Skip to Content

Helping you stay informed about programs and services that matter! Learn more

Clinical pastoral education

VA Puget Sound provides exceptional opportunities in interfaith professional education for ministry.

CPE residency and fellowship at VA Puget Sound Health Care System

Experience clinical spiritual care learning in an intercultural and interfaith setting. VA Puget Sound Health Care System stands at the hub of military and medical resources in the Pacific Northwest.  University of Washington medical students and medical residents and fellows from different specialties rotate between UW Hospital, VA Puget Sound Medical Centers and Harborview Medical Center (Level 1 trauma). Working with these students enriches our CPE learning process. We offer cross-program didactics, experience with complex spiritual cases and increased understanding of military and veteran culture. The culture of VA Puget Sound strongly emphasizes teaching in all disciplines related to health care – this is a teaching hospital.  The philosophy within VA Puget Sound consistently emphasizes a team approach to patient care.

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.

The VA Puget Sound Health Care System ACPE program is accredited for all levels of ACPE, including 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.

Residency and fellowship positions for 2024-25

VA Puget Sound Health Care System will be seeking candidates for the following positions for the academic year, beginning September 9, 2024 through August 15, 2025:

  • 3 residency positions that will rotate between geriatrics, critical care, and Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) center
  • 4 fellowship positions in geriatrics, substance abuse treatment, mental health and palliative/hospice Care

Applicant requirements

Requirements for applicants to this program:

  • Citizen of the United States
  • Fully vaccinated (or authorized waiver)
  • Master of Divinity from an accredited seminary
  • One unit of completed CPE

Unique benefits of this opportunity

Here are some of the benefits of VA Puget Sound's CPE program:

  • Residents:  $40,830.00 stipend, paid biweekly,
  • Fellows: $43,688.00 stipend, paid biweekly,
  • Optional health and life insurance,
  • 10 days of vacation leave,
  • 9 days of sick leave,
  • 11 days of paid holidays, and,
  • No application or tuition fees.

Contact us to begin your application

Joshua Sendawula, MDiv., PhD., BCC (NAVAC), is the Certified Educator.  Faculty for the resident or resident fellowship programs include staff chaplains and leaders in other disciplines.

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.

VA Puget Sound is an accredited CPE center

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.

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); Floor 4, 120 West Trinity Place, Decatur, GA 30030; 404-320-1472;