What is CPE?
CPE is theological but does not belong to any one particular faith group or practice. Those who take CPE can be from any faith background and are usually involved in professional ministry. Special programs may include those who are involved in volunteer ministry, or work as physicians, nurses, social work or other helping professions. Anyone who may be interensted in receiving assistance to enrich their life experience and work may be interested in CPE training.
The heart of CPE is the examination of case studies, which are written records of the personal encounters of trainees, examined either individually with the CPE supervisor or in the setting of a small group of peers. Out of this experience of examination and reflection, the feedback received usually brings individuals to a fresh level of awareness of themselves. Often the result is a new appreciation for the basic needs of those they have the opportunity to minister to and work with as a professional or volunteer.
CPE is most likely not like any other learning experience you have had. Only about one fourth of the time is spent in traditional didactic learning. The remainder of the time is experiential and reflective in nature, allowing for you to develop as a person. The best part is that there are no grades. You pass on your own merits as an individual. The goal is to encourage and allow you to experience growth in a process coined as recovery of soul.
Most likely if you are looking for a traditional class situation where the majority of the time is spent listening to a lecture and regurgitating information, you will be disappointed. CPE focuses on your growth as an individual who would like to make a difference in the lives of persons. You hopefully will learn to appreciate other people for who they are, not what you would like them to be. The belief is that by taking this kind of approach to learning that you will be more mature and those within your sphere of influence will be more appreciative of your ministry style.