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LifeBridge Health Clinical Pastoral Education Program

LifeBridge Health and Sinai Hospital
Department of Pastoral Care and Chaplaincy

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)
Accredited by The College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy (CPSP)

What is Clinical Pastoral Education?

CPE is an educational program that integrates self-growth with clinical practice through multiple forms of reflection with peers and a CPSP Diplomate/ Supervisor. CPE focuses on pastoral reflection as a process, and how to interact with others. Each unit consists of 400 hours of classroom time; clinical engagement with patients; families and staff; readings; assignments; projects; and other learning opportunities that help the students learn how to become a chaplain. If a person chooses to take and successfully complete four units or 1,600 hours of CPE, he or she could choose to become a board-certified chaplain in a specialized ministry area.

What is involved in the clinical experience?

Student chaplain interns will have opportunities to visit with patients, families and staff on assigned units in one of our facilities. While there, interns will learn how to be present to others and offer spiritual support when needed. They will learn crisis management techniques, how to deal with grief and loss, and learn how to establish professional boundaries. They will also learn how to be themselves in the midst of troubled times and that humor can be found even in the midst of tragedy. Above all, students will come to know themselves better and discover how they deal with life events.

What about the class portion of the unit?

Each unit of CPE involves at least 120 hours of classroom work in which each student presents verbatims, book reports and other examples of his or her learning. There are also didactic learning opportunities, creative peer interaction, a mid-unit and final unit evaluation, and on-going individual supervision. The classes for the extended units meet for four hours in the evening.

When is CPE offered?

Currently there is one unit offered each year at Sinai Hospital. Our extended unit begins at the end of August/beginning of September and runs through the end of March. Class meets every week with ten-twelve hours of clinical time per week. This unit requires on-call time during the entire unit and one weekend during the latter part of the unit. At this time, there is no stipend offered for the unit.

What are the basic requirements to be considered for CPE at Sinai?

You should be interested in working in a Jewish-sponsored hospital with a diverse patient population and have an interest in learning skills that will help you know yourself better and how to work with others better in all types of settings. You must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college and be able to read, write and speak English fluently. You must have a connection with a faith community who will endorse your ministry in a Hospital setting. And you must be open to those of different faith persuasions.

During the course of the unit, you must have ready access to a car, a telephone, and a computer at all times. Finally, if you are accepted into the unit you must agree to the parameters established by the hospital, and be willing and able to commit fully to the time and energy it will take to complete the unit. CPE is not easy and it is time consuming. You must agree to show up on time for clinicals, class times and other appointed times. It takes sacrifice on your part, but most participants agree that it is well worth the time when the unit has been completed.

How do I get started?

Applications are now being accepted. There is no application fee. The basic tuition cost is $800.00 per unit. If you have further questions, call the Department of Pastoral Care and Chaplaincy at Sinai Hospital at 410-601-9680. You can also download an application online and return it either via mail to Rabbi Mitchell Ackerson, Sinai Hospital, 2401 West Belvedere Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21215 or via email to

Be a part of CPE at Sinai Hospital and discover the difference that you can make!

Contact Information

You may also contact the following for further information:

Rabbi Mitchell Ackerson
Director of Pastoral Care and Chaplaincy

Rosemary Mattes
Department of Pastoral Care and Chaplaincy Assistant

For more information about Sinai Hospital, see

For more information about CPSP, see