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Clinical Pastoral Education

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is an educational program developed to teach pastoral care skills to clergy and ministers through a structured process at North Mississippi Medical Center. This seminary-level course advances pastoral care skills for theological students and ministers of all faiths into supervised encounters with persons in crisis.

At NMMC, CPE is a part-time extended unit stretching over a period of eight months allowing pastors and seminary students to easily schedule. Class sessions meet two full days each month during the eight month session.

CPE is largely focused on the students’ self-development. Students engage in pastoral work and reflect on their individual experiences with a trained supervisor. Students become intensely involved with persons facing health crises and their families, and they receive helpful feedback from peers and their supervisor. Through these meaningful encounters with people with need, CPE students gain a new understanding of ministry and develop their interpersonal skills and strengthen interprofessional relationships.

The CPE process includes didactic presentations, verbatim case studies, peer group interaction, reflection and research papers, individual supervision and related reading. Each participant begins with a personally crafted learning covenant expressing his/her learning goals for the unit. This covenant becomes a standard for the participant as a guide during the eight months in reaching the learning covenant goals.

Admission to CPE is granted on the basis of learning readiness, group composition and the perceived ability to function in all aspects of the CPE experience. The CPE program does not discriminate on the basis of religion, race, gender, national origin or ethnic background. A completed application (with application fee) and interview are required for admission.

CPE Goals & Objectives

Participants in the CPE program will:
• Articulate and demonstrate pastoral identity and authority
• Experience increased self and interpersonal awareness
• Demonstrate enhanced competence in pastoral ministry
• Provide spiritual assessment and support
• Utilize individual and group supervision for personal and professional growth.
• Become aware of the effects of the persons giving and receiving ministry
• Become aware of how attitudes, values, assumptions, strengths and weaknesses affect pastoral care ministry
• Develop the ability to make effective use of the religious traditions, theological understanding, and knowledge of behavioral sciences in pastoral ministry

For More Information

For more information, please contact NMMC Pastoral Care at (662) 377-3439 or