Feb. 14, 2023 | St. Mary's Foundation
by Bradley Burck

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) Residency

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The application deadline for the 2024-25 Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) Residency at St. Mary’s Medical Center is rapidly approaching.  Five residents will be chosen to participate in this educational experience for the 2024-25 academic year.

Accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE), St. Mary’s CPE is an experiential, adult-student-centered learning process. Those in residency utilize ministerial events with patients in an action-reflection-action model in order to develop better assessment skills, interventions and spiritual care.

The one-year intensive program begins on Aug. 26, 2024 and will immerse candidates in every aspect of chaplaincy in a hospital setting, says Rev. Greg Creasy, SMMC’s Director of Spiritual Care & Mission Integration.

“This has to be a person’s priority for that year,” Creasy says. “They cover all of our on-call needs and work an average of 50 hours a week, much like a medical residency.”
Program tuition is $1,000. The residency includes a stipend of $35,568, with medical insurance available to students for a minimal cost. One previous unit of CPE is preferred, along with a master’s degree in theology or an equivalent helping profession degree.

CPE Residencies have been offered annually since 2009, with SMMC hiring seven graduates as chaplains over the years. Graduates have also worked at such area institutions as Charleston Area Medical Center, Community Hospice, Thomas Memorial Hospital and King’s Daughters Medical Center.

The CPE program seeks to be a diverse and inter-religious platform to offer care to persons of all traditions.

“The premise of pastoral care is we don’t take our own theology or beliefs and impress them on the person,” Rev. Creasy says. “We talk with the patient and help them understand how to use their spiritual resources to bring wholeness to their life.”

The CPE Residency involves four units of 400 hours—100 hours of class time and 300 hours in a clinical setting. For more information, please visit our Clinical Pastoral Education Center.