Components of Curriculum

The components of a typical clinical pastoral education (CPE) curriculum at WMC incorporate well-developed theoretical perspectives of all elements of the program, coaching a small group of three to seven peers in a common learning experience, a specific time period, and an individual contract for learning consistent with the objectives of clinical pastoral education. All CPE programs at WMC are conducted by an ACPE certified supervisor with an interdisciplinary faculty selected from a wide range of WMC professionals.

Program Structure

  • Approximately 75% of the total time in practice of pastoral service/spiritual care with WMC patients, families, and staff; 25% in instruction, supervision, group life, and study/reflection.
  • Regular written pastoral care reports with analysis of each situation and with self-critiquing as pertains to skill and effectiveness of care provided. Four or five reports are scheduled for presentation and discussion with peers and supervisor for each student. Another component of this process is learning to do holistic spiritual assessment and clinical outcome reporting in the electronic medical record (EMR).
  • Interdisciplinary input seminars presented by WMC physicians and other professionals, with discussion of implications and applications for pastoral care.
  • Pastoral Theological Integration Seminars: understanding and implementing of pastoral relationships and services from a religious or spiritual perspective, theologizing concerning personal and pastoral ministry experiences.
  • Pastoral Identity and Skill Labs: Includes role-play and shadowing in the delivery of pastoral care of participants with supervisor and each other, presentation of ministry skills seminars dealing with various crises and challenges in ministry.
  • Focus/discussion on the Objectives and Outcomes of CPE (ACPE Standards), the Common Standards for Professional Chaplains, and the Common Code of Ethics for Chaplains.
  • One hour of Inter-Personal Relationship Group (IPR): to develop sensitivity and skills in interpersonal relationships. In weekly peer group life interaction, confronting and examining the positive and negative sensibilities, perceptions, and images of self and peers, as well as the effect of contextual and historical places of origin may have influenced the formation of values, assumptions, opinions, and attitudes. Through deeper understanding of oneself and of the dynamics of group process, personal, relational, and professional growth as a pastoral caregiver are enhanced.
  • One hour of issue-focused supervision with each participant (at least bi-weekly) including at least one team visit to patients with supervisor or with an experienced staff chaplain.
  • Written mid-term and final self and supervisory evaluations of performance for each participant.
  • Day, evening, weekend on-call and daily electronic assessment and communication to the interdisciplinary team.
  • Visits to/presentation of specialty units by the chaplaincy and medical staff. The WMC residency program ensures Pastoral Specialization, focusing on the participant's desire to become competent and knowledgeable in a particular area of ministry (e.g., cardiology, pediatrics, oncology, and trauma).