The American
Chaplain
Training Institute
Each chaplaincy position has its own unique requirements but,
increasingly, employers seek chaplains with
CPE's.

    What is a CPE,
    actually?

A CPE is a unit of Clinical Pastoral
Education
.  To earn CPE's, students must
complete our online accelerated learner
Fast-Track Program, and also satisfy the
requirement for a
practicum, internship, or
field study
as defined on this helpful
information page.  Additional units may be
earned at a later date, if desired, with our
affordable, online  Continuing Education
courses.

Also, we offer
Chaplain Professional
Education
units, which are very similar,
only they may be earned through course
work alone.    

    What does the CPE training include, and how much is
    the tuition?

  • The total tuition cost is only $950, a fraction of other programs.  Plus, you may finance at 0%
    interest if this option is required in view of your financial circumstances.
  • You learn the basics of clinical ministry and chaplaincy
  • You learn how an interfaith, non-denominational chaplain works with people in a spiritual context without trying
    to convert them to his or her personal beliefs.
  • Learn how to understand and follow the policies and
    procedures
    of the institution where you are working, whether it is
    a hospital, prison, long term care facility, or Hospice.
  • Basic counseling techniques
  • Basics of Grief Work
  • You will learn how to work not only with the patient
    but also with his or her loved ones, family, friends,
    and co-workers
  • Learn Pastoral Care and Supervision basics
  • You will learn essentials of Comparative World
    Religions since patients arrive at your facility from a
    wide variety of different faith backgrounds.  You will
    gain the skills needed to assist people belonging to
    religions and engaging in spiritual practices that are
    widely different from your own.
  • Our Chaplaincy students learn how to pray (both with and for) clients belonging to a wide variety of world
    religions, invoking God's blessing, healing, and assistance, without offending or pushing away the very people
    you are charged with helping through a difficult time.
  • Your training will also include the essentials of dovetailing, or interfacing your Chaplaincy duties with other
    caregivers in your institution, including administrators, nurses, physicians and, perhaps most importantly, the
    all-important team of social workers
  • You will also learn that Chaplaincy does not consist merely of a single-focus:  as a Certified Professional
    Chaplain graduate of our ground-breaking program, you may decide to specialize, just as do physicians and
    nurses.  Examples of the specialties available to you include:
  1. Pastoral or church / synagogue chaplaincy
  2. Hospital Chaplaincy
  3. Hospice or Palliative Care Chaplaincy
  4. Corrections Chaplaincy
  5. Military
  6. Police - Fire - First Responder
  7. Civic Organization
  8. Private Chaplain with your own office and healing practice
  9. Animal ministry, working also with the owners of beloved pets

    What is meant by the term "clinical"?

    A CPE is a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education.

    Please note that the emphasis is on the word CLINICAL.  To earn Clinical Pastoral
    Education units, students must have clinical experience out in the field.  

    To earn 4 CPEs, applicants complete our online accelerated learner  Fast-Track lessons, and also
    satisfy the requirement for a practicum, internship, or field study as defined on this helpful
    information page.  Additional units may be earned at a later date, if desired, with our affordable,
    online  Continuing Education courses.

YOU MAY ALSO EARN CHAPLAIN PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION units that do not require field study, internships, etc. The two
forms of CPE are very similar, only the CHAPLAIN PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION units may be earned through course work alone

    Can I become a certified chaplain with your program?

Yes.

Although there are other non-college seminary agencies which issue credentials, online adult students in our program
automatically
graduate as
CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL CHAPLAINS.  There is no extra cost.  This is the outcome you achieve when completing
our program.  While you may enroll in our programs leading to higher credential such as
Certified Professional Griefworker status,
if you desire, your chaplaincy certification is for life with no annual fees tacked on as a money making venture as occurs at some
schools.  
C  P  E
Information
    Will I have to be ordained...or have a Masters in Divinity?

  • You will NOT be required to be ordained, nor have a Master of Divinity degree, to be enrolled in our Certified Professional
    Chaplain program.
  • However, some employers may require one or both.  If they do, The Saint James College Seminary offers both Ordination and
    Divinity Degree training.  The tuitions can be combined, along with the curricula.  That way, you do not have to repeat lessons
    to complete a requirement for one program when a very similar one is required for the other.  This also saves a considerable
    amount in tuition donations.  We also offer PhD and Doctor of Divinity degree studies to qualified adult learners through our
    accelerated Fast-Track online training programs.
    What do I actually receive when I complete your course?

Upon graduation from your accelerated Fast-Track online program, you will receive a diploma with raised embossed seal, a
Photo  ID badge, and a letter from the Chancellor confirming that you have earned Certified Professional Chaplain status.

What is a Practicum?

    All Chaplain and Pastoral Ministry students seeking CPE's
    must participate in a service practicum.  These usually
    involve working as a volunteer intern in your chosen
    Chaplaincy field, such as hospital, Hospice, Long Term
    Care, Catholic Charity, animal shelter, pastoral counseling
    service, domestic violence shelter, etc.  This typically
    involves becoming a non-professional temporary "intern" ...
    or shadowing a
professional employee.  We recommend a one to two month period of hands-on service
for those with some human service or ministerial background.  However, someone
complete new to the field may be asked to intern at least a few hours a week for as
long as a year.  We are able to give credit for practical experience you are gaining at
this time, or have obtained in the past.  We will gladly assist you in arranging your
practicum experience.

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    The origin of CPE's is interesting and may prove helpful to you:

    In the early part of the 20th century, a remarkable man emerged.  Harvard's Dr. Richard Clark Cabot
    created the field of social work as we know it today...and also Chaplaincy.  He believed firmly in the need
    for the reconciliation of religion and science.  Cabot was convinced that many of the physical ills afflicting
    patients - even those who were dying - were the result of economic, social, psychological, and family
    circumstances.  He fervently believed that the well-trained pastoral practitioners that we now think of as
    chaplains could work side-by-side with physicians and the essential social workers.  To accomplish this,
    Dr. Cabot took students out of the classroom and placed them in hospitals and other health-related
    facilities under the direct supervision of trained practitioners. The idea was to utilize the power of
    "pastoral relationships" that could be developed through a combining of patients' "personal histories,"
    psychology, social circumstances, and the development of an active sense of spirituality.

    Cabot was followed by The Reverend Anton Boisen, who took the physician's important ideas and refined them into a very
    early form of the Clinical Pastoral Education programming that we would recognize today.

    Our American Chaplain Training Institute has brought Dr. Cabot's and Reverend Boisen's pioneering work into the 21st
    Century by combining adult college seminary education with solid professional supervision and hands-on field study
    practica.  

    By setting their written studies aside temporarily, our students gain important insights and rapport with clients/patients that
    enable them to understand -- to truly feel the daily circumstances which suffering people must endure on a daily basis.  We
    believe that only then sacred Pastoral Care can begin!   We hope that you will join us!                                       

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