Community Based Clinical Pastoral Education

Rush University Medical Center, in partnership with Bishop Anderson House, is pleased to present a unique offering for those interested in Chaplaincy.

A community/parish-based extended (26-week) unit of clinical pastoral education is held September through March of each year.  For the 2020-21 unit, preference will be given to students interested in clinical placement in parish settings. Others in non-parish settings will be considered if there are openings.  The Rev. Mary Altenbaumer, ACPE Certified Educator, will serve as supervisor.

Tentative Dates: September 21, 2020 – March 29, 2021.  

This unit will focus on honing pastoral care skills and learning to navigate the dynamics of systems.

CPE is based upon action – reflection – new action. A student engages in ministry, reflects on it, and then changes their style based on feedback from peers, educators, and patients/clients/families.

Students will need a Bachelor of Arts degree (required) with a Master’s level degree from an accredited seminary achieved or in process preferred. CPE is adult experiential learning so the ideal student will be self-directed and know what they want to learn. If you are enrolled in seminary doing field education, it is possible to use that as your clinical placement and also get credit for a unit of CPE at the same time! Rush is accredited by the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc. in Decatur, GA to offer Level I, Level II, and Supervisory CPE.

Students engage in 300 hours of ministry (roughly 15 hours per week) at their individual clinical placement site, each intern will also need a preceptor. Students in the unit will need to secure their own clinical placement site. Some options include: a local faith community, a continuing care retirement facility, or a nursing home.

Responsibilities of the Preceptor/Mentor include:

  • Orient students to placement sites, ensuring each student understands the context for their placement.
  • Address student questions and learning needs regarding placement sites.
  • Communicate with the ACPE Certified Educator on a regular basis about students’ fulfillment of administrative obligations and the responsibilities outlined in the clinical site agreement including the student’s clinical work, work habits, and investment in the learning process at the placement site.

Examples of a preceptor/mentor are a senior pastor or rector, board certified chaplain, senior warden/president of church council/chair of church board, licensed clinical social worker, or licensed professional counselor.

Bishop Anderson House is located on the Rush University Medical Center campus in the Annex building (707 S. Wood St, Suite 101). Students will also meet bi-weekly with Mary Altenbaumer for individual supervision at mutually agreeable times.

Tuition is $1,100 and payable to Rush University Medical Center.

Application: Download below, complete, scan and return via email to

Questions? Call Rev. Altenbaumer at 312-563-4813 or e-mail at

CPE Application-2020