Clinical Pastoral Education Programs
Through this kind of practice of ministry and the reflection thereon with supervisor and peers, the experiential learning takes place.
Learning in CPE is largely focused on the students’ development of themselves. The students are thus introduced into encounter with persons in crisis. Out of an intense involvement with persons in need, and the feedback from peers and supervisors, 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 inter-professional relationships. This is far more than just visiting the Hospital. Clinical Pastoral Education is a very broad field, but it is very fulfilling. It consists of three main outcomes: pastoral formation, pastoral competence and pastoral reflection. Under Pastoral Formation, the programme seeks to assist students come out with fully formed pastoral and/or professional identities in line with their personalities. In the Pastoral Competence, students are given skills which would assist them in their Pastoral and Professional functioning, while in the Pastoral Reflection, the students’ ability to constantly reflect on their actions and tendencies are developed. There are Three Levels: Basic, Advance and Supervisory.
A unit of CPE is at least 100 hours of structured group and individual education. Each unit shall be accompanied by the supervised clinical practice in ministry. The combined time shall not be less than 400 hours. This means that the training will last for 13 to 15 weeks for Part Time and 9 to 11 weeks for Full Time candidates.
“The heart of CPE is ministry with people and learning from that ministry through reflection, discussion, and evaluation with peers and supervisor.” The CPE course can be designed to bring together theological students, ministers, hospital visitors and pastoral care givers / workers of all faiths into supervised encounters with persons in crisis in hospitals and community settings. Students develop new awareness of themselves and of the needs of peoples to whom they are called to minister through intense involvement with persons in need and responses from peers, supervisor and lectures.
In the CPE process of learning, skills are developed in interpersonal and inter professional relations. Students interact with inter-disciplinary teams in the process of helping persons. The CPE course is discipline based and outcome oriented. That is; the outcome goes hand in hand with our activities / interventions. For instance the interventions can be; being fully present, available, active, listening, and vulnerable, praying, inviting, reflecting or confronting. The outcome is the impact or difference these activities make. The outcome is sensory based. (It can be expressed to others and recognized when it happens in terms of what we see and feel. It can be briefly described to other persons in terms that have meaning or their perception of how this out-come fits within the overall interdisciplinary care plan and objectives. Finally it can be shared with the person care has been given.)
The CPE course deepens relationships with patients, care teams and persons from Community settings. Pastoral care workers/givers’ abilities are challenged and they become emotionally present to persons they minister to. Pastoral care givers’ interventions contribute to healing and well-being of persons. The course also enables pastoral care givers become non-judgmental in their ministry to persons.