Clinical Pastoral Education Q&A

We have been getting lots of questions regarding Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE). Part of this is because we probably haven’t done as good of a job as we should in explaining things. Another reason is that we have changed a number of things in the last year. So here we go.

1.  What forms of CPE does Bukal Life Care offer?  We have basically three programs for CPE.

A.  CPE Intensive. This is a 10-12 week program, 400 hours of didactic, group process, individual supervision and clinical work.

B.  CPE Extended. This is essentially the same as CPE Intensive but spread over 16 to 26 weeks.

C.  CPE  Half-unit. This is half of a normal unit.  200 hours instead of 400 hours.

D.  CPO. Clinical Pastoral Orientation is a 60 hour course (half in classroom and half out) that serves as a bible school bridge between “Intro to Pastoral Care” and CPE.

2.  Is CPE certified?   Yes. Bukal Life Care is certified as a training center for CPE by the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy ( Our CPE supervisors are certified as Supervisors-in-Training also by CPSP, and are members in good standing with CPSP-Philippines.

3.  Where is our CPE training held? It is held in Baguio City, Philippines. We work with local hospitals. We have and can work with other entities such as local jail and detention centers.

4.  Are there other places in the Philippines where CPSP-certified CPE is done?  Yes. There are certified training centers and supervisors-in-training in Manila. These are at this time done at St. Lukes Hospital (both QC and GC branches), and Philippine Children’s Medical Center. You can go to for more information about CPSP in the Philippines.

5.  Are there other CPE programs available in the Philippines that are not CPSP-certified?  Absolutely. There are many such programs, and these vary greatly. Instead of trying to list them… a simple websearch should be helpful. One of these organizations is CPECF at

6.  What is the cost for CPE with Bukal Life Care?  The basic cost is P11,000. This covers tuition, administration fee, and supervisory fee. Additionally, trainees should have approximately P2000 to P3000 on hand for material costs and retreats. Transportation, lodging, and food are worked out by the trainee.  The above cost is for one unit of CPE. For a half-unit, the cost is P6500.

7  Are there scholarships available?  Generally… No. We used to charge P15,000 but then provided a number of scholarships. We chose to reduce the cost to something more affordable, but then get rid of most scholarships. There is an institution or two that we partner with in which special arrangements are made, however.

8.  When is CPE happening in 2013?  We presently have a batch finishing in February. The next batch is in March, starting the 18th and continuing for 10 weeks. This is our “Summer Intensive.” A few trainees are expecting to be doing half units or extended during this time as well. The follow-on batch will start in July. Most likely the final batch for 2013 will begin in October.

9.  How many CPE Supervisors-in-Training do you have? We have two. They are Ms. Celia Munson and Ms. Joyce Gray. We have 3 or 4 more that we hope to get certified within the next few months.

10.  How can I apply for CPE?  Send us an email at We will send you an application. Return the application along with a personal autobiography.  We will review and get back to you.

11.  What is the process for progress within the CPE and CPSP certification system?  Each unit of CPE (400 hours) moves one forward in clinical pastoral development. We generally focus on a 4 unit system. Completion of Unit 1 of CPE opens up the opportunity to join a chapter of CPSP-Philippines. Once in a chapter, one can work towards the first level certification “Clinically-trained Minister” (CTM). Completing Unit 2 of CPE provides the background needed to work towards the next certification levels ACC and APC (Associate Clinical Chaplain and Associate Pastoral Counselor). Completion of four unites of CPE provides the background needed to work towards the certifications CC and PC (Clinical Chaplain and Pastoral Counselor). Beyond Unit 4, one can work towards being accepted into the Supervisor-in-Training program. NOTE: completing units of CPE does not give you the certifications but helps meet minimum requirements for these certifications.

12.  When are the different units held (unit 1 versus 2, 3, and 4)? Various units are held simultaneously. CPE trainees are put into groups of 4-7 members under a supervisor. Commonly, these groups will have individuals doing different units. The supervisor holds different trainees to different standards depending on what unit they are working on, and must do different readings and requirements based on what unit they are working on.

13.  Can’t CPE be used as a form of psychotherapy?  It really should not be. First, that is not the purpose of CPE, although the supervision does provide a level of therapeutic care. Second, because individuals are brought together into groups, people who come for reasons other than ministerial can be disruptive to group process.


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