Fr. Jojo Orosa (left), Melissa Shafer and Fr. Andrew Seo with the provisional accreditation for St. Camillus’ CPE Program. (Submitted photo)

Individuals can grow spiritually and professionally when taking part in a Clinical Pastoral Education Program, such as the one offered by the St. Camillus Life Plan Community.

Through the program, participants can benefit from first-hand experience and prepare for a career providing compassionate support and healing ministry to patients, loved ones and staff.

The CPE Program trains participants with a combination of theological, pastoral, spiritual and professional education with supervised clinical practice, enabling students of all faiths to bring comfort, compassion, strength, and inner healing to those who are sick, disabled, and/or aging. Through the program, as well as through feedback and self-reflection, students are challenged to develop, deepen, and expand the quality of their pastoral identity and pastoral relationships, as well as gaining new insights and understanding about the human and spiritual situations in the context of pastoral care ministry.

In May, the St. Camillus Community was granted reaccreditation to continue offering Level I and Level II Clinical Pastoral Education. The accreditation team offered additional recommendations for further program development, including adding a Certified Educator (CE) CPE program to train future CPE Educators.

Fr. Agustin (Jojo) Orosa, MI, BCC, serves as the head of the CPE Program and the sole certified educator for the program. He also serves as the director of the pastoral care department, as well as the provincial vicar for the U.S. Delegates of the Order of the Ministers of the Inform (Camillian Order), which is the sponsoring religious order for the St. Camillus campus. He and Melissa Shafer, the CPE program development coordinator, work together at St. Camillus.

The extensive reaccreditation review by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE) includes an in-depth self-study with verifiable program documentation illustrating compliance with ACPE standards, as well as multiple meetings between the national representatives and campus leadership, advisory board members, CPE alumni, current students and staff members.

“With the support of our campus leadership and the Order of St. Camillus, we charged forward with the development of this graduate level education program, including writing a new curriculum and a proposal for submission to the ACPE commission board,” she said. “On Sept. 2, we were granted provisional accreditation to start our CE CPE training program, making us one of only a handful of centers in the U.S. to provide this kind of training in a geriatric care setting.”

Following the approval, Shafer and Fr. Orosa began their new CE CPE program Sept. 8 and currently have one certified educator student, Fr. Andrew Seo. Fr. Seo has served as a staff chaplain at St. Camillus for the past two years. He will continue his chaplaincy, but will transition to a new role as certified educator candidate with additional responsibilities, as well as a new schedule to reflect his new role.

Fr. Seo’s responsibilities include ministry to the residents, staff and families, as well as providing sacraments, said Shafer.

“Fr. Andrew is currently seeking his board certification from the National Association of Catholic Chaplains (NACC), which is a prerequisite for our Certified Educator CPE Program,” she said. “He will be interviewing with our campus’s CPE admissions board for formal acceptance as a certified educator candidate (CEC) to our program locally as he is building his portfolio to be accepted by the ACPE as a CEC nationally. As a new CEC, Fr. Andrew will continue to serve as a staff chaplain but will now be focusing a majority of his time to education, supervising and training in CPE.”

The CPE Program offers two-unit credits of CPE each year in both Level I and Level II CPE with approximately 250 graduates of the program, Shafer said.

The program averages a dozen students per year, domestically and internationally. Due to favorable feedback, there is a continual stream of applicants to the program, especially those wanting to specialize in geriatric care.

According to Fr. Orosa, students come from a variety of backgrounds including ordained clergy, members of religious communities, pastoral leaders, qualified lay people and chaplains.

“CPE is often a seminary requirement for those who wish to be ordained in their respective faith as well as for those pursuing a career in chaplaincy and/or becoming a board-certified chaplain,” he said. “Through our program, students are able to better minister to those they serve whether it be in a hospital, parish, congregation, geriatric care setting, etc. Our students will be specialized in geriatric care ministry upon completion of the program.”

Students in the CPE program conduct their off-campus clinical ministry at their places of employment, parish or congregation.

For more information on the CPE Programs

Contact: Melissa Shafer

CPE Program Development Coordinator and Pastoral Care Assistant

10101 W. Wisconsin Ave.

Wauwatosa, WI 53226