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Clinical pastoral education (CPE) is education to teach pastoral care to clergy and others. CPE is the primary way of training hospital and hospice chaplains in the United States. CPE is both a multicultural and interfaith experience that uses real-life ministry encounters of students to improve the ministry and pastoral care provided by caregivers of all different faith and cultural backgrounds. Clinical Pastoral Education had its beginnings in the early twentieth century. In 1925, Dr. Richard Cabot, a physician and adjunct at Harvard Divinity School, published an article in the Survey Graphic suggesting that every candidate for the ministry receive clinical training for pastoral work similar to the clinical training offered to medical students. In the 1930s, the Rev. Anton Boisen placed theological students in supervised contact with patients in mental hospitals. The Association for Clinical Pastoral Education is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as an accrediting organization for CPE programs.
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