The Shaw Chaplaincy Institute

Clinical Pastoral Education (C.P.E.)

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 C.P.E. 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, C.P.E. students develop new awareness of themselves and the needs of those they serve.

Program Structure 
C.P.E. as offered through ACPE accredits two types of programs, C.P.E. Level I/Level II and Certified Educator C.P.E. C.P.E. Programs have Objectives and C.P.E. Students have Outcomes. Objectives define the scope of the C.P.E. program curricula. Outcomes define the competencies to be developed by students as a result of participating in C.P.E. programs. One unit of C.P.E. is a minimum of 400 hours, of which 100 hours must be structured learning and 300 hours must be direct contact with population you are serving. C.P.E. is conducted with peer group learning and interaction. A C.P.E. peer group must have at least 3 students.

• The SFTS C.P.E. program is fully accredited to offer Level I, Level II and Supervisory C.P.E. by The Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE)
• The C.P.E. program at SFTS offers three sessions of C.P.E. on a calendar that coincides with the SFTS academic year
• SFTS offers a Supervisory Education Fellowship to one student preparing to become a certified ACPE supervisor

Internship Extended Units (Level I & II)
These internship units are offered in the fall, spring, and summer terms. During the fall and spring unit (17 weeks total), interns complete 11 hours of structured education per week, and 22 hours of direct pastoral care per week. When offered, summer C.P.E. classes run over the course of 14 weeks, and require 12 hours of structured education per week, and 30 hours of direct pastoral care per week.

Supervisory Education
SFTS offers the Shaw Supervisory Education Fellowship to one student so they can train to become a certified ACPE supervisor.

Please see department for course listings.

Certificate in Trauma & Spiritual Care (C.T.S.C.)

The Certificate in Trauma & Spiritual Care provides working professionals in both clinical and pastoral settings with the skills needed to adequately care for and help people during life’s most difficult situations.

Focusing on the spiritual understandings of trauma and healing, this intensive program combines crisis intervention training and trauma counseling education to give caregivers a comprehensive set of skills to help trauma survivors recover from their experiences.

Traumatic experiences affect people and communities in particular and complicated ways. In addition to physical and psychological impacts, trauma also can shatter trust and hope, which are the foundations of spirituality.

The certificate is comprised of four courses: Dynamics of Trauma, Trauma Care Resiliency, God & Human Suffering, and Collective Trauma, Collective Wisdom. Generally, one course is offered each fall and spring term over four weekends (Friday evenings and Saturdays during the day). However, this fall we are offering two courses (see descriptions below). If a summer course is scheduled, it’s offered as a week-long intensive. Each course is 3 academic credits or 40 contact hours of continuing education. Courses may also be taken on an individual basis but all four trauma courses must be completed in order

Transfer Credits
If upon entering the certificate program students do not have a(n) M.Div., M.A., or M.A.T.S., and later choose to enroll in one of these degree programs at SFTS, the completed certificate courses cannot be transferred into the degree program.

There are four courses in the curriculum held during a period of two years. Each course meets once a month for four months, usually Friday evening for 3 hours and all day Saturday. Courses can be taken in any order and cannot be duplicated.


ST 2209 God and Human Suffering.
Deals with issues of theodicy—how we make sense of evil in a world that is supposed to be under the care of a good God while providing pastoral care in relation to those who are suffering. This course explores the relationship between human suffering and the human spirit.

Other Certificate Courses

SP 2150 Collective Trauma, Collective Memory: Systemic Issues of Trauma.
Explores the dynamics of trauma as a set of social patterns and relationships constructed through conditions that legitimate hostile imaginations, feelings, and actions. Using race as the central category for systemic issues that exacerbate collective trauma and collective memories of trauma, this course will examine socially traumatic events, and social constructs that lead to collective memories of collective traumas. From the pastoral care, spiritual, and psychological fields it will identify the epidemiology of collective trauma and uncover roots of racial, gender, and class social injustices, such that social realities that create and reinforce collective trauma may be identified and eliminated.

SP 4055 Dynamics of Trauma.
explores the basic dynamics of trauma from a variety of perspectives: sociological, psychological, psychiatric, neuroscience, relational, theological and spiritual. Additional topics include: the great variety and demographics of trauma, and the emerging field of traumatology, along with the spiritual and moral dimensions to trauma and the traumatized person, including the emerging concept of “moral injury.”

SPPS 4460 Trauma Care Resiliency: Developing Transformative Emotional Intelligence (EQ).
Applies the principles of transformative learning to foster EQ growth. This approach requires sufficient time for implicit learning to occur, space for self-reflection and questioning one’s own assumptions, and an environment which supports, confronts and clarifies. In this class, students will learn critical care competencies for trauma care-giving including self-awareness, self-management and impulse control, empathy and the ability to attune to others, flexibility, creativity, decision-making and problem-solving, and the ability to engage and inspire others.

For admissions and application information regarding the Shaw Chaplaincy Institute, please visit

For additional information regarding the C.P.E., please visit

For additional information regarding the C.T.S.C., please visit