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Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center

PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend is fully accredited for Level I & II CPE by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education. With our experienced and respected educator and spiritual care team, our hospital’s focus on the spirituality of healing, the integration of complimentary modalities of healing into the CPE program and the strong support of our hospital administration, PeaceHealth Sacred Heart offers the highest quality pastoral education. Our program is located on the bank of the McKenzie River near an old forest grove. From this tranquil and reflective sanctuary we emerge to minister to those facing the conflicts and traumas of life and death, walking with them through their darkest valleys with acceptance and hope.

In Level I, CPE students will learn about CPE and specialized ministry, make significant selfdiscoveries, take risks in initiating professional relationships, and identify their own strengths and weaknesses as spiritual care givers. In Level II, CPE students will develop advanced skills related to pastoral reflection, formation, competence and specialization.

In both levels, students will work as part of an experienced and supportive team of board-certified chaplains and will have opportunities to learn from our team of music-thanatologists, local clergy and lay ministers, ethicists, musicians, artists and labyrinth guides. CPE students will find warm welcome from physicians, nurses and professionals from other disciplines and will have many opportunities to care for a large number of people in a variety of crisis situations.

Our 10-week Summer Intensive CPE Units begin in late May and goes through early August. This is a 400-hour full-time clinical and class unit of CPE, held Monday through Friday, 40 hours per week.

We also offer two part-time or “extended” units of CPE that begin late August and early January. Each extended unit lasts approximately 18 weeks. We are currently accepting applications for our Fall/Winter Extended Unit, held late August through early January and our Spring Unit, held late January through mid-May. Students must be able to spend one full day (Wednesdays) in classroom activities each week, and an additional 17 hours engaged in caring for patients. Each student provides a night of on-call coverage and an evening shift weekly. Effort is made to design each student’s clinical schedule in a way that meets the needs of their work outside of CPE; however each student must complete 300 hours of clinical time plus 100 hours of class time to earn one unit of CPE.

Sacred Heart Pastoral Education Graduates pose for a photo

Thoughts From Our Graduates

What has CPE meant to you this unit?

"I have been able to experience firsthand the importance of the PeaceHealth mission and core values. I feel truly blessed to be welcomed into another’s world as they struggle to find meaning when trying to understand where God is when bad things happen."

Debora Kuhlmann
Disciples of Christ
BA, Seattle Pacific University
2020 CPE Graduate
"CPE has been an intense time of personal and professional growth. Rarely does one have the opportunity to step into something that invites such profound learning in such a short period of time. Clinical learning has required so much more of me than I ever imagined it would. I am at once thankful and out of breath."

Lindsay Moore
BA, La Sierra University
MDiv, Denver Seminary
2019 CPE Student
"CPE has moved me beyond selfdiscovery to learning how to use every part of me to care for others."

Chris Joy
MS, Western Seminary 2019
CPE Student
"CPE has opened the world of chaplaincy for me to learn and explore; and it has given me the chance to hone my skills to better attend to the needs of others in my future Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy education. And these experiences themselves have developed me as a person exposing me to the peaks and valleys of other people’s lives, thus giving me a greater understanding of what it means to be human."

Alexander Clarke
MA, Northwest Christian University
CPE 2019 Student
Graduates of the Sacred Heart Pastoral Program pose for a photo