CPEI Credentialing Process & Standards

Assessment Process

Ecclesiastical or Religious Endorsement is a written statement from a designated endorsing or approving organization that affirms an individual is in good standing and accountable to one’s denomination or a religious endorser. Ecclesiastical or Religious Endorsing agency is a condition of Certification with CPEI and must come from a recognized and approved endorser. A list of many of the approved endorsers is provided below; however, it is not an all-inclusive list. A local church or congregation is NOT an approved endorser.

This website will identify the approved religious endorsing agencies:

https://prhome.defense.gov/M-RA/MPP/AFCB/Endorsements/

If in question, please contact the Chair of the Certification Committee

The Interview Assessment is graded as follows:

  1. Points 70-56: Passed without comments.
  2. Points 55-40: Provisionally passed with specific comments: The applicant must schedule a follow-up meeting with the Certification Committee within the year to address the concerns identified.
  3. Points 39-Below: The candidate did not pass with comments. The applicant must schedule a follow-up meeting with the Credentialing Committee within the year to address the concerns identified.

CPEI Credentialing Standards

CS-1: Ecclesiastical or Faith Group Endorsement

Ecclesiastical or faith group endorsement is a written statement from a designated endorsing or approving organization that affirms an individual is in good standing and accountable to the faith group or denomination.  Faith group or denominational endorsement is a condition of Credentialing with CPEI.
This website will identify the approved ecclesiastical / faith group endorsing agencies: https://prhome.defense.gov/M-RA/MPP/AFCB/Endorsements/
If in question, please contact the Chair of the Credentialing Committee.

CS-2: Educational Accrediting Institutions

The Credentialing Committee seeks to affirm individuals who have met the requirements from accredited educational institutions; however, non-accredited institutions will be taken into consideration.

CS-3: Educational Equivalences

Persons who are seeking equivalency for education should adhere to the following and provide the required documentation by completing the form found here.

CS-4: Required Clinical Pastoral Education Units/Courses

  • Certificate in Chaplaincy – One Course (application only, no interview required)
  • Board Certified Associate Chaplain- A bachelor’s degree or a graduate degree with a minimum of (36 hours) and four courses in Clinical Pastoral Education.
  • Board Certified Chaplain- four courses in Clinical Pastoral Education.
  • Supervisor-Educator- four courses in Clinical Pastoral Education and four courses of Supervisory Education.
  • Equivalency: individuals may apply for equivalency CPE, but only one course will be accepted and applied. Individuals can use this form.

CS-5: Reciprocity for Credentialing

  1. Individuals certified and in good standing with another professional organization may apply for reciprocity.
  2. Applications for Credentialing will be reviewed by the Chair or Co-Chairs for Chaplains or Supervisors for approval or request additional information.
  3. If approved, the approving chair for Chaplaincy or Supervision will submit the approval report which can be found here and provide the applicant with the letter of approval and a certificate
  4. Supervisors applying for reciprocity are required to complete a background check and submit a copy of the report with the application materials. Although other background check information can be submitted, CPEI recommends Clear Checks (Basic Search) Clear Checks 
  1. Individuals approved for reciprocity as a Supervisor-Educator or Training Supervisor-Educator will also be required to complete the CPEI Reciprocity Courses to better understand CPEI’s method of operating.
  2. Supervisor-educators or Training Supervisors-Educators joining CPEI and desiring to provide supervision will be required to review and sign the Memorandum of Understanding for CPEI Affiliate Organizations. The MOU replaces the self-study requirements previously required by CPEI.

CS-6: Submission of Materials

  1. Completed applications must be submitted a minimum of 60 days in advance of the time to be reviewed.
  2. Review of applications occurs during February, May, August, and November. 
  3. Incomplete or poorly written materials will be returned.
  4. Written materials will adhere to the following guidelines:
    a. Be written at a graduate level, clear and legible.
    b. Providing citations for any works used to avoid plagiarism. 
    c. Limit the number of pages for each requirement (double-spaced) with footnote, bibliography/references, and other attachments.
    d. Use a standard 1-inch margin and Times New Roman or Arial font size 12 points.
    e. Include a title page, table of contents, and page numbers.
  5. Failure to follow these guidelines will result in a delayed review, as the materials will be returned.
  6. DO NOT USE AI (Artificial Intelligence) to write your papers. This could result in you having to rewrite your paper and delay the certification process. 

CS-7: Demonstrate Effective Personal, Professional and Pastoral Care Skills (Chaplain Credentialing (CC)

  • CC:1.0- Identify significant turning points, past hurts, disappointments, and successes in life which impact one’s personal, pastoral, and professional identity as well as the awareness of one’s strengths and limitations.
  • CC:1.1- Articulate the ability provide meaningful pastoral care to others in crisis, and describe one’s feelings, attitudes, values, and assumptions.
  • CC:1.2- Demonstrate in written and verbal discussions an awareness of one’s faith development and its integration into one’s theory of pastoral care.
  • CC:1.3-Identify potential ethical issues in the practice of ministry and the role as an advocate for clients/patients, families, and staff.
  • CC:1.4- Discuss one’s self-care plan for spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being.
  • CC:2.0-Articulate a clear pastoral care theory which describes one’s approach in addressing spiritual and human development issues.
  • CC:2.1- Demonstrate the ability to center self and engage individuals with confidence while setting aside personal and religious agendas and utilize one’s professional authority as appropriate.
  • CC:2.2-Discuss the ability to conduct a spiritual/pastoral assessment and develop an appropriate pastoral intervention.
  • CC:2.3-Articulate the ability to consult, collaborate, and communicate with healthcare and other professionals.
  • CC:2.4- Describe one’s ability to establish a meaningful pastoral relationship with persons from diverse cultural and theological backgrounds.
  • CC:3.0- Demonstrate the ability to assess systemic principles and/or group dynamics in relating to and providing pastoral care.
  • CC:3.1-Communicate the ability to identify human development and spiritual issues while providing meaningful spiritual care to others, which contributes to the well-being of others. This could include but is not limited to psychological or emotional issues such as grief and loss, domestic violence, and anger.
  • CC:4.0- Demonstrate competency in oral and written communication, which reflects graduate-level work. Use of APA, Turabian, or a similar format.
  • CC:5.0-Present in a manner that reflects professional behavior, including appropriate attire and a confidential setting for the review.

CS-8: Credentialing Standards for Supervisor-Educators

  • SC:1.1-Articulate knowledge of pastoral supervision and the supervisory process.
  • SC:1.2-Demonstrate an awareness of supervisory literature
  • SC:1.3- Demonstrate the ability to integrate theory and knowledge in supervisory practice.
  • SC:1.4- Describe the ability to use critical relationships for consultation and support.
  • SC:2.0- Demonstrate the ability to integrate theory and knowledge in supervisory practice.
  • SC:2.1-Demonstrate the ability to assist in student development and evaluation.
  • SC:2.2-Demonstrate the ability to practice ethical supervision.
  • SC:3.0-Articulate an awareness of the administration and management of CPE.
  • SC:4.0-Discuss spiritual, emotional, and physical self-care.
  • SC:4.1-Demonstrate the ability to engage others for consultation and support.
  • SC:4.2-Demonstrate self-awareness as well as professional and pastoral identity as a   supervisor-educator.
  • SC:5.0-Demonstrate oral and written communication competency, reflecting graduate-level work. Use of APA, Turabian, or a similar format.
  • SC 5.1-Present in a manner that reflects professional behavior, including appropriate attire and a confidential setting for the review.

CS-9: Payment of Annual Fees and Continued Education Requirements

Certified members are required to renew their fees annually by November 1 and submit their continuing education hours by December 15.

  1. 10 Continuing education (CE) hours for chaplains
  2. 15 continuing education (CE) hours for supervisors-educators
  3. Participate in an ongoing collegial relationship with other pastoral clinicians for consultation, peer-review, support, and encouragement.

CS-10: Credentialing Non-Approval, Removal of Status and Appeals

One of the goals of certification is to ensure to the public that an individual has successfully met the requirements to perform the duties ascribed to one’s profession. To maintain the highest order of credentialed individuals to represent the profession the following guidelines have been established.

Persons applying for credentialing as a chaplain, or a supervisor-educator should not assume that credentialing is automatic. The requirements are spelled out in this manual and must be met in both written and oral communication.

Credentialing Non-Approval

  1. Chaplain Non-Approval Status
    The Credentialing Committee assesses each applicant based on their fulfillment of the competencies (CC: 1.0-CC: 5.0) required as well as the presentation of self to a review committee. Applicants are assessed by each reviewer using a 5-Point Likert scale (Strongly Agree-5 to Strongly Disagree-1).
       a. Repeat Credentialing Reviews
         1) Applicants are allowed three visits before the Credentialing Committee. A fee is charged for each visit.
         2) Applicants who fail to meet the requirements for credentialing have two options:
              a) Wait a minimum of one year to reapply.
              b) Commit to enrolling in at least one or more additional courses of CPE as guided by the Credentialing Committee. After completion of the additional course(s) reapply.
         3) Applicants who fail after repeating additional courses of CPE will no longer be considered for credentialing.
  1. Supervisor-Educator Non-Approval Status
    The Credentialing Committee assesses each applicant based on their fulfillment of the competencies (SS: 1.1-SS: 5.1) required as well as the presentation of self to a review committee. Applicants are assessed by each reviewer using a 5-Point Likert scale (Strongly Agree-5 to Strongly Disagree-1).
       b. Repeat Credentialing Reviews
         1) Applicants are allowed three visits before the Credentialing Committee. A fee is charged for each visit.
         2) Applicants who fail to meet the requirements for credentialing after three reviews have two options:
              a) Wait a minimum of one year to reapply.
              b) Commit to enrolling in one or more additional courses of Supervisory Education as guided by the Credentialing Committee. After completion of the additional course(s) reapply.
         3) Applicants who fail after repeating additional courses of CPE will no longer be considered for credentialing.

Removal of Credentialing

CPEI recognizes the removal of credentialing is a serious decision and will not take it lightly. Any actions involving this type of decision must be coordinated between the Credentialing and Ethics Committees with the applicant being informed in writing.

Removal of Credentialing can occur for the following reasons:

  1. Failure to abide by CPEI’s Code of Professional Ethics.
  2. Failure to complete the required annual continuing education requirements.
  3. Failure to maintain ecclesiastical endorsement.
  4. Failure to pay annual renewal fees.

CS-11: Credentialing Appeals Process

Individuals seeking to appeal decisions by the Credentialing Committee may submit their request using the CPEI Appeal Form.