Clinical Pastoral Education

Pastoral Education Training

Clinical Pastoral Education/Training Overview

Mount Sinai South Nassau CPE/T is a Professional Training Program for Laity, Ordained and Students of Ministry

In the 21st century, it is paramount that the chaplain be clinically trained. The Clinical Pastoral Education/Training (“CPE/T”) experiential method of learning and the eventual board certification of chaplains are measures of commitment, on the part of institutions, to provide quality and professional spiritual care.

The Mount Sinai South Nassau CPE/T Program is designed to further develop the pastoral counseling and ministerial skills of each participant. The knowledge and skills accrued from the interactive learning environment enhances one’s clinical, pastoral and educational insights and practices when attending to the self, the patients and the caregivers.


Why Take this Program?

  • Virtually all pastoral care certifying bodies today require four (4) units of CPE/T. They may also require an equivalency and/or a minimum number of continuing education hours to meet their certification standards. CPSP requirements include participation in local chapter membership and attendance at National Clinical Training Seminars and Plenary each year.
  • Today, hospitals, medical centers, hospices, healthcare organizations, penal institutions, etc. require board certification for their pastoral caregivers.
  • The completion of CPE/T units addresses the needed requirements for board certification if and when a lay or ordained person or student of theology intends to pursue a professional chaplaincy career in any healthcare or other setting today.

Uniqueness of the Mount Sinai South Nassau CPE/T Program

The Mount Sinai South Nassau CPE/T Program offers a unique and specialized setting for the art and practice of pastoral counseling and ministry in the 21st Century.

  • The cases, readings and didactic seminars include issues in acute care, palliative care, end of life care, culture, ethics, religion/spirituality, etc. arising from patients and caregivers.
  • The emphasis on the insight of Anton Boisen, that the patient is a living human document, is highly significant for clinical and pastoral ministry to persons who are chronically ill, in rehabilitation, or actively dying.
  • Addresses the challenge and responsibility to develop one’s knowledge, skills, pastoral identity, competence, and authority while attending to the bio cultural, emotional, ethical, psychosocial and spiritual needs and requests of the patients, caregivers and, in certain situations, staff members.

Who Should Take CPE/T?

If you are called to serve in hospital chaplaincy or pastoral counseling, CPE/T training is required. For those who desire to work with a local congregation and any work requiring interaction with others (a prison setting, a nursing home, working with children, in a homeless shelter, assisted living facility, with Disaster Chaplaincy Services or the Red Cross) this training will enhance skills if you are interested in continuing your growth as a minister.

Program Focus

Attention is given to the development and refinement of pastoral identity, authority and clinical skills through an action-reflection-new action education model. Trainees will be immersed in exploring issues related to, but not limited to, the following: ethics, geriatric-palliative care, homelessness, aging, long-term care, dementia, specific medical conditions, end-of-life care, bereavement, bio-ethics, multicultural ministry, critical incident, as well as pastoral-theological, psychological, emotional, or mal/adaptive behavior themes.

Each participant must have confirmed clinical hours with 16-20 assigned hours of patient contact each week, in addition to attendance at weekly groups, seminar and weekly supervision sessions.
Please note, as a CPE/T Chaplain at Mount Sinai South Nassau, you will usually be processed as a Spiritual Care Volunteer. The completion of background check, medical clearance, and hospital orientation are required for admission to CPE/T. There is also a requirement for individual supervision sessions which usually occurs bi-weekly and can alternate in-person and via video-conference check-in which will be negotiated with your supervisor.

Program Structure

Each trainee presents between 5-7 case studies over the course of a Unit. Reading assignments and didactics seminars are incorporated in the curriculum as well as group relations. Trainees are required to meet with their Supervisor in individual supervision. Trainees record reflections/journal entries once a week and submit them to their Supervisor. Trainees are required to maintain an activity log as well as complete the Mid-Unit and Final-Unit evaluations. A certificate of completion is awarded for the Unit earned. (1 Unit of CPE/T = 400 hours)

Expected Outcomes

  • Clinical knowledge and skills including verbal and nonverbal communication; developing the clinical eye; critical thinking, analysis and discernment; group relations dynamics; self-awareness, self-transformation and recovery of soul.
  • Pastoral Counseling Competencies including establishing and tending to pastoral relationships and alliances; developing within the pastoral visit connection, discernment of the theological, personal, spiritual, moral and historical values; attending to transference behaviors; journeying with the patient, family and caregivers; liaising with other clergy and maintaining continuity of care.
  • Clinical knowledge of pastoral diagnosis and assessment and collaboration with other professional members of the team; naming pastoral issues and concerns and providing clinical and pastoral interventions.
  • Exploration of ethical principles of autonomy, beneficence, justice and integrity.]
  • Exploration of legal and ethical issues surrounding patients’ rights, medical treatments and decisions.
  • Exploration of pastoral, spiritual issues and needs with regard to grief, isolation, alienation, aging, bereavement, death, fear, guilt, spiritual distress, purpose of life, closure, pain and vocation.


Mount Sinai South Nassau CPE/T Program is accredited by The College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy (“CPSP”) (, a national and international covenanted community of lay and ordained persons, theologians, counselors, educators, psychotherapists and other allied health professionals, dedicated to the shared value of the “recovery of soul.” CPSP is one of the cognate groups recognized by the Congress on Ministry in Specialized Settings (“COMISS”), an organization that endorses professional certifying bodies for professional chaplaincy in the United States.

Contact Information

Mount Sinai South Nassau
1 Healthy Way
Oceanside, NY 11572  
Attn: Rev. James E. Steward II, Director of Spiritual Care & Education CPSP Diplomate
516-497-7588 (fax)


Clinical Pastoral Education/Training Brochure
Clinical Pastoral Education/Training Flyer

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