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Clinical Pastoral Education

Spiritual Care

Cone Health offers a robust program of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE). Our Center and Program is accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education Inc., Decatur, GA, (ACPE) and recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Post-Secondary Education as an Accredited Center. Cone Health offers CPE at Levels I and II through a One-year Residency, a Summer Intern unit, and an Extended/Community unit.

CPE is interfaith professional education for ministry. In CPE, theological students, ordained clergy (pastors, priests, rabbis, imams and others), members of religious orders and qualified lay persons and helping professionals (see requirements below) minister to people in crisis situations while being supervised. Out of an intense involvement with these persons and the feedback from peers, teachers and supervisors, students develop new awarenesses of themselves, responsiveness to the needs of those to whom they minister, and are challenged to improve the quality of their pastoral relationships. We believe that authentic, sensitive and compassionate pastoral relationships are enhanced through pastoral encounters, written case studies, didactic presentations, professional reading, critical reflection and individual supervision. By critically reflecting on challenging circumstances from a wide diversity of perspectives students can expand their understanding about human suffering, integrate their theology or spirituality with life experience, and develop their capacity to be a healing presence.

Guided by the mission and values of Cone Health, the Department for Spiritual Care and Wholeness is committed to providing a Clinical Pastoral Education program of excellence. We offer interdisciplinary opportunities for learning and ministry in the following areas: Palliative Care, Cardiology, Vascular Medicine, Oncology (In and Out-patient services), Women and Children’s Services, Pediatric, Pediatric ICU, Neuroscience, Level II Trauma Center (Adult and Pediatric), several Intensive Care Units, Rehabilitation Services and the Behavioral Health hospital. We also include a patients’ family and medical staff in our circle of care.

Qualified applicants should be seminary students and/or an ordained, licensed, commissioned clergy persons or licensed helping professional who has successfully completed not less than one year of seminary education from an Association of Theological Schools (ATS) accredited institution and is currently enrolled in a degree program, a member of a vowed religious community, a layperson who has completed an undergraduate degree, has some theological education and has been engaged in pastoral care and/or is preparing for pastoral ministry or a licensed helping professional with at least one year of theological education from an ATS institution.

The CPE Center at Cone Health is eligible to participate in these Federal Programs:

  • International Exchange Visitors Program
  • Veterans Educational (tuition) Benefits

Program Offerings

I. 12-month Residency Program in Pastoral Care:

  • Prerequisites: (1) One completed and ACPE accredited unit of CPE. (2) Ordained, licensed, commissioned clergy person or licensed helping professional.
  • Recommended: Earned M.Div. (or equivalent) from an ATS accredited institution.
  • Dates: September of the current year and ending in late August of the following year.
  • Number of Positions: Five stipend positions. 

II. Summer Intern Unit.

  • Prerequisites: Earned B.A. from a Regionally Accredited college or university
  • Recommended: One to two years of theological, religious, or equivalent studies at the bachelor’s and/or graduate level.
  • Dates: Early June through the latter half of August.
  • Positions: Six Summer Intern positions. 

III. Extended/Community Unit. We regret to announce that an Extended/Community Unit will not offered in 2017. 

Program Fees

Application fee: $40 non-refundable (for all programs).


I. Residency Year: $400 for the year (Please note that there is an “Acceptance Fee” of $200 for the Resident Program. This fee is applied to the total tuition, and is non-refundable.)

II. Summer Intern Unit:

III. Extended/Community Unit:

Application Procedure

The process for selecting applicants is continuous and is based on a rolling admissions policy. Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible. In submitting applications, please complete the ACPE application form and the Agreement to Circulate or call or write:

H. Bruce Messinger, PhD
ACPE Supervisor

Department for Spiritual Care and Wholeness
1200 N. Elm Street
Greensboro, NC 27401
(336) 832-7950


This program is accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education Inc., One West Court Square, Suite 325, Decatur, GA 30030. Telephone: (404) 320-1472; FAX: (404) 320-0849; Email: and by the United States Department of Education, Washington, DC.

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