Objectives of CPE define CPE programs and the scope of their curricula. Clinical Pastoral Education includes Pastoral Reflection, Pastoral Formation, and Pastoral Competence. Pastoral Specialization may be offered as an option in some centers. The CPE Center's curriculum is designed to facilitate the student's achievement of the following objectives:
- To develop student's awareness of themselves as ministers of the ways their ministry affects persons.
- To develop student's awareness of how their attitudes, values, assumptions, strengths, and weaknesses affect their pastoral care.
- To develop student's ability to engage and apply the support, confrontation and clarification of the peer group for the integration of personal attributes and pastoral functioning.
- To develop students' awareness and understanding of how persons, social conditions, systems, and structures affect their lives and the lives of others and how to address effectively these issues through their ministry.
- To develop students' skills in providing intensive and extensive pastoral care and counseling to persons.
- To develop students' ability to make effective use of their religious/spiritual heritage, theological understanding, and knowledge of the behavioral sciences and applied clinical ethics in their pastoral care of persons and groups.
- To teach students the pastoral role in professional relationships and how to work effectively as a pastoral member of a multidisciplinary team.
- To develop students' capacity to use one's pastoral and prophetic perspectives in preaching, teaching, leadership, management, pastoral care, and pastoral counseling.
- To develop students' understanding and ability to apply the clinical method of learning.
- To develop students' abilities to use both individual and group supervision for personal and professional growth, including the capacity to evaluate one's ministry.
Objectives of a pastoral specialty are:
- To afford students opportunities to become familiar with and apply relevant theories and methodologies to their ministry specialty.
- To provide students opportunities to formulate and apply their philosophy and methodology for the ministry specialty.
- To provide students opportunities to demonstrate pastoral competence in the practice of the specialty.
Outcomes for Level I and Level II CPE
At the conclusion of Level I CPE a student are able to:
- Articulate the central themes and core values of one's religious/spiritual heritage and theological understanding that forms one's ministry.
- Identify and discuss major life events, relationships, social location, cultural contexts and social realities that influence personal identity as expressed in pastoral functioning.
- Initiate peer group and supervisory consultation and receive critique about one's ministry practice.
- Risk offering appropriate and timely critique with peers and supervisors.
- Recognize relational dynamics within group contexts.
- Demonstrate integration of conceptual understandings presented in the curriculum into pastoral practice.
- Initiate helping relationships within and across diverse populations.
- Use the clinical method of learning to achieve one's educational goals.
- Formulate clear and specific goals for continuing pastoral formation with reference to one's strengths and weakness as identified through self-reflection, supervision and feedback.
At the conclusion of Level II CPE the student are able to:
- Articulate an understanding of the pastoral role that is congruent with one's personal and cultural values, basic assumptions and personhood.
- Provide pastoral ministry with diverse people, taking into consideration multiple elements of cultural and ethnic differences, social conditions, systems, justice and applied clinical ethics issues without imposing one’s own perspectives.
- Demonstrate a range of pastoral skills, including listening/attending, empathic reflection, conflict resolution / transformation, confrontation, crisis management, and appropriate use of religious/spiritual resources.
- Assess the strengths and needs of those served, grounded in theology and using an understanding of the behavioral sciences.
- Manage ministry and administrative function in terms of accountability, productivity, self-directions, and clear, accurate professional communication.
- Demonstrate competent use of self in ministry and administrative function which includes: emotional availability, cultural humility, appropriate self-disclosure, positive use of power and authority, a non-anxious and non-judgmental presence, and clear and responsible boundaries.
- Establish collaboration and dialogue with peers, authorities and other professionals.
- Demonstrates awareness of the Spiritual Care Collaborative Commons Standards for Professional Chaplaincy.
- Demonstrate self-supervision through realistic self-evaluation of pastoral functioning.