CPE is Clinical Pastoral Education, also known as Clinical Pastoral Training. Students may come from any faith, and training units are conducted in cohorts of three to seven students, typically from varied faith backgrounds.

The aim of CPE is to enable students to gain greater self-awareness, to become skilled listeners and observers, to develop competence in integrating the theological and behavioral sciences, and to explore ministry areas such as grief and bereavement, ethical principles, legal issues, cross cultural relations, and collaboration as a spiritual care professional on an interdisciplinary team.

Students present case studies based on their spiritual care visits at their clinical sites. Students also participate weekly in student reflection groups, as well as weekly one-on-one supervision/coaching sessions.

Settings (clinical sites) in which students conduct spiritual care visits vary. Here are some examples: spiritual care visits may be made with patients in hospitals, with clients in hospice care (including bereaved family members), with incarcerated persons, or with members of a student’s mosque, synagogue, church, meeting, etc. Students may be volunteers or may be employed by their site.

In addition to clinical methods of learning, standard didactic pedagogy will be employed (required reading, written assignments, review and testing). Meetings are normally held virtually.

Units can be full-time (12 weeks) or part-time (24 weeks). Both require 300 clinical hours and 100 hours of didactic activities, which means that full-time students must allow approximately 35 hours each week to complete the 12-week unit, and part-time students must allow approximately 17 hours each week for the 24-week unit. Certificates of unit completion are awarded by the Institute for Clinical Pastoral Training (ICPT). ICPT’s accreditation is recognized by the U. S. Department of Education and by the Veterans Administration. The Well of Dyersburg is a corporate affiliate of ICPT.

Successful completion of four units of CPE is the first step toward becoming a certified chaplain. Limited tuition aid may be available during some units for continuing students.

Dr. Goings is a Board Certified CPE Supervisor offering ICPT CPE units through The Well of Dyersburg. Request information on upcoming unit dates, application materials, and costs, via the Contact page on this website or email Carolyn@thewellofdyersburg.org or call 731-325-9000 and leave a message. Testimonials from some former students are here below:

From former students:

       “What a blessing it was to have Rev. Goings for CPE supervision. Leadership like hers is especially needed in times like these. Students pursuing chaplaincy need her insights and ability to ask the right questions now more than ever.”
Daniel Hetzer, Hospital Chaplain (Level 1 Trauma), Sarasota, Florida

 “Dr. Goings was never biased toward views other than her own but was at ease challenging students’ views in ways that forced us to wrestle a bit instead of just holding fast. She managed to be candid as she provided genuine support. I always felt respected, never ridiculed for any of my beliefs while being taught to spot blind areas within my own views. Dr. Goings’ supervision provided me with some eye-opening moments. She was wise and insightful and shared her understanding in a respectful, helpful manner.”
Rev. Brad Eades, Bereavement Manager, Decatur, Alabama

        “I went through many tough adjustments as I changed professions—from being a Registered Nurse for many years to becoming a successful and passionate Board Certified Chaplain. I could not have done it without Dr. Carolyn’s support and respectful guidance.”
Chaplain Rebecca Ing, Virginia Beach, Virginia