This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2020-21 VCU Bulletin. This edition includes all programs and courses approved by the publication deadline; however we may receive notification of additional program approvals after the launch. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

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. Student maintains personal integrity and a deepening pastoral identity (ACPE Standard 315, Outcome 315.1).
  2. Student demonstrates emotional and spiritual maturity (ACPE Standard 315, Outcome 315.2).
  3. Student forms meaningful pastoral relationships (ACPE Standard 315, Outcome 315.3).
  4. Student self-supervises their own ongoing pastoral practice (ACPE Standard 315, Outcome 315.4).
  5. Student refines their professional identity as a clinical pastoral educator (ACPE Standard 315, Outcome 315.5).
  6. Student demonstrates awareness of how their own culture affects professional and personal identity, pastoral practice, the supervisory relationship and student learning (ACPE Standard 315, Outcome 315.6).
  7. Student articulates understanding of and methodology for clinical pastoral supervision based on a critical grasp of the professional literature relating to the field of clinical supervision (Standard 315, Outcome 316.1).
  8. Student articulates and implements a philosophy of CPE based on an educational model integrating the theory and practice of CPE, which is based on and congruent with their own theology (Standard 316, Outcome 316.2).
  9. Student articulates rationale for multicultural competence, integrating the theory and practice of CPE, which is based on and congruent with their own theology (Standard 316, Outcome 316.3).
  10. Student assesses an individual student’s learning patterns, personality, religious history and cultural values as a basis for supervisory strategies (ACPE Standard 317.1, Outcome 317.1.1).
  11. Student supervises students’ pastoral work, giving attention to unique patterns of personal and professional development, including the ability to assist students’ movement toward pastoral identity (ACPE Standard 317.1, Outcome 317.1.2).
  12. Student defines and evaluates students’ pastoral and personal resources, and uses supervisory strategies and interventions to facilitate students’ learning and development in pastoral care (ACPE Standard 317.1, Outcome 317.1.3).
  13. Student assists students in taking responsibility for formulating a learning process and evaluating the results of the learning experience (ACPE Standard 317.1, Outcome 317.1.4).
  14. Student uses their own personality and personal, religious and cultural history as a teaching resource in shaping a personal supervisory style (ACPE Standard 317.1, Outcome 317.1.5).
  15. Student facilitates development of group interpersonal interaction (ACPE Standard 317.2, Outcome 317.2.1).
  16. Student enables students to use their responses to the program as a learning experience (ACPE Standard 317.2, Outcome, 317.2.2).
  17. Student develops and organizes programs of CPE based on program educational principles appropriate to experiential learning (ACPE Standard 318, Outcome 318.1).
  18. Student manages CPE programs effectively (ACPE Standard 318, Outcome 318.2).
  19. Student develops a variety of CPE program resources (ACPE Standard 318, Outcome 318.3).
  20. Student uses diverse clinical educational methods (ACPE Standard 318, Outcome 318.4).
  21. Student works with the theological implications of the ministry context (ACPE Standard 318, Outcome 318.5).
  22. Student understands and applies professional organizational ethics as they relate to CPE and pastoral practice (ACPE Standard 318, Outcome 318.6).
  23. Student uses appropriate clinical skills and teaching methods that integrate the role of context and culture in pastoral practice and education (ACPE Standard 318, Outcome 318.7).
  24. Student advocates for students based on awareness of how persons’ social locations, systems and structures affect their ministry, learning and the educational context (ACPE Standard 318, Outcome 318.8).
  25. Student considers cultural factors in the use of learning assessments, educational strategies, curriculum resources and evaluation procedures (ACPE Standard 318, Outcome 318.9).
  26. Student integrates educational theory, knowledge of behavioral science, professional and organizational ethics, theology and pastoral identity into supervisory function (ACPE Standard 319, Outcome 319.1).
  27. Student demonstrates awareness of the cultural contexts of diverse student groups and clinical populations that integrates and articulates ethnic identity development and its implications for pastoral practice and supervisory relationships (ACPE Standard 319, Outcome 319.2).

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 academic regulations 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 academic regulations 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 academic regulations section for additional information on graduation requirements.

Other information

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

Apply online at

Admission requirements

Admission requirements
Degree:Semester(s) of entry:Deadline dates:Test requirements:
M.S.Fall (preferred)Jun 1GRE
SpringNov 1International students required (TOEFL)
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, a copy 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.

Application fact sheets and narrative instructions can be found on the ACPE website.

Supervisory clinical pastoral education concentration

  1. The supervisory clinical pastoral education concentration is offered to persons seeking certification as supervisors according to the Standards of the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education Inc.
  2. This degree concentration is available to students who hold a master’s degree or equivalency and who have completed a minimum of four units of ACPE clinical pastoral education.
  3. 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.
  4. 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. The ability to communicate orally and in writing must be presented to the Department of Patient Counseling admissions committee.
  5. Each full-time semester at VCU is designed to meet the requirements for one unit of supervisory CPE as accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc.

Degree requirements

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

  1. Follow, under faculty guidance, the procedures outlined in ACPE’s Manual on Certification
  2. Meet with faculty annually for review of progress and continuation in the program
  3. Complete a minimum of 44 credit hours in accordance with the approved curriculum
  4. Complete all core courses
  5. Complete all required elective course hours

Students who have completed degree requirements may continue to enroll as special students if completing residency requirements at VCU Medical Center or certification requirements with the ACPE.

Curriculum requirements

Only students admitted to this concentration are eligible to take courses numbered 653 through 696.

Core curriculum
PATC 615Theory of Group Leadership2
PATC 640Research Basics for Hospital Chaplains1
PATC 641Evidence-based Inquiry for Hospital Chaplains1
PATC 642Developing and Presenting Chaplaincy Research1
PATC 653Patient Counseling Evaluation I4
PATC 654Patient Counseling Evaluation II4
PATC 661History of Pastoral Supervision3
PATC 663Theory of Pastoral Supervision I3
PATC 664Theory of Pastoral Supervision II2
PATC 694Advanced Clinical Pastoral Supervision7
PATC 696Intensive Supervisory Practicum9
Options for completing seven hours of elective study include the following: 17
Selected Topics in Pastoral Supervision (may be repeated for total of four credits)
Independent Study in Pastoral Supervision (may be repeated for total of four credits)
Clinical Research (may be repeated for total of five credits)
Total Hours44

Other electives may be allowed with prior permission of the program director and chair.

The minimum total of graduate credit hours required for this degree is 44.

Angela H. Flack, M.Div.
Director of education, assistant professor and ACPE supervisor
(804) 828-0540

Additional contact
Russell H. Davis, Ph.D.
Professor and graduate program director
(804) 828-0540

Program website: