Skip to main content

Clinical Pastoral Education (Washington)



Welcome to PeaceHealth St. Joseph and our ACPE Certified Clinical Pastoral Education Program! PeaceHealth Southwest is a satellite of our center offering CPE programs in Vancouver, Washington.

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is an experiential theological education designed to increase self-awareness and develop and sharpen one’s ability to provide spiritual care for patients, families, as well as for the staff at PeaceHealth St. Joseph. The guiding principles and underlying assumptions include the following:

  • One’s own personhood is the most important tool one has for providing spiritual and pastoral care.
  • Ministry takes place in the context of relationship.
  • Significant awareness of one’s impact on the recipient of spiritual care as well as the recipient’s impact on the spiritual caregiver is critical.
  • One must have a basic understanding of one’s own faith perspective and how to use it to connect with the faith perspective of the recipient of one’s care.
  • The spiritual caregiver must have a basic awareness of how one’s personal history impacts one’s functioning as a chaplain.
  • One must be open to personal and professional growth.

Students who join us in the study and practice of Pastoral Care do so in an atmosphere that is supportive of their personal and professional growth. We value our students’ contributions to the spiritual care provided to patients, patients' loved ones and staff at PeaceHealth St. Joseph’s. Our aim is to make this experience equally valuable to our students.

PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham, Washington, is nationally recognized for its dedication to both exceptional medicine and compassionate care. With 283 beds, we are the largest hospital between Vancouver, British Columbia and Everett, Washington. As the primary acute-care hospital serving this large segment of northwest Washington, PeaceHealth St. Joseph’s cares for a wide range of patients, from healthy, full-term newborns to critically ill neonates, from adults with straightforward knee replacements to complex heart cases, cancer, and behavioral health issues. We are committed to serving the needs of the community.

PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver, Washington, provides comprehensive specialty care for more than 275,000 patients annually in southwest Wash. As one of Clark County’s largest employers with over 3,200 caregivers and more than 850 active medical staff members, PeaceHealth Southwest offers dozens of medical specialty services and programs.

The PHSW CPE Program is located at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center. Students meet here for the educational portion of their CPE training. A portion of the student group will be assigned to the PHSW campus for clinical duties, with others placed at PeaceHealth St. John (PHSJ) in Longview for their clinical work, and one student placed at the Ray Hickey Hospice House in Vancouver. Each offsite placement has a preceptor for the student and clinical site contract in place. All the students share in providing on-call overnight coverage on the PHSW or PHSJ campus.

Guided by the values of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace, our sponsoring order, we keep healing and compassionate care as the focus of all that we do.

PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center is an Accredited Center for Clinical Pastoral Education by:

ACPE, Inc.
1549 Clairmont Road, Suite 103 Decatur, GA 30033
Phone (404) 320-1472
www.acpe.edu