Clinical Pastoral Education

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)

at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center


Description of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)

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 self-discoveries, 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 Unit for 2019 is May 29 through August 10. This is a 400-hour full-time clinical and class unit of CPE.

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 2018 Extended Unit, held August 29, 2018 through January 5, 2019 and our Spring Unit, held January 23 through May 18, 2019. Students must be able to spend one full day (Wednesdays) in classroom activities, one half day once per month and an additional 17 hours engaged in caring for patients. Each part-time 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.

For more information: email Rev. Steven Gomes, CPE Certified Educator, or call him at (541) 868-7711 (mobile) or (541) 222-2275 (office).

To apply for an upcoming unit: Complete the standard Association for Clinical Pastoral Education application and send to Rev. Steven Gomes, 3333 RiverBend Dr., Springfield, OR 97477, along with a $50 application fee.

Sacred Heart Medical Center is an Accredited Center of the
Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE, Inc.)
One West Court Square, Suite 325
Decatur, GA  30033
Phone (404) 320-1472
Steve Gomes, ACPE Certified Educator
CPE Programs Offered: Level I and Level II


Thoughts From Our Graduates

What some of our graduates say about their experience of CPE at Sacred Heart:

 Kevin Gore
 BA Religious Studies, University of Oregon
 2016 Summer CPE Graduate

This summer's intensive CPE unit has been an experience of self-discovery, growth, and experimentation. It has been an incredible proving ground in which to plumb the depths of my soul, while providing foundational tools which will enrich my ministry to the world for the rest of my life.

 Monica Jacobson Tennessen
 Unitarian Universalist
 BA, Whitman College
 2016 Summer CPE Graduate

Clinical Pastoral Education at Sacred Heart RiverBend has provided me with opportunities to companion people during crisis and transition. I have been able to be present with people of a variety of faith traditions, including no identified tradition, wrestling with meaning and determining how to live, how to die, and how to say farewell to loved ones. I have shared rich interfaith discussions about theology and practice, given and received critique, and practiced gentle pastoral questioning as part of witnessing others' development and self-discovery. As a result of my CPE experience, I am better equipped for service in parish ministry.

 Jakki McDonald
 Evangelical Lutheran
 2016 Summer CPE Graduate

This process has been one of the hardest I've ever experienced. I've felt nearly every emotion here - anger, hurt, fear, frustration, discouragement and even defeat. I've experienced embarrassment, insecurity, panic and terror. I've been stretched in ways I haven't wanted, challenged in ways I didn't know were there to be challenged...and been humbled realizing I have so much about life to learn yet.
On the flip side this experience has been one of the most rewarding as patients have allowed me in or invited me into their intimate lives. Listening to their hearts has been my greatest joy. I hope to take all of that and more into this next season of my life.

PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend
3333 RiverBend Dr
Springfield, OR 97477