Clinical Pastoral Education

Four features make Rush University Medical Center and the Department of Religion, Health and Human Values an ideal location for Clinical Pastoral Education.

First, Rush offers students the opportunity to minister to people facing major life changes due to critical and/or chronic illness. Persons who are confronted with these events are often in need of comfort and support. They often seek help exploring and evaluating how they are coping with these realities and what they mean in the context of their life and spirituality.

Second, the Medical Center is an environment committed to education in the health care field. Rush has a long-standing allegiance to the concept of practitioner-teacher. The Medical Center believes that the best teachers are those who are clinicians and the best clinicians are also teachers. Although the specific balance of these two activities varies for each individual staff member, it is expected that the two will be found together. This philosophy prevails at the administrative level of the institution, where most administrators are also faculty in their respective schools, and also within the Department of Religion, Health and Hu man Values.

Third, the Clinical Pastoral Education, or CPE, supervisors at Rush have a variety of backgrounds and learning interests. Each was certified in a different decade and, thus, brings history, experience and new ideas to the table of supervision. They each share a deep commitment to Rush and the CPE program.

Fourth, through the Department of Religion, Health and Human Values and Rush University itself, both of which share the same campus, CPE students have access to educational facilities and a vast collection of materials. In the Department itself, there is a library of publications, both books and periodicals. In addition, each CPE supervisor in the department maintains and updates his/her own library of pastoral and theological materials, which are available to the students. Finally, the University’s library, while geared primarily to the needs of students in clinical and health management fields, also makes available many resources that can assist CPE students in their pastoral and theological pursuit.