Clinical Pastoral Education for JTS Students

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) emphasizes pastoral skill building, the formation of a pastoral identity, and the articulation of a theology that emerges from encounters with suffering. This learning is helpful to all clergy and educators who plan to serve in a wide array of settings.

All students in The Rabbinical School and H. L. Miller Cantorial School of JTS are required to complete a 400-hour unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE). For students in any of the other graduate level programs, a single unit of CPE is beneficial to develop skills for helping people in crisis. Students are welcome to apply to any of the CPE units and programs run by the Center for Pastoral Education at JTS, including:

Full-Time Summer CPE Unit*  
Part-Time Hospice CPE Unit
Certificate in Pastoral Care and Counseling

*The Full-Time Summer CPE Program schedule conflicts with the academic calendar in Israel, and may not be possible for students who are completing a year of study in Israel.

Learn more about programs and units of the Center for Pastoral Education at JTS.

Apply to programs and units of the Center for Pastoral Education at JTS.

Alternatively, students can apply for units of CPE at ACPE accredited centers for either full-time summer units or part-time extended units.

The standard application includes the following five essays:

  • A biographical essay about your life
  • An essay about the development of your religious life
  • An essay about the development of your employment history
  • An account of an incident where you were called upon to help someone
  • An essay about your impressions of CPE and your educational goals

The length of the essays can vary as needed. One suggestion is to aim for five to seven pages each for the first two essays. Instead of attempting to write your entire life history, look for paradigmatic stories that help capture your key themes. You can obtain a particular site's application through its website or by calling to request an application. We recommend that you make direct contact with the supervisor of your choice. You may then arrange for your preferred supervisor to receive a copy of your application; this will avoid any unnecessary confusion. Please visit the website of the ACPE for a list of sites that offer CPE.

Most sites have a rolling admissions policy. For sites in the New York City area, it is wise to apply in October for the following summer. For the most accurate timetables, consult the supervisors directly. For fall extended programs, applications can generally be submitted in the spring. Tuition for CPE: most CPE centers charge approximately $750 to $1,000 for a unit of CPE.

Students who decide to fulfill their CPE internship requirement through the Center for Pastoral Education at JTS should, upon acceptance into the program, register for the appropriate courses: CPE6000, CPE6002, or CPE6005 (see Course Catalog). By registering for these courses, the course will appear on your transcript. No formal course credit is associated with these courses.

Students who decide to fulfill their CPE internship requirement through an accredited CPE center other than JTS need to submit their final evaluation and the final evaluation of their supervisor to the director of the Center for Pastoral Education, Rabbi Mychal Springer, at, in order to certify that they have successfully completed a unit of CPE and fulfilled their CPE requirement. The director will then inform the Office of the Registrar, and a note will appear on the transcript that the student has fulfilled the requirement.  

Students enrolled in the Certificate for Pastoral Care and Counseling are required to complete two full units of CPE. Rabbinical students enrolled in the Certificate for Pastoral Care and Counseling  may therefore substitute their congregational internship requirement (the Resnick Internship Program) for a second unit of CPE, but are required to take 6 additional nonduplicative credits of academic coursework.

STIPENDS - For Rabbinical and Cantorial Students

  • Every rabbinical and cantorial student is eligible to receive a Paul A. Kaplan Memorial Fellowship in Pastoral Care to support him or her during completion of a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at JTS or at another ACPE accredited center. 
  • The Rita J. & Stanley H. Kaplan Family Foundation created this fellowship in memory of their son Paul in gratitude to Rabbi William Lebeau for his faithful and transformative care during the period of Paul's illness and dying. The Paul A. Kaplan Memorial Fellowship in Pastoral Care enables rabbinical and cantorial students at JTS to achieve excellence in providing pastoral care to the communities that they will serve.
  • All students who are enrolled in the JTS Hospice or Social Service CPE units are also eligible for stipends granted through the Caring Commission of the UJA-Federation of New York.

Students who have been awarded stipends need to submit a copy of their learning contract before the funds can be disbursed to the director of the Center for Pastoral Education. Once the learning contract has been received, The Division of Religious Leadership will authorize the transfer of the funds to the student's bursar account. If there is no outstanding balance, the student can request the Office of the Bursar to issue a check. If there is an outstanding balance, the stipend will be applied to that balance. Stipends are disbursed no sooner than four weeks into the program. Students who do not complete the program are required to return stipends that they have received.

TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENTS - For Rabbinical Students
Rabbinical students are eligible for travel reimbursement to and from their internship sites, up to a total of $400, upon submission of original receipts. Original receipts should be submitted to Rita Gordon at in the Office of The Rabbinical School. Students should allow several weeks for the receipt of checks. If a student drives to her or his internship site, receipts for tolls paid should be submitted; other driving-related expenses are calculated at 40 cents per mile. Students who previously received travel reimbursement for a Resnick Internship are not eligible for further reimbursement.

Upon graduation from JTS, students who have at least one unit of CPE are eligible to apply for a CPE residency  at any ACPE accredited center. Residencies pay a stipend and are usually designed for ordained clergy. A residency can work well as a postgraduate year of study. The completion of a CPE residency, along with the prerequisite unit of CPE, fulfills the clinical education requirement for certification as a Jewish chaplain by the National Association of Jewish Chaplains.

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