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Clinical pastoral education

Clinical pastoral education is interfaith professional education for ministry.

About CPE

The Association of Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE) is the premier Department of Education (DOE) recognized organization that provides the highest quality Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) programs for spiritual care professionals of any faith and in any setting. We do this through a rigorous accreditation and certification process for centers and educators that provide CPE. The depth of our training enables students to realize their full potential to strengthen the spiritual health of people in their care as well as themselves. The mission of ACPE is to positively affect people’s lives by nurturing connections to the sacred through experiential education and spiritual care. The ACPE Vision is to create measurable and appreciable improvement in spiritual health that transforms people and communities in the US and across the globe.

 The values of ACPE:

  • Diversity and inclusion - demonstrated through cultural humility, attentiveness and collegiality.
  • Integrity - demonstrated through trust, respect and excellence.
  • Curiosity - demonstrated through listening, experiential models, innovation and creativity.
  • Process - demonstrated through action/reflection, listening, experiential and relational models.
  • Service - demonstrated through compassion, authenticity and growth.

ACPE is nationally recognized as an accrediting agency in the field of clinical pastoral education by the U.S. Secretary of Education through the U.S. Department of Education.

About CPE at VA Puget Sound Health Care System

We consider our CPE program to be groundbreaking, using creative and innovative methods of learning to educate pastors to provide relevant pastoral, in not only the basics of listening skills and reflective responses, but also addressing: moral injury, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), substance abuse, gerontology and spinal cord injury medical concerns of our particular patient population. In addition, students can experience the more standard specialties of a large urban hospital: oncology, telemetry and cardiac care unit, medical and surgical units, intensive care unit, rehabilitation, and behavioral health.

Students have the opportunity to train at two very distinct campuses as part of the ACPE Program: Seattle Division in Seattle, Washington and American Lake Division a few miles south of Tacoma, Washington.

The VA Puget Sound Health Care System ACPE program is accredited for all levels of ACPE to include: intern, extern, resident, fellow and certified educator training. All students are under the watchful eye of staff preceptors who work with students as they develop their pastoral care skills and their assigned ACPE supervisor who partners with the student in this unique educational program.

Interested applicants should contact the VA Puget Sound Health Care System ACPE Educator and Program Director, Chaplain Joshua Sendawula, MDiv., PhD, BCC at or 206-768-5210.

The VA Puget Sound Health Care System CPE Center is accredited to offer Level I, Level II, and Certified Educator ACPE CPE by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc. (ACPE); 55 Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard, Suite 835, Atlanta, GA 30308;