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    Frequently Asked Questions - Spiritual Care
    Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento

    How do I apply for Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at Sutter Medical Center in Sacramento?
    You can obtain an application from this website by clicking here. Your application should be forwarded directly to our CPE center. If you need support, please email our secretary, Ruth Singh at If you wish to mail your application to us our address is:

    Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento
    Spiritual Care Services
    Clinical Pastoral Education
    2800 L Street
    Sacramento, CA 95816-5600

    Once we have received your completed information we will contact you. We may or may not proceed with an interview, depending upon your qualifications as a potential student.

    What are the requirements for enrolling in CPE?

    In addition to completing the ACPE application, interested students are encouraged to have the following basic prerequisites:

    One Unit Interns:

    • Graduation from an accredited college or university
    • Theological study
    • Authorization to function in ministry by a religious authority
    • Ministry experience
    • Other educational experience
    Additional Criteria for Residents:
    • Evaluations from previous CPE units or supervised ministry
    • Graduate level education or capacity to function at this level
    Additional criteria for Supervisory CPE:
    • Successful meeting of level II Outcomes
    • Previous ministry experience, which includes having functioned in a pastoral role for at least three years
    • Membership in ACPE, Inc.
    • Consultation with a Supervisory Readiness Committee
    All CPE applicants must demonstrate:
    • Ability to function within a pastoral role
    • Motivation for challenge and personal growth
    • Willingness to be a contributing member of a small peer group
    • Ability to support persons of diverse religious traditions
    • Capacity to be a team member and to communicate professionally

    What are the dates for CPE and deadlines for application?

    ACPE applications are received on a continuous basis. Interviews typically begin nine months in advance of the intended unit. Applications for any particular unit will be accepted up to fifteen days prior to the beginning of that unit, unless our student capacity has been reached.

    The residency year begins in June and consists of 4 consecutive units. Students interested in one unit of training may apply to any unit throughout the year.

    What does CPE cost and are scholarships available?
    Tuition is $450.00 per unit. Scholarships are negotiable.

    I am an international student. How do I enroll in CPE?

    International students should send their completed application to us. Once accepted, the student should contact the ACPE national office (email: to apply for a visa. The visa process can take from six to nine months to complete. The visa must be obtained before you can begin CPE.

    Do I have to be ordained to do CPE?

    Can I get academic credit for CPE?
    Many theological schools and seminaries grant academic credit for CPE. You should contact them directly for this information.

    What are the different types of CPE?
    ACPE offers Level I and Level II CPE, as well as Supervisory CPE, in sequence. The outcomes for each level must be completed before moving to the next level. CPE at SMCS is offered in single units (11 weeks), in a year-long program (4 consecutive units), or through the Extended CPE Program which offers clinical training on a part-time basis over an eight month period.

    Tell me more about the Extended CPE Program.
    The Extended CPE program is designed to offer CPE training to those who choose to receive clinical training on a part-time basis. Because groups meet only once a week, along with flexible clinical hours, many students continue their present employment while participating in the program. Extended CPE students participate in the 24-hour on-call rotation one day every two weeks. One unit of accredited CPE training is granted after approximately 37 weeks (nine months).

    For detailed information about the Extended CPE program, email Chaplain Gerald Jones at
    Can I get CPE credit for previous work/ministry experience?
    No, ACPE credit is not granted for previous work experience. However, your previous work/ministry experience will be considered during your application process.

    I want to be a chaplain or a pastoral counselor. Do I need CPE?

    The Association of Professional Chaplains (, the National Association of Catholic Chaplains ( and the National Association of Jewish Chaplains ( and other organizations certify chaplains. The American Association of Pastoral Counselors ( trains and certifies pastoral counselors. Some CPE is required as a prerequisite. You should contact these organizations directly about their requirements.

    Can I do CPE online or through some other distance learning process?
    Neither Sutter Medical Center or ACPE offers distance learning programs.

    Where will I do ministry at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento?
    Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento is made up of several facilities that include Sutter General Hospital, Sutter Memorial Hospital, Sutter Oaks Midtown, and Sutter Center for Psychiatry as well as numerous other facilities, programs and services in the Sacramento area. SMCS provides a multitude of healthcare services to support and care for our community.

    Can I volunteer as a Chaplain at Sutter?
    Yes. Chaplain volunteers are trained chaplains working in a non-salaried capacity, carrying out the mission of SMCS and Spiritual Care Services. Chaplain volunteers are officially named Chaplain Associates.

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