Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is offered through the University of Divinity in partnership with ASACPEV (the Association for Supervised Pastoral Education in Victoria Incorporated). The program is required by some churches for formal ministry accreditation or ordination, and is available to many pastoral and spiritual carers who wish to include it in their formation, professional development or formal studies. Most units are offered in hospital or clinical contexts but some can be undertaken in a variety of ministry contexts. The CPE program is led by ASACPEV’s accredited supervisors.
Enrolling in CPE
Enrolments are managed through the University’s Colleges in conjunction with the University’s CPE Liaison Officer, Allison Whitby, who is located at Stirling Theological College. Allison can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at Stirling on (03) 9790 1000.
Students interested in taking a unit of CPE should speak with a Course Advisor at one of the University’s Colleges to begin the application process. The CPE Liaison Officer can advise on who to contact at which CPE Centre, and the information on the ASACPEV website can help guide this selection.
Students wishing to undertake CPE are required to follow application procedures that include an interview with a CPE Centre Director before they can be offered a place in the program (if one is available). With the letter of offer, a student can then enrol in the required unit.
Two CPE units, each worth 30 points, are available at the University of Divinity:
In Undergraduate programs:
At least one unit at 2000 level or higher in CT AND at least one unit in DP AND at least one unit in Field B; AND demonstrated pastoral competence; AND a successful interview with the CPE Centre Director or delegate. Note that the CPE units may be studied concurrently with the other units.
In Postgraduate programs:
At least one Unit in Field B or in CT AND One Unit in DP; AND demonstrated pastoral competence; AND a successful interview with the CPE Centre Director or delegate. Note that the CPE units may be studied concurrently with the other units.
Enrolment in DP9273S requires satisfactory completion of DP9001S Clinical Pastoral Education Level 1 (or DP8273S Clinical Pastoral Education Level 1).
These are postgraduate units which may be taken in undergraduate courses, such as the Bachelor of Ministry, Bachelor of Theology or the Advanced Diploma in Theology and Ministry, as well as in postgraduate courses. The units are taught at postgraduate level, and the postgraduate unit fee applies. CPE units may not be taken as audit units.
Demands of the CPE Program
The CPE program demands a great deal of students, in both time and emotional investment. The encounters with others can be challenging and reflection on those encounters may be confronting. The discipline of writing up journals, case studies and verbatims enhances personal integration which makes the CPE program a demanding but enriching process. Students who are new to hospital or healthcare settings or multi-faith and multi-cultural settings may find challenges confronting. CPE is also often reported as one of the most rewarding units taken by students in the University. Students enrolling in a part time CPE should expect to commit at least a half time load to CPE. A full-time unit is based on a 38 hour week.