While each program enjoys some latitude in the specific seminars that are offered, the following are often included:
Clinical Case Review
The Clinical Case study is the principle learning tool in CPE and each trainee is required to present a case study of an actual pastoral encounter. Each member of the peer group will provide feedback on the particular case presented. The goal of the case study is to promote peer consultation and to foster pastoral competence.
Group Relations or Interpersonal Relationship Group
The peer group learning experience has a dual focus. First, it provides opportunities for trainees to explore various personal and professional issues that may arise during their ministry. Second, it allows an experiential study of group formation and development utilizing the group experience itself as an educational tool.
Various interdisciplinary presentations are provided for the group’s learning. CPE supervisors and other professionals present information on pastoral, ethical and health care issues. Trainees may also have the opportunity to offer a didactic of their own choosing.
Specific reading assignments will be issued during each unit of CPE, and the peer group will meet at regular intervals to review the assigned reading materials.
Trainees meet one-on-one with a supervisor to review pastoral work, reflect on personal and professional growth, and evaluate progress toward individual learning goals which are established at the beginning of each unit. Individual supervision may be arranged upon a trainee’s request.
Action – Reflection in a Group Learning Process
The Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program at UAMS Medical Center engages in an action – reflection model of learning, central to the CPE experience. The chaplain residents and interns are involved in direct patient care, and it is that experience and reflection on the actual pastoral encounter that fosters the chaplain’s learning. At UAMS Medical Center, trainees are involved with people from diverse religious and cultural backgrounds. Trainees are assigned to specific areas, function as ecumenical chaplains, and are responsible for providing pastoral care to patients, families and staff. Trainees attend interdisciplinary meetings and participate with other professionals in providing patient care. Chaplain residents and interns also share on-call responsibilities, which provide learning opportunities in the midst of a developing health care crisis.
Key concepts in the action reflection learning process include:
- Learning from experience, both personal and professional, through case study reflection, peer feedback, and the supervisory encounter in such a way as to shape future action.
- Working with a peer group, to be held accountable and to hold others accountable, for personal and professional development.
- Gaining awareness as a pastoral care giver while developing pastoral identity and authority.