Clinical Pastoral Education

You are training for ministry, a profession which calls for a wide variety of skills and knowledge. Being a pastor, a minister, a rabbi or priest means being with people in the whole gamut of human experiences and bringing spiritual or religious perspectives to life in those moments. Developing that ability requires pastoral experience, skilled supervision, and a process of working with and learning from other professionals. Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center offers you a richness and depth in all these areas.

Clinical Pastoral Education You will experience: 

  • The challenges of chaplaincy and pastoral care - Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is a tertiary medical center for Central Pennsylvania. Patients treated here reflect the religious and ethnic diversity of the area. Many of the patients are sick with life threatening or chronic diseases, pushing them to the limits of their abilities to cope. Since many are away from home they are eager for contact with the chaplain.
  • A supportive educational process in an institution of learning - Clinical Pastoral Education at the Hershey Medical Center is only one of many professional education programs. Thus, CPE students have opportunity to learn from peers in other professions as each seeks to discover the unique perspective of their own orientation. Learning from clinical practice is a way of life at the Medical Center. The atmosphere encourages learning from reflecting on your work with patients. The patients are taken seriously as your teachers. As a learning institution the Medical Center also has a wealth of resources to enrich your training. Highly trained competent physicians who staff the hospital are also teachers at Penn State College of Medicine. The Medical School also has unique Departments of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences which contribute to the CPE curriculum.
  • Participating in an interdisciplinary team - The philosophy of the Department of Pastoral Services is clearly stated in the words of Anton Boisen, known as the father of CPE, "That the living human documents are the primary sources for any intelligent attempt to understand human nature. . . That service and understanding go hand in hand. Without true understanding, it is impossible to enter effective service in that which concerns the spiritual life, and only to those who come with a motive of service will the doors open into the sanctuaries of life."