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Frequently Asked CPE Questions


What is Level I and Level II CPE?

These are terms used by ACPE, Inc. Level I CPE is a beginning level, with basic learning objectives. Level II CPE follows Level I and is a more advanced level of educational objectives and outcomes. A student must complete Level I objectives and outcomes before advancing to Level II.

What is the difference between the chaplain internship and residency?

An internship offers one unit of CPE, whereas a residency offers three units. An internship is held in the summer (6 week intensive unit) or fall-spring extended unit. A residency is a year-long appointment, with Monday-Friday working hours and regular on-call duties, including weekends and some holidays.

What is an extended unit of CPE?

This is part-time CPE intern program that usually meets two days per week, for 4 to 6 months, beginning in the fall and running through early spring. Upon completion of program, student will receive 1 unit of CPE credit.

How many students are in resident and intern groups?

There are six residents, including one supervisory student. There are usually six interns in the summer and fall units.

Do you have to have a unit of CPE to apply for a residency?

Yes, at our center, one unit of Level I CPE is a prerequisite for residency.

If I do the internship, does that automatically qualify me for residency?

No. You are eligible to apply for residency when you have completed your internship.

What if I don’t have a Master of Divinity degree (M.Div.)? Will my degree suffice?

We will consider equivalent the appropriate education for ordination in your faith tradition.

Do I need to go (or have gone) to a seminary?

Not for Level I CPE and the intern program. Seminary education is preferred for residency candidates, but we will consider equivalents which indicate serious theological reflection and education in theological issues.

Do I have to be ordained for CPE?

Ordination is not required for intern programs. For residencies, we prefer ordination, or evidence that you are in the process of ordination.

Is there an academic degree associated with CPE?

There are a few CPE centers that offer this, and if the unit is taken as part of a seminary program, a student may receive academic credit. However, in most cases, there is no academic credit given for CPE. CPE may qualify for continuing education credits in some denominations.

Do you offer CPE online?

At this time, we do not offer CPE online through our center.

Can I work and take CPE at the same time?

The level I Extended program is part-time and available to area clergy and other professionals who need such arrangements. The residency and summer programs are not set up for those who work.

What does CPE cost and are scholarships available?

Interns have a $700 tuition charge and a $50 application processing fee. Residents and Supervisory students have a $50 processing fee and no tuition charge. Scholarships are not offered through our CPE Center. Check www.acpe.edu for information on scholarship programs at the national level.

How many hours of pastoral care are required each week?

Residents and summer interns are involved in clinical service for a minimum of 20 hours per week. Extended units provide 8-16 hours of clinical service per week.

What are the hours of service like for a residency?

There are at least 100 hours of educational time, and at least 300 hours of clinical time. Residents also provide on-call hospital coverage at least one weekend day each month. Residents are given pastoral/spiritual care coverage assignments for one or more clinical areas serving a specific patient population. The assignments last one year, to insure continuity of patient and family care and staff support. While on-call, residents are able to provide care to any area of the Health System. At the end of the residency year, residents are able to claim intensive experience on at least two specialty services as well as all other services.

Is there a choice in student’s clinical assignment?

Yes. Interns and residents consult with their supervisor and peers at the beginning of the unit to determine clinical placement.

Are Residents and Interns provided a stipend?

Residents are provided an annual salary, plus substantial benefits. Interns are not provided a stipend and must pay tuition.

Do you offer housing for residents and interns?

Housing is not included in an internship or residency. If you are appointed to the Housestaff as a chaplain resident, you qualify for university housing, however you must apply and there typically is a waiting list. Interns are not paid employees, and thus do not qualify for university housing. Websites such as www.brac.com may help you find housing.

Are there special parking privileges for residents and interns?

Resident parking is assigned by the Graduate Medical Education office. Interns must arrange parking in person through Parking and Transportation. Interns should not contact Parking and Transportation until they have been appointed to an internship. More information on parking rates and options is available at www.virginia.edu/parking/permits

Do interns and residents get a meal allowance?

Housestaff gives residents an allowance to cover on-call meals. Interns do not get a meal allowance.

Where can I access ACPE Policies?

Policy for Complaints Alleging Violations of ACPE Education Standards

Policy for Complaints Against the Accreditation Commission

Professional Ethics Violations

Whistleblower Policy

 Where can I find the program's financial policy?

Financial Policy

Admission Policy 

Who do I talk to about residency?

Contact the office to inquire about residency: 924-2642, chaplaincy@virginia.edu.


What are the deadlines for your program? Are applications considered on a rolling basis?

For interns, applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis. For residency, anyone having completed a unit of CPE is eligible to apply by our first deadline, December 31st. For applicants who are currently enrolled in a fall extended unit, and for others who missed the December 31st deadline, we have a second deadline—March 15th. Appointments will be made after the residency interview process is completed.

What is involved in the application process?

Intern and resident applications are received and processed into files. The administrative specialist contacts applicants regarding outstanding application materials. Once the application is completed, the specialist notifies the applicant that the file is complete and ready to be reviewed by the CPE supervisor. At this point, questions regarding interviews are directed to the CPE supervisor.

Does submitting my application automatically qualify me for an interview?

No. Your completed application must first be reviewed. You will be contacted if you are a candidate for an interview.

When can I expect to be contacted about an interview?

We usually interview for the summer unit from January through March, for the residency from January through March, and for the extended unit from May through July. Please be aware that we try to conduct interviews in a timely manner, but cannot always specify an exact time. Also, not everyone is contacted for an interview. See above.

When can I apply for residency if I am a currently enrolled in an internship?

You can start an application for residency at any time, however, your application will not be complete until the unit is over and your final evaluation has been written. The complete application is due by March 15. Your application will be reviewed upon completion. Please do not assume that you will automatically be granted a residency position upon completion of an internship at UVA.

What are my chances of being reselected if I am a current UVA resident/intern?

You need to reapply and will be considered with all other candidates.

I am a current UVA chaplain resident. When do I need to reapply for a second year of residency?

You should let your residency supervisor know of your plans as soon as possible but no later than December 1. The application deadline is December 31. You must reapply and pay the application processing fee for a second year.

I am a current UVA intern/resident. What do I need to submit to reapply for another unit/year?

All UVA chaplain interns and residents who are reapplying for a second year or unit must pay the application processing fee and submit a new application, which includes a new application face sheet, written responses to all questions, and copies of your evaluations. The applicant is responsible for providing copies of all materials. We can re-use resident and intern initial recommendation forms, provided the recommendations are no more than one year old. We can re-use resident transcripts, provided no additional credit has been added since receipt of the transcript.

Will you hold my application processing fee check?

No. Application checks are sent to accounting for processing on the day of receipt. We do not hold or accept post-dated checks. If you do not have funds to cover the check, you should not apply until funds are available in your bank.

What are the chances of my getting into the next year's residency program if I am selected to fill an off-cycle resident position?

If you filled in for someone who left the program early, this does not guarantee you a position for the upcoming residency year. You must make your intent to apply known as early as possible. If you fill in from May - August, it is unlikely that you will get a new appointment, as by that time most residency slots for the upcoming year have been filled. However, if you fill in January – March, you have a chance, as applications are still being accepted and interviews for the upcoming year are still being conducted.

I was not selected for an interview. Can I get my material back?

We can send back your materials provided you contact us within three weeks. After that time, your file will be expunged.


What does it take to be a Board Certified Chaplain?

Refer to the BCCI web page, which oversees Chaplain Board Certification.

Are there jobs for Chaplains?

Yes, but you have to be willing to move.