Certification as a CPE Supervisor by ACPE is an earned privilege and responsibility. It is achieved by meeting the requirements for certification in the ACPE standards. ACPE certified supervisors are clinical pastoral educators who are academically prepared and who are authorized by a recognized faith group. They combine perspectives from theology and the behavioral sciences in conducting accredited programs of clinically supervised ministry education.

ACPE only certifies CPE Supervisors. We do not certify chaplains or pastoral counselors. CPE is a prerequisite for certification as chaplain or pastoral counselor. If you would like to enroll in a CPE unit, please reference our directory of Accredited Centers to find a location near you.

For more information about becoming a certified chaplain or pastoral counselor, we recommend contacting the following organizations: Association of Professional Chaplains, National Association of Catholic Chaplains, National Association of Jewish Chaplains, or American Association of Pastoral Counselors.

Dates & Deadlines for Upcoming Certification Meetings 
NOTE: The declaration deadline and material submission deadline are the postmark date (not a “received by” date).

Spring 2017 Certification Dates
Deadline to Declare:  February 27, 2017
(Declarations must be submitted by email to certification@acpe.edu)

Deadline to Postmark Materials:  March 27, 2017

Commission Meetings:  April 29-May 2, 2017

Fall Certification Meeting Dates 
Deadline to Declare: August 31, 2017
(Declarations must be submitted by email to certification@acpe.edu)

Deadline to Submit/Postmark Materials: October 5, 2017

Subcommittee Meetings: November 12-14, 2017

Also in this Section

Certification Chair

The Rev. Mary Stewart Hall
Dept of Pastoral Care
Methodist Health System
1441 N. Beckley Ave.
Dallas, TX 75208

(214) 947-2470


Certification Coordinator

Sheilah Hawk
ACPE National Office
One West Court Square
Suite 325
Decatur, GA 30030

(678) 636-6226


Program Manager

Marc Medwed
ACPE National Office
One West Court Square
Suite 325
Decatur, GA 30030

(678) 636-6223



Welcome to the ACPE Certification Process
We created this space as a helpful overview of the steps and procedures as you navigate the ACPE certification process. It does not replace two essential resources, the Certification Manual and its Appendices and the Certification Commission Policies and Procedures manual.

Please send your feedback or questions to Certification@acpe.edu.

Clinical Membership
To begin, you must be a Clinical Member in order to be accepted into an ACPE program of Supervisory Education. Submit the Clinical Member application to the Certification Coordinator to become a Clinical Member or upgrade your membership to a Clinical Member.

Ethical Accountability Form
The Ethical Accountability Form (Appendix 1) is required as part of your Clinical Membership application. It does not need to be re-submitted in preparation for future committees. Changes affecting your adherence to the Ethical Conduct Policy need to be reported on the Attestation of Good Standing (Appendix 8).

Attestation of Good Standing
Each and every time you meet a committee, including a readiness committee, you will need to submit a completed Attestation of Good Standing (Appendix 8) to the Certification Coordinator. The supporting documentation listed on the appendix under the applicable heading must be included every time.

Ordination/Commissioning and Endorsement
To meet a committee for Supervisory Candidate, you submit documentation of your ordination or commissioning to practice ministry. You must also submit documentation of your endorsement by your faith group. All documentation should be submitted to the Certification Coordinator.

If your faith group is not currently recognized by ACPE, please submit the Faith Group Information Form online or to the Certification Coordinator.

Any changes to your ordination/commissioning or endorsement, during the certification process or once certifed, must be reported to the Certification Coordinator

Masters of Divinity or Equivalency
To meet a committee for Supervisory Candidate, you must also submit documentation demonstrating completion of a Masters of Divinity to the Certification Coordinator.

If you are seeking a Masters of Divinity equivalency, contact your Regional Certification Chair to request an assessment of equivalency. Your assessment must be completed before you apply to meet a committee for candidacy. Your equivalency assessment must be submitted to the Certification Coordinator.

See Definition of Terms for more details.

Theory Papers
Once you have been granted candidacy status, you may proceed with writing and submitting theory papers.

Please note that you should inform the Certification Coordinator when you are four weeks from submitting your papers for review. During meeting and holiday periods, readers may take as long as 90 days to read and respond to your papers.

Finally, if any of your papers have been turned down twice, you may submit the third attempt to the Certification Coordinator for assignment to a new team of readers or you may contact your Regional Certification Chair to request a face-to-face meeting with a regional team of readers.

 Tips on Writing Theory Papers
 Reading and Evaluating Papers

Declaration to Meet a Committee for Candidates
1. Read all Procedures and Deadlines before submitting declaration to declare.

2. All theory papers must have passed before declaration to meet for Associate Supervisor can be accepted.

3. All candidates requesting to appear before the Commission should send a Letter of Intent (Appendix 10) to the Certification Coordinator, with a copy to the Commission Chair, as early as possible or by the deadline to declare intent to undergo review. Payment (which may be made by check or credit card) of the requisite fee must accompany the declaration. Places on the docket will be awarded on a first come first served basis.

4. There are no refunds after a candidate declares unless there is a medical emergency either in the case of the candidate or a close family member. In either case the fee will be retained for the next appearance planned by the candidate, plus a $25 administrative fee. The candidate will be responsible for any increase in fees.

5. In all other cases of withdrawal of declaration, the fee will not be refunded and will not be applied to future appearances.