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Geisinger School of Spiritual Care

Objectives & outcomes for clinical pastoral education

The following is detailed information directly taken from the 2005 ACPE Standards. They offer a thorough explanation of learning expectations as well as the resources available to all students in an accredited ACPE center. If you have questions, please feel free to contact the director in the GSSC, 570-271-3700.

CPE (Level I/Level II) enables pastoral formation, pastoral competence, and pastoral reflection. Some CPE centers offer pastoral specialization(s) as part of their Level II curriculum.

CPE (Level I/Level II) objectives define the scope of the CPE (Level I/Level II) program curricula. Outcomes define the competencies to be developed by students as a result of participating in each of the programs.

Standard 309 The center designs its CPE (Level I/Level II) curriculum to facilitate the achievement of the following objectives:

Pastoral Formation
309.1 to develop students’ awareness of themselves as ministers and of the ways their ministry affects persons.
309.2 to develop students’ awareness of how their attitudes, values, assumptions, strengths, and weaknesses affect their pastoral care.
309.3 to develop students’ ability to engage and apply the support, confrontation and clarification of the peer group for the integration of personal attributes and pastoral functioning.

Pastoral Competence
309.4 to develop students’ awareness and understanding of how persons, social conditions, systems, and structures affect their lives and the lives of others and how to address effectively these issues through their ministry.
309.5 to develop students’ skills in providing intensive and extensive pastoral care and counseling to persons.
309.6 to develop students’ ability to make effective use of their religious/spiritual heritage, theological understanding, and knowledge of the behavioral sciences in their pastoral care of persons and groups.
309.7 to teach students the pastoral role in professional relationships and how to work effectively as a pastoral member of a multidisciplinary team.
309.8 to develop students’ capacity to use ones pastoral and prophetic perspectives in preaching, teaching, leadership, management, pastoral care, and pastoral counseling.

Pastoral Reflection
309.9 to develop students’ understanding and ability to apply the clinical method of learning.
309.10 to develop students’ abilities to use both individual and group supervision for personal and professional growth, including the capacity to evaluate one’s ministry.

Standard 310 Where a pastoral care specialty is offered, the CPE center designs its CPE Level II curriculum to facilitate the students’ achievement of the following additional objectives:

310.1 to afford students opportunities to become familiar with and apply relevant theories and methodologies to their ministry specialty.
310.2 to provide students opportunities to formulate and apply their philosophy and methodology for the ministry specialty.
310.3 to provide students opportunities to demonstrate pastoral competence in the practice of the specialty.

Clinical pastoral education outcomes describe what a student may expect to derive from a CPE program. They are basic (Level I) and advanced (Level II) competencies and issues of pastoral formation and identity the learned addresses in this experiential educational process.

Standard 311-312 Outcomes of CPE (Level I/Level II)  Programs
Standard 311 Outcomes of CPE Level I

The curriculum for CPE Level I addresses the fundamentals of pastoral formation, pastoral competence and pastoral reflection through one or more program units. Satisfactory achievement of Level I outcomes must be documented in the supervisor’s evaluation(s).

At the conclusion of CPE Level I students are able to:

Pastoral Formation
311.1 articulate the central themes of their religious heritage and the theological understanding that informs their ministry.
311.2 identify and discuss major life events, relationships and cultural contexts that influence personal identity as expressed in pastoral functioning.
311.3 initiate peer group and supervisory consultation and receive critique about ones ministry practice.

Pastoral Competence
311.4 risk offering appropriate and timely critique.
311.5 recognize relational dynamics within group contexts.
311.6 demonstrate integration of conceptual understandings presented in the curriculum into pastoral practice.
311.7 initiate helping relationships within and across diverse populations.

Pastoral Reflection
311.8 use the clinical methods of learning to achieve their educational goals.
311.9 formulate clear and specific goals for continuing pastoral formation with reference to personal strengths and weaknesses.

Standard 312 Outcomes of CPE Level II
The curriculum for CPE Level II addresses the development and integration of pastoral formation, pastoral competence and pastoral reflection to a level of competence that permits students to attain professional certification and/or admission to Supervisory CPE. The Level II curriculum involves at least two or more program units of CPE. Supervisors must document satisfactory completion of CPE Level II curriculum outcomes in the supervisor’s final evaluation(s).

At the conclusion of CPE Level II students are able to:

Pastoral Formation
312.1 articulate an understanding of the pastoral role that is congruent with their personal values, basic assumptions and personhood.

Pastoral Competence
312.2 provide pastoral ministry to diverse people, taking into consideration multiple elements of cultural and ethnic differences, social conditions, systems, and justice issues without imposing their own perspectives.
312.3 demonstrate a range of pastoral skills, including listening/attending, empathic reflection, conflict resolution/confrontation, crisis management, and appropriate use of religious/spiritual resources.
312.4 assess the strengths and needs of those served, grounded in theology and using an understanding of the behavioral sciences.
312.5 manage ministry and administrative function in terms of accountability, productivity, self-direction, and clear, accurate professional communication.
312.6 demonstrate competent use of self in ministry and administrative function which includes: emotional availability, cultural humility, appropriate self-disclosure, positive use of power and authority, a non-anxious and non-judgmental presence, and clear and responsible boundaries.

Pastoral Reflection
312.7 establish collaboration and dialogue with peers, authorities and other professionals.
312.8 demonstrate self-supervision through realistic self-evaluation of pastoral functioning.