Clinical Pastoral Education is a requirement for Theology graduates who are pursuing certification in professional Healthcare Chaplaincy. 

The Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) Programme is an integral part of the Chaplaincy Department at the Mater Hospital. The programme was first established in the hospital in 1984 as a multi faith/denomination training course in Healthcare Chaplaincy and is accredited by the Healthcare Chaplaincy Board.

The CPE programme

The CPE course is conducted in close collaboration with the Chaplaincy Department in the hospital. A CPE trained supervisor works with a group of students and helps them in their learning of offering spiritual care in the hospital. The programme aims to create an environment where the CPE students can learn about self-awareness, professional competence, theological reflections and faith commitment. One of the key components to the CPE programme is the student placement in different wards of the Hospital as a Chaplain in Training.

Student learning objectives

  • To develop the ability to offer care and support to people of every faith and none.
  • To develop an understanding of the needs of those entrusted to their care.
  • To develop personal, pastoral and professional identity as Hospital Chaplains.
  • To develop an understanding of dynamics, attitudes, values, and assumptions and how these factors can affect their interactions with others.
  • To develop the ability to work cooperatively as a member of a multidisciplinary team.
  • To show an increased ability to deal with the theological and moral issues that may arise in their pastoral encounters.
  • To have the ability to establish effective pastoral relationships with persons and groups in difficult life situations and circumstances (illness, bereavement, addiction etc.)
  • To develop confidence to minister and support family members, and staff where applicable, in their assigned areas.

Course Units

Our hospital sponsors three units of CPE, starting in January, April and September (lasting for three months each). The CPE units are run according to the Standards of Association of Clinical Pastoral Education Ireland (ACPEI), Ltd. Our hospital offers CPE at Basic, Advanced and Supervisory Level.