Year-Long CPE Residency

The Year-Long Residency CPE program at Vidant Medical Center is designed primarily for ministers who are seeking to become Board-Certified Chaplains or are pursuing other specialized ministries. A previous unit of CPE is required. In order to achieve this broad objective, the program’s educational philosophy is built upon several fundamental presuppositions.

The first presupposition is that heightened self-awareness strengthens one’s ministry. We believe that the better we know ourselves, the better we represent our God and our faith traditions.  Therefore, significant sections of the curriculum are devoted to focusing Residents on the journey towards self-discovery. This process of inquiry is not conducted in isolation. A relational structure is provided in which Residents, (with the assistance of peers, Supervisors and consultants) look at themselves, thus raising their levels of self-awareness.

A second presupposition is the conviction that a solid pastoral identity is crucial for competent ministry. Regardless of the setting (local church, hospital or other specialized ministry), one’s internal sense of authority as pastor or minister is profoundly important since one is called to represent God and God’s Spirit. Residents are asked to consider a variety of questions: Who am I when I enter a patient’s room? Who do I represent? What are the sources of my comfort or resistance, personally and professionally, regarding my role and my authority?

However strong one’s pastoral identity might be, if not combined with effective pastoral skills and personal authenticity, one’s ministry will be significantly limited. This third presupposition means that Vidant Medical Center Residents are challenged to further develop both their relational and pastoral skills.

These basic presuppositions give focus and direction to the first-year program. Simply stated, the first-year Residency program strives for an educational milieu that provides Residents with the guidance and training opportunities necessary to successfully meet their stated goals and ACPE Outcomes. We also believe that Residents will ultimately get out of this learning experience what they put into it. We see our Residents as partners in this learning enterprise, teachers as well as learners, and responsible members of the pastoral care team. Our shared goals are to effectively demonstrate, in an ongoing way, greater self-awareness, improved pastoral functioning, an ability to self-supervise, and personal/pastoral integration.