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Chaplaincy Specialization

Chaplaincy Specialization

The Chaplaincy Specializations are designed for those called to Hospital Chaplaincy or Military Chaplaincy.

Offered with:

Hospital Chaplaincy

Clinical Pastoral Education

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) brings seminary students into supervised ministry with people in crisis, usually in a hospital setting. Portland Seminary is a member of the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education. The heart of CPE is ministry with people and learning from that ministry through reflection, discussion, and evaluation with other students and a certified CPE supervisor at an ACPE accredited training center. Any GFES student in the Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree program may choose to do his or her internship in a CPE setting (requires application to and acceptance by a local CPE center; spaces are limited).

Students pay regular seminary tuition for seminary credits awarded for CPE units, and also pay tuition at the CPE center. However, students may be eligible to be reimbursed for the tuition paid to the hospital for the first 1.5 CPE units (9 semester hours). Reimbursement is limited to 75% of the seminary tuition paid for the credits awarded for CPE experience. Students can apply for reimbursement by submitting receipts upon successful completion of the CPE program.

Hospital Chaplaincy Path

    1. Acceptance into the MDiv degree program (some hospitals are beginning to accept people with 72-hour seminary MA degrees as chaplains, but the MDiv is preferred).
    2. Completion of a unit of CPE training at an approved training site. A chaplaincy student would take PSTD 565 CPE training (6 hours) in lieu of internship. CPE units are typically offered in two formats:
      1. Summer: 11-week full-time internship = 1 unit (100 hours of structured training and 300 hours of clinical practice—stipend offered by some hospitals)
      2. Fall or Spring: part-time extended unit = 1 unit spread over 4-5 months (designed for those working full-time—no stipend)
    3. Ordination or similar endorsement from the student's denomination.
    4. After completion of the MDiv, the individual would apply for a year of residency at an approved CPE training hospital. These are full-time paid positions during which the individual completes an additional 3-4 units of CPE. Application should be made one year before desired placement.
    5. After fulfilling additional requirements from the Association of Professional Chaplains (APC), the individual would apply for board certification. Students are encouraged to become student members of APC.
    6. The seminary CPE director posts information about several residency programs; students may also contact centers directly through

Military Chaplaincy

Those who feel called to military chaplaincy should contact the branch of service in which they desire to serve. The chaplain representative/recruiter for the area will acquaint you with the scholarships, requirements, and steps toward accomplishing this objective.

Most branches of the military require the master of divinity (MDiv) degree for their chaplains. The MDiv course is designed to enable the student to prepare for ordination. Each student looking forward to ordination in a particular denomination must secure recommendation from, and follow procedures already established in, that church for such recognition. The seminary assumes no responsibility of this nature.

Those students who attend Military Chaplaincy School may receive 8 hours as substitute for PSTD 501 Pastoral Counseling, PSTD 575 Pastoral Internship (2 hours), and another PSTD course, depending on the training.

Course Requirements

Chaplaincy Specialization (12 hours)
PSTD 562 Clinical Pastoral Education: Practicum 4
PSTD 563 Chaplaincy Integrative Seminar I: Continued Practicum 2
PSTD 564 Chaplaincy Integrative Seminar II: Grief and Loss 2
Elective studio 4
For students with specialization in Chaplaincy, the required Apprenticeship hours are replaced with an elective studio.