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Clinical Pastoral Education

We strive to be recognized as 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 CPE Center is the largest and oldest CPE Center in central Ohio. The OhioHealth CPE Center is accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (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.

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Our Clinical Pastoral Education Programs

OhioHealth offers several CPE internships a first year CPE residency, a second year specialized residency in palliative care, and a certified educator program.

Intern Units

OhioHealth offers four intern programs: 

  1. A Columbus based 40 hour a week intensive summer program for 11 weeks. 
  2. A Columbus based 30 week long extended (part-time) program October-April. 
  3. A Columbus based 15 week short extended program (part-time), January - April. 
  4. A Marion/Mansfield based 30 week long extended program (part-time) October-April.  Learn More

Level I/II: Residency Program

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

Level II: Advanced Residency Program

This program is integrated into the OhioHealth Palliative Care Medicine program which is led by world renowned physicians and medical educators. The CPE residency offers 3 units of level II CPE specialized in palliative care chaplaincy. The resident is part of, and works very closely with the interdisciplinary team. The curriculum is designed around the clinical guidelines for quality palliative care published by the National Consensus Project for Quality Palliative Care. The curriculum prepares the resident for certification by the Association of Professional Chaplains (APC) as a specialist in palliative care chaplaincy. 

Certified Educator Program

This three to four year program is designed to prepare individuals for certification in the ACPE as Associate Certified Educators. Our Certified Educator Program is conducted in cooperation with three ACPE Communities of Practice (COP). These COP's include other ACPE accredited centers, national faculty members, and certified educator students from Columbus, Southern Ohio, and Kentucky. Learn More

Receive OhioHealth Benefits

Benefits for our CPE residents include a salary, health insurance, eye and dental options, discounted gym membership, use of concierge services and free parking, as well as many other benefits enjoyed by OhioHealth associates.

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.