Professional Chaplaincy at Mount Sinai

Professional Chaplaincy at Mount Sinai is designed to meeting the spiritual needs of people living with illness and the needs of their loved ones. Scientific research and evaluation of the outcomes of pastoral care research have been initiated during the last decade and there is now agreement as to the goals of pastoral care education and standards of practice for pastoral care in acute and sub-acute settings.

The Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, as major certifying board for Chaplaincy education was formed in 1967. It brought together organizations that had been providing pastoral care education for approximately 40 years, establishing a standard for Chaplaincy Education. Since then, the Association of Professional Chaplains (APC), The Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE), The Canadian Association for Pastoral Practice and Education (CAPPE), The National Association of Jewish Chaplains (NAJC) and the National Association of Catholic Chaplains (NACC) have joined to establish a shared Code of Ethics and established requirements for chaplaincy certification in 2004.

Board Certified Chaplains

Board Certified Chaplains are not the same as community clergy. While all Chaplains must have a background and sponsorship from a religious organization or seminary, chaplains have specialized training in hospital and health care settings to qualify for their work. All Chaplains are members of the clergy, but most members of the clergy are not Chaplains. To become a Board Certified Chaplain, members of the clergy (priests, ministers, rabbis, pastors, imams, cantors, reverends, deacons, nuns, monks) enroll in special training entitled, Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE).

CPE programs are accredited by the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE). There are about 500 CPE training programs in hospitals and other medical facilities in the US. Class size is usually 5 to 8 people who meet standards for admission into these programs (Masters Degree or equivalent, endorsement from denominational group or ordination, personal interview with program director).

To be certified, the candidate must:

  • Complete four units of CPE (400 clinical hours per unit, 120 classroom seminar and supervision hours per unit) 
  • Complete 2,000 post CPE clinical hours
  • Submit application package, including samples of written materials from CPE, evaluations for each unit, theological statement, personal history, letters of recommendation, and proof of all post-High School degrees
  • Be a member in good standing of denominational group and chaplaincy organization 
  • Oral interview with certifying Board

A Board Certified Chaplain must provide proof of continuing education hours, and participate in a peer review process every three years. Chaplains are bound to the Code of Ethics for Chaplains, Pastoral Counselors, Pastoral Educators and Students.

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