Clinical Pastoral Education Options


Students who complete CPE successfully at VCU receive both academic credit and CPE credit. Thus, applicants must submit both an ACPE department application and an application to the Graduate School at VCU (VCU Graduate School Application - SLATE). All applicants must create an account in SLATE to apply.  All applications for VCU and the Department of Patient Counseling are required.  The Department of Patient Counseling offers two degree programs: the Post Baccalaureate Certificate in Patient Counseling and the Master of Science degree in Patient Counseling. Students should apply for the desired program according to the following criteria:

Students interested in a Level I Unit of ACPE Clinical Pastoral Education (formerly Introductory CPE) should apply for the Post Baccalaureate Certificate in Patient Counseling Program.

Students with one or more completed units of ACPE Clinical Pastoral Education may apply for the Master of Science degree program in Patient Counseling.  Students will complete three or four units of CPE depending on admission to one of three educational tracks.  Students interested in supervisory education will complete nine (9) units of supervisory education CPE.


Clinical Pastoral Education residency positions are available in cooperation with the VCU Health System. CPE residents are considered both students and employees. As such, they are expected to enroll as VCU students in the Master of Science degree program. As students, residents pay VCU tuition. As VCUHS employees, CPE residents are considered exempt salaried employees with health benefits, and paid time off. The amount of the salary will be stipulated in the letter of employment issued by VCUHS HR. VCU students are eligible to receive reduced GRTC bus passes. There is a monthly charge for parking for those who park in a VCU owned parking lot/deck. Information about parking and bus passes can be obtained from Parking and Transportation.

Application for residency follows the standard admission process outlined for Master of Science degree to academic programs. In addition, required materials include: a statement of professional goals, evidence of clinical functioning in the form of two verbatims, all supervisors' evaluations and student's self-evaluations from previous ACPE CPE units. Residency is restricted to persons who have completed one unit of ACPE CPE and two years of formal theological education, or one unit of ACPE CPE, a graduate degree in a health related field, and evidence of previous theological education. An on-site interview is required for all resident candidates.

Students accepted into the residency program at VCU Health System are required to have a drug screening and are required to complete, among other things, a criminal background check and health screening. VCUHS residents are required to work weekdays, evenings, nights, weekends and holidays. Any student enrolled in the program that has not been accepted as a resident is considered an intern. For more information about the residency program, contact Brenda Brown at 804-828-0540 or