About the ACPE Program
The Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program at Baptist Health System functions as an element of the Division of Mission and Ministry. The Association of Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc. (ACPE) trains professionals and laypersons for ministry in hospitals, hospices, nursing homes, mental health centers, congregations and in other specialized settings. Through CPE, students develop skills and understanding to serve people at crossroads in their lives.
Our ACPE history has evolved to offer both impressive service in our clinical areas and education for students. The CPE program currently includes one ACPE Certified Educator, one Certified Educator Candidate, six Residents, six Summer Interns and six Fall Extended Interns.
Our ACPE Professional Advisory Group (PAG) provides strong support, consultation and advocacy from our culturally diverse community and institution that ensures continued accountability and visionary leadership. The CPE students, whether Residents, Summer Interns or Extended Interns, work closely with our faculty, Baptist’s healthcare professionals and with a rich diversity of patients.
Baptist Health System is a fully accredited ACPE center offering certified units of CPE and a CPE Certified Educator Candidate (CEC) education. We have five hospitals in the San Antonio area – Baptist Medical Center, Mission Trail Baptist Hospital, North Central Baptist Hospital, Northeast Baptist Hospital and St. Luke’s Baptist Hospital – all with clinical placements for our CPE students. Our center offers a wide variety of learning opportunities and outstanding faculty.
Our curriculum includes tools for spiritual assessment and intervention, introduction to psychological and sociological theories, didactics on culture to promote cultural competence and humility and both individual and group reflection. We provide mentor relationships through the pastoral care staff. Mentors give students needed support and encouragement, as well as collegial accountability of service expectations on the respective clinical area.
Internship programs with Clinical Pastoral Education provide students the opportunity to experience clinical and seminar training. The internship curriculum is an introduction to spiritual care with a focus on understanding the self as a spiritual caregiver. Each student will be assigned to one of the five Baptist Health System hospitals for their clinical hours. All students participate in the on-call rotation for their assigned hospital to provide spiritual care after business hours.
The Summer Internship is a full-time, ten-week long program for seminarians, clergy or selected lay people who meet the requirements for CPE. The program begins in late May and concludes in early August. Students spend about 10 hours a week in seminar time and about 30 hours per week in clinical time. Students completing the Summer Internship receive credit for one unit of CPE.
Fall Extended Internship
The Fall Extended Unit is a part-time, twenty-week long program for seminarians, clergy or selected lay people who meet the requirements for CPE. The program begins in mid-October and concludes in mid-March. Seminars are typically not held the week of Christmas, though clinical responsibilities continue. Students spend about six hours a week in class time and about 9-12 hours per week in clinical time. Students completing the Fall Extended Internship receive credit for one unit of CPE.
The Residency curriculum takes a deeper dive into skills of pastoral care, specialized areas of ministry and theories in the areas of theology, ethics, psychology and sociology, with a focus on providing more comprehensive spiritual care. Students spend about ten hours a week in seminar time and about 30 hours per week in clinical time. Each student will be assigned to one of the five Baptist Health System hospitals for the first six months and to another of the hospitals for the second six months to complete their clinical hours. All students participate in the on-call rotation for their assigned hospital to provide spiritual care after business hours. Whether one is called to congregational, community, military, clinical ministry or something in between, the Residency Program provides opportunity for students to function with greater integration and awareness. The Residency Program also provides the necessary education to contribute to the student’s credentialing as a Board-Certified Chaplain by the Association of Professional Chaplains. Students completing the Residency receive credit for four units of CPE.
A residency in our CPE program is full-time, beginning in late August and concluding the following late August. Students in the Residency Program build on the foundation of their first unit of CPE to increase their skills in the areas of pastoral formation, reflection and competence.
Certified Educator Candidate (CEC)
Certified Educator Candidates (CECs) are those who have demonstrated clinical and pastoral ministry skills and show potential to be a pastoral educator. Persons in this program learn the art and skills of clinical ministry as an ACPE Certified Educator. The length of time to complete this program is determined by the readiness and demonstrated competence of the CEC student. In addition to observing and working with other students in the seminar setting, CEC students will participate in clinical coverage, including the on-call rotation. The hours spent in clinical coverage will vary as determined by the Certified Educator and Clinical Director.
Notice Regarding Privacy of Records
This ACPE CPE Center/Program guarantees to its students the rights to inspect and review their education records, to seek to amend them, to specified control over release of record information and to file a complaint against the program for alleged violations of these Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) rights. All records are maintained for a period of 10 years, in accordance with ACPE policy.
A student has the right to object to record content. If not negotiable, the written objection will be kept with and released with the record. Grades are exempted from this right. Violations of these protocols may be reported to the Chair of the Accreditation Commission at: ACPE, One West Court Square, Suite 325, Decatur, GA 30033.