Vancouver School of Theology

Forming thoughtful, engaged and generous Christian leaders for the church in the 21st century


Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) – Providence Health Care

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C.P.E. is an experiential action/reflection model of education. It is in many respects a hybrid blend of the pastoral/spiritual-tradition and modern sociological and psychological approaches to care. As a member of an inter-professional team, each student’s educational experience involves providing pastoral care to patients, families and staff.

Learning occurs through direct experience, use of reflective tools, didactic sessions, dialogue around cases in an interfaith peer group, as well as individual supervision.

C.P.E. is an intense form of adult education that actively explores human emotion, meaning making, and interpersonal relationships with reference to their relevance for Spiritual Care practice. There is an emphasis on staying present in the moment to our experiences. Each student is part of the group and each student’s learning is largely dependent on the dedication of group members to providing honest feedback and support. As such, personal maturity is as important as academic background in assessing a student’s readiness for this form of education. Students learn to integrate their understanding of head and heart, emotion and thought, theology and experience. Students should expect to commit a significant amount of energy and creative imagination towards making the maximum use of the time and opportunity.

Application to do a CPE unit is administered through the hospital that hosts the Clinical Pastoral Education unit.  Vancouver School of Theology serves as the educational institution for registration and academic credits.  To apply to do a unit of CPE at St. Paul’s Hospital please contact:

Pamela Seeley (Admin. Assistant, Spiritual Health & CPE Program) – 604-806-8163 or 

For details and application information for the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority-offered CPE program, please visit this course page.

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