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Ministry Health Care Community Report
Community Report

Students Complete Pastoral Education Program

Six Students Complete Ministry Health Care Clinical Pastoral Education Program

Congratulations to the eleventh group of students to complete Ministry Health Care’s Clinical Pastoral Education process. Six students completed the spring unit of training in 2015: Sr. Mary Shin, Angie Steinhauer, Chris Schwanz, Ed Jahnke, Amanda Sampey, and Bill Fish.

Ministry’s Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program is an accredited clinical theological training experience. One "unit" of training consists of 400 hours over a 20-week period of hands-on practice, clinical supervision and academic study. Since the first class kicked off in January 2010, 33 students have one or more units of CPE. Ministry Health Care has hired six of these graduates in either a full–time, part-time or contracted chaplain role.

The program brings theological students, ministers of all faiths, and professional laity into supervised encounters with persons coping with a life-changing situation. CPE students are chaplain interns who learn how to engage patients and their loved ones, establish rapport and maintain eye contact, pay attention and respond to both verbal and non-verbal communications, and better understand what they are observing during encounters.

The heart of this educational experience is the student’s ministry with people and learning from that ministry through reflection, discussion and evaluation with other students and their educational supervisor. They integrate their pastoral ministry with their theology, personality, and values to help them respond to the needs of a wide variety of people.

Here are a few quotes from recent participants:

  • "Clinical Pastoral Education has helped me grow and be "stretched" as a pastor and chaplain. The supervisors and participating clergy and chaplains have ministered to me in ways which have improved my ministering to others." - Chris Schwanz, 3rd unit CPE Student
  • "Working with two motivated CPE students this unit has helped us all grow spiritually and in awareness of how our journeys can help or hinder those we are privileged serve." - Jeff Siegel, CPE Clinical Coordinator
  • "It is privilege to teach people who are so motivated to learn and grow!" - Sue Kruger, CPE Manager

The history of CPE goes back 75 years, growing from the need to train theological students through direct experiences with people. The founders of this educational movement believed that theological education had become too classroom-bound. Thus, they began to place students in general hospitals, psychiatric hospitals and prisons to help students understand how God relates with people in need.

For more information, please visit Ministry's CPE website, or contact Sue Kruger, clinical pastoral education manager. Sue is a candidate supervisor, studying to become certified as a faculty member of the ACPE.

Photo: Top row (left to right): Sr. Lois Bush, Bill Fish, Chris Schwantz, Ed Jahnke. Bottom row (left to right): Angie Steinhauer, Sue Kruger, Amanda Sampey and Sr. Mary Shin.

Published November 2015

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