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Clinical Pastoral Education

 We are currently accepting applications for the 2017-2018 Residency Year. The dates of the Residency are August 28, 2017 to August 24, 2018.

We are accepting applications for the 2018 Extended CPE Program, which will begin on Monday, January 8, 2018 and conclude on May 25, 2018.

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is a method of learning and improving pastoral skills in a clinical setting under supervision. The origins of the CPE movement date back to the early part of the 20th century in the work of William Keller, Richard Cabot, Helen Flanders Dunbar, and Anton Boisen.  It was Boisen who suggested that theological inquiry could best be promoted through the study of "living human documents."  CPE has as its goal the integration of pastoral ministry, theology, psychology, and other behavioral sciences. The present association, the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE), was formed in 1967 when several unrelated clinical education organizations merged to form one standard-setting, accrediting and certifying body.

Clinical Pastoral Education at Deaconess Hospital

ACPE-accredited programs have been conducted at Deaconess for seventy-one years. Levels I and II units of CPE are presently offered. Participants are enabled to increase their pastoral effectiveness through personal growth and the development of professional competence.  In addition to providing pastoral care to patients, families, and staff, each participant is encouraged to develop learning objectives relevant to his/her needs. These objectives are addressed through pastoral care experiences, seminars, case conferences, interpersonal group seminars, and individual interviews.

Deaconess Health System

In 1892, a group of laypersons and clergy of Evansville formed the Protestant Deaconess Association, laying the groundwork for Deaconess Hospital.  For the first 30 years of its history, the hospital was administered by nurses who were sisters of the Protestant Deaconess Order.  Sister Sophia Bartelt was the last Sister at Deaconess and was 92 years old at the time of her death in 1979.

The Religious Life Department has been an integral part of the hospital milieu for the past seventy-one years beginning with the ministry of Chaplain Carl Scherzer.  Staff is engaged in patient care, personnel concerns, community service and educational programs.  Three ACPE Supervisors, Charles V. Doughty and Joseph H. Foster and Margaret C. Matacale, are currently on staff.  

While Deaconess Hospital has changed almost daily to remain at the forefront of modern medicine, one thing has remained constant. Deaconess continues to value its Christian heritage and relationship to the United Church of Christ. In recent years, Deaconess has developed to become a Deaconess Health System, which includes Deaconess Hospital as one facility in a network of inpatient, outpatient facilities and clinics in the tristate area.

Learn more about Deaconess Hospital.

To learn more about ACPE-accredited programs at Deaconess Hospital, contact our Religious Life Department at 812-450-2260 or go to the "Contact Us" Tab on the left to request information. A CPE supervisor will contact you promptly by email or telephone.

Programs accredited by:



Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc.
One West Court Square, Suite 325
Decatur, Georgia  30030