As ACPE builds towards the future of spiritual care and education, it is critical that we begin to utilize a common language and shared understanding of what and how our future certified educators are learning. As a profession, we are challenged to clearly articulate the fundamental skills and broad base of knowledge that will help aspiring educators to meet the challenges of the rapidly changing field.
The Core Curriculum is designed to expose Certified Education Candidates (CECs) to philosophies, methodologies, theories, and research that we feel are essential as a foundation for learning. By increasing CECs’ familiarity with leading and innovative works within spiritual care education, we provide a context for the critical thinking and integrative work that they will be required to demonstrate as they progress through the certification process.
The Core Curriculum helps CECs identify beliefs and values that guide them in their theoretical choices and educational practices. It promotes exploration, with structure, and intentional scaffolding of theoretical growth. It also provides some direction for CECs in choosing theories, rather than being left to pick and choose on their own.
It is important to note that the Core Curriculum does not supplant the training center’s curriculum. It aims to allow for institutional distinctions while identifying the foundational content that ought to be taught in every certified education program. After much consultation, The New Certification Process Implementation Team identified a number of subject areas that would make-up the groundwork for the development of every CEC. This Core Curriculum is not exhaustive and will be revised and expanded as necessary.
Engaging the Core Curriculum
After formal admission into the CEC process, students are required to watch each Core Curriculum webinar and provide a written reflection that must be uploaded to their portfolio. The webinars are not meant for binge watching, but rather to be woven into the center’s curriculum. There is no prescribed order and/or pace at which a CEC should work through the Core Curriculum. It is up to the training educator and CEC to discuss the best ways to integrate the core curriculum into the center’s existing CEC curriculum.
Each webinar is accompanied by questions that help guide the reflection and integration of the concepts presented. Written reflections uploaded to portfolio serve as materials that demonstrate a CEC’s trajectory of theoretical development and give clear evidence of how they are meeting Phase I competencies.
As a CEC works through the Core Curriculum, it is recommended that a CEC and training educator regularly cross-reference the content in the webinars with the components reviewed in the Theory Integration Presentation Rubric. This will give each party a coherent set of criteria by which to assess the CEC’s level of theoretical knowledge and application—emerging vs competent. Moreover, the CEC will be better prepared for submission of the Theory Integration Presentation as the expectations of the presentation are more clearly defined.