Clinical Pastoral Education - Level 1

As a CPE student you will encounter people in crisis and learn from examination of the experience under the guidance of a Chaplain Supervisor as well as interaction with and feedback from peers, physicians, nurses and others. It is recognized that each student brings unique questions and motivations. Thus, learning goals for each student are negotiated with the Supervisor. These goals are then pursued in a variety of settings such as individual supervision, meeting with your peer group in interpersonal sessions, verbatim, didactic seminars and in worship.

CPE involves making ecumenical dialogue with opportunity to discern the unique contribution of your own faith group to the understanding of pastoral care.

Summer Unit (end of May to first part of August) - Applications are being taken beginning in October.

The Summer Unit will be conducted on a five day per week basis for eleven weeks. Each student will have approximately 16 shifts of  "on call" during the summer. 

Extended Unit (October to May) - Applications are being taken beginning in January

The Extended Unit will require eight hours per week in the hospital for 30 weeks, plus On Call time. Students will meet for 4 - 6 hours of instruction per week. The balance of the time will be spent in supervised pastoral care with patients and staff. Each student will have approximately 40 hours each month of "on call" in the hospital.

Admission Requirements

A completed application along with a $10 deposit made payable to Penn State Hershey Medical Center. The form is available by contacting our Department at 717-531-8177 or online at

  1. Admission interview by a CPE Supervisor or other qualified person.
  2. Applicants are expected to be involved in religious ministry or in seminary.
  3. Acceptance decisions will be made after completion of the admission process.
  4. Tuition is $400.00 per unit. There is a non-refundable deposit which is due upon acceptance. This deposit will be deducted from the balance of your first unit. Payment is due by the first day of each unit. Our Finance Department will invoice you.
  5. Applications should be sent to:  Pastoral Services, H118, Penn State Hershey Medical Center, PO Box 850, Hershey, PA  17033.