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Clinical Pastoral Education

Baton Rouge General is dedicated to the development and training of individuals called to provide ministry for the sick through our two Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) programs. The CPE programs deliver graduate-level theological and professional ministry education through a clinical setting that combines action and reflection learning skills.

CPE students learn first-hand pastoral care experience by providing spiritual support to patients, patients’ families, and hospital staff and through guided reflection on their ministry experiences with certified CPE supervisors and with the students’ peers. This method of learning expands the students' skills and knowledge while deepening their self-awareness of how their personal histories, faith perspectives and individual gifts influence their pastoral and professional function.

The only one of its kind in Baton Rouge, Baton Rouge General’s CPE programs are nationally accredited by the following organizations:

Programs of Study

Baton Rouge General offers two CPE programs of study:

Extended CPE

CPE Residency

Prospective Students

Baton Rouge General’s CPE programs are designed for the following individuals:

  • Seminary students preparing for ordained ministry
  • Ordained clergy needing continuing education in pastoral/spiritual care
  • Lay persons wanting to advance their pastoral care skills within their faith communities
  • Individuals preparing for professional hospital chaplaincy, including people from all faiths, denominations, races and cultural backgrounds.
  • Clergy and lay persons wanting a ministry vocation in chaplaincy

Each CPE course is comprised of 4 - 6 students, providing students with a diverse and unique small group environment.


Each CPE program’s curriculum follows the Standards and Objectives of Clinical Pastoral Education International and incorporates pastoral formation, pastoral competence and pastoral reflection. The programs teach students to embrace the role of minister and to develop self-reflection and self-awareness, and to use peers and supervisors as resources for learning.

The program is completed in four courses with a total of 400 training hours each course:

Supervised Clinical Ministry Practice

300 Hours

Structured Group and Individual Learning

100 Hours

Supervised Clinical Ministry Practice

Both CPE programs place an emphasis on building ministry relationships with patients, patients’ families, hospital staff, Pastoral Care staff, peers and supervisors. Through these relationships, students experience and reflect on issues of trust, respect, differences, assertiveness, confrontation and conflict as pathways for growth in the skills needed for ministry.

Each student is assigned to a patient care unit to serve as a chaplain intern with shadowing from a CPE supervisor. In addition to visiting patients, patients’ families, and hospital staff, they will also serve as on-call chaplain for after-hours and weekend shifts. Staff chaplains also serve as resources and consultants for the students' learning, both formally and informally.

Structured Group and Individual Learning

Both CPE programs incorporate weekly traditional classroom group learning for students to develop peer relationships within their class. During group learning, students also discuss their pastoral visits, using the resources of theology, spirituality, behavioral sciences and pastoral care to develop greater knowledge of the dynamics and needs present in the visit.