ACPE Center (Accredited Center) – An administrative structure or entity authorized by the ACPE Accreditation Commission to conduct programs of CPE Level I/Level II and/or Certified Educator CPE. An ACPE accredited center is responsible for providing, or contracting for, and coordinating those components identified by ACPE standards as necessary for clinical pastoral learning to occur. The term applies to such structures with Pre-accredited or Accredited Member status.
ACPE Directory – The official ACPE listing of accredited ACPE centers and their designated programs and supervisors; satellite programs that have received a site visit, member seminaries; denomination, faith group and agency members; network members; and international affiliate members. Certified Educators (Associate Certified Educators, ACPE Certified Educators, retired Certified Educators, Certified Educator Candidates) and clinical members are listed on the ACPE website.
ACPE Certified Educator – The final level of certification in which a person is authorized by ACPE to function autonomously to conduct programs of CPE Level I/Level II and Certified Educator CPE, e.g., a pastoral educator for CPE Level I/Level II and Certified Educator CPE.
Accreditation – Authorization, granted by the ACPE Accreditation Commission, to conduct programs of CPE Level I/Level II and/or Certified Educator CPE, based on demonstrated ability to meet ACPE standards.
Accreditation Review – Formal process for examining a proposed CPE center’s or ACPE accredited center’s compliance with ACPE standards and procedures and for taking action on the accreditation of the center and/or its CPE program(s).
Accredited Member – Status granted to an ACPE center authorizing it to conduct programs of CPE Level I/Level II and/or Certified Educator CPE.
Accredited Program – Type of program (CPE Level I/Level II or Certified Educator CPE) the center is accredited to provide.
Admission – acceptance of an applicant into a designated CPE program.
Admission Interview – the meeting of an applicant to a CPE program with a qualified interviewer to discuss the application, provide information, assess the applicant’s readiness for CPE, and discuss the suitability of the center to the educational goals of the applicant. A face-to-face meeting is strongly recommended.
Adverse Action – action by the Accreditation Commission to suspend or withdraw Accredited Member status.
Appeal – formal request for reconsideration of a decision made about ACPE Certification by the Certification Commission or ACPE accreditation by the Accreditation Commission or formal challenge of a decision by a panel considering an alleged violation of professional ethics or educational standards, subject to the appeal criteria and processes set forth in the respective manuals.
Associate Certified Educator – a level of certification in which a person is authorized by ACPE to function as an autonomous educator for CPE Level I/Level II for a limited period of time and who has demonstrated to the Certification Commission: (1) successful integration of theoretical positions with supervisory practice; and (2) supervisory identity and skills sufficient to allow autonomous functioning that is responsible and collegial, e.g., a pastoral educator for CPE Level I/Level II.
Authorized – authority given by ACPE for specific persons to serve as primary Certified Educator for a unit of CPE in a center accredited by the ACPE, i.e., ACPE Certified Educator or ACPE Associate Certified Educator.
- A National Association of Catholic Chaplains Supervisor is authorized to supervise as primary educator for a unit of CPE (see Standard 303.1) accredited by ACPE, but it must be in a dually accredited center or system with an ACPE Certified Educator. The ACPE Certified Educator has responsibility for ensuring that the NACC supervisor is abiding by ACPE accreditation standards and code of ethics. If there is no ACPE Certified Educator, a consultant ACPE Certified Educator shall be employed until a new ACPE Certified Educator is hired. A NACC supervisor may report student units to ACPE under these conditions only.
- An International Guest Supervisor is authorized to supervise students in ACPE accredited centers in the U.S. for a defined period of time. The ACPE Certified Educator at that center has responsibility for ensuring that the International Guest Supervisor is abiding by ACPE accreditation standards and code of ethics and must co-sign all evaluations and submit the student unit reports.
- A Certified Educator Candidate may only educate under the supervision of an ACPE Certified Educator and may sign students’ evaluations in conjunction with the Certified Educator, but may not submit the ACPE student unit report form. Enrollment in an ACPE accredited Certified Educator CPE program is required whenever supervising CPE students.
Certification – action by the ACPE Certification Commission to grant the time-limited status of Certified Educator Candidate or Associate Supervisor or the status of ACPE Certified Educator to persons affirmed in a review as having satisfied ACPE standards for the respective status.
Certified Educator – a clinical pastoral educator who satisfies ACPE requirements for certification, either an ACPE Certified Educator or Associate Certified Educator.
Certified Educator Candidate – the title for a student who:
- is enrolled in an accredited Certified Educator CPE program under supervision of a person with current credentials as an ACPE Certified Educator;
- demonstrates capacity to supervise students under supervision; and
- may supervise under supervision without direct observation as supervisory competence is gained.
For those in the current Certification process, this status ends with certification as an ACPE Associate Certified Educator. For those entering the new Certification Process, this status ends upon certification as an ACPE Certified Educator.
Clinical Method of Learning – an educational model that uses data from the actual practice of ministry as the content for reflection.
Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE; clinical education, clinical pastoral learning) – a method of learning ministry by means of pastoral functioning under supervision as developed by ACPE. It is a process model of education, predicated on students’ individual needs that are compatible with program objectives. ACPE distinguishes two types of CPE programming: CPE Level I/Level II and Certified Educator CPE. Note: all references to CPE throughout this document are understood to be ACPE Accredited Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE-CPE).
Clinical Placement – ministry site, external to an Accredited Member center or satellite program, established by formal agreement
Clinical Supervision – use of interpersonal engagement, direct observation, accurate description, and conceptual frameworks to assist students’ development of pastoral identity and ministry.
Cluster – non-accredited voluntary alliance of three or more ACPE accredited centers in a specific geographic area; may include other educational institutions located in the same area.
Collegial Competence – collaboration with colleagues, respecting their dignity, gifts, and personhood while honoring one’s own, and demonstrated the capacity and motivation to regularly use peer relationships for consultation, support, clarification, and challenge in the practice and development of the art of supervision.
Commendation – part of the Accreditation Commission’s final action, when appropriate, designating a certain portion of a center’s documentation, operations, or program design and execution as exceptional. Specific ACPE Standards must be cited for commendations.
Commission – a representative group given authority to make decisions on behalf of ACPE.
Complaint – a grievance, presented in writing and signed, involving an alleged violation of ACPE standards. Information on filing a complaint may be found on the ACPE website.
Compliance – the determination that a center or program under review meets the minimum requirements of one or more ACPE standards.
Component – one of the structured elements (e.g., supervisor, curriculum, clerical services, consultants, student peer group, experiences in ministry to clients, multidisciplinary personnel, evaluation process, specific time frames, learning contract, etc.) that comprise a CPE program.
Component Site – a place, usually a facility owned by the sponsoring institution or agency, where a System Sponsored Center offers one or more CPE programs under its single accreditation.
Consultation – a meeting of persons in which an individual or group seeks feedback and nonbinding advice about one’s functioning, progress and/or plans in CPE.
Contract for Learning – an agreement developed cooperatively by a student and CPE Certified Educator that establishes the learning goals of the student and the means to achieve those goals in a unit of CPE.
Core Curriculum – The minimum components necessary to satisfy the outcomes for a program of CPE or Certified Educator CPE.
Corrective Action – specific action(s) required to bring a center or program into compliance with a specific ACPE standard or sub-set of standards. Center must take corrective action and submit required documentation within a timeframe specified by the Accreditation Commission. Failure to resolve a notation within the specified time makes the center subject to adverse action. The Commission may extend the time for good cause.
Co-supervision – shared responsibility for clinical supervision between two Certified Educators or between a Certified Educator and Certified Educator Candidate. A Certified Educators and Certified Educator Student (CES) may also share responsibility in the provision of supervisory program activities for CPE students, but the CES may not function as a student’s supervisor.
CPE Level I – a program consisting of CPE unit(s) in which the student focuses on meeting the outcomes established in ACPE Standard 311.
CPE Level II – a program consisting of CPE unit(s) in which the student focuses on meeting the outcomes established in ACPE Standard 312.
CPE Program(s) – structured system of components in which clinical pastoral learning can occur and which is accredited by ACPE.
Cultural Humility – an attitude of respect when approaching people of different cultures, which entails engagement in a process of self-reflection and self-critique and requires an ability to move beyond one’s own biases.
Culture – A symbolic system of meanings, attitudes, feelings, values, and behaviors that is shared by a group of people, a particular society or population, and is communicated from one generation to the next via language and/or observation. Culture regulates and organizes what a group feels, thinks or does, but may be expressed individually in a variety of ways. Culture includes: familial roles, patterns of social and interpersonal communication, affective styles, values and ideals, spirituality and religion, habits of thinking and artistic expressions, customs and norms, rituals and celebrations, and geographical and historical location.
Curriculum – the total educational program of CPE, including its methodology program components appropriate to the center’s CPE programs.
Deficiency – a finding that a prospective Pre-accredited center has failed to substantively demonstrate its ability to comply with a specific ACPE standard(s).
Educational Guidance – timely provision of, or referral to, educational resources appropriate to the needs of the student in addressing the student’s goals or the objectives and outcomes of the CPE program.
Educational Placement (educational meeting site) –
Ethnic Identity – refers to a set of identity categories, either communally or contextually defined, that includes but is not limited to common ancestry, a common myth of ancestry, a common language, a common culture, and a common homeland.
Faculty – ACPE Certified Educator(s), Associate Certified Educator(s) or Certified Educator Candidate(s) under the supervision of a fully credentialed ACPE Certified Educator employed or contracted by the ACPE center to provide clinical instruction and/or direct supervision. In a center dually accredited by the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops and ACPE, a National Association of Catholic Chaplains Supervisor may be a faculty member.
Faith Group Endorsement/Accountability – formal recognition by for admission to the status of Certified Educator Candidate and/or certification as an Associate Certified Educator or ACPE Certified Educator.
Fair Process – the procedure determined “fair” and applied consistently in similar situations by ACPE in its accountability processes.
Feasibility Study – process for determining if a CPE program(s) is feasible for the setting and potential exists for meeting ACPE standards.
Freestanding Center – an independently incorporated CPE center whose primary mission is to provide programs of CPE through on-campus programs or through satellite program arrangements.
Full Time Equivalent Student (FTE) – Students in a Unit of CPE Level I/ Level II or Certified Educator CPE who are engaged in curriculum and ministry for at least 32 hours each week are considered full time. Students in an extended Unit of CPE who are engaged in curriculum and ministry for less than 32 hours each week are considered part time students.
Graduate Theological Degree or Equivalent – one of the following:
- Master of Divinity Degree from an accredited theological school.
- Graduation from an accredited (by CHEA – Council for Higher Education Accreditation or ATS – Association of Theological Schools) theological school with a graduate theological degree consisting of at least 72-semester credits or 108 quarter credits.
- ordination from a recognized Jewish seminary.
- a post-baccalaureate theological degree with such additional study and vocational formation experience as may be evaluated by an ACPE regional certification committee to constitute an equivalent level of study.
- a Master’s degree in a related field with such additional post-baccalaureate theological course work and vocational formation experience as may be evaluated by an ACPE regional certification committee to constitute an equivalent level of study.
Grievance – an alleged violation of an: ethical; and/or education standard or process; and/or certification standard or process believed to afford reason for a complaint.
Half Unit of CPE – at least 240 hours combining no less than 60 hours of structured group and individual education with supervised clinical practice in ministry. (See Unit of CPE)
Hearing – meeting in which all parties involved have an opportunity to present their positions in cases of complaints or appeals. The meeting may be in person or by video conference or telephonic means at the discretion of the relevant ACPE commission.
Hiatus – in reference to the New Certification Process. A CEC on hiatus is inactive in the certification process and is not connected to an accredited center that offers Certified Educator CPE. While on hiatus, a CEC will not have access to their portfolio and is not allowed to participate in any certification related processes.
Host Center – an ACPE Accredited Member Center in good standing that provides accreditation for a satellite program; the host center is responsible for all accreditation matters in the satellite program
Impairment – state of reduced professional functioning wherein a practitioner fails to provide safe, ethical, competent service due to organic illness, excessive use of alcohol and/or drugs, stress-related disorder, mental or emotional disability, or deterioration through the aging process.
Institution Sponsored Center – CPE center sponsored by an institution or agency so that CPE units may be offered within the reporting structure of the institution through which the CPE program is accredited. Outside that reporting structure, the CPE center may use satellite programs to offer units and placement agreements to offer clinical ministry sites in other parts of the institution or may choose to become accredited as a system center.
International Guest Supervisor – may supervise students in ACPE Accredited Member centers in the U.S. for a defined period of time. The qualifications of the guest supervisor include:
- meets the minimal requirements for ACPE Associate Certified Educator;
- has a contract with an ACPE Accredited Member center specifying a clear, time bound length of stay;
- is responsible for working out U.S. visa requirements with the hiring center; and
- holds International Guest Member status in ACPE.
Local – ACPE accredited center or place of occurrence when a complaint arises in the context of a regional or national committee, commission or individual encounter.
Mediation – process through which persons or parties involved in a complaint attempt to resolve the complaint through discussion, consultation and negotiation using a trained, third party neutral.
Member – for purposes of the ACPE Standards, individuals holding the class/type of membership in ACPE as ACPE Certified Educator, Associate Certified Educator, Certified Educator Candidate, Certified Educator on Leave, Retired Certified Educator, International Guest Supervisor, Clinical Member, Student Affiliate Member, and Retired Member as defined in the ACPE Bylaws.
Multicultural – a society made up of peoples of many cultures, in which there is cross-cultural interaction and intercultural engagement.
Non-Compliance – determination that a center or its programs have failed to substantially address a specific ACPE standard or subset of standards.
Notation – In the context of the Accreditation process, finding that a center has failed to comply with an ACPE standard or subset of standards.
Pastoral Competence – the discovery and use of skills necessary for the intensive and extensive practice of ministry.
Pastoral Formation – the exploration and development of one’s pastoral identity and practice through integrating heritage, theology and knowledge of behavioral and social sciences.
Pastoral Reflection – the process of increasing awareness and understanding of, and ability to articulate, the meaning and purpose of one’s experience in ministry.
Pastoral Specialization – development of pastoral competence in an area of ministry with an identified focus in a particular setting or context.
Peer Group – small group of at least three CPE Level I/Level II students engaged in small group process and committed to fulfilling the requirements of the educational program.
Placement Agreement – the agreement established between an accredited member center or satellite program and another institution or agency that does the following:
For Clinical Placements:
- grants authorization for supervisor(s) and student(s) to function in the clinical site and provide ministry.
- specifies the required number of contact hours that will fulfill in whole or part requirements of ACPE standards for supervised clinical practice of ministry.
- ensures students’ access to a population that offers significant opportunity for ministry, on-going support and consultation for the student(s), opportunities for interdisciplinary and professional interchange, and an environment that encourages human growth and dignity.
- is signed by the administrative representative from each organization and the ACPE Certified Educator(s).
- specifies that programming for CPE units must be based on the Accredited Member center or satellite program.
- demonstrates that the accredited center is in good standing.
- describes administrative and educational lines of reporting for students and supervisors.
- describes the time frame for the unit, dates and educational meeting times, and location and includes copies of placement agreements, if used.
- details any financial arrangements present for the educational placements, including liability coverage if required by the accredited center.
- is signed by the administrative representative from each organization and the ACPE Certified Educator(s).
Placement agreements must fulfill Accreditation Manual requirements.
Policy – a set of rules and/or directions on a designated subject, congruent with ACPE standards, procedures and guidelines, by which decisions are made.
Practicum – a curriculum component that combines conceptual perspectives, independent study, actual experience, and peer/supervisory feedback, in which students acquire competencies for practicing clinical supervision.
Practitioner – In the context of accreditation, a person who is actively engaged in the practice of clinical pastoral care, ministry, and spiritual support service. As a member of a site team, the practitioner serves as an advocate for the continued success of the program, evaluates practical application of the education of the students, observes learning environment to determine if student needs are met or not.
Provisional Accreditation – time-limited status granted to an CPE center by the ACPE Accreditation Commission.
Responsibilities of the Preceptor/Mentor
* Orient the student to your placement site and ensure that the student understands the context for this placement
* Address student’s questions and learning needs about the placement site.
* Communicate with the ACPE Certified Educator on a regular basis about the fulfillment of the student’s administrative obligations and the responsibilities outlined in the clinical site agreement. This includes the student’s clinical work, work habits and investment in the learning process at the placement site.
In the context of the accreditation process, a person appointed at the Accreditation Commission level to read all of a center’s accreditation material and to review accreditation processes and procedures related to periodic reviews. The presenter writes a report intended to facilitate Commission discussion of the center’s request for review.
In the context of the certification process, a person appointed to read all of an applicant’s materials each time an applicant meets a subcommittee, committee or the Certification Commission for consultation or certification. The presenter writes a summary report intended to facilitate sub-committee, committee or Commission engagement of the applicant about the applicant’s meeting ACPE standards.
Presenter’s Report –
In the context of the accreditation process, presenters prepare a report reflecting their review of center materials and make it available to other Commission members prior to the meeting to facilitate Commission discussion of centers’ requests for reviews. This report is the property of the Accreditation Commission and is not made available to those outside the Commission.
In the context of the certification process, presenters prepare a report reflecting their review of the materials and give it to other group members prior to the meeting. Except in unusual circumstances, a hard copy of the presenter’s report is made available to the person seeking consultation or certification no earlier than 24 hours and no later than 12 hours prior to the subcommittee, committee, or Commission meeting. Presenters are responsible for addressing the formal requirements and areas of competency required by the standards in the report.
Preponderance of Evidence – qualitative, not quantitative, standard; means whether it is more likely than not a violation occurred.
Primary Certified Educator – person holding official responsibility for conducting the unit of CPE and signing the evaluations.
Procedure – a set of steps to be followed in a regular and definite order to accomplish a designated purpose. Procedures for accreditation of centers, certification of supervisors, and dealing with complaints of ethics code violations can be found in the respective manuals, available from ACPE or on the website.
Process Model of Education – an understanding of growth and change (in behavior, beliefs, ideas, awareness, etc.) as taking place gradually or in ongoing modifications, and as never being finished or perfected.
Professional Advisory Group (PAG, professional consultation group, committee, etc.) – group of interdisciplinary professional resource persons used by the ACPE center to provide advice and consultation on CPE center and program planning, development and program evaluation. Members of this group are qualified in their fields and knowledgeable about CPE.
Professional Development — the process of improving and increasing the CPE Certified Educator’s capabilities through accessing education and training opportunities found in the workplace, within the ACPE organization, other professional organizations, and/or in discussion or observation with other colleagues. Professional development assists in building and maintaining quality CPE Certified Educators.
Professional Integration –ability to bring together various aspects of one’s personal makeup, such as cognition, affect, imagination, and direct observation, in one’s professional, pastoral, peer, and supervisory relationships.
Professional Quality Materials – materials adhering to publication-grade writing, formatting, and presentation.
Program(s) – type of offering(s) for which a center is accredited: CPE Level I/Level II and/or Certified Educator CPE.
Program Management – responsibility and oversight for all aspects of a CPE program, including finances, administration, clinical and accreditation issues by an ACPE Associate Certified Educator or ACPE Certified Educator.
Pre-Provisional Approval – approval required prior to the start of any pre-accredited center or satellite program, the addition of a component site, or addition of Certified Educator CPE. This approval is given by the regional accreditation committee chair, after review of required material, and verifies that the accredited center has demonstrated its ability to comply with all ACPE standards for the proposed center/program(s). Provisional approval is subject to review by the regional accreditation committee and final action of the Accreditation Commission.
Qualified Interviewer – ACPE Certified Educator or other person meeting these criteria:
- Knowledgeable about current ACPE standards, procedures, practices, and objectives;
- objective as to the interests of the applicant, church, seminary, center, and CPE;
- Able to recognize those qualities of well being, personality and faith which will enable an applicant to develop in CPE;
- Able to dynamically engage the applicant and assess readiness for CPE;
- Able to assess the applicant’s potential to benefit from CPE in the center(s) to which application is being made; and
- Who may prepare an admission interview report that becomes part of the applicant’s CPE application.
Reasonable Person Standard – evidence is reviewed from the perspective of a reasonable person similarly situated to the complainant in terms of gender, race, sexual orientation, age, disability, religious preference, and national origin as relevant to the particular situation.
Reciprocity – mutual exchange of the status of certification of ACPE Certified Educators as authorized by the ACPE Board of Directors.
Recommendation – non-binding suggestion in an Accreditation report, offered in the spirit of consultation about ways a center may improve some facet of its operations or programs.
Representative – person appointed, elected or employed who serves in the ACPE national office, chairs a committee or commission, or serves on a commission.
Review Cycle – the number of years between accreditation reviews; the current full review cycle is ten years.
Satellite Program – a program offered by an ACPE Accredited Member Center, known as the “host center,” through a sponsoring institution or agency external to the center. A satellite program is created to provide programs of CPE of the host center; the satellite program may not function on its own and does not have any type accreditation extended except to provide the programs outlined in the satellite program contract.
Self Study – a center’s reflection on and evaluation of its own educational programs, compliance with ACPE standards and report of changes resulting from self-study process.
Sexual Exploitation – any sexual advance, request for sexual favors, or physical contact of a sexual nature, even if by mutual consent, between persons in situations of unequal power. Sexual exploitation is inclusive of the terms “sexual harassment,” “sexual abuse” and “sexual misconduct.” Sexual contact with those served pastorally or supervised, even if by consent, is considered a violation of the ACPE Code of Professional Ethics.
Social Location – a person’s position in
Standards – adequate and relevant parameters of educational quality that define and advance practice and provide a framework for evaluation.
Student – person admitted to and participating in a program of CPE.
Student Directory Information – student information not generally considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released.
Student Record – (1) any record (paper, electronic, video, audio, biometric etc.) directly related to the student from which the student’s identity can be recognized and (2) maintained by the education program/institution or a person acting for the institution.
Substantive Change – any change affecting a Pre-accredited or Accredited Member center’s scope of programs or ability to administer, finance, staff, and/or maintain the resources necessary to conduct program(s) of CPE or maintain ongoing compliance with ACPE accreditation standards.
Supervised Supervision – the educational process of direct or indirect observation, exploration, instruction, feedback, and challenge of clinical supervisory work.
Supervision (CPE supervision, pastoral supervision) – an educational method by which a supervisor, through a face-to-face relationship, enables students to learn about self, others, the spiritual, and ministry from clinical experience and examination of that experience so that students integrate their learning in their professional identity and functioning.
Supervisory Observation – a primary supervisor’s viewing of a supervisory student’s clinical supervisory work important for that student’s learning and for the protection of pastoral care students and the persons to whom they minister.
_Supervisory observation can be provided through direct observation by:
- the Certified Educator’s physical presence, or
- viewing/listening in real time electronically or through a one-way mirror.
Supervisory observation for the work of a Certified Educator Candidate in a CPE Level I/ Level II curriculum can include these direct observation methods as well as indirect observation by:
- conjoint analysis of videotapes,
- thorough review of Certified Educator Candidate’s process notes of student encounters, or examination and feedback of transmitted video conferences.
Supervisory Theory – a cohesive set of educational and psychological principles that guide the practice of clinical pastoral education.
Suspension – adverse action that requires a center to temporarily cease enrolling students in its programs pending further accreditation assessment and corrective action.
Syllabus – an outline or statement about course contents and/or requirements of a unit of CPE including CPE Level I/Level II, and Certified Educator CPE.
System Sponsored Center – an accredited CPE center sponsored by an institution or agency that owns and operates multiple facilities. The center has one accreditation that is accountable for all CPE programming within the institution or agency. A system sponsored center uses component sites to offer programs of CPE throughout the institution or agency. See also Administrative Center in this section.
Toll – suspend or temporarily stop the time limits.
Types of CPE Programs – CPE Level I/Level II and Certified Educator CPE, with standards, objectives and admission requirements specific to each type.
Unit of CPE – at least 400 hours combining no less than 100 hours of structured group and individual education with supervised clinical practice in ministry.