Clinical Pastoral Education

We are a national leader in promoting experience-based theological education.

Our clinical pastoral education programs (CPE) offer students outstanding and unique opportunities to grow and sharpen spiritual care skills in a faith based institution. Our Residency programs also offer excellent compensation and OhioHealth benefits. Our programs lead the nation in Certified Educator training internally within our system and beyond through affiliation agreements with regional CPE programs and collaboration with Certified Educator Candidates nationally. Our CPE programs are the largest and most enduring in all of Ohio. OhioHealth's CPE programs are accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education Inc. (ACPE), to offer level I CPE, level II CPE, and Certified Educator CPE. ACPE is the only organization in the field of pastoral care that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit CPE programs and certify CPE educators.

Apply Now

Our Clinical Pastoral Education Programs

Our CPE Programs at Riverside Methodist Hospital and at Grant Medical Center offer Level 1a, 1b, 2a and 2b units of training ranging from basic units (Internships) to year long Residencies.  Our Certified Educator programs train several internal and external candidates at any given time. While our students are educationally based in Columbus, we clinically place enrolled students at hospitals throughout the system when they leave near any of our hospitals around Ohio. Virtual units are periodically offered in addition.

Introductory Basic Units (Internships)

OhioHealth offers four intern programs: 

  1. 40 hour a week intensive summer programs lasting from 11 to 13 weeks annually.
  2. An Extended Unit, typically 30 weeks long, requiring 12 to 16 hours of patient visitation and 4 hours of class time a week, that runs from October through April annually.  Learn More 

Level I/II: Residency Program

A 12 month full-time residency program accruing 3 units of CPE.  Learn More

Certified Educator Program

Our CE CPE programs provide training for individuals within and beyond OhioHealth to become ACPE Certified Educators.  With proven track records of successfully taking new applicants from preAdmissions work through completion of Phase 2, our program is among the preeminent CE CPE training sites nationally and globally. Learn more about ways you could pursue Certified Educator training through OhioHealth.

Receive OhioHealth Benefits

Benefits for our CPE residents include a salary (adjusted annually per cost of living increases), health insurance, free parking, eye and dental options, discounted gym membership, use of concierge services, and many other benefits enjoyed by OhioHealth associates such as opportunities to get discounts on Columbus Crew and Columbus Blue Jackets tickets, as well as to earn Inspire points usable to purchase a variety of gifts.

Learn at a Faith-Based Institution

The West Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church and OhioHealth have a relationship that began when the Methodist Episcopal Church helped create the Protestant Hospital in Columbus as a non-profit institution. These are the roots of OhioHealth, where we value the spiritual and emotional aspect of health, regardless of faith tradition. Learning at a faith-based institution gives ministry students the opportunity to integrate their faith identity into the medical context and better learn how to minister.

Gain Experience in a Diverse Environment

OhioHealth CPE students have the opportunity for ministry practice with a diverse population of patients, families and staff at multiple locations – rural and urban facilities, small and large hospital environments. Students are exposed to a variety of pastoral styles, theologies and teaching formats. Additionally, Residency students and interns are assigned to minister in various units including:

  • surgery
  • cardiology
  • pulmonary
  • neurology
  • renal
  • diabetes
  • urology
  • orthopedics
  • trauma
  • rehabilitation
  • joint replacement
  • palliative care and hospice

All Residents will gain experience in the ICUs and Emergency Departments while on-call. The primary on-call responsibility is to provide in-house coverage on weekends. Interested interns may provide on-call coverage with supervisor approval.

Take the Lead in Decedent Care

Taking the lead in decedent care gives our year-long residents exposure to areas in the hospital that have higher-level acuity than their normal clinical assignments and provides them with a unique sense of purpose. Decedent care involves significant interdisciplinary engagement with managing and tracking the emotional and logistical issues that families and the hospital must address at the time of death.