How do I apply for Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)?

  Your application should be sent directly to the center where you wish to enroll.  An application and a directory of ACPE accredited centers can be obtained from the ACPE website ( or from the ACPE national office (email: ).   The center will then contact you for an interview. 

What are the requirements for enrolling in CPE?

ACPE’s standards require either graduation from high school/GED or ordination by a faith community or commission to function in ministry by an appropriate religious authority.  All other admission criteria are determined by the specific ACPE accredited center where the student applies. Many centers require some form of prior theological studies.   There are additional national standards for applicants to Supervisory CPE.

What does CPE cost and are scholarships available?

Tuition is determined by each CPE center. Some centers have scholarship programs.  There is not a scholarship program at the national level.  Questions should be directed to the specific ACPE center.

I am an international student.   How do I enroll in CPE?

International students should make application at the center of their choice.  Once accepted, the student should contact the ACPE national office (email: to apply for a visa.  The visa process can take from six to nine months to complete.  The visa must be obtained before you can begin CPE.

Can I get academic credit for CPE?

Many theological schools and seminaries grant academic credit for CPE.  You should contact them directly for this information.

I want to be a chaplain or a pastoral counselor. Do I need CPE?

The Association of Professional Chaplains (, the National Association of Catholic Chaplains ( and the National Association of Jewish Chaplains ( and other organizations certify chaplains.  The American Association of Pastoral Counselors  ( trains and certifies pastoral counselors.  Some CPE is required as a pre-requisite.  You should contact these organizations directly about their requirements.