Our chaplains provide spiritual care for patients and families coping with health challenges and life-changing medical events. The Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) Program of the Division of Mission and Ministry was founded in 1961 and is dedicated to educating students so that they can offer kindness and strength to patients, families and staff. The CPE program helps students develop spiritual care skills and deepen their own self-understanding, whether students choose to pursue ministry in chaplain, parish or community settings.

Clinical Pastoral Education Resources

Baptist Health System: History to Present

The Baptist Health System began in 1902 as a dream of San Antonio physicians and businesspeople. In 1948, the hospital was transferred to the ownership of the Southern Baptist Convention, then to the Baptist General Convention of Texas in 1952.

During this time, a chapter of faith-based, not-for-profit hospital care began, which placed a strong emphasis on spiritual health in addition to the tradition of healing and education. Under local Baptist leadership, the single hospital grew into a system that now includes six hospitals, a formal Institute of Health Education and other health and wellness services.

This three-fold ministry of healing, teaching and Christian service still holds today. In 2003, the system was sold to Vanguard and then later to Tenet Health System. A continued commitment to both pastoral care and to clinical pastoral education was made by both new systems.

Pastoral care staff and CPE students are integrated members of the Baptist Health System care teams. We help patients, families and staff discover spiritual meaning, belonging and hope through individual pastoral visits, crisis response and support groups. Patients and family members may receive routine bedside visitation if desired. Care may include presence, prayer, sacramental support and connection with local clergy.

Mission and Values of ACPE


To positively affect people’s lives by nurturing connections to the sacred through experiential education and spiritual care.


Diversity and inclusion – demonstrated through cultural humility, attentiveness and collegiality.
Integrity – demonstrated through trust, respect and excellence.
Curiosity – demonstrated through listening, experiential models, innovation and creativity.
Process – demonstrated through action and reflection, listening, experiential and relational models.
Service – demonstrated through compassion, authenticity and growth.

Division of Mission and Ministry Mission Statement

The Mission and Ministry Department is guided by Baptist Health System’s Mission of helping people achieve health for life through compassionate service inspired by faith.

Our departmental mission is
“To serve patient and families, employees, students and physicians with excellence in…
     Pastoral Ministry,
       Education for Ministry, and
         Leadership for our BHS values,
         faith-based mission, biomedical
         ethics and community ministry.”

For more information on the services we provide, go to Division of Mission and Ministry.