The Iona Center at Seminary of the Southwest offers a unique Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program meant to address the needs of the diverse constituencies that require this critical educational experience in their pastoral education. Fully accredited by Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc., CPE from the Iona Center is customizable, flexible and meant to serve those for whom traditional CPE opportunities are either not possible or not applicable.

If you are interested in learning more about CPE through the Iona Center, contact The Rev. Sarah Knoll Sweeney, at

Who should consider CPE at the Iona Center?

  • Those who cannot commit to the scheduling demands of a hospital’s typical extended unit
  • Those who want an emphasis on Episcopal pastoral identity formation and theological reflection
  • Those who live far from any local CPE Center

Spring 2019 Unit: FULL Summer 2019 Unit: FULL Fall 2019 Unit: Closed Spring 2020 Unit: Open, Applications received until September 15, 2019

Clinical Pastoral Education, through the Iona Center at Seminary of the Southwest, includes:

  • 400-Hour Units of CPE accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc. – the gold standard in spiritual care education.
  • More than 100 hours of face-to-face education, including an in-person retreat at the beginning
    and end of the CPE Unit, as well as multiple hours of videoconferencing over the course of the unit.
  • A Clinical Placement Agreement for approximately 300 hours of pastoral caregiving at one or two locations. These agreements require the involvement of a Clinical Preceptor, who verifies the
    pastoral care provided and provides observation and feedback on the student’s ministry.

What makes CPE through the Iona Center unique?

Convenience of Place and Time

  • Access to quality, accredited CPE programs is often limited by the constraints of geography and schedule. Iona Center tailors its spiritual care education to the particular needs of individuals,
    dioceses, or other religious groups.
  • The Iona Center integrates the use of videoconferencing and other distance learning technologies, along with flexible and convenient scheduling to accommodate student needs.

Integration of Episcopal Identity, Theology, and Ethos

  • For participants from Episcopal dioceses, Iona Center promotes theological integration with Episcopal pastoral identity.
  • For ecumenical or interfaith cohorts, Iona Center’s emphasis on theological reflection encourages participants to link their ministry formation, personal and religious history, and pastoral caregiving.

Customized Course Emphases and Participant Cohorts

  • All courses are specifically designed for participants providing pastoral care in a variety of particular settings: clergy serving in congregations, children and youth ministers, lay congregational pastoral care teams, chaplains, leaders in workplaces, etc.
  • Iona Center encourages each sponsoring diocese or group to collaborate in the customization process. With varying models that provide options for course focus and participation expectations, the Iona Center will be able to provide a CPE course that fits the needs of all participants.
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