“Taking Friendship and Care Into the World”

Clinical Pastoral Education is education for pastoral care, involving the acquisition of skills, personal development and spiritual or theological integration.

It began as a training movement in the 1920’s in the USA, and since then has spread throughout the world. Successful completion of a unit is recognised world-wide. Courses at The Canberra and Region Centre for Spiritual Care and Clinical Pastoral Education are authorised and accredited by the NSW Council for CPE, which is an affiliated body of the Australia and New Zealand Association for Clinical Pastoral Education.

CPE takes place in a setting where the trainee exercises a ministry of pastoral care to people in varying degrees of need.  The trainee learns how to be effectively present and to relate appropriately to the emotional and spiritual life of the person, enabling them to draw on their own inner resources in their current situation. The trainee learns to call on all their own resources, including their spiritual and theological life, to best provide care for the person in need.

The Canberra and Region Centre for Spiritual Care and CPE involves adults in experiential learning.  It is inclusive of psychological, sociological, interpersonal and theological components. 

The Method involves a process of supervised action/reflection where trainees:

  1. minister with people in a variety of settings and circumstances
  2. set and purse goals and objectives as part of an individual learning contract
  3. reflect, record and present experiences of pastoral ministry, individually and in groups
  4. recognise and appropriately respond to the complexity of issues and emotions associated with pastoral experience.
  5. work towards developing their won theology of Pastoral Care that is both contemporary and functional within the context of their faith tradition.
  6. evaluate all aspects of the pastoral practice; incorporate new leanings into their perceptions and behaviours.



CPE is widely recognised as professional training for ministry.  CPE brings trainees (lay people, theological students, ministers) into supervised encounters in a variety of circumstances and institutions.

Trainees develop effectiveness in ministry though intense involvement with people and through feedback from peers and supervisors.

The essential elements of CPE include:

  • a specific time period
  • the actual practice of ministry to people
  • detailed reporting and evaluation of that practice
  • theological reflection
  • individual and group supervision
  • and individual contract for learning
  • a process concept of learning
  • a theoretical perspective on elements of the program
  • a small group of peers in a common learning experience.
  • a qualified and accredited supervisor



A supervised action/reflection style pastoral and spiritual care for all contexts including mental health and aged care.

  1. A self directed, supervised action/reflection style  of learning.
  2. A process to help identify and discover gifts for ministry to others.
  3. An inter-disciplinary setting for learning.
  4. A process to learn and integrate communication skills, aspects of personal development, and theological or spiritual insight.
  5. A place to explore and integrate pastoral identity.
  6. An introduction to peer group supervision as an ongoing way to learn through the work of pastoral care and ministry.
  7. Clear understanding of the nature of the pastoral relationship and the art of the pastoral conversation.


Description of Units offered 

“Training is available for people from all traditions”


This is a 40 hour unit designed to introduce the experience of pastoral care, and the nature, scope and philosophy of CPE. It includes a placement visitation and the preparation of a presentation to the supervised peer group. People wishing to do a full Basic unit are required to do an Introductory unit first.   read more…..


Fee for Introductory Unit is $330.

Apply here…


This is a 400 hour unit. The hours are made up of approximately 80 hours of group work, 10 hours of individual supervision, at least 150 hours placement visiting, plus reading and the preparation of presentations for supervision.

Basic units are offered in an extended form with weekly groups from May to November, usually excluding school holidays, as well as in an intensive form (full time) over 10 weeks during summer (December to February). On some occasions times for extended units are varied to suit particular conditions. read more…..


Fee for Basic Course is $1300

Apply  here 



This is a 400 hour unit similar in outline to a basic unit, but with advanced didactic and supervision. Trainees are asked to prepare a case study and an essay on an appropriate topic. On completion of the unit they are interviewed for assessment at an advanced level. read more…

Fee for Advanced Level Course is $1500

Apply here



Application requirements as shown on the Application Form.



Trainees in CPE have placements in real life settings, hospitals, gaols, remand centres, hospices, aged care facilities, parishes and community agencies.

Most have placements in hospitals, and unless otherwise arranged at the time of application, placements will be organised at the institution where the supervision and peer groups are held.

Please make any particular placement requests known at the time of application or at the initial interview.



  • Goal setting
  • Verbatim and other written presentations to the peer group and individually to the supervisor
  • Open groups of process and function
  • Teaching sessions
  • Case studies
  • Theological reflection
  • Journal keeping
  • Mid and end of unit evaluations



Please do not hesitate to contact the Administrator on 02 6244 2261 or at email address shown opposite.



The Canberra and Region

Centre for Spiritual Care and

Clinical Pastoral Education Inc

ABN 86 513 809 914

Location: The Canberra Hospital

Hands on Training

for Spiritual &

Pastoral Care