The Accreditation Commission is comprised of a chair, chair-elect, 12 ACPE Certified Educators, 2 members of the public, and 1 practitioner. While the commission makes all final decisions about provisional accreditation, accreditation, areas of non-compliance, commendations, and adverse actions, there are additional persons who support their work in meaningful ways.

Qualified ACPE Certified Educators serve as site team chairs, site team members, and portfolio reviewers. Persons who wish to serve in these roles must undergo an initial training and agree to participate in ongoing training and professional development.

Persons involved with ACPE accreditation work (Commission members and others who participate in accreditation site review) must have sufficient knowledge and expertise to permit competent assessment of programs of clinical pastoral education. They will include educators, practitioners and public members as required. They must have one or more of the following qualifications:

  • post-baccalaureate theological degree;
  • successful completion of four or more units of ACPE CPE
  • professional practice of providing spiritual care for five years or longer;
  • post-baccalaureate degree in a field related to education or sociology or appointment to the faculty of a seminary or university;
  • medical or allied health professional practice.

Additional criteria for the practitioner member of the Commission include:

  • successful completion of four or more units of ACPE CPE;
  • professional practice for five years or longer;
  • currently engaged in a spiritual care related position

Additional criteria exist for Public Members, who may not be:

  • employed by or associated with agencies or institutions affiliated with ACPE, Inc.;
  • in service as an officer or staff member of a cognate ministry or chaplaincy group;
  • an ACPE officer or employee, or
  • the spouse, domestic partner, parent, child, or sibling of anyone in active practice in an accredited ACPE member center or any of the above.

All persons participating in the accreditation process are required to:

  • Be familiar with the ACPE Accreditation Manual in general and know the requirements for the specific type of reviews.
  • Have working knowledge of ACPE standards and all accreditation review processes and criteria.
  • Sign and abide by the non-disclosure agreement when participating in accreditation processes and reviewing or using student records during accreditation review.
  • Present themselves in a professional manner, conducting their work with a spirit of collegiality and service.
  • Complete an orientation to Standards of the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education and the ACPE Accreditation Manual, with special focus understanding the following guidelines for fulfilling roles and responsibilities. The Chair of the Commission is responsible for orienting Commissioners. This orientation will take place through several avenues, which may include e-mail correspondence, conference calls, or in-person orientation at Commission meetings.
  • In addition, public members sign and abide by the declaration of qualification as a public member.
  • Sign a conflict of interest declaration