Trinity Community in Beavercreek, Ohio, recently completed its first year of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE). This innovative program enables students training for pastoral ministry or institutional chaplaincy to develop professional skills that aid in the holistic care of patients, residents, families and staff. This multicultural, multifaith small group learning approach enriches the quality of care and ministry offered by spiritual care providers.
The Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE) is nationally recognized as an accrediting agency by the Federal Department of Education. CPE students include persons ordained or recognized as professional leaders in their faith communities and ministry settings, seminary students, those discerning ministry placement, and individuals already in the process of becoming board-certified chaplains.
“Clinical Pastoral Education is additional evidence of our efforts to treat the whole person, meeting their physical, emotional and spiritual needs,” said Rev. Kenneth Daniel, president and CEO, whose vision and prior CPE experience prompted him to bring clinical pastoral care to United Church Homes. Following the hiring of Rev. Greta Wagner as director of clinical pastoral care and CPE at Trinity Community in September 2013, Trinity became an ACPE satellite of its CPE host center, The Sisters of Charity Health System (SCHS) of Cleveland, Ohio.
Since the program’s inception, four students successfully completed the full-time summer intensive 11-week unit in August 2014. Three additional students completed the 400 hours of education and pastoral practice required for the CPE extended unit offered at Trinity in March of this year. Both classes celebrated their achievement at graduation ceremonies held in Trinity’s chapel.
With the successful completion of two CPE units on site, Trinity is now moving forward to become its own accredited CPE center with the full endorsement and support of the SCHS host. Trinity continues to build its reputation for prospective CPE students. The summer 2015 intensive program will begin in June with full enrollment, and interviews are currently underway for its 2015-16 extended program. Trinity Community’s goal is to become an independent, ACPE accredited program by the end of 2016.
“Building an independent accredited CPE program fortifies the leadership principles we have agreed to embrace at Trinity. We value the investment of bringing together faith-based ministry and quality care,” says Laura Farrell, administrator.