Clinical pastoral education

We offer an accredited ecumenical clinical pastoral education (CPE) program which focuses on developing your self-awareness, professional competence, theological understanding and Christian commitment.

What is CPE?

CPE is an education and formation program in the discipline of pastoral care.

The program is based on the experiential learning model including reflection and action related to pastoral care in the hospital and health care setting. It provides opportunities to:

  • grow your knowledge and understanding of your professional and pastoral role
  • develop skills to enable you to become a more effective pastoral practitioner
  • deepen your awareness of patient’s spiritual needs, hopes and resources
  • become more aware of your values, attitudes and assumptions.

Who can apply?

  • Anyone interest in a pastoral services career
  • People working in a health related field such as nurses, allied health professionals, or education
  • Pastoral practitioners, chaplains, parish pastoral associates, seminarians

Course overview

The program is run for 20 to 22 weeks and includes 400 hours of supervised pastoral care practice and education made up of a minimum of:

  • 100 hours of clinical placement (in a St John of God Health Care facility or another facility approved by the CPE Centre director or supervision)
  • 100 hours of group work and individual supervision
  • 200 hours of reflective practice, including preparation of material outside formal session and practicum days.

The CPE program is demanding in terms of time and emotional investment. Encounters during the program can be challenging and confronting. Our focus on instilling the discipline of writing journals, case studies and verbatims is a demanding but enriching process.

If you are not familiar with hospital or healthcare setting, you may find these challenges confronting. You are encouraged to speak to the CPE supervisor before applying for this course.

Is this course recognised by other education institutions?

Some universities may recognise this course, including

Please contact the university directly for more information.


To apply for the program, please follow the below steps:

  1. Download and complete the application form.You can also email for WA program information or for Victorian program information.
  2. Submit your application and referee contacts.

  3. Please note: all courses are offered are subject to numbers (minimum five, maximum six). We reserve 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.

  4. If your application is shortlisted you will be offered an interview. If successful, you will be accepted into the program and required to provide:
  • copy of a current Police Clearance and Working with Children Check (if you are not employed by St John of God Health Care)
  • completion of signed Clinical Student Placement Undertaking Agreement
  • completion of insurance form for placements external to St John of God Health Care (if you are not employed by St John of God Health Care)
  • pre-employment immunisation and screening form (if you are not employed by St John of God Health Care).

More information

For WA program enquiries, email:

For Victorian program enquiries, email: