Clinical Pastoral Education Program

Program description

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is a clinical based education program that provides training for leaders from all communities of faith who want to further develop their spiritual care and counseling skills. Our CPE center is accredited through the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc., and is given graduate level credit at seminaries. It combines hands-on spiritual care with qualified supervision and peer group reflection, preparing people for specialized chaplaincies, and enhancing faith leaders’ congregational ministries.

How it works

The CPE supervisor/educator uses the hospital setting to teach pastoral care and counseling to faith leaders, pastors, seminarians and lay ministers. Individually designed learning contracts focus on pastoral reflection, competence and specialization in spiritual care and chaplaincy. The CPE program, as well as the Chaplain Services Department, seeks to augment and support the mission of Mayo Clinic Health System: Inspire hope and contribute to health and well being by providing the best care to every patient through integrated clinical practice, education, and research.

Program components 

  • Group process learning
    • Each unit is built on interpersonal group process learning in which six seminarians, faith leaders and pastors learn purposeful listening skills and the basics of narrative pastoral counseling theory.
  • Clinical work in spiritual care/chaplaincy within a region of multiple hospitals
    • Each seminarian/faith leader/pastor provides spiritual and pastoral care in the hospital setting, working with a special focus on serving men, women, and children with immediate, chronic, and/or acute health care needs.
  • Individual supervision
    • Monthly individual consultation for processing clinical work and interpersonal issues is also offered.  

Program structure

Two units are offered each year: June through December and January through May. Each unit of CPE consists of: 

  • 300 hours of clinical work in chaplaincy/spiritual care.
  • 100 hours of inter-personal group process and individual supervision.

Clinical placement

Mayo Clinic Health System CPE includes placement at Mankato, Fairmont, Waseca, St. James, Springfield, and New Prague.

  • Each placement includes medical surgical units, emergency services and clinical referrals.
  • Several also include behavioral/mental health, obstetrics, nursing home care, palliative care and hospice.

ACPE outcomes for faith leaders

  • Articulate central themes of religious heritage and the theological understanding that informs ministry.
  • Identify and discuss major life events and relationships, as well as community and cultural contexts, which 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.
  • Recognize relational dynamics within group contexts.
  • Demonstrate integration of conceptual understandings presented in the curriculum into pastoral practice. Initiate helping relationships across diverse populations.
  • Use the clinical methods of learning to achieve their educational goals.
  • Formulate clear and specific goals for continuing pastoral formation with reference to personal strengths and weaknesses.  
  • Articulate an understanding of the pastoral role that is congruent with personal values, basic assumptions and personhood.
  • Provide pastoral ministry to diverse people, taking into consideration multiple elements of cultural and ethnic diversity, social conditions, systems, and justice issues without imposing their own perspectives.


The Clinical Pastoral Education Program at Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato is accredited for level I and II CPE by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc.

Application process

The Clinical Pastoral Education Program at Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato is a satellite of Mayo Clinic CPE. To apply, go to the student application at and submit your application to


The Rev. Dr. Susan Allers Hatlie
Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches
Director of Pastoral Education
ACPE Supervisor