The American
Training Institute

At Saint James College Seminary
Each chaplaincy position has its own
unique requirements but, increasingly,
employers seek chaplains with
C  P  E

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

Also, we offer
Chaplain Professional Education units, which are very similar, only they may be earned through course work
Here are the answers to your CPE questions
Q &A

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!
  • 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
Why is a practicum or internship important to me?

As we said above, increasingly, agencies that employ chaplains, particularly Hospice organizations, require not only the world-class
chaplaincy education that you receive here, but they also want to see evidence of actual, hands-on experience. Since
Pastoral Educational
units are earned in part by completing a brief practicum, field study, or internship, the candidate does then
have actual background in working directly with patients, patient families, staff, administration, and community resources.

Because the chaplaincy field has pretty much been limited to the military until recent years, just about anybody could claim to be a
    chaplain in the civilian world.  It was very difficult to know whether or not the applicant was really
    qualified for the uniquely complex duties of a Chaplain..  The Women's College, our parent
    organization, and sister seminaries realized the importance of establishing a set of consistent
    national standards.  These would enable prospective employers to better determine if an
    applicant's qualifications are truly consistent with others working in the field elsewhere in the

    A CPE is a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education, the emphasis 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

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?
Absolutely!  We are the only college-seminary chaplain training program in existence, although there are private, church, and some
non-profit programs offering chaplain training.  But, being a college seminary, our trustees long ago established The American
Chaplain Training Institute to offer a chaplain education program that would feature consistency across the entire nation and across
all denominational lines.

Although there are other non-college seminary agencies which issue credentials, online adult students in our program
graduate as
CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL CHAPLAINS.  There is no extra cost.  This is the outcome you achieve when completing
our program.  While you may achieve 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 for our school.  
C  P  E
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 Women's 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 on tuitions.  We also offer PhD and Doctor of Divinity degree studies to 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.
Earn your Certified Professional Chaplain status online in our accelerated Fast-Track adult learner program!
The history 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!                                       SEND IN YOUR APPLICATION
Capt. Rondell Brown,
Navy Chaplain
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 in your chosen
    Chaplaincy field, such as hospital, Hospice, Long
    Term Care, animal shelter, pastoral, 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, depending on the number of hours worked each week.  We are
also 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.
Dr. Richard Cabot