Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is interfaith training designed to teach pastoral care to clergy and others. It is the primary method of training for spiritual care providers, hospice and hospital chaplains that is grounded in a person-centered approach to spiritual care. The aim of CPE is to integrate the theory and practice of spiritual care by bringing theological students and ministers of all faiths into managed encounters with patients and families in crisis. Students will evaluate the effectiveness of their style of ministry in relation to theological perspectives, religious traditions and the needs of patients and loved ones who are experiencing moments of crisis, suffering, and transition, in a multi-faith peer group and in consultation with a certified chaplain educator. Through this process the student incorporates new perspectives on the human condition, the importance of healing relationships, self- awareness and awareness of the needs of patients and their loved ones.
The CPE program at Boston Medical Center is accredited by the national Association of Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE) to provide Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) programs for Level 1 and 2 students. ACPE is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. The Association for Clinical Pastoral Education standards requires a minimum of 100 hours of class time and 300 hours of clinical time for each unit of CPE.
Boston Medical Center offers a summer unit (May-August) and an extended part-time unit (October – March)
Summer Unit: May 22, 2023 - August 4, 2023
Summer students are scheduled for a 40-hour work week. All summer students are required to provide some overnight coverage.
Extended Unit: October 2, 2023 - March 11, 2024
The extended unit is full and is no longer accepting applications for the upcoming session.
Extended unit students attend class on Tuesdays and schedule clinical hours (10) as negotiated with the educator. All extended unit students are required to provide some overnight coverage.
There is no formal application deadline. Applications are reviewed and students accepted on a rolling basis until the class is full.
Tuition: $1000, due upon admission to the program
Application fee: $50
Please make checks payable to Boston Medical Center
Applications accepted via email or sent to address below:
The Rev’d Jennie Gould, Ph.D, BCC
Solomon Carter Fuller Center
85 E. Newton St
6th Floor, Office 653
Boston, MA 02118
Prospective Students Please Read Annual Notice
Annual Notice Regarding Student Records – FERPA (Family Education Rights and Privacy Act
ACPE Standards 304.4, Appendix 7B
The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) applies to all ACPE CPE programs. FERPA addresses privacy not confidentiality issues. This means students own the information about them and must know what is being collected and how it is being used. Their information cannot be shared without their written permission. Each CPE center must publicize Annual Notice of its protocols for proper handling of student records. The Annual Notice is also included in the Student Handbook and reviewed during orientation with CPE students. Students are asked to return a signed document regarding the Annual Notice during orientation.
A student record is:
Any record (paper, electronic, video, audio, biometric etc.) or directory listing related to the student from which the student’s identity can be recognized, and maintained by the education program/institution or a person acting for the institution. Note: application materials of students admitted and matriculated are part of the student record.
Directory Information is student information not generally considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released. At the Boston Medical Center CPE program this information includes students’ name, address, e-mail, telephone number(s), and religious affiliation. Previous work experiences, educational achievements, and a photograph may also be included in directory information. A student may opt out of having this information released by signing, dating, and returning the Annual Notice document to the CPE Certified Educator
Note: before the center releases information, students must have received the Annual Notice.
Current students can restrict directory information and/or record access at any time during attendance. Restrictions must be honored even after the student’s departure. Former students cannot initiate new restrictions after departure.
Subject to notification, the student's name, address, religious affiliation/denomination and unit of CPE successfully completed will be sent to the ACPE office on the student unit report after the successful completion of each unit of CPE.
ACPE requires that the CPE student record include the face sheet with directory information, the CPE supervisor’s evaluation report and the student’s own evaluation report. When a student record contains identifiers of another student, those must be redacted.
A copy of the CPE Certified Educator's final evaluation report will be given to the student. The student will be informed that the center will keep this evaluation for ten years, and it will not be available to anyone else except with written permission from the student. The student’s own final self-evaluation is included and will be kept with the certified educator's subject to the same provisions. The student application face sheet must be retained indefinitely. At the ten year accreditation review, site visitors will reconcile the report of student units with the face sheets.
Student Records: 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.
Students are responsible for maintaining their own files for future use. The center will not keep a permanent file of evaluation reports. Students will be informed at the time copies are given to them that it is their responsibility to keep copies for future use. CPE students are required to give written consent if they wish for the center to send copies of the supervisor’s evaluation reports (and their own if applicable) to be sent to their theological school and/or religious denomination.
In accordance with FERPA, students are able to review their record within 45 days or less of student’s request, and may make one photocopy of the CPE evaluation. Requests must be made in writing, not by phone, fax, email, or conversation. Record inspection cannot be denied based on the student’s inability to come to the site or outstanding financial obligations. In the latter case, the CPE center can note on the copy sent, “not available for official use.”
Certified Educator Notes: The CPE certified educator may keep process notes on a student. These process notes are for the exclusive use of the writer and are not considered a part of the student’s record. They are kept separately from the student record.
Exceptions: Certain exceptions concerning the release of information exist to protect the health or safety of the student or others, and for the purpose of accreditation or complaint review, or as required for legal processes. Before releasing material in any of these circumstances, the CPE Educator will consult with the ACPE Executive Director or Associate Director.
At Boston Medical Center, Spiritual Care staff for the CPE program may have access to student records for the purposes of administration only, and a subgroup of the Professional Advisory Group focusing on curriculum improvement may have access to student records acting in their roles as educational officials with a legitimate education interest.
Violations of these protocols may be reported to the Chair of the Accreditation Commission at ACPE Inc., 55 Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard, Suite 835, Atlanta, GA 30308; phone number: (404) 320-1472; website: