the school year, beginning in the fall semester and concluding at the end of the spring semester in April. Approximately 4 hours each week are scheduled for group education. Students are expected to serve 10-12 hours per week as chaplain interns at a local hospital, retirement community or other setting as agreed upon with the Clinical Educator. Students may schedule much of their “clinical” time (including daytimes, evenings, and weekends) to fit their own schedules. Semester breaks will be observed.

*Online students will be expected to spend approximately 2 days in person, on campus, at the beginning of the unit for Orientation to CPE and to their CPE group.

EMS offers CPE in various locations and study formats. Explore all our options to complete your training below. 

- Summer CPE Unit

The Summer unit is a full-time, ten-week program beginning near the end of May and concluding in early August, Monday - Friday (8am-5pm). ACPE requires 100 hours of instructional time (~12 hrs/wk) and 300 hours of clinical ministry over the course of the summer. Typically, structured classroom time is Tuesday-Thursday mornings. Students who serve in the hospital setting will also provide some “on-call” coverage on evenings
and weekends. Students may also serve at a Retirement Community or other approved ministry placements.

Option for Pastors serving in Congregations

Pastors holding at least a half-time ministry position in a congregational setting can use their congregational ministry to satisfy up to half (150 hours) of the CPE clinical ministry requirement. The remaining hours will be served in either a hospital or retirement community setting. This applies to all units.

Placement Options for all units include:


Emphasized in our program will be the engagement of self-learning through case study seminars, group and individual coaching, personal reading and writing, didactic presentations, audio-visual resources, individual learning goals and applying theory to one’s practice of ministry. Foundational to this effort will be studying one’s own relationship systems---family, clinical ministry and/or faith community through the lens of Bowen Theory. All curriculum components at this level are designed to address the Level 1 Outcomes as defined by the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education.

Advanced Units of CPE

These units are intended specifically for those who have completed at least one unit of CPE and who seek an additional unit for a certification process or to refresh and build on the learning gained in the first unit. 

Participants wanting to enhance their ministry practice and grow in a greater sense of pastoral identity and practice will benefit from a deeper dive into concepts such as differentiation of self-in-relationship, identifying common symptoms of anxiety in self, families and communities in order to more effectively engage challenging family, work and/or ministry relationships.

Participants with the goal of becoming a Certified Professional Chaplain will work towards demonstration of the Level I & II Objectives and Outcomes of ACPE. Achievement of these Outcomes meets one of the requirements of chaplain board certification through the Association of Professional Chaplains, and prepares students to meet the Common Qualifications and Competencies for Professional Chaplains as delineated by the Board of Chaplaincy Certification, Inc.

FORMAT: These advanced units will be “hybrid” or in-person units - - group meetings will include face to face meetings as well as online by video-conferencing technology. Meeting schedule will be informed by participants.

For More Information

Penny Driediger
ACPE Certified Clinical Educator and CPE Director
(540) 432-4218
CPE Homepage

Eastern Mennonite Seminary is accredited to offer CPE Levels I & II and Supervisory CPE by the: Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc. We Work, Floor 4, 120 West Trinity Place, Decatur, GA 30030.  

  • Phone: (404) 320-1472    
  • Fax: (404) 320- 0849  
  • Email: acpe@acpe.edu  
  • www.acpe.edu
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