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Home | Community | Chaplaincy Services | Clinical Pastoral Education

Clinical Pastoral Education

Presbyterian's Chaplaincy Services Department helps support our community by providing an extensive clinical pastoral education care program, as well as outreach programs, like the Holiday Box Program.

Our chaplaincy education and outreach programs include:

Clinical Pastoral Education

Presbyterian offers a comprehensive Clinical Pastoral Education program, accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc., to foster excellence in the practice of spiritual care. Our program is the only ACPE CPE program in New Mexico. An interfaith professional education for ministry, theological students and ministers and lay persons serve as residents, interns, or extern chaplains providing spiritual care to patients and families at Presbyterian. A minimum of a bachelor's degree is required to be considered for any of the CPE programs, and a Master's in Theology or Divinity is preferred.

Out of intense involvement with people in need and the feedback from peers and faculty, students develop new awareness of themselves as people and of the needs of those to whom they minister. From theological reflection on specific human situations that occur in a healthcare environment, they gain a new understanding of ministry. Working as a part of the interdisciplinary team of helping people, CPE students develop rational skills and a deeper understanding of issues related to spirituality and health.

The CPE program at Presbyterian offers the following programs:

Year-long residency programs begin the second Monday in August and run for one calendar year. Successful completion of the program (1600 hours) includes four accredited units of CPE.

Extended units are offered in the fall of each year and run from October 9, 2017 - March 19, 2018. The application fee for extended units is $30.00 and the tuition is $750.00.

ACPE CPE Year-Long Residency Program

Presbyterian Hospital has a long history of providing spiritual care to its patients and staff. Our CPE students are well integrated into the healthcare team. Board Certified Chaplains provide mentoring and help in becoming oriented to the nursing units to which the residents are assigned.

Overview of Our Residency Curriculum

The goals and mission of our CPE program include:

  • Development of theological, critical, and clinical thinking skills for ministry
  • Development of superior active listening skills
  • Learning to offer a non-anxious presence in a changing healthcare environment
  • Clarify the CPE resident's call to ministry or profession
  • Learning how to be a chaplain and pastor on an interdisciplinary health care team
  • Integration of one's theology, theory, and practice
  • Participation in Spiritual Care Grand Rounds

Presbyterian Healthcare Services offers unique opportunities for learning in a culturally rich and diverse setting. Chaplain residents and interns will experience offering spiritual care to a diverse patient population from all over New Mexico. These include Hispanics from all over Central America, Mexican Americans and Native Americans. CPE students who are fluent in Spanish are a plus! PHS provides healthcare to twenty three Native American Tribes, the Navajo Nation and nineteen Pueblos that have been here for centuries. The Pueblos include: Zuni, Zia, Isleta, Acoma, Cochiti, Jemez, Laguna, Nambe, Taos, Sandia, and Santa Ana to name a few. Albuquerque is a mile high city at an elevation of 5300 feet. The winter climate is relatively mild with temperatures rarely going below zero. Average highs in the winter run about 38 - 55 degrees. Above all, our CPE program prepares you to compete for any chaplain's job in the United States. The two CPE supervisors have a total combined experience of 45 years and are veterans of providing spiritual care in the medical environment.

Residency Calendar

Residency year: August 28, 2017 -August 31, 2018
Residency year: August 27, 2018 -August 31, 2019
Extended units: The first Monday of October of each year thru the first Monday of April of the following year (24 weeks)

Fall Unit

Primary focus: Level I Learning Outcomes
Primary Theme: "Getting Started and Getting Grounded"
Curriculum topics:

  • Personal and professional self-awareness
  • How to utilize the clinical method of learning
  • Listening to your life; listening to your sacred story
  • Listening to the sacred story of patients and families; listening for metaphors
  • Grief and loss, end of life issues
  • Basic crisis intervention skills
  • The chaplain as pastor to the Interdisciplinary team
  • Pastoral care skills, including spiritual assessments and charting
  • Pastoral care theories and models
  • Learning how to dialogue with physicians, nurses, and health care professionals
  • Participation in Spiritual Care Grand Rounds
  • Theological Reflections on Dr. Atul Gawande's Being Mortal
  • Chaplain's Elevator Speech - what is a Chaplain and what does a chaplain do?

Winter Unit

Primary focus: Level I Learning Outcomes
Primary Theme: "Shedding the Mask of "Nice Pastor"
Curriculum topics:

  • Wayne Menking: When All Else Fails – Shedding the mask of "nice" pastor
  • Presentation of "My Journey With Grief" paper
  • Professional boundaries: Emotional, physical, and spiritual
  • Joel Barker: The Business of Paradigms (Spiritual, Pastoral, and Theological Paradigm Shifts)
  • Participation in Spiritual Care Grand Rounds
  • Development of Personal Mission Statement
  • The Chaplain Resident's Parallel Chart Note

Spring Unit

Primary focus: Level II Learning Outcomes
Primary Theme: "The Spiritual Direction of the CPE Resident"
Curriculum topics:

  • Nouwen and Rembrandt: Return of the Prodigal Son
  • The process of becoming board certified
  • Participation in Spiritual Care Grand Rounds
  • Theological Art Reflection: My Journey in CPE on Canvas
  • Review of the Twenty Two Competencies for Board Ce1tification

Summer Unit

Primary focus: Level II Learning Outcomes
Primary Theme: Models of Leadership and Management of a Pastoral Care Department
Curriculum topics:

  • Models of leadership
  • Rabbi Edwin Friedman: A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix
  • Presentation of a "Theory of Pastoral Care" paper
  • "Crucial Conversations" presented and facilitated by the Leadership Development Institute
  • The management of a pastoral care department
  • Looking for work: resumes and job interviews


CPE Application Process

The first step in applying for the CPE is to complete the application.

Clinical Pastoral Education Application

You can print the application, fill it out and send it along with the required supplementary material as indicated on the application to:

  • Debra Gallegos, CPE Registrar
  • Presbyterian Hospital, Department of Chaplaincy Services
  • P.O. Box 26666 Albuquerque, NM 87125-6666
Family Education Rights and Privacy Act Annual Notice (Standard 304.4)

Clinical Pastoral Education at Presbyterian Healthcare Services

Presbyterian Hospital has a long history of providing spiritual care to its patients and staff. Our clinical pastoral education (CPE) students are well integrated into the healthcare team. Six board certified chaplains are available to provide mentoring support and help orientate new students to their assigned nursing units.

The CPE residency is a full-time comprehensive program that prepares men and women for ministry. Whether you want to be a board certified chaplain, work in a parish ministry or a congregation, or serve as a military or hospice chaplain, this residency provides opportunities for clergy to deepen their self-awareness and function with greater competency. You will leave our CPE program with the ability to think clinically, reflect theologically, and you will be ready for any chaplain job in the country. Many of the men and women who graduate from this CPE program serve as staff chaplains and directors of pastoral care throughout the United States. Our CPE program provides the training and education required for board certification with the Association of Professional Chaplains. Presbyterian Healthcare Services is accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc. and is the only ACPE accredited CPE program in the state of New Mexico.

Year-Long Residency Program & Extended Units

Many of our CPE students are ministers and seminary students pursuing careers as professional hospital chaplains. We receive applications from all over the United States and the world. Our residency program requires a time commitment of at least 40 hours per week for 12 months. The extended unit is designed for ministry professionals or laity who would like to continue their educations with a flexible schedule. Residents are offered a stipend and are eligible for various benefits.

Prerequisites for Clinical Pastoral Education

CPE residencies are considered graduate level theological education. This program operates out of an experiential, action/reflection model of adult education. A minimum of a bachelor's degree is required for admission to all CPE programs. A master's degree in theology or divinity is preferred for residency, along with one previous unit of CPE.

Out of intense involvement with people in need and the feedback from peers and faculty, you will develop a new awareness of yourself as a pastoral care provider. The primary teacher is the patient. The primary classroom is located at the bedside with people who express existential, theological, and spiritual concerns and questions. The founder of CPE, Reverend Anton Boisen, referred to these patients as "living human documents." As a CPE student, you will gain a new understanding of your ministry, your theology, and life from the human situations you encounter in a healthcare environment. You will work as a part of an interdisciplinary team caring for patients, families, and staff. You will develop clinical and theological reflection skills and a deeper understanding of who you are as a provider of pastoral and spiritual care. Graduation from our program helps prepare you for board certification with the Association of Professional Chaplains.

The CPE program at Presbyterian Healthcare Services offers the following programs:

Year-long residency programs begin the second Monday in August and run for one calendar year. Successful completion of the program (1600 hours) includes four accredited units of CPE. Extended units are offered October 6th 2014 - March 18, 2015. The application fee for extended units is $30.00 and the tuition is $750.00.

How do I apply and how are applications processed?

Complete the face sheet of the application and answer the essay questions thoroughly. Send your application to Chaplain John Valentino, our CPE coordinator. You may email the application, mail us a hard copy, or fax it to 505-841-1960.

When we receive applications, we review them carefully to make sure all of the information and materials are complete. We will let you know if you are missing any materials.

We will send a letter of reference form to the names listed on your application. You do not need to have your references write their own letters.

Once this information has been received, the supervisor will schedule an initial phone conversation with you to become more familiar with your background and learning desires. This also provides an opportunity for you to learn more about Presbyterian as a CPE center, and about the supervisor.

If both the supervisor and applicant are still interested, a more formal on-site interview will be scheduled in Albuquerque.

Is there an application deadline?

No. CPE applications are considered on a first come, first serve basis. We will select and fill positions as we receive and interview applicants. Once the program is filled, the application process is closed.

What can I expect during the formal on-site interview?

Applicants will interview with the director of pastoral care, the CPE supervisors, and an admissions subcommittee comprised of staff chaplains and the professional advisory group. Applicants will also have opportunity to talk with current CPE students to learn about their experiences at Presbyterian firsthand. A tour of Presbyterian Hospital is also offered. We hope applicants will stay long enough in Albuquerque to become a little bit familiar with the area.

When should I expect a decision about my application?

The supervisor and interview committee will make a decision about your application between ten days and three weeks of the interview and inform you of their decision.

Who pays for interview expenses?

Applicants are responsible for their own expenses.

Is housing provided?

Presbyterian does not provide housing. There is a wide variety of apartments and rental properties available in Albuquerque.

Will I receive health insurance?

Residents are allowed to purchase employee benefits, including health insurance, at employee pricing.

Will I receive a salary?

Students receive a stipend during their residencies, which is determined by our administration and human resources departments. Please call or email us for more information.

If you have questions about our CPE programs or application process, please contact:

  • Chaplain John Valentino, ACPE Supervisor
  • Email:
  • Presbyterian Healthcare Services, Pastoral Care Department
  • P.O. Box 26666
  • Albuquerque, NM 87125

About the CPE Supervisors

Chaplain Jeff Hoppe is the director of chaplaincy services. He has a master's degree in divinity from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary and is fully-certified by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education. He is ordained and endorsed by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Chaplain Hoppe has more than 20 years of experience as a chaplain and CPE supervisor.

Chaplain John Valentino has a master's degree in divinity from Lincoln Christian Seminary and a Master of Science in leadership and adult education from the University of Memphis in Tennessee. He is certified by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc., and is ordained and endorsed by the Independent Christian Churches/Churches of Christ. Chaplain Valentino has more than 20 years of experience as a chaplain and CPE supervisor.

Testimonials About Our CPE Program

Do you recall having a really tough teacher in school, but when you look back you say, "That's the teacher and class I learned the most from?" That is my experience of CPE at Presbyterian Hospital – one of the toughest and best years of my life! My top goal was to learn how to be a chaplain – how to be present to individuals facing whatever challenge in life (which requires being who I am but also a set of skills). By the end of the program, I had confidence that no matter what I experienced in the arena of chaplaincy, I would be able to master it. That is an amazing sense of accomplishment coming from me, who in the beginning felt totally overwhelmed with what I had taken on and wondered if I would survive the year. And, so, I learned about how to be with others, and I learned how to be with me. The self- exploration and knowledge that is encouraged with CPE is invaluable. I learned so much about myself and was able to own parts of me that had been abandoned at a young age. This was not a comfortable process, but freeing. For this I will be forever thankful. I believe the leadership in the CPE program at Presbyterian comes with a top-notch supervisor and department head. The two staff chaplain mentors with whom I was fortunate to be paired with provided learning and support that will stay with me for a lifetime. And, so, with absolutely no hesitation, I would highly recommend anyone interested and qualified to take a year of their life for an amazing journey through clinical pastoral education at Presbyterian Healthcare Services. (Karen Wallace, CPE class of 2012 – 2013)

I found the CPE program at PHS to be a space for freedom to explore myself. This has resulted in a transformative life experience that has assisted me in foundational life principles such as self- awareness and self-care as I work with the various disciplines in pastoral care. This was made possible due to the leadership of Jeff Hoppe who established and provided an environment of safety and trust in which I developed as an adult learner and leader in a clinical setting. I believe the John Valentino's leadership will build upon what Jeff has established. In addition, I found that Presbyterian Health Care Services has integrated chaplaincy and spiritual care throughout the three PHS hospitals in Albuquerque. Upon completion of the twelve month residency, I felt confident to hit the ground running with future employment. The CPE program gave me the necessary tools for success. I strongly recommend you consider the CPE program at PHS as a viable and solid place to establish yourself as a trained professional in pastoral care. (Skip Murphy-Chase, CPE class of 2012 – 2013)

Accredited by: ACPE, Inc.
One West Court Square, Suite 325
Decatur, Georgia 30033
Trace Haythorn, Ph.D., Executive Director
Phone: 404-320-1472
Fax: 404-320-0849

Holiday Box Program

Each year, Presbyterian's Chaplaincy Services works with local schools to identify students in need and helps the caring people of Presbyterian "adopt" families for the holiday season.

In 2012, more than 95 families were adopted, and each was provided with presents – including (but, luckily for the kids, not only) toiletries and food. Presbyterian employees hand-deliver the holiday boxes, coming away from the experience richer for having helped others in need.

The Presbyterian community also provided support to more than two thousand homeless high school students in 2012.

For more information on the program and on adopting a family for the next holiday season, contact:

If you would like to make a cash donation in support of this program, please mail your check to:

  • PHS Chaplaincy Services
  • PO Box 26666 Albuquerque, NM 87135-666

In the note section of your check, designate your gift: "Holiday Box Program."