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Clinical Pastoral Education

Spiritual CareCone Health has an integrated and active program of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE). The program is accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education Inc., Decatur, GA, (ACPE) and is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Post-Secondary Education as an Accredited Center. Cone Health is accredited to offer Level I and Level II CPE and eligible to participate in these Federal Programs:

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

CPE is theological and professional education for ministry. In CPE, theological students, ordained clergy, members of religious orders and qualified lay people minister to people in crisis situations while being supervised. Out of intense involvement with supervisors, other students, people in crisis and other professionals, CPE students are challenged to improve the quality of their pastoral relationships. Genuine caring pastoral relationships are enhanced through pastoral practice, written case studies and verbatims and individual supervision. Through viewing complicated life situations from different viewpoints, students are able to gain new insights and understandings about the human situation. Theological reflection is important in CPE as pastoral people seek ways to integrate theology with life experience.

Guided by the mission and values of Cone Health, the Department for Spiritual Care and Wholeness is committed to providing a superior Clinical Pastoral Education program. CPE is a supervised educational process through which the Minister, Priest, Rabbi, Imam, religious or layperson may learn the practice of the art of pastoral care in a clinical setting. Ministry opportunities are offered through service lines of a comprehensive and integrated healthcare delivery system: cardiovascular, oncology, women and children, med/surg, neuroscience, trauma, rehabilitation services and behavioral health. Pastoral care is provided to patients, family and staff.

Qualified applicants should be seminary students and/or an ordained, licensed or commissioned clergy person who has successfully completed one year of seminary education in an accredited theological school and is currently enrolled in a degree program, or a member of a vowed religious community, or a layperson who has completed an undergraduate degree or has some theological education and has been engaged in pastoral care and/or is preparing for pastoral ministry.

Cone Health offers Level I CPE, an introduction to basic pastoral care skills; and Level II CPE, a more advanced program of pastoral development and functioning.

We offer the following programs of CPE:

  • 12-month Residency Program in Pastoral Care. This program begins in late August of each year and ends in late August of the following year. Currently we have five stipend positions.



Application fee:          $40 non-refundable

Tuition:                      $400 for the year for Resident Program

*Acceptance fee:      

$200 for Resident Program

*The acceptance fee is applied to the total tuition, and is non-refundable.


Application procedure
The process for selecting applicants is continuous or 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
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., 1549 Clairmont Road, Suite 103, Decatur, GA, (404) 320-1472, and by the United States Department of Education, Washington, DC.

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