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VITAS CPE: Admissions Policy

Admissions Policy

304.1, 307.1, 307.2, 307.3, 307.4, 307.5, 307.6.1-6


VITAS shall not discriminate against any individual for reasons of race, gender, age, faith group, national origin, sexual orientation, or physical disability.

This policy is notwithstanding, all students accepted in the program shall be able, with reasonable accommodation, to physically perform the duties as contained in the chaplain (staff) or chaplain intern (volunteer) job description.

At all levels, the CPE student needs to sustain sufficient physical and emotional health to deliver pastoral care. The student must demonstrate the capacity to consistently establish and maintain relationships at significant levels and be open to learning, change and growth. The CPE student must demonstrate a capacity to endure at least moderate amounts of chaos which is a normal part of institutional culture.

Admission Requirements:

  1. Applicants shall provide a completed ACPE application form with accompanying materials and documentation. (307.1)
    • Submitted materials should reflect an openness to sharing, the capacity to reflect at deeper levels and being receptive to the learning process.
  2. Persons applying for an initial unit of training shall complete an admissions interview with an interviewer that ACPE deems qualified to determine readiness for clinical learning. Other persons required to interview are those applying to VITAS who did previous CPE with other organizations. Individuals who have completed at least one unit of training with VITAS and desire to take additional units, may be accepted based on the student’s previous materials and evaluations. Acceptance is at the discretion of the CPE supervisor/s. (307.2)
  3. Applicants shall provide evidence of either graduation from high school/ completion of a GED or ordination by a faith community or commission to function in ministry by an appropriate religious authority as determined by ACPE. (307.3)
  4. Master’s level training and the ability to reflect theologically is preferred but not required. (307.4)
  5. Applicants will be accepted for a specific program of CPE: Level I, Level II or Supervisory. (307.5)
  6. Persons pursuing Level II training are to include previous CPE evaluations written by the supervisor demonstrating that Level 1 outcomes have been met, as well as any process notes composed by a consultation committee regarding readiness for advancement.
  7. Additional requirements for admission to Supervisory CPE include but are not limited to:
    • Demonstrating an ability to function pastorally through previous ministerial experience. (307.6.1)
    • Completing a minimum of 4 units of ACPE accredited CPE - Level I and Level II combined (307.6.2)
    • Successfully meeting the CPE Level II outcomes, as documented by the supervisor in his/her evaluation and participating in a readiness consultation involving CPE supervisor/s and professional advisory group members (307.6.3; 307.6.5)
    • Becoming a clinical member of ACPE and demonstrating familiarity with the Spiritual Care Collaborative Common Standards for Professional Chaplaincy (see Appendix 2 pp 27-30 of Standards 2010 manual) (307.6.4; 307.6.6)
  8. Clinical placements with other institutions will be negotiated on a case by case basis involving consultation with senior management. If an agreement is made, it will require administrative oversight fees in addition to tuition. For proprietary reasons, the general rule of VITAS is not to accept students who work for other hospices.
  9. Procedure:

    The CPE Supervisor at the local component site will follow up with all applicants within two weeks of receiving their materials and the required application fee via telephone or email to confirm receipt. At that time, the CPE supervisor will review the admission interview process with the candidate and discuss the time frame involved.

    Notifications of decisions will normally be made within three weeks of the time the interview took place via telephone, email or letter.

    Students accepted into the program must successfully complete all minimum requirements delineated by the Human Resource Department of VITAS Healthcare Corporation and have positive responses from references given.

    If any concerns regarding the admissions process arise and persons are not comfortable speaking with the CPE Supervisor at the local site, they are welcome to contact the CPE System Director, Rev. Dr. Martha Rutland at

    Revised 9/14/11 MJA