CPSP Documentation


Updated on November 10, 2023

Clinical Pastoral Training

Clinical Pastoral Training provides formative experience through learning pastoral practice in a clinical setting under supervision. This concept (following Anton T. Boisen) uses the case study method in theological inquiry – a study of “living human documents.” For over ninety years, CPT has developed in concert with the disciplines of medicine, the behavioral and social sciences, and theology.

Accredited programs in clinical pastoral education/training implement admission to training, program content and structure, and objectives for training in accordance with The Standards.

Pastoral Psychotherapy Training
The term “psychotherapy” is utilized by persons who function at a most advanced level in one of the mental health fields: psychiatry, psychology, social work, pastoral counseling, professional counseling, marriage and family counseling, or nursing. The term literally means “the cure of souls,” and has been the purview of religious work since antiquity. Psychotherapy has experienced great advances since the emergence of psychoanalytic thinking originally promoted by Freud.

All forms of psychotherapy have been significantly impacted by the psychoanalytic revolution of psychology.

The minister who practices pastoral psychotherapy must demonstrate mastery of the insights and principles of both theology and the behavioral disciplines, and more specifically, the contributions of psychology. The pastoral psychotherapist serves as a treatment resource for persons who are troubled or disabled and as a guide and counselor to persons seeking greater wholeness and self-awareness. The training and certification of a pastoral psychotherapist prepares and authorizes the minister to function at this most advanced proficiency level of ministry.

Accredited training programs in pastoral psychotherapy implement admission to training, program content and structure, and objectives for the various levels of training in accordance with The Standards.

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