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Clinical Pastoral Education

Clinical Pastoral Education is interfaith professional education for ministry. It brings theological students and ministers of all faiths (pastors, priests, rabbis, imams and others) into supervised encounter with persons in crisis. Out of an intense involvement with persons in need, and the feedback from peers and teachers, students develop new awareness of themselves as persons and of the needs of those to whom they minister. From theological reflection on specific human situations, they gain a new understanding of ministry. Within the interdisciplinary team process of helping persons, they develop skills in interpersonal and interprofessional relationships.

Clinical Pastoral Education is well integrated into the life and mission of UNC Hospitals. As chaplains, CPE students are considered valued members of the interdisciplinary patient care teams, and are called upon regularly by the hospital staff to assist in patient care. It is common for CPE students to be invited to family meetings and/or ethics consultations. CPE students benefit from their work with senior staff, including CPE faculty and staff chaplains. CPE students participate in regularly scheduled departmental meetings, department committees, and educational events.

The CPE program at UNC Hospitals takes advantage of educational opportunities throughout UNC Health Care system, including UNC Schools of Medicine and Nursing. Students can attend lectures on a variety of issues including medical ethics, theology and humanities in medicine. Internship opportunities are available on the main campus in Chapel Hill, and in Hillsborough. Each unit of CPE consists of at least 400 hours of training, 100 of which are spent in group and individual supervision. The curriculum is based on the clinical method of learning, utilizing information from the actual practice of ministry as the content for reflection.

Accreditation

The UNC Health Care Department of Pastoral Care CPE program is fully accredited to offer Level I, Level II, and Supervisory CPE, by:

The Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc.
One West Court Square, Suite 325, Decatur, GA 30030.
Telephone: 404-320-1472
Website: www.acpe.edu

Clinical Assignment Areas

CPE at UNC Hospitals Hillsborough Campus gives students the unique opportunity to apply the reflective practice and experiential learning of CPE in a community setting.

In addition to educational seminars, students will complete a portion of their internship in the hospital and a portion of their internship in a community setting, through partnerships with community agencies or local congregations. Students will also participate in an on-call schedule for the hospital, with some weekend hours required.

On the main campus in Chapel Hill, students may be called upon to minister in the following areas:

  • Burn Center
  • Neuroscience
  • Labor and Delivery
  • Oncology
  • Psychiatry
  • Pediatrics
  • Cardiology
  • General Medicine
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Surgery

Students will also participate in an on-call schedule for the hospital, with some weekend hours required.

Summer Internship Program

Summer Internship opportunities are available in Hillsborough and in Chapel Hill. Designed primarily for seminary students, this full-time, 11-week program begins after Memorial Day and ends in early August. Admissions are rolling, and typically begin in January.

On the main campus in Chapel Hill, each student is assigned to beds in three to four patient units (including part of an intensive care unit) and participates in the on-call rotation, serving as the sole in-house chaplain during nights and weekends.

The students are also responsible for leading one Sunday Worship service in the John M. Reeves All-Faiths Chapel. On the Hillsborough Campus, students will complete a portion of their internship in the hospital and a portion of their internship in a community setting, through partnerships with community agencies or local congregations. Students will also participate in an on-call schedule for the hospital, with some weekend hours required.

Tuition for the program is $425. Prerequisites include a college degree and some theological education or training. Stipend: $1500.

Fall and Spring Internship Program

Fall and Spring Internship opportunities are available in Hillsborough and Chapel Hill.

  • The Fall program begins in mid-August and runs for 17 weeks ending in mid-December.
  • The Spring program begins in early January and runs for 17 weeks ending in late April or early May. Admissions are rolling.
On the main campus in Chapel Hill, students meet for one day of educational seminars and provide two days (14 hours) of clinical coverage each week. Each student is assigned to beds in three to four patient units (including part of an intensive care unit) and participates in the on-call rotation, serving as the sole in-house chaplain during nights and weekends. The student's schedule for pastoral care hours is negotiated with the supervisor.

Each student will lead two Sunday Worship Services in the John M. Reeves All-Faiths Chapel. On the Hillsborough campus, interns meet for one day of educational seminars, work in community placements for 8-10 hours weekly, and in at UNC Hospitals Hillsborough for 6-8 hours weekly. They also participate in the on-call rotation.

Tuition for these programs is $425. Prerequisites include a college degree and some theological education or training. Stipend: $1500.

Residency Program

This 12 month, full-time program of three units (Levels I and II), is offered for clergy and lay persons interested in specialization in pastoral care or preparation for professional chaplaincy.

  • The residency program begins July 1 and concludes June 30 of the following year.
Students are assigned to up to 6 patient units in the hospital and are part of the rotation for 24-hour on-call duty during the residency year. Benefits include a $30,000 stipend, 32 days of paid time off (includes sick days and holidays), and medical insurance for a small fee.


Tuition is $875 for the year. Prerequisites include a college degree, theological education or training (Master of Divinity preferred) and completion of one unit of CPE.

Supervisory Education

UNC Hospitals is accredited to offer Supervisory CPE. Applicants must have completed four units of CPE and be able to meet all requirements for candidacy within the first six months of the program. Please inquire about program availability.

Supervisors

The Rev. Dr. Robert Randy Hall is a certified ACPE Supervisor and an ordained Baptist minister. He is endorsed by and is a Recognized Clergy in the Alliance of Baptists. Hall's Doctor of Ministry degree was completed in 2007 through Graduate Theological Foundation. He received his Masters of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, in 1987. He completed his undergraduate degree from Furman University, in 1984. The Rev. Katherine Higgins is an ordained teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA). She earned her M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary in New York City, and her B.A. from Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio. Higgins is currently pursuing a PhD in adult education at North Carolina State University.

2016-2017 Academic Calendar

  • Summer Internship, 2016: May 31, 2016 – August 12, 2016 (11)

  • Fall Internship, 2016: August 22, 2016 – December 16, 2016 (17)

  • Spring Internship, 2017: January 9, 2017– May 5, 2017 (17)

  • Summer Internship, 2017: May 30, 2017 – August 11, 2017 (11)

  • CPE Residency 2016-2017: July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017 (52)

  • Unit I: July 1, 2016 – September 16, 2016 (11)

  • Interim (no CPE): September 19, 2016 – September 23, 2016 (1)

  • Unit II: September 26, 2016 – December 16, 2016 (12)

  • Interim (no CPE): December 19, 2016– December 30, 2016 (2)

  • Winter Education Module: January 2, 2017 – February 3, 2017 (5)

  • Unit III: February 6, 2017 – May 5, 2017 (13)

  • Interim (no CPE): May 8, 2017 – May 19, 2017 (2)

  • Spring Education Module: May 22, 2017 – June 16, 2017 (4)

  • Interim (no CPE): June 19, 2017 – June 30, 2017 (2)

Application Process

  • Individuals applying for all CPE programs may use the standard ACPE application form.
  • A $25 application fee payable to UNC Hospitals is required. Admission to the internship programs is rolling; please inquire with the center to determine program availability.
  • The application deadline for the residency program is December 31.
  • Interviews are scheduled from December through February, and decisions are made in mid-February.
  • Include your individual and supervisor's evaluation from your prior unit of CPE.

Contact Information, Inquiries and Applications

The Rev. Katherine Higgins
Department of Pastoral Care
UNC Hospitals
101 Manning Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Phone: (984) 974-0215
Fax: (919) 843-0330

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