Center for Pastoral Education Programs

  • Clinical Pastoral Education Units
  • Creating Caring Communities Through Bikkur Holim
  • Sexuality Issues for Jewish Clergy

Clinical Pastoral Education Units

Applications for all programs are accepted on a rolling basis. Apply Now. Download the reference form here.

The Center for Pastoral Education at The Jewish Theological Seminary offers the following multifaith units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE):

  • Hospice and Elder Care CPE for Seminarians (summer unit)
  • Hospice CPE for Seminarians (academic year, part-time)
  • Clergy and Religious Leaders (part-time, half unit)

"CPE at JTS was the most transformative growth experience of my adult life."
-Matt Klein, cantor, CS '11

At the Center for Pastoral Education, we equip religious leaders to serve the most vulnerable members of their communities. Our students are immersed in expertly supervised clinical practice that fosters skill building, theological development, and pastoral identity formation. By re-envisioning clergy learning contexts to include hospice rooms, soup kitchens, nursing homes, and prisons, the Center has placed the life and death issues of real people at the heart of JTS education. 

Hospice and Elder Care CPE for Seminarians (summer unit)

(May 23, 2016-August 12, 2016)
This 400-hour,12-week intensive training program teaches seminarians of all faiths how to best provide pastoral care. The center offers two unique summer programs: the Elder Care CPE Program and the Hospice CPE Program. Chaplain interns spend three days a week providing pastoral care at clinical sites and the other two days at JTS for educational seminars. Students enrolled in this unit are eligible for a stipend granted through the Caring Commission of the UJA-Federation of New York. This stipend is intended to help offset the cost of tuition and living expenses. Applicants who have a successful interview with a JTS CPE supervisor will then interview with a specific clinical site. Descriptions of current clinical sites are available upon request.

Tuition: $800

Hospice CPE for Seminarians (academic year, part-time)

(October 20, 2015- May 10, 2016; Tuesdays 1:00-5:30 p.m.)
This full unit runs the length of the academic year. Chaplain interns meet one afternoon a week at JTS and complete 11 hours of clinical work a week on a flexible schedule. Placements are at the Mollie and Jack Zicklin Jewish Hospice Residence in Riverdale, New York, and other hospice sites that are part of the Metropolitan Jewish Health System. Students enrolled in this unit are eligible for a stipend granted through the Caring Commission of the UJA-Federation of New York. This stipend is intended to help offset the cost of tuition and living expenses. Descriptions of current clinical sites are available upon request.
Tuition: $800
Clergy and Religious Leaders (part-time, half unit)

Monday Program: One Monday each month, October 19, 2015-June 20, 2016
Tuesday Program: One Tuesday each month, October 20, 2015-June 21, 2016
Chicago Program: February 2016 – July 2016*

*Sessions will be conducted through a combination of in person and via videoconference meetings.  In person meetings take place at JTS’s Chicago office at 65 E Wacker Pl, Chicago, IL 60601

Participants delve into the unique aspects of pastoral work that arise in congregational settings and places of professional pastoral practice. This singular program credits participants for the pastoral work they complete in their places of employment. We focus on supporting the reflective practitioner, enhancing the art of pastoral care, and teaching advanced skills for meeting the pastoral needs of congregations.
Tuition: $600

General Structure of the CPE Units

  • CPE is grounded in the "reflective practitioner" model of learning, which helps students integrate their identities and prior knowledge with new insights that emerge through the process of practicing pastoral care.
  • All full units of CPE consist of 300 clinical hours of pastoral work in clinical settings and 100 hours of educational seminars. Half units consist of 180 clinical hours and 60 hours of educational seminars.
  • The educational components of CPE include student presentations of verbatims-written reports of individual visits with patients-with extensive attention paid to pastoral skills, identity, and theology.
  • Students participate in regular individual supervision and regular Interpersonal Relations (IPR) seminars. IPRs are open-agenda seminars in which students focus on developing interpersonal skills by engaging in an in-the-moment learning process, with an emphasis on being attuned to feelings and learning how to journey deeply with others.
  • In addition, students participate in seminars on a variety of pastoral topics with contributions by JTS faculty members and guest lecturers.

Application Materials and Instructions for Submission
All application materials (forms, essays, letters of recommendations, etc.) must be submitted electronically (attached as a PDF or word document). Please send all documents to

In addition to the standard requirements, the Clergy and Religious Leaders program requires the following:

  • A letter describing the contexts in which the applicant works and how the applicant envisions dividing his / her time so that she or he can demonstrate sufficient pastoral contacts to meet the 180-hour pastoral work component of the program.
  • letter from their community affirming its support for the applicant to participate in this program. Attached is a letter to congregations explaining the program. 

Policies and Procedures for All JTS CPE Students 
The Center for Pastoral Education meets all ACPE standards, and ensures that students are informed in writing of all policies, procedures, rights, and responsibilities that pertain to them as participants in ACPE programs at JTS and UTS Satellite.

All CPE students are protected by FERPA. FERPA rights can be viewed here.  The Center's Annual Notice on student records can be found here.  

All units of CPE offered are accredited through the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE). For comprehensive information about Clinical Pastoral Education, please go to ACPE. 

Important Information for JTS Students. 

Learn more about Military Chaplaincy.

Creating Caring Communities through Bikkur Holim

A free online self-guided course for groups or individuals, offering Jewish congregational leaders and volunteers an opportunity to become conversant with carefully selected resources and texts from Jewish tradition and contemporary scholarship in the caring professions.  The curriculum incorporates case scenarios and role plays, exercises for building listening skills, discussion questions and opportunities for guided reflection.

Creating Caring Communities through Bikkur Holim enables participants to gain:

  • Familiarity with the underlying theological, psychological and communal rationales of key pastoral skills and how to use these skills in bikkur holim visits.
  • Knowledge of Jewish language, tradition and values related to bikkur holim.
  • Confidence and grounding to be better providers of bikkur holim and leaders of effective and sustainable congregation-based bikkur holim programs.

This course was developed with the generous support of the Covenant Foundation.

Access Creating Caring Communities through Bikkur Holim now


Sexuality Issues for Jewish Clergy

A deeply reflective online course designed to increase knowledge and skills at the intersection of faith and sexuality, which blends interactive peer-learning elements into an asynchronous, self-directed program.  The program is suitable for Jewish clergy of all movements. Topics include:

  • Understanding personal values and history
  • Components of sexual identity
  • Pastoral care around sexuality issues
  • Sexuality education in faith communities
  • Jewish text and sexuality
  • Preaching on sexuality issues

Sexuality Issues for Jewish Clergy was developed in collaboration with the Religious Institute.  

Register now for Sexuality Issues for Jewish Clergy.  Deadline October 16th.  

Course fee: $200