Critical Components in the Formation of
Clinical Pastoral Education Supervisors
by Amy Elise Greene
December 2011
Summary of a dissertation presented in
partial fulfillment of the requirements
for the Doctor of Ministry degree
from Ecumenical Theological Seminary
Detroit, Michigan
Outline
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What is CPE?
My vocational journey and CPE
Review of Literature and Hypothesis
Methodology
Major findings
Further questions
Critical Components © 2011
Amy Elise Greene
What Is Clinical Pastoral Education?
 Graduate education for Clergy
 Widely required for ordination
 Credential for professional chaplains and
pastoral counselors for Board Certification
 Hands-on experiential learning under
supervision
 Theological education in institutional
settings
Critical Components © 2011
Amy Elise Greene
My vocational journey and CPE
1986 – M.Div. Union Theological Seminary (NYC)
1987 – drop out of CPE program (NYC)
1989 – ordained to pastor in Atlanta
1997 – re-enter CPE in Atlanta
1998 – enter supervisory training
2002 – become Full Supervisor, ACPE, Inc.
2007 – become Director of CPE, Cleveland Clinic,
a supervisory training center
 2011 – Doctoral candidate, ETS, Detroit
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Critical Components © 2011
Amy Elise Greene
What is ACPE, Inc.?
 Association for Clinical Pastoral Education
 Formed in 1967 when four groups merged
 Recognized by U.S. Department of
Education as certifying body
 ~600 Active Members (mostly within U.S.)
 ~455 Training Centers (most in hospitals)
 Fewer than 100 Centers engaged in
Supervisory Training (~100 supervisors
accredited to do so)
Critical Components © 2011
Amy Elise Greene
Groups that joined to form ACPE
Council for
Clinical Training
Lutheran Advisory
Council on
Pastoral Care
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Institute of
Pastoral Care
Southern Baptist
Association of
Clinical Pastoral
Education
Amy Elise Greene
Literature from within CPE:
 Histories
 Thornton (1970)
 Hall (1992)
 King (2007)
 Group Process
 Hemenway (1996)
 Biography of Boisen
 Leas (2009)
 Dissertations on
supervisory training
 Harper (1991)
 Ragsdale (2008)
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 Theory Papers
 1980 to present
Amy Elise Greene
Literature Relevant to Study
 The Power to Bless (Madden) 1970
 The Supervisory Relationship (FrawleyO’Dea and Sarnat) 2001
 Shared Wisdom (Cooper-White) 2004
 ACPE Theory Papers (Greene) 2003
 At Personal Risk: Boundary Violations in
Professional-Client Relationships
(Peterson) 1992
Critical Components © 2011
Amy Elise Greene
Reason for this study:
 Average age of active practitioners is 59
 Supervisor certification rate is not keeping
up with retirement rate
 Some centers still don’t have faculty
 Membership had never been surveyed
about training process
 How can we make the training process
better?
Critical Components © 2011
Amy Elise Greene
The CPE Training Process:
 Levels
 Level One (400 hours – one unit)
 Level Two (year-long residency or additional
units)
 Supervisory Training (4 - 6 more years of
training, plus supervised practice)
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Candidacy
Theory Papers
Associate
Full
Critical Components © 2011
Amy Elise Greene
Research Methodology
 SurveyMonkey.com online electronic survey
 Three requests sent, one week apart
 Survey questions did not change; request memo did
 Participants could opt out and not receive further
requests or emails
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Sent to all members on membership list (809)
50 “bounced back”; study proceeds with 759
Forced-choice ranking system yields solid data
Response overwhelming (55.5% of members)
 449 out of 759 completed the survey (59.2 percent)
 Incomplete surveys could not be counted
Critical Components © 2011
Amy Elise Greene
Components of supervisory training
 Consultation groups
(with peers and other
supervisors)
 Involvement in regional
and/or national CPE
meetings
 Individual
psychotherapy
 Freedom to practice on
your own
 Clinical placement
 Curriculum (required by
Standards since 1990s)
 Theory paper writing
process
 Being denied a request
(“flunking” a committee)
 Relationship to
supervisor
 Having multiple training
supervisors (one center)
Critical Components © 2011
Amy Elise Greene
Critical Finding #1: Relationships are core in top
three “Critical Components”
Curriculum
Involvement in ACPE meetings
Being denied a request
Clinical placement
Theory paper writing process
Freedom to practice on your own
Multiple training supervisors
Individual psychotherapy
Relationship to supervisor
Consultation groups
0%
Critical Components © 2011
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
Amy Elise Greene
Critical Finding #2: at current trend, average age of
newly certified supervisors will be 59 in two decades.
65.0
60.0
55.0
50.0
Average Age 45.0
40.0
in
35.0
Years
30.0
25.0
20.0
54
59
50
44
47
(Projected)
40
37
34
26
0s
5
19
0s
6
19
0s
7
19
0s
8
19
0s
9
19
0s
0
20
0s
1
20
0s
2
20
0s
3
20
Decade of Certification
Critical Components © 2011
Amy Elise Greene
Length of Time to Work as Supervisor
vs. Number of Years to Train
ONE @ age 35
4-6 years to train;
30 years’ work
Critical Components © 2011
=
THREE @ age 55
12-18 years to train;
3 retirees 10 years later
Amy Elise Greene
Critical Finding #3: Women complete
process faster than men
8
Female
Male
7.5
7
6.5
6
5.5
2.1 years
5
Years in
Certification 4.5
Process 4
3.5
3
20 - 29
30 - 34
35 - 39
40 - 44
45 - 49
50+
Age Range at Training Start (Years)
Critical Components © 2011
Amy Elise Greene
Critical Finding #4: Frequent presentation to peers
reduces training time by more than one year
6.5
6.5 years
6.3 years
1.2 years
Years Required 6.0
to Achieve Full
Supervisor
status
5.5
5.4 years
5.3 years
5.0
Quarterly
Monthly
Bi-weekly
Weekly
Frequency of Presenting Work
to Supervisors and/or Peers
Critical Components © 2011
Amy Elise Greene
Theological and Scriptural Images for
Primary Supervisory Relationship
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Incarnation
Brother in ministry
One who walked
alongside me, Road to
Emmaus companion
Paraclete, Advocate
Seed planter
One who blessed
Forgiving
Healer
Priest
Pastor
Disturber of the peace
Spiritual friend
Spiritual encourager
Mentor, teacher
Critical Components © 2011
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Like Jacob and the
angel (blessing
and struggle)
Truth teller, spoke
the “truth in love”
Covenant maker
Midwife
Liberator
Inspirer
Healer
Sage
Witness
One who offered
radical acceptance
Rabbi
Listener
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Father of the
prodigal, good
father
Prophet
Shepherd
Guide
Like Paul and
Timothy
Anointer
Law and grace
Discerner of gifts,
caller forth of gifts
Fellow
pilgrim/traveler
Moses, led me
through the
wilderness
Amy Elise Greene
Questions for further research:
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Why do women get through faster?
How should we recruit/market?
Should therapy be required?
Would better curricula have an impact?
Why does presenting more often help?
Where are our own theorists?
How can we make training more effective?
Should process be tied to doctoral degree?
Critical Components © 2011
Amy Elise Greene
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