Standards & Objectives

We adhere to the following Standards and Objectives set by Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE). For more information contact:

ACPE: The Standard for Spiritual Care and Education
We Work, Floor 4
120 West Trinity Place
Decatur GA 30030
(404) 320-1472

2020 ACPE Objectives and Outcomes for Level I/Level II CPE

CPE provides theological and professional education using the clinical method of learning in diverse contexts of spiritual care. ACPE accredits two types of clinical pastoral education programs: CPE Level I/Level II and Certified Educator CPE. ACPE accredited programs provide a progressive learning experience through a two-level curriculum. Level I curriculum outcomes must be satisfactorily addressed prior to admission to Level II. Completion of CPE Level I/Level II curriculum outcomes is a prerequisite for admission to Certified Educator CPE. It is a goal to ensure that students are knowledgeable about the Common Qualifications and Competencies for Professional Chaplains.

CPE Level I/Level II enables pastoral formation, pastoral competence, and pastoral reflection. Some CPE centers offer pastoral specialization(s) as part of their Level II curriculum.

CPE Level I/Level II objectives define the scope of the CPE Level I/Level II program curricula. Outcomes define the competencies to be developed by students as a result of participating in each of the programs.

Pastoral Formation

ObjectiveLevel I OutcomeLevel II Outcome
O1. to develop students’ awareness of themselves as ministers and of the ways their ministry affects persons. L1.1. articulate the central themes and core values of one’s religious/spiritual heritage and the theological understanding that informs one’s ministry. L2.1. articulate an understanding of the pastoral role that is congruent with one’s personal and cultural values, basic assumptions and personhood
O2. to develop students’ awareness of how their attitudes, values, assumptions, strengths, and weaknesses affect their pastoral care L1.2. identify and discuss major life events, relationships, social 
O3. to develop students’ ability to engage and apply the support, confrontation, and clarification of the peer group for the integration of personal attributes and pastoral functioning L1.3. initiate peer group and supervisory consultation and receive critique about one’s ministry practice.  

Pastoral Competence

ObjectiveLevel I OutcomeLevel II Outcome
O4. to develop students’ awareness and understanding of how persons, social conditions, systems, and structures affect their lives and the lives of others and how to address effectively these issues through their ministry L1.4. risk offering appropriate and timely critique with peers and supervisors L2.2. provide pastoral ministry with diverse people, taking into consideration multiple elements of cultural and ethnic differences, social conditions, systems, justice and applied clinical ethics issues without imposing one’s own perspectives
O5. to develop students’ skills in providing intensive and extensive pastoral care and counseling to persons L1.5. recognize relational dynamics within group contexts L2.3. demonstrate a range of pastoral skills, including listening/attending, empathic reflection, conflict resolution/ transformation, confrontation, crisis management, and appropriate use of religious/spiritual resources
O6. to develop students’ ability to make effective use of their religious/spiritual heritage, theological understanding, and knowledge of the behavioral sciences and applied clinical ethics in their pastoral care of persons and groupsL1.6. demonstrate the integration of conceptual understandings presented in the curriculum into pastoral practice.L2.4. assess the strengths and needs of those served, grounded in theology and using an understanding of the behavioral sciences
O7. to teach students the pastoral role in professional relationships and how to work effectively as a pastoral member of a multidisciplinary team L1.7. initiate helping relationships within and across diverse populations L2.5. manage ministry and administrative function in terms of accountability, productivity, self-direction, and clear, accurate professional communication
O8. to develop students’ capacity to use one’s pastoral and prophetic perspectives in preaching, teaching, leadership, management, pastoral care, and pastoral counseling L1.8. use the clinical methods of learning to achieve one’s educational goals L2.6. demonstrate competent use of self in ministry and administrative function which includes: emotional availability, cultural humility, appropriate self- disclosure, positive use of power and authority, a non-anxious and non- judgmental presence, and clear and responsible boundaries

Pastoral Reflection

ObjectiveLevel I OutcomeLevel II Outcome
O9. to develop students’ understanding and ability to apply the clinical method of learning L1.9. formulate clear and specific goals for continuing pastoral formation with reference to one’s strengths and weaknesses as identified through self-reflection, supervision, and feedback L2.7. establish collaboration and dialogue with peers, authorities and other professionals
O10. to develop students’ abilities to use both individual and group supervision for personal and professional growth, including the capacity to evaluate one’s ministry  L2.8. demonstrate self-supervision through realistic self-evaluation of pastoral functioning

By the end of Level II, students will be able to demonstrate awareness of the Common Qualifications and Competencies for Professional Chaplains

If a CPE center offers a pastoral care specialty, it designs its CPE Level II curriculum to facilitate the students’ achievement of the following additional objectives:

  • To afford students opportunities to become familiar with and apply relevant theories and methodologies to their ministry specialty
  • To provide students opportunities to formulate and apply their philosophy and methodology for the ministry specialty.
  • To provide students opportunities to demonstrate pastoral competence in the practice of the specialty