Clinical Pastoral Education

Group Photo of Students in Clinical Pastoral Education Program

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is a program of professional education for ministry, designed for pastors, seminary/theological students, prospective chaplains, and committed lay people to develop their competence and effectiveness in providing pastoral/spiritual care. It also renders an opportunity to clarify and enhance one's personal pastoral identity.

CPE students have the opportunity to serve as chaplains and learn from their ministry experiences in a wide variety of clinical areas. By utilizing an experiential learning environment, participants engage in direct pastoral/spiritual care with patients, families/loved ones, and staff. Students learn by reflecting on their experiences and applying what they learn in their ongoing ministry.

A number of years ago, St. Luke's Hospital and the Saginaw General Hospital merged to create a 650-plus bed health care facility. Besides the Cooper and Harrison campuses, Covenant HealthCare also includes sites on Mackinaw Ave. and Michigan St. Within the context of the overall organization the following clinical programs offer numerous opportunities for engaging in pastoral care and education: Cardiology, Medical/Surgical, Rehabilitation, Geriatrics, Pediatric, Obstetrics, Oncology, Dialysis, and Hospice. CPE students also have an opportunity to engage in the study and practice of bio-ethics through participation with the Hospital Ethics Committee.

Covenant HealthCare is located in Saginaw, Michigan, near Midland and Bay City. Saginaw, the largest of the three communities, offers a variety of cultural and recreational opportunities, including water sports, theaters, museums, art galleries, symphony orchestras and many festivals and fairs. Learn more about Saginaw.

What are the extraordinary outcomes after completing the CPE at Covenant HealthCare?

  • A greater awareness of one's identity and function as a minister
  • A greater integration of theology with the behavioral sciences in providing effective ministry
  • A heightened understanding of the needs of people and the ability to respond appropriately in a variety of situations
  • An enlarged capacity to evaluate one's ministry, including use of the peer group and individual supervision for feedback
  • An increased ability to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team in providing holistic care

Our curriculum provides you with an extraordinary learning experience.
Besides direct ministry experience, the Clinical Pastoral Education’s curriculum includes a variety of components to make your learning process extraordinary. The program includes:

  • Clinical case reviews
  • Didactic seminars
  • Individual supervision
  • Interpersonal relations group
  • Theological reflection
  • Three training modalities
    • Year-long Residency Program (September 19, 2022 - August 25, 2023): $35,000/year + benefits & NO tuition
    • Super-Extended Program (Dates to come): $650 tuition
    • Summer Intensive Program (May 31, 2022 - August 12, 2022): $650 tuition

Who May Apply?
Clergy, theological students, members of religious orders, and lay persons are eligible to apply for a single (intensive or extended) unit of CPE. In addition, the prerequisites for Covenant's 4-unit year of CPE residency are completion of an M. Div. degree or its equivalent. Additional information can be found in our Admissions Policy.

How to Apply

An ACPE application form can be downloaded here or from the ACPE website at (hover over the “Education” tab, then select and download the CPE application, found under "CPE Students"). Several essays are required to be attached to the completed application form. The application can be sent electronically to Ron Cooper.  A $35 application fee, made out to "Covenant HealthCare", must be sent to Kathy Bonn; Pastoral Care and Education Dept.; Covenant HealthCare; 1447 N. Harrison; Saginaw, MI 48602. Or, you may call in a credit card number to Bonnie Ballard at 989-583-6042. The fee must be received before the application will be processed. Additional information can be found in our Financial Policy.

The Clinical Pastoral Education program is accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc. (ACPE).
55 Ivan Allen Jr Boulevard, Suite 835
Atlanta, GA 30308
Phone: 404.320.1472

For more information about the Clinical Pastoral Education program, call Ron Cooper at 989.583.4279.