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Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) Level 1

30 point unit

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is a programme of education and formation for the work of pastoral care. The programme’s methodology utilises the action/reflection model of learning. The action component entails the actual provision of pastoral care within a pastoral setting. This care acknowledges and attends to the human condition, particularly life’s religious and spiritual dimensions. The reflection component entails the exploration of the ministry experience, the dynamics present, and the theological and spiritual dimensions. This action/reflection process is integral to the participants’ understanding and the formation of their pastoral identity and competence. CPE is “learning theology from the living human document” (Anton Boisen).

The goal of the programme is that the participant will be acknowledged first hand as the bearer of the sacred and the distinctive provider of spiritual and pastoral care.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this unit, it is expected that students will be able to:

  1. develop goals for their learning which identify their learning edges for the Unit
  2. begin, develop and conclude pastoral interactions with people with varied experiences
  3. identify and respond to a person’s spiritual needs and resources in ways that contribute to a person’s wellbeing
  4. demonstrate a basic capacity to engage with inter-disciplinary staff
  5. engage in reflection on their experience of spiritual care in writing, with a group of peers and with their supervisor, as they work towards their goals and objectives
  6. reflect upon their encounters and pastoral experience within a spiritual/theological framework
  7. articulate how the insights gained from theological/spiritual reflection on the pastoral experiences can be incorporated into future pastoral practice
  8. demonstrate a growing awareness of their identity as a spiritual carer.

Co-Requiste Requirements

In Undergraduate programs:
At least one unit at 2000 level or higher in CT AND at least one unit in DP AND at least one unit in Field B; AND demonstrated pastoral competence; AND a successful interview with the CPE Centre Director or delegate.

In Postgraduate programs:
At least one Unit in Field B or in CT AND One Unit in DP; AND demonstrated pastoral competence; AND a successful interview with the CPE Centre Director or delegate.


  • Statement of Learning Goals (200 words) 5%
  • Reports of spiritual care with people (8 of) (approx. 6000 words) 30%
  • Faith/spirituality and ministry story (min 100 words) 5%
  • Case study (2500 words) 10%
  • Mid term evaluation paper (2500 words) 20%
  • Final evaluation paper (2500 words) 30%


This unit is graded Pass/Fail
ALL tasks MUST be completed satisfactorily to pass this unit.


Lecturers will be those already approved by ASPEA and recorded by the University.


No particular readings are set for this unit