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 further developing their skills for ministry while serving in a ministry site of their choosing.

A Community/Parish-based extended (26-week) unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE) is typically held September through March of each year.  The group will meet on Mondays from 10a-4p, at least 15 hours of ministry per week (for a total of at least 300 hours of ministry) and biweekly individual supervision with The Rev. Christy Howard-Steele, ACPE Certified Educator, who will be supervising the upcoming unit (Fall 2024-Spring 2025.)

This is a perfect opportunity for ministers who are serving in parishes or other ministry locations who would like further training in pastoral skill development, are dealing with difficult relational dynamics or just need some support for the journey.  If you are enrolled in seminary and engaged in field education, you may be able to use your field site as your CPE clinical placement and get credit for a unit of CPE at the same time!

The CPE model of learning is based upon action-reflection-new action.  A student engages in ministry, reflects on it individually and in a small peer group setting, and then adjusts their action based on feedback from peers and educators.

Qualified students will hold a Bachelor’s degree and/or be ordained by a faith community or be commissioned to function in ministry by an appropriate religious authority.  Preferably, students will either have completed a seminary degree or be currently enrolled.  To be considered you will need to complete an ACPE application form and be interviewed by the Certified Educator.

In addition to a clinical site for ministry (faith community, retirement facility, nursing home, etc.) students will need to have a mentor/preceptor who is knowledgeable about the clinical site.  The responsibilities of the Mentor/Preceptor as defined by ACPE include: (1) orient students to placement site(s), ensuring each student understands the context for their ministry; (2) address student questions and learning needs regarding placement sites; (3) communicate with the ACPE Certified Educator on a regular basis about students’ fulfillment of administrative obligations and the responsibilities outline 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 mentor/preceptor 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).

Tuition is $1,200 and payable to Rush University Medical Center.

Questions? Call Christy at 312-563-4804 or e-mail her at

Rush is accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc. (1 Concourse Pkwy, Suite 800, Atlanta, GA 30328) to offer Level I, Level II and Certified Educator training.