December 12, 2008

Effective this month, UTS joins 113 other seminaries and divinity schools around the United States as Seminary Members of the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE). The ACPE is a multicultural, multifaith organization devoted to providing education and improving the quality of ministry and pastoral care offered by spiritual caregivers of all faiths through the clinical educational methods of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE).

At the October Annual Meeting of the ACPE the Board of Representatives approved UTS for seminary membership. Seminaries eligible for ACPE membership hold membership in the Association of Theological Schools or another recognized accrediting agency, have mission and values compatible with the ACPE, and aim to enhance the mission and vision of ACPE. The UTS accreditation is granted by the Commission on Higher Education Middle States Association (MSA).

The mission of the ACPE is to be a professional association committed to advancing experience based theological education for seminarians, clergy, and lay persons of diverse cultures, ethnic groups and faith traditions. ACPE programs promote the integration of personal history, faith tradition, and behavioral sciences in the practice of spiritual care.

The vision of ACPE is to encourage a creative response to the changing context of spiritual care in the communities; modeling professional competence, integrity and high ethical standards, sustaining a welcoming organizational culture in which members are encouraged to learn and grow, embracing diversity, collaboration, and accountability on a national and international level, prophetically advocating for excellence in pastoral education and the practice of spiritual care.

The mission and vision of the ACPE is consistent in many ways with the newly revised mission of UTS, particularly the commitment to professional ministry, spiritual growth, intercultural and interreligious diversity, and multi-disciplinary learning.

Each Seminary Member names a liaison professor who becomes a member of the ACPE Seminary Advisory Council. Membership includes the right to send a representative to regional and national conferences, as well as subscriptions to professional journals, and ACPE resources for seminary students.

This academic year UTS students are pursuing CPE at Vassar Hospital in Poughkeepsie New York, Wartburg Adult Care Community in Mount Vernon, New York, and Banner Good Samaritan Hospital in Arizona. Last year students completed CPE at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta and Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, New York.

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