Success in the formational and reflective process of CPE requires an engagement with one’s own learning process and what it means to be a professional in spiritual care. Professional Development in the CPE process includes engaging the Clinical Method of Learning, abiding by Ethical Practice and Professionalism, growing through Consultation and Feedback, investing in Teamwork and Collaboration, and becoming Research literate.

One of the hallmarks of learning within CPE is through the method of action, reflection, new action, which defines the clinical method of learning. In CPE, the “action” of providing spiritual care is “reflected” upon in the educational time, which in turn leads to an improved “new action” when continuing to provide spiritual care.

Ethical practice and professionalism serve to create a safe and relational environment to learn and provide spiritual care. Adherence to these values and principles will protect both the spiritual care provider and receiver. Honesty, integrity, personal responsibility, and boundaries are all part of ethical practice and professionalism. Additionally, spiritual care providers have an important role to play within ethics and ethical practice. Recognizing ethical issues and knowledge of ethical theories/principles will enable spiritual care providers to honor the dignity of all involved.

Consultation and Feedback are essential elements of the learning process. In CPE, learning happens through engagement with others. Regularly initiating consultation will support and improve the provision of spiritual care. Investing in the learning process necessitates offering and receiving respectful, appropriate, and timely feedback to ensure the continued development for one’s own growth and that of others.

Spiritual care can be most effective when it is part of a larger care team, as appropriate to one’s context. Our collaboration with others ensures holistic care for care receivers. Making referrals to other professionals allows spiritual care to remain in our area of expertise, while still providing the necessary care for those in need. Expanding the circle of concern may include spiritual care and resources for fellow team members.

There is an emerging recognition of the importance of research for the development of the profession of spiritual care. Initially, a basic awareness of the importance and relevance of research in our field of spiritual care is grounding for beginners to this vocation. Developing research literacy means reading research, knowing where to find it, being able to understand what the research is indicating, recognizing major limitations, and then integrating helpful findings into one’s spiritual care. Doing so will lead to improved spiritual care, greater professionalism, and bringing in diverse voices that can inform our practice. Research literacy enables interaction with the interdisciplinary team with an increased capacity to take in data to support their practice. Research literacy supports one’s ability to become a lifelong learner.

Outcome 1: Clinical Method of Learning

Level IA Level IB Level IIA Level IIB
IA.17 Demonstrate an awareness and initiate use of the clinical method of learning (action-reflection-new action). IB.17 Articulate how the clinical method of learning shapes one’s provision of spiritual care. IIA.15 Demonstrate one’s ability to use the clinical method of learning collaboratively and creatively. IIB.14 Evaluate one’s ability to use the clinical method of learning when one provides spiritual care and personal/professional growth.
IIA.16 Demonstrate knowledge of the history of clinical pastoral education.

Outcome 2: Ethical Practice and Professionalism

Level IA Level IB Level IIA Level IIB
IA.18 Demonstrate an awareness of and adherence to mandatory reporting requirements and professional codes of ethics relevant to one’s context. IB.18 Demonstrate ability to recognize ethical issues in one’s context and seek consultation. IIA. 17 Demonstrate knowledge of ethical principles/theories used in spiritual care contexts. IIB.15 Demonstrate integration of ethical decision-making in one’s context.
IA.19 Demonstrate through one’s behavior the attributes of integrity and honesty in one’s spiritual care practice and learning process. IB.19 Demonstrate knowledge of and adherence to attributes of personal and organizational responsibility and professional boundaries in the practice of spiritual care and the learning process.
IA.20 Represent and conduct oneself in a manner that is appropriate to the context.

Outcome 3: Consultation and Feedback

Level IA Level IB Level IIA Level IIB
IA.21 Demonstrate knowledge of the role of consultation in the learning process of spiritual care. IB.20 Initiate consultation when faced with challenges in the spiritual care context. IIB.16 Develop long term plan for seeking consultation to address areas of current and anticipated challenges.
IA.22 Demonstrate awareness of one’s ability to receive and engage feedback related to one’s learning process of spiritual care. IB.21 Engage and integrate feedback in one’s learning process and when providing spiritual care. IIA.18 Evaluate one’s ability to integrate feedback in one’s learning process and when providing spiritual care.
IA.23 Demonstrate awareness of one’s ability to offer feedback related to the learning process of spiritual care. IB.22 Demonstrate the ability to offer appropriate and timely feedback to peers and others. IIA.19 Evaluate one’s ability to offer appropriate and timely feedback to peers and others.

Outcome 4: Teamwork and Collaboration

Level IA Level IB Level IIA Level IIB
IA.24 Demonstrate an understanding of how spiritual care interacts with and is part of the larger care team. IB.23 Articulate one’s ability to engage with the larger care team, including making referrals, when one provides spiritual care. IIA.20 Demonstrate one’s ability to function as part of the larger care team while maintaining one’s role as a spiritual care provider. IIB.17 Evaluate one’s ability to be a spiritual care presence with and for the larger care team.

Outcome 5: Research Based Care

Level IA Level IB Level IIA Level IIB
IA.25 Demonstrate an awareness of how research is relevant to spiritual care. IB.24 Articulate how one’s readings of research is relevant to one’s provision of spiritual care. IIA.21 Demonstrate one’s ability to access and understand the main points of a research article and any major limitations. IIB.18 Integrate relevant research into one’s practice of spiritual care.