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Clinical Pastoral Education

Our Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program offers education for ordained and lay ministers to develop into pastoral care providers. Programs include a yearlong residency, basic extended unit and supervisor in training program.

The Association of Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc. (ACPE) educates professionals and lay persons for ministry in hospitals, hospices, nursing homes, mental health centers, congregations and other settings. Through Gundersen's Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE), you'll develop skills and understanding to serve people at crossroads in their lives. Some are dealing with serious illnesses; some are aging or facing new challenges; and others are dealing with death.

Apply now

Download the application and instructions. You can also read more in our program brochure. Please email  [email protected] if you'd like to request a program brochure.

Once your application is complete, submit it via email to [email protected].

Download application

Our CPE program offers education for ordained and lay ministers to develop into mature pastoral care providers.

Programs include:

  • Yearlong residency (preferred - 1 ACPE unit of prior CPE)
  • Extended unit
  • Summer intensive unit
  • Certified Educator Candidate Training Program

Students serve in the hospital, hospice and other clinical settings in our community. CPE students work closely with our faculty, Gundersen Health System professionals and with a rich diversity of patients and residents.

Program information

CPE residency level I and level II

Five to six positions are available beginning Aug. 19, 2024, for a 12-month plus one week residency comprised of three four-month terms. Clinical assignments are in our Level II trauma center and hospital setting with possible hospice placement. Preferred successful completion of one CPE unit. Consult the program brochure for benefit details.

Certified Educator Candidate Training Program

One position is available as a certified educator candidate (CEC) for the purpose of becoming certified as an ACPE educator.

Prerequisites include:

  • Successful completion of a minimum of four units of CPE.
  • Demonstration of spiritual care and conceptual competence as evidenced by the completion of Level I/Level II ACPE Outcomes.
  • Master's degree in theology or equivalent required.
  • Ordination or commissioning to function as a spiritual care provider by an appropriate religious/spiritual authority as determined by ACPE.
  • Endorsement for ministry by an appropriate religious/spiritual authority as determined by ACPE.
  • Completion of ACPE CEC application including essay questions (set up of ACPE portfolio is not necessary to apply).

For more information, a description of the CEC educational process and the CEC application please visit the ACPE website.

Extended CPE, level I

Four to seven positions are available for part-time CPE. The class meets virtually on Fridays from 7:45 a.m. - noon from October through April, with the exception of orientation during the first two weeks when students will meet, in-person, on Thursdays and Fridays from 7:45 a.m. – 4 p.m. Other in-person meetings will be scheduled, as needed, throughout the unit. Each student is on call at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center an average of two times each month. The program is open to clergy, seminarians and lay persons. Our next Extended CPE unit begins Oct. 3, 2024 - April 26, 2025.

Please email [email protected] to request a program brochure.

Summer intensive unit, level I

Four to six positions are available for the summer full-time unit for those seeking initial experience in pastoral/spiritual care. The unit addresses basic competencies of spiritual care and issues of pastoral reflection, formation and identity. Unit begins the day after Memorial Day running thru mid-August.

Please email [email protected] to request a program brochure.

Tuition per unit

Thanks to generous support from Gundersen Medical Foundation, tuition cost is only $200 per unit.

Stipends and benefits

2024 stipends*

  • Extended and Summer Interns - $750 (subject to approval)
  • CPE Residency - $41,600
  • Supervisory - $53,580

* All stipends are subject to change based on labor laws and budget approvals.

Benefits: Please consult the CPE brochure for benefits for your specified program.

Our faculty

  • Rev. Israel Mutema, ACPE-CE
  • Rev. Christian Ricker, BCC
  • Rev. Marvin Jonasen, BCC
  • Rev. Anna Gordon
  • Rev. Megan Pike, BCC
  • Rabbi Sam Schauvaney
  • Rev. Greg Jones
  • Sr. Philomena Adah, FSPA
  • Rev. Will Runyon, BCC
  • Thomas Harter, PhD, Clinical Ethics
  • Andrew Borgert, PhD, Biostatistician
  • Eileen Severson, MLIS
  • Denise Nicholson, RN, Caritas Coach

Contact Spiritual Care

Spiritual Care
Gundersen Health System
1900 South Ave, H01-022
La Crosse, WI 54601

Contact Association of Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc.

We Work, Floor 4
120 West Trinity Place
Decatur, GA 30030

Support CPE

Monetary contributions allow students opportunities for growth and discovery in spiritual meaning.


1900 South Ave.
La Crosse, WI 54601

(608) 782-7300

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