Clinical Pastoral Education

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is interfaith professional education for ministry. It brings theological students and ministers of all faiths (pastors, priests, rabbis, imams and others) into supervised encounter with persons in crisis.

CPE is theological education, not chaplain training. Although you function in the role of a chaplain in your service to the hospital, CPE is really about understanding yourself and your theology more clearly.

Completing CPE does not certify anyone to be a chaplain, but it is the education that one needs to pursue professional chaplain certification.

About Our Clinical Pastoral Education Programs

Admissions: UT Medical Center and this ACPE accredited program does not discriminate against persons because of race, ethnicity, religious/spiritual tradition, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, disability. Equal access to educational opportunities is extended to all qualified persons.

We offer four CPE programs:

  • Summer Internship
  • Fall and Winter/Spring Externships
  • Residency Program
  • Certified Educator Training Program

Through our programs, you will:

  • Learn from experienced chaplains and health care teams
  • Receive daily opportunities for pastoral ministry with patients and on-call crisis experiences
  • Gain exposure to diverse spiritual and medical issues

One unit of CPE is 400 hours of supervised ministry education. Of this, 100 hours will be spent in seminars and didactic presentation, and the remaining 300 hours spent in patient visitation and ministry practice.

How to Apply

Download an application from ACPE, our accrediting body.

Intern and extern candidates should also fill out an application for Adult Volunteers through Volunteer Services.

Pay a $35 non-refundable application fee, via check or money order, made to UTMC Department of Pastoral Care.

Complete and mail your application, along with your application fee, to:

Pastoral Care
The University of Tennessee Medical Center
1924 Alcoa Highway
Knoxville, TN 37920

Our Interview and Selection Committee will review your application. We will notify you if you have been accepted for an on-campus interview.

Final acceptance into the program is based on a personal interview, a background check and drug screening.


For more information on CPE, visit ACPE or contact:

Coy T. Callicott, M. Div., BCC, ACPE Certified Chaplain Educator
Chaplain Educator

Summer Internship

Dates: 5/20/24-08/02/24

  • Application deadline: 04/15/2024
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Program tuition: $700

This 11-week, full-time program runs Mondays-Fridays 8 am-4:30 pm, plus some overnight and weekend on-call coverage.

Extern Program

This 18 week program is designed for students who desire clinical pastoral education whose work schedule does not allow for full time education.  Typically, students meet in class on Mondays, and gain clinical ministry experience in visits throughout the week based upon one’s personal schedule.  Time demands include the freedom to meet in class on Mondays, and a minimum of ten hours of visiting time during the week.  Students will also be expected to meet clinical hours through eight overnight calls during the 18 week unit.  This schedule allows the student to meet the 300 hour minimum of clinical experience.

Winter/Spring Externship

Dates: 1/15/24-5/17-24

  • Application deadline: 12/4/23
  • Program tuition: $700.00

Fall Externship

Dates: 8/19/24-12/19/24

  • Application deadline: 07/01/24
  • Program tuition: $700.00

Residency Program

Dates: 8/19/24-8/31/25

  • Application deadline: 7/1/24
  • 12-month intensive program
  • Openings: Four, one-year residencies and one Palliative Care Fellow (second year residency)
  • Prerequisites: Master of Divinity and successful completion of at least one unit of Level 1 CPE
  • Program tuition: Waived
  • Stipend: $35,568/year; eligible for medical/dental/vision insurance

The Resident program is a full-time educational experience that includes overnight and weekend on-call responsibility.

Applications for the Residency program are received and reviewed on a rolling application format. Most resident positions are filled by early June.

Educator Program

Coy T. Callicott, M. Div., BCC, ACPE Certified Chaplain Educator
Chaplain Educator

The University of Tennessee Medical Center/Knoxville
1924 Alcoa Highway
Knoxville, TN  37920

Please contact Pastoral Care office for further information.


ACPE logo small

Our CPE programs are accredited by:

1 Concourse Parkway
Atlanta, Ga. 30328

Contact Us

Pastor comforting a family member

Pastoral Care

1924 Alcoa Highway
Knoxville, TN 37920

Phone: 865-305-9704

Pastoral Care