CPE Programs at VUMC

CPE curriculum at Vanderbilt University Medical Center emphasizes pastoral relationships and integration of head and heart. CPE curriculum integrates personal history, behavioral sciences, theology, spiritual direction and professional development. Spiritual care staff, clinical specialists, professional advisory group and community members lend their experience in their areas of specialty and interest.

CPE Residency Program (full-time)

Vanderbilt University Medical Center Chaplain Residents are an integral part of the spiritual care team as well as the interdisciplinary team. Chaplain Residents provide regular on-call coverage including overnights on weekdays and weekends. Accommodations are provided at Vanderbilt for on-call duty.  A $40,000 stipend is provided, along with paid time-off and full employee benefits.

This CPE Residency Program includes three full units (early-September thru early-September) of ACPE-accredited clinical pastoral education and offers advanced training in clinical pastoral care, emphasizing the integration of head and heart.

Residents experience clinical assignments that provide in-depth exposure to specialty areas, enabling each resident to become an integral part of the health care team as a part of a strong Pastoral Care Department, functioning with a high degree of autonomy and accountability. They participate in all aspects of the ministry of Pastoral Care Department, including participating fully in the 24/7 spiritual care coverage cycle. This means that residents will be on-call a substantial amount of time during the year, including overnights on weekdays and weekends, as well as working full shifts on weekend days, as needed.

Residents are engaged in meaningful, challenging ministry, while strengthening their personal, professional and theological capacities through reflecting upon, understanding, and growing from the lived experience of ministry. Residents are able to enhance their sense of personal, professional identity, to strengthen their capacity for theological reflection, to improve their pastoral ministry skills, and to deepen their own spirituality.

Between each unit there is an "integration period" in which regular CPE course work ceases for a period of 4-5 weeks. The resident functions primarily as a staff chaplain. Educational modules are offered during these time periods and residents may utilize their vacation time during these periods.

The CPE Residency Program is a rigorous course of study and professional training. Applicants for the residency program should demonstrate a high commitment and interest in pursuing such intensive pastoral care training, and must be able to articulate clearly their professional goals and motivation for the intensive training. Residents are employed by the hospital and therefore also must meet all of Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s standards for employment.

CPE Internship/Extended Unit (part-time)

The CPE Fall Extended Unit (mid-August thru end-of-December) and Spring Extended Unit (mid-January thru early-June) are part-time and are geared for those with ongoing professional or educational commitments.

This part-time CPE meets one day per week for class for 20 weeks. Normally, the class will meet on Mondays (8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.) with the exception of the first two weeks where students should be prepared to spend two or three days each week in orientation. Also, students will engage in sixteen (16) hours per week in clinical ministry at their assigned clinical site. Students may choose from two options for clinical assignments: One day shift (8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.) and one night shift (1:30 pm - 10:00 pm) or two night shifts (1:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.) weekdays or weekends - providing spiritual care to patients, families and staff, and participate in some on-call duty at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

CPE Summer Intensive Program (full-time)

Currently, VUMC does not plan to offer a CPE Summer Program 2021. However, VUMC may consider offering a CPE Summer Intensive Program in the future.

The CPE Summer Intensive Unit (early-June thru mid-August) is a full time, 40+ hour educational commitment. Seminary students can receive priority placement for the summer CPE program. Summer CPE interns are discouraged from taking other classes or holding summer jobs. Interns receive one unit of ACPE-CPE upon satisfactory completion.