Program accreditation
Association for Clinical Pastoral Education

Program goal

To provide clinical education for pastoral care professionals as well as other health care providers in the spiritual care of patients and families within an interdisciplinary context

Student learning outcomes

  1. Graduates will demonstrate awareness of self with congruence in the care of patients, families and staff (ACPE Standard 312, Outcome 312.1).
  2. Graduates will demonstrate ability to provide care with sensitivity and respect in a diverse patient, family and staff environment (ACPE Standard 312, Outcome 312.2).
  3. Graduates will demonstrate the knowledge and provision of intensive and extensive pastoral/spiritual care to persons in crisis (ACPE Standard 312, Outcome 312.3).
  4. Graduates will demonstrate incorporation of theological understanding and knowledge of the behavioral sciences in care of patients, families and staff (ACPE Standard 312, Outcome 312.4).
  5. Graduates will demonstrate effective participation as a member of a comprehensive health care team (ACPE Standard 312, Outcome 312.5).
  6. Graduates will demonstrate responsible care and professional boundaries (ACPE Standard 312, Outcome 312.6).
  7. Graduates will demonstrate the utilization of individual and group supervision for personal and professional development as well as ongoing evaluation of clinical practice (ACPE Standard 312, Outcome 312.7).
  8. Graduates will demonstrate awareness of professional standards in chaplaincy (ACPE Standard 312, Outcome 312.8).
  9. Graduates will demonstrate ability to self-supervise and critically reflect on their own pastoral encounters (ACPE Standard 312, Outcome 312.9).

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Degree candidacy requirements

A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.

Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on degree candidacy requirements.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on graduation requirements.

Other information

Students receive a Department of Patient Counseling student handbook during orientation.

Apply online at graduate.admissions.vcu.edu.

Admission requirements

Degree: Semester(s) of entry: Deadline dates: Test requirements:
M.S.Fall (preferred)Jun 1None
SpringNov 1
SummerMar 1

In addition to the general admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School, applicants must have successfully completed undergraduate training and hold a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from an accredited institution reflecting ability to perform at the graduate level; graduate degree in a health-related field; or two years of graduate theological education. Students must apply and be accepted to VCU’s Graduate School to participate in the clinical pastoral education program.

This program also requires submission of the following supplemental material: a current resume, the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education Inc. application materials, copies of all previous self- and supervisor’s CPE evaluations and two verbatim case studies of clinical work. An interview with the faculty admission committee will be granted based on application material.

ACPE application fact sheets and narrative instructions can be found at http://s531162813.onlinehome.us/forms.

Chaplain certification concentration

  1. The chaplain certification concentration is available to individuals who have a previous graduate degree or who have at least two years of graduate education in theology, the behavioral sciences or the health-related sciences. It is assumed that completion of this 44-credit-hour concentration will take four to five semesters.
  2. Students admitted to this option must have a minimum GPA of 3.0. Submission of the Graduate Examination Record is required when this GPA requirement is not met.
  3. Applicants holding degrees from recognized foreign institutions should display an acceptable level of English proficiency by achieving a minimum score of 550 on the TOEFL paper-based examination or 100 on the Internet-based examination. Ability to communicate orally and in writing must be presented to the Department of Patient Counseling admissions committee.

Degree requirements

In addition to general VCU Graduate School graduation requirements, students must:

  1. Complete a minimum of 44 credit hours in accordance with the approved curriculum
  2. Complete all core courses
  3. Complete all required elective course hours

Curriculum requirements

Core requirements
PATC   515Basic Patient Counseling9
PATC   611Theory and Practice of Patient Counseling I5
PATC   612Theory and Practice of Patient Counseling II5
PATC   613Group Process I2
PATC   614Group Process II2
PATC   615Theory of Group Leadership2
PATC   617Supervised Clinical Practice I5
PATC   635Clinical Ethics2
PATC   639Pastoral Care Management2
PATC   640Research Basics for Hospital Chaplains1
PATC   641Evidence-based Inquiry for Hospital Chaplains1
PATC   642Developing and Presenting Chaplaincy Research1
Electives
Courses may be taken in patient counseling, gerontology and rehabilitation counseling. Other electives may be allowed with prior permission of the program director and chair.7
PATC elective course (500 level or higher)
GRTY elective course (620 and 630 series)
RHAB elective course (620 and 630 series)
Total Hours44

Total graduate credit hours required (minimum) 44

Graduate program director
Angela H. Flack, M.Div.
Director of education, assistant professor and ACPE supervisor
Email: aflack@vcu.edu
Phone: (804) 828-0540

Additional contact
Russell H. Davis, Ph.D.
Professor and Rev. Robert B. Lantz Chair, Department of Patient Counseling, CPE supervisor (ACPE)
Email: rhdavis2@vcu.edu
Phone: (804) 828-0540

Program website: sahp.vcu.edu/ptc