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Clinical Pastoral Education Program

The Department of Pastoral Care offers Clinical Pastoral Education training to qualified clergy and seminary students. The CPE program is accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc., to offer Level I, II, and Supervisory Education. CPE is graduate-level clinical training in ministry. It provides students an opportunity to practice and reflect on the act of ministry and the person of the minister within the individual and group settings. An accredited unit of CPE requires at least three students and at least one hundred (100) hours of structured group and individual education, accompanied by at least three hundred (300) hours of clinical practice in ministry.

Mary Washington Healthcare’s accredited CPE program offers part-time sessions in the fall and spring, and a full time intensive intern program for seminarians is offered in the summer. We also have five full-time, year-long resident positions, in which students with one unit of introductory CPE spends a year in specialized training for ministry.

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We are currently accepting applications for the Fall 2024 Intern Unit. Students are accepted on a rolling basis, so you are encouraged to apply soon. The Summer 2024 Intern Unit is full.

  • Unit Dates: August 26–December 31, 2024
  • Class/Clinical Requirements: One day each week of class in person at Mary Washington Hospital. Additionally, 16-24 hours/week of clinical time at Mary Washington Hospital, including a combination of day and overnight shifts. Students work together to select their shifts.
  • Tuition: $400 due the week of orientation. Payment arrangements can be made. See Financial Policy below.

We are also accepting applications for the 2024-2025 Residency program, beginning September 9, 2024. Potential students are required to have completed a single unit of CPE at an ACPE accredited program. They may then complete units 2, 3, and 4 in the residency.

Persons interested in applying for one of the CPE programs should first complete an ACPE application. You will need to submit the signed application through the application portal below. For any questions, contact Rev. Rebecca Highfield, Director of the Pastoral Care Department and ACPE Certified Educator at

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Students in the Clinical Pastoral Education Program have included students and graduates of Asbury Theological Seminary, Eastern Mennonite Seminary, Duke Divinity School, Gettysburg Theological Seminary, Lancaster Seminary, Virginia Theological Seminary, the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, Liberty University, Virginia Union University School of Theology, Union Presbyterian Seminary, Wesley Theological Seminary, Howard Divinity School, and others.

Numerous current and former members of the US Army, US Navy, US Air Force, Marine Corps, and even the Central Intelligence Agency have completed one or more units of Clinical Pastoral Education training at Mary Washington Hospital.

We have had students from Ghana, Ivory Coast, Japan, Kenya, Nigeria, and of course, all across the United States.

Admission Policy

Financial Policy

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