Clinical Pastoral Education

Pastoral care embraces a positive life force and alleviates suffering


Apply Today

Clinical Pastoral Education

Pastoral care embraces a positive life force and alleviates suffering


Apply Today

Our CPE students develop caring competency and experience unique contexts in local and international communities to inspire resiliency and restore well-being.

At the center of The Shaw Chaplaincy Institute is our renowned Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program. The Shaw Chaplaincy Institute is the only ACPE-accredited center offering a full CPE program on a seminary campus, with a fully endowed chair to ensure the longevity of the program. We are fully accredited to offer Level I, Level II, and Supervisory CPE programs. San Francisco Theological Seminary first blazed a trail when Rev. Dr. John F. Shaw (MDiv, 1954) and Mrs. Julia Shaw endowed the first CPE chair embedded in the curriculum of a seminary.

This program is offered for pastors, religious professionals, theology students, and qualified laypersons who seek further development of their pastoral skills. In this exciting type of graduate-level education, students learn how to integrate knowledge from theological, psychological, and social science disciplines into the practice of pastoral ministry. SFTS offers a Supervisory Education Fellowship to one student preparing to become a certified ACPE supervisor.

The Shaw Chaplaincy Institute is unique in that it provides students with the flexibility of choosing a community-based learning center, as opposed to learning and training in a hospital or military program. Affiliate learning sites include a variety of venues such as congregational and parish-based settings; state, police, and firefighting agencies; prisons; and addiction recovery facilities.

During CPE training, students receive close supervision while involved with persons seeking spiritual and/or religious care. Out of intense involvement with persons in various levels of crisis and need, and with feedback from peers and teachers, CPE students develop new awareness of themselves and the needs of those they serve.



Visiting the sick is a worldwide practice in healing —and essential for Chaplains. Please feel free to download some advice for more informed, heart-centered experiences.
The provider of this educational event has designed the program so that it may be considered by participants for use as continuing education to enhance the professional knowledge and pastoral competency of chaplains certified through the Board of Chaplaincy Certification Inc.®, an affiliate of the Association of Professional Chaplains®.

Let's have a conversation


In this world poised for healing, do you feel called to bring compassionate presence to others? Get in touch with your questions, and I’ll be very happy to help you explore ways in which the Shaw Chaplaincy Institute is able to help you bring your whole self into service.

- Rev. Paul Gaffney,
Program Manager of Education, Community Relations and Spiritual Care Services


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