Welcome to Clinical Pastoral Care and Clinical Pastoral Education. The following resources will provide information for this unique internship opportunity. The FAQ sheet is designed specifically to help West Virginia students navigate the process of selecting and completing these educational experiences. Please also view the Clinical Pastoral Care/Clinical Pastoral links on our main Department web pages for Requirements and to download the CPC
During the spring of 2006, I had the opportunity to participate in the C.P.E. program. My experience has been one of considerable growth. My time in C.P.E. has challenged me as a person, as a minister, and as a follower of Jesus Christ.
During my unit, I served as a hospital chaplain. I met many patients with varying illnesses over the course of the program. Being a “people person,” I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to get to know new patients. Almost everyone who I approached as a chaplain was open to talking and sharing with me. As much as I enjoyed my patient relationships, it became difficult when they were discharged. Just about the time I would really start getting to know someone, he/she would go home. That took some getting used to, but I feel like I learned to deal with it in a healthy way. I came to the realization that I was not their pastor, but that God had allowed these relationships to take place with the intent of helping the patients through a difficult time of healing or death.
One of my favorite parts of the C.P.E. experience was the camaraderie that developed with my fellow students. I was able to have good relationships with both the residents and the other students. I especially enjoyed being able to share my experiences with people who understand what it really means to live a life of ministry. It has been wonderfully therapeutic to be able to both vent frustrations and share in joys with my new community. I have learned so much from the other students’ experiences and from their Christian witness. This aspect of C.P.E. was priceless to me.
More important than any of the other relationships I made in C.P.E. was the growth that took place with my relationship with God. I saw God at work everyday through the love and care that the hospital staff extended to the patients. I saw God’s image expressed in new ways through the diverse group of people I encountered. My understanding of the terms ‘discipleship’ and ‘community’ grew. A disciple of Christ follows Him as closely as possible. Jesus was always concerned about the sick and downtrodden people of the world, and He saw everyone as His ‘neighbor.’ My experience during C.P.E. has helped me become more like Christ in these ways. I have come to the realization that the role of a minister is to be a tangible expression of the presence of Christ and His love. Just being present for people in their afflictions was usually enough to help them.
All in all, my C.P.E. experience was incredible. I have thoroughly enjoyed this season of learning and growth in my life. I will continue to grow and to use the principles I have learned from this program to apply to my life and ministry.