Gain pastoral experience in a healthcare setting

The Ascension Saint Thomas Nashville CPE Partnership provides enhanced pastoral training for religious leaders, lay persons, seminarians and more.

Clinical pastoral education in Nashville

Call 615-222-6602

Clinical pastoral education (CPE) teaches spiritual care in a clinical and classroom setting. At Ascension Saint Thomas in Nashville, Tennessee, we offer CPE for healthcare including hospice, community care, geriatric care and rehabilitation. Our students are trained in workplace, congregational and parish-based environments.

Types of CPE programs

CPE is certified by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE). Programs are open to students seeking practical experience in a pastoral ministry. We have three training options:

Residency

This program is available for Level I and Level II student chaplains. Residency focuses on ministering to patients, family and staff. The primary goals are to understand and accept the pastoral caregiver's unique identity, and the development of pastoral care theology and skills. The program schedule includes a five-day workweek, eight hours per day, plus on-call duties for weekdays and weekends.

  • Stipend $35,600 a year plus copay health benefits
  • Requires one completed unit of CPE and Masters of Divinity or equivalent
  • Student receives three units of ACPE- CPE upon satisfactory completion
  • Tuition: Self-pay $200 per unit
  • Application deadline is January 1

Program dates and application deadlines

Extended Unit (Part-time)

This program is available for seminarians and ministers. Students with a bachelor's degree and some theological training are preferred. Participants have one hour of individual mentoring, four hours of group learning and 12 hours of clinical service per week, plus some on-call time.

  • No stipend, housing or scholarships are available; students participate as volunteers
  • Some flexibility in the scheduling of on-site time and on-call time
  • Student receives one unit of ACPE-CPE upon satisfactory completion
  • Tuition: Self-pay $500 per unit; for academic credit, institutions pay $1,000 per unit
  • Application deadline is May 1

Program dates and application deadlines

Intensive Summer Internship

The summer program is primarily available for seminarians. Students with a bachelor's degree and some theological training are preferred. Participants help provide pastoral care for patients and families, and respond to crisis calls. Expect to train eight hours per day, five days per week, plus on-call duties.

  • No compensation or housing is available; students participate as volunteers
  • Student receives one unit of ACPE-CPE upon satisfactory completion
  • Tuition: Self-pay $500 per unit; for academic credit. Institutions Pay $1,000 per unit
  • Application deadline is February 1

Program dates and application deadlines

CPE placement sites

We offer multiple placement sites to help promote learning and pastoral growth. Students will gain diverse skills that can be applied to many chaplaincy opportunities. We welcome inquiries from anyone interested in joining the Ascension Saint Thomas Nashville CPE Partnership and expanding the number of placement sites for our students. Placements are available at the following sites of care:

General placement requirements

  • Applicants for all positions will need reliable transportation.
  • Each institution’s health screening requirements must be met before beginning the placement. This includes any vaccinations.