Clinical Pastoral Education FAQs

Who will be my supervisor?

Kate Anderson is the active CPE supervisor at Baptist Health Louisville.

To what extent are chaplains integrated into the hospital?

Chaplains have been employed at Baptist Health Louisville since the hospital's opening in 1975 and before that at the original Kentucky Baptist Hospital since the 1940s. Chaplains are counted upon to be actively involved in the care of the patients, and CPE students are integrated into the interdisciplinary treatment teams. Chaplains participate in many leadership capacities at Baptist Health Louisville, in addition to their function as pastor on their units and in the hospital community.

How many people are typically in the CPE program?

Most groups are four to six people. As much as is possible, the group is comprised of people from varying backgrounds, ethnicities, faith traditions and cultures.

Why is CPE at an ACPE, Inc. Accredited Program important?

CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) is a method of theological education through practical training in pastoral care skills, concepts and ministry. ACPE, Inc. CPE is the professional standard for education of this type. ACPE and ACPE-accredited centers and certified educators have a history of quality education that is recognized by professional ministerial associations, judicatories, and accredited theological academic institutions and is accredited by the U.S. Department of Education.

  • ACPE accreditation and certification standards are approved for board certification by the Association of Professional Chaplains, the National Association of Catholic Chaplains, the National Association of Jewish Chaplains and other professional chaplaincy organizations.
  • ACPE certified educators are required to have completed master of divinity level equivalent studies, as a minimum, at an appropriately accredited graduate level academic institution before beginning their training as future CPE supervisors.
  • ACPE certified educators have completed a process of training that provides for multiple opportunities to have their work evaluated by other professionals in order for certification as a CPE certified educators to be granted. This process follows standards for training that have been scrutinized and recognized as part of the ACPE accreditation process.
  • ACPE certified educators are required to participate in regular review processes as well as continuing education in order to maintain their certification as an ACPE Certified Educator.
  • ACPE CPE is guided by standards as well as defined outcomes and objectives for student learning. These standards, along with certification and accreditation requirements are available for review by visiting the ACPE, Inc. website:

How do I apply?

The first step is to complete the standard CPE application. It should be sent to Katherine Anderson along with all of the supporting material as well as both your supervisor and self evaluations from any previous CPE units. 

Each group is designed to promote diversity in the learning environment. Applicants are accepted on the basis of submission of their written CPE application and materials, as well as their ability to relate and articulate motivation to learn. There will be a screening interview for admissions.

What are the main prerequisites to taking CPE at Baptist Health Louisville? 

The criteria for admission includes readiness for pastoral learning, previous professional or lay ministry experience, ecclesiastical support, openness to religious and cultural diversity and ability to minister in crises. Theological education is recommended in an initial unit of CPE and preferred for residency positions.

For an part-time (Spring or Fall) or summer unit:

  • Completed ACPE application
  • Prefer a master of divinity degree. or some theological training in process
  • Interview with an ACPE Certified Educator
  • For the residency program:

  • Completed ACPE application
  • Successful completion of one unit of ACPE, Inc. certified CPE
  • Master of divinity degree or its equivalent (completed or in process)
  • Ordination and/or ecclesiastical endorsement (preferred)
  • Interview with CPE faculty and PAC members

How are applications processed?

  • The CPE Certified Educator acknowledges receipt of your application or material (will communicate with applicant if materials are incomplete)
  • Complete applications are reviewed by a supervisor while planning for a particular unit
  • Applicants are contacted to set an appointment for an admissions interview

What can I expect during the formal interview?

A CPE Certified Educator will have reviewed the applicant's materials and will confirm information and understanding of the person's intentions and goals. Discussion may focus on: the applicant's specific goals for an educational unit, understanding of personal dynamics and professional effectiveness, and any practical concerns of engaging in a particular period of education. The emphasis for the interview is educational objectives and readiness for learning.

Applicants for the year-long residency program and supervisory residency will have a faculty interview and interviews by members of the CPE Professional Advisory Group. Feedback from all these persons is considered in admissions decisions for these positions.

What is the cost of taking a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education at Baptist Health Louisville?

Cost of an initial CPE unit at Baptist Health Louisville is $850.

Is there an application fee?

There is no fee to apply for any of our programs.

When may I expect a decision about my application?

At the time of the interview, the CPE Certified Educator will give you a time frame in which you can expect a decision. Our goal is to inform you as quickly as a decision is made. Admissions decisions are sometimes delayed by consideration of group composition and other factors.

Who pays for the interview expenses?

Applicants are responsible for their own expenses.

Is housing provided?

Baptist Health Louisville does not offer housing. When a position is offered, you might consult with the Pastoral Care staff for resources in the area. Apartment and real estate guides and Internet resources are a good place to start.

Will I receive health insurance?

Residents receive full employee benefits, including health insurance. Part-time and summer students are not eligible for employee benefits.

Do I receive an educational stipend?

Only full-time year-long residents receive a stipend.

I would like to work with a certain patient population; can I pick my unit assignments in the hospital?

We strive to make the ACPE experience rich and meaningful for each of our students, and we do take requests for working in certain medical areas into account, particularly if a student has already done previous CPE. However, we also take into consideration when making clinical assignments, the needs of particular hospital units, the CPE Certified Educator's assessment of a student's educational needs, and other factors. Therefore, we cannot guarantee that students will be assigned to specific hospital units of their choosing.

Will I need to work on-call if I am accepted into the program?

Yes. All students spend some portion of their training time as the chaplain on-call for the hospital. All students participate in the rotation for daily on-call while they are already on-site in the hospital, and they participate in the overnight and weekend on-call rotations as well. While serving on-call overnight and weekends, students need to remain reasonably close to their clinical site and ready to respond to pastoral emergencies that may arise during their shift assignment. (Students should be able to reach the hospital within 15-20 minutes of the call). Full-time residents will do an average of two on-call blocks or nights per week. A sleep room is available for those on-call.

What are the requirements for the Residency Program?

The CPE Residency Program is a rigorous course of study and professional training. The commitment to pursue such intensive pastoral care training must be very high, regardless of the kind of ministry one envisions for the future. Residents are expected to start at an advanced level of understanding and experience of the CPE process, and be familiar with its procedures and demands. Therefore, applicants for the Residency Program should have successfully completed at least one previous unit of ACPE-accredited CPE to be eligible for the Residency Program.

"Successful" completion of the unit as preparation for entrance into Residency Program means that the applicant's supervisory and self-written final evaluations demonstrate the following:

  • An aptitude for the action/reflection model of education
  • Personal maturity
  • Demonstrated ability, or strong potential, to work as a professional in an academic medical setting

Students should have already completed a master's degree in theology or a related pastoral field. If they have not yet completed their degree, they must have some master's level theological/pastoral training and be able to make a compelling case as to why they are pursuing a Residency Program prior to graduation. Residency applicants must be able to articulate clearly their professional goals and motivation for pursuing intensive pastoral training in this setting. Residents are employed by the hospital and therefore must also meet all of Baptist Health Louisville's standards for employment.

How long is the Residency Program, and when does it start and finish?

The Baptist Health Louisville Residency is a three-unit intensive ACPE program that begins in late August of each year and concludes the following August. Between each unit there is an "integration period" in which regular CPE course work ceases for a period of three to six weeks and the resident functions primarily as a staff chaplain. Other educational modules may be offered during those time periods as well, and residents may utilize their vacation time during these periods.

Is there a stipend for students in the Residency Program?

Yes. Residents are paid a stipend for the 12-month Residency Program. They also may receive medical, dental and other benefits available to Baptist Health Louisville employees.

When should I apply for the Residency Program?

Interviewing for the Residency Program typically runs from the winter to spring prior to the program's start in late August. If you are interested in the Residency Program, we encourage you to submit your completed application materials as soon as possible. Please note that space is limited in the Residency Program and also that, in a typical year, the number of applications we receive greatly exceeds the number of available slots. Feel free to contact us after Dec. 1 as positions may still be available.