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Clinical Pastoral Education

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 Health System 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; others are dealing with death.

Apply Today

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].


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

Programs include:

  • Yearlong residency (Preferred - 1 credit of prior CPE)
  • Summer intensive unit
  • Extended 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

Summer CPE

Four to six positions are available for the summer full-time unit beginning May 30, 2023 and ending Aug. 11, 2023.

CPE residency level I and level II

Five to six positions are available beginning Aug. 21, 2023, 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.

Extended CPE

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. 6, 2022 -April 28, 2023.

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

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.
  • Graduate theological degree or equivalent.
  • Ordination or commissioning to function as a spiritual care provider by an appropriate religious/spiritual authority as determined by ACPE.
  • Endorsement/statement of accountability from 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.

Tuition per unit

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

Stipends and Benefits

2021 stipends*

  • Extended - $750 (subject to approval)
  • Summer - $750 (subject to approval)
  • CPE Residency - $40,800
  • Supervisory - $52,530

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

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


  • Rev. Dr. Robert Petite, D.Min., ACPE-CE, BCC, LMFT(IL)
  • Rev. Israel Mutema, CEC
  • Sr. Marcia Baumert, BCC
  • Rev. Christian Ricker, BCC
  • Rev. Marvin Jonasen, BCC
  • Rev. Anna Gordon
  • Rev. Megan Pike, BCC
  • Sharon Lukert, Retired ACPE Associate Certified Educator
  • Thomas Harter, PhD, Clinical Ethics
  • Karen Hayter, MS, RN, PhD
  • Andrew Borgert, PhD, Biostatistician
  • Eileen Severson, MLIS
  • Denise Nicholson, RN, Caritas Coach

Contact Spiritual Care

Call: (608) 775-3620

Fax: (608) 775-3557

Email: [email protected]

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

Association of Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc.

55 Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard, Suite 835
Atlanta, GA 30308
(404) 320-1472
Fax: (404) 320-0849
Email: [email protected]

Support CPE

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

Donate Today

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1900 South Ave.
La Crosse, WI 54601

(608) 782-7300

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