The School of Religion at Oakwood University, Huntsville, Alabama, United States, recently announced that it has partnered with Huntsville Hospital on the local level and AdventHealth on the national level to begin a Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program.
Through this dynamic partnership, Oakwood University will be providing classroom training and clinical learning opportunities in conjunction with the spiritual care team of Huntsville Hospital for pastors interested in earning their CPE. After 400 hours of training, 100 in the classroom and 300 in the field, students will be prepared to serve people from all faith traditions in a variety of venues.
“As a former community chaplain, I was blessed to serve women and men in their deepest valleys,” said Leslie Pollard, president of Oakwood University. “In our city, and in our nation, the need for spiritual care and support is undeniable. In higher education, corporations, professional athletics, hospitals, criminal detention centers, the military, and across all populations, people are dealing with great difficulties. Chaplains are trained to help persons navigate challenging and stressful circumstances.
“Along with the support of our partners, we will equip students to fill this great need,” he added.
David Spillers, CEO of Huntsville Hospital Health System, emphasized what the organization he leads brings to the table.
“Huntsville Hospital has provided full-time chaplaincy services for our patients and staff for more than four decades,” Spillers said. “We’re very pleased that we can work with Oakwood University and AdventHealth in the training of more certified chaplains for organizations across this state and nation.”
In the first stage of implementing the CPE program, as Oakwood works toward its own accredited program, AdventHealth is lending its accreditation to establishing the new program.
Ramona Reynolds, executive director for ministry education and research at AdventHealth Orlando, highlighted AdventHealth’s willingness to support the initiative.
“We are happy to begin to receive applications from potential students and look forward to a meaningful relationship of learning and community service together,” she said.