Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

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Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)

The experience of supervised clinical ministry provides an opportunity to practice the art of pastoral care while converting experience into learning in direct, integrated ways. Certain rostered positions within the ELCA require or highly recommend candidates complete a unit of supervised clinical ministry. The normative program to fulfill this unit is Clinical Pastoral Education at an ACPE Center accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education. For more information on what CPE is along with how to apply to a Center and which Centers are accredited, go to


In the Fall Semester of every school year, the Field Education/Candidacy Office conducts a CPE Orientation meeting that gives students basic information and the opportunity to get their questions answered. For specific date of meeting refer to the Junior Calendar [PDF].

Be aware that some candidacy committees require students to complete their unit of CPE before allowing them to proceed to the Endorsement Step.

Urban CPE Consortium, Inc.

Who is the Urban CPE Consortium?

Urban CPE Consortium, Inc. is a fully accredited ACPE Center for Clinical Pastoral Education. The Consortium is a unique partnership of 13 urban sites and five theological schools committed to CPE education with a focus on urban/public ministry that includes the pastoral and prophetic dimensions of ministry. The urban sites are listed below as the possible ministry placement sites during your CPE Unit. The Theological School partners are: LSTC, Chicago Theological Seminary, Institute of Pastoral Studies at Loyola, University of Chicago Divinity School.

Urban CPE Consortium, Inc. is a not-for-profit entity with ByLaws, Board, Officers and Committees. A full Student Manual is provided during orientation of each Urban CPE Unit.

What CPE Units are offered?

The Consortium offers three CPE Units:

  • Extended: September through March or April
  • Winter/Spring: January to April/mid-May
  • Summer: June to August

The difference in Units is the time required per week. (e.g. in the Extended Unit the weekly requirements are 10-12 hours at the ministry site and 3.5 hours in direct CPE work, and 1 hour every other week for individual clinical supervision. The Winter/Spring Unit has 16-19 hours on site and 5.5 to 6 hours of direct CPE work. The summer Unit is full time.)

Urban CPE Ministry

One of the unique perspectives of Urban CPE is the people of God with whom you minister and from and with whom you learn and change. The focus is care and compassionate response with the most vulnerable populations and advocacy and prophetic ministry for personal and social transformation.

Urban CPE encounters persons at the times of social crisis and a hospital-based CPE program encounters individuals at a time of physical crisis. Within this focus, Urban CPE goals are those of CPE: personal and pastoral formation, pastoral competency and skill building, pastoral and theological reflection.

To achieve these goals, some of the uniqueness of Urban CPE is in the inclusion of social analysis/theological reflection process and community-organizing skills from one's faith perspective. The overall focus for growth and learning is putting faith in action.

Urban CPE Ministry Sites

The 11 urban agencies/sites of the partnership are also the sites for the CPE Unit. Some of the populations represented by these sites are those challenged with homelessness, addictions, mental illness, HIV/AIDS, lack of affordable housing, health care, and living wage, youth-at-risk, gangs, community organizing for fair housing and racial equality. At each of the sites there is a site mentor/supervisor to assist and to be available for the CPE student. The urban sites are: A Just Harvest, ACCESS Comunity Healthy Network, Alexian Brothers Health Alliance/ Bonaventure House, Bethany Methodist Community, The Cathderal Shelter, Dina and Eli     Field EZRA Multi-Service Center, Ingalls Hospice and Home Care, Little Brothers:Friends of the Elderly, NorthShore University HealthSystem/Evanston Hospital, St. Paul's House: A Lutheran Life Community, The Night Ministry.

Process for Admissions

  1. Complete application: PDF/Word, and send to Urban CPE Consortium, Inc., Attn: Barbara Sheehan, Director.( Urban Consortium, Inc., C/o Cathedral Shelter of Chicago, 1668 W. Ogden Ave. Chicago, IL 60612. Phone: 312-997-2222, ext 226.)
  2. Engage in admission interview with Supervisor Sheehan.
  3. After acceptance into the Urban CPE Unit, and at a given time period, interview at one of the above listed ministry sites for mutual agreement of placement.
  4. Get started and engage fully.
  5. Admission interviews for summer begin in October or Novevember of the previous year; for the extended in February of the same year; for Winter/Spring in October of the previous year.

Application Fee

$35.00 (pay to "Urban CPE Consortium, Inc.")


$600.00 for Consortium members; $850 for non-members. (Tuition payment is to be completed by the end of the CPE Unit.)

Note: Above information provided by the Consortium as of May 2013.

Page last modified Mar 24, 2016