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Pastoral Education

Mission and Values

Pastoral Education

St John of God Health Care offers an accredited ecumenical Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)  program of education and formation in pastoral care, with the aim of developing a person’s self-awareness, professional competence, theological understanding and Christian commitment.

The St John of God Healthcare WA and Victoria Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) Centres are registered under the standards of the Associations of Clinical Pastoral Education in the states in which programs are delivered i.e. WA and Victoria.

What is CPE?

Clinical Pastoral Education is a programme of education and formation in the discipline of Pastoral Care.Kolb cycle

The methodology is based on the Experiential Learning Model (ELM) of David Kolb. Participants are invited to reflect intensively on their practice of care and to present their reflection to peers on education day. The action component entails the delivery of pastoral care within a hospital setting. This specific type of care acknowledges and attends to the human condition, particularly life’s spiritual and religious dimensions. The reflection component entails the exploration of the clinical experience, the dynamics present, and the spiritual and theological dimensions.


Participation in the CPE programme will provide opportunities to:

  • Grow in knowledge and understanding of your professional and pastoral role.
  • Develop skills that will enable you to become a more effective Pastoral Practitioner.
  • Deepen your awareness of each patient’s spiritual needs, hopes and resources.
  • Become more aware of your values, attitudes and assumptions.

Who may apply?

  • Anyone interested in a career in pastoral services.
  • Those already working in a health related field (e.g. Care Assistants, Nurses, Allied Health Professionals etc.) or education (e.g. teachers). 
  • Pastoral practitioners, Chaplains, Parish Pastoral associates, Seminarians etc.

What does a part time unit of CPE program involve?

A program is run over 20-22 weeks and involves a total of 400 hours (approx.) of supervised pastoral care practice and education consisting of a minimum of:

  • 100 hours (approx.) of clinical placement (within St John of God Healthcare, or at another placement at the discretion of the CPE Centre director/CPE Supervisor and the appropriate authority at nominated the outside placement);
  • 100 hours (approx.) of group work and individual supervision;
  • 200 hours (approx.) of reflective practice including preparation of material outside of group and practicum days. Practicum days are worked out in consultation with the CPE intern along with the pastoral services manager of the placement within St John of God Health Care or at an outside placement approved by the CPE centre Director and placement manager.

The CPE program demands a great deal of students, in both time and emotional investment.  The encounters with others can be challenging and reflection on those encounters may be confronting. The discipline of writing up journals, case studies and verbatims enhances personal integration which makes the CPE program a demanding but enriching process.  Students who are new to hospital or healthcare settings or multi-faith and multi-cultural settings may find challenges confronting. You are encouraged to speak to the CPE Supervisor prior to considering applying for a unit of CPE*.

Can I achieve academic recognition?

Upcoming events/programs:

WA part-time program: St John of God Midland - 8 March to 20 July 2017.

Vic part-time program: Melbourne - 4 July to 21 November 2017.


1.    Please download the application form

Or email: cpe.west@sjog.org.aufor WA and cpe.east@sjog.org.aufor Victoria

2.    Full applications and referee contacts are required before applicants can be short listed for interview.

Please Note: all courses offered are subject to numbers. Minimum 5 – maximum 6. St John of God Health Care reserves the right to withdraw a CPE unit if there are insufficient applicants or circumstances change. Late applications will only be considered if places are available.

3.    If your interview is successful and you are accepted into the program the following will also be required:

  • Copy of a current Police Clearance and Working with Children Check (for non St John of God Health Care caregivers);
  • Completion of Permission To Use Material Agreement;
  • Completion of Clinical Placement Agreement;
  • Completion of Insurance Form for placements external to St John of God Health Care (for non St John of God Health Care caregivers);
  • Pre-employment immunisation and Screening Form (for non St John of God Health Care caregivers).

For further information email:  
cpe.west@sjog.org.au  for WA or
cpe.east@sjog.org.au for Victorian programs

*Taken from University Divinity Melbourne Victoria, Stirling College.