New Certification Process Core Curriculum

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.  

Educational Theory/Transformative Education

Presented by Jamie Beachy, PhD, ACPE
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After watching the video, write a response to the following prompts and upload to your portfolio:
1. Discuss two theorists that articulate an understanding of education as transformative.  Relate their theories to the CPE learning process. 
2. Articulate the difference between developmental and experiential theories of education.  Which approach is more congruent with your understanding of CPE learning? 
3. How might bell hooks’ understanding of learning as an act of love relate to the CPE learning process?

Interfaith Spiritual Care

Presented by Rev. Dagmar Grefe, PhD, ACPE
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After watching the video, write a response to the following prompts and upload to your portfolio:
1. Name three examples of misconceptions or assumptions about people of a different faith you have encountered in your spiritual care or in your educational practice. How might you address them?
2. Give two examples of spiritual care interventions for
            a) Engaging on the level of “common humanity” 
            b) Engaging on the level of  “interconnected spiritual practice”
            c) Engaging on the level of “particular spiritual practice”
3. Have you learned a new strategy for broadening your interfaith spiritual care or interfaith clinical pastoral education? What will you implement?

Introduction to Professional Ethics

Presented by Rev. Brian Conley, S.J., ACPE
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After watching the video, write a response to the following prompts and upload to your portfolio:
1. The Code of Professional Ethics holds ACPE members to high ethical standards including the obligation for truth telling.  Comment on the requirement of truth-telling for oneself as an ACPE member and implications in relation to other members of ACPE.
2. Comment on how Robert’s actions as Amanda’s supervisor constituted discrimination and or disparagement.  
3. The Hearing panel imposed a sanction of “Probation” on Robert.   Comment on why the panel chose this sanction and at least one other alternative to “Probation” they might have chosen.

Competencies for Intercultural Care and Education

Presented by Rev. Dagmar Grefe, Ph.D, ACPE
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After watching the video, write a response to the following prompts and upload to your portfolio:
1. CPE has been developed in Western culture.  Have you observed an educator adjusting educational methods to provide more meaningful educational pathways for minority students?  Describe what the educator did.  How might you do this as an educator?
2. Define a) intergroup anxiety and b) symbolic threat and describe one example of each you have encountered in your spiritual care or educational work. 
3. Describe one way in which you have advocated for a patient or student from another culture.

Theory Integration Presentation Mentorship Process

Presented By: Rev. Mary Martha Thiel, ACPE
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After watching the video, write a response to the following prompts and upload to your portfolio:
1. As a CEC you will confer with the national Certification Coordinator and your Faculty Educator in the process of identifying a Theory Mentor for you.  What characteristics, competencies, and areas of expertise might you especially hope to find in a Theory Mentor?
2. At the beginning of the Theory Mentorship process, each CEC will be assessed in terms of Theory Integration competence in the areas of Spiritual Belief System, Personality Theory, and Education Theory.  Take a look at the Theory Integration Presentation Rubric on the Certification page of the ACPE website.  Describe whatever degree of clarity you have at this point about theoretical perspectives in these three topic areas that may ground your developing approach to CPE supervision.  
3. What is the next theoretical question you want to explore, to move toward filling out your competence levels as described in the Rubric?

Theology of Supervision

Presented By: Rabbi Jeffery Silberman, D.Min., ACPE
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After watching the video, write a response to the following prompts and upload to your portfolio:
1. What are ACPE’s challenges of language regarding theological and religious diversity?
2. What are the historical ACPE assumptions about theology?
3. Describe one way of addressing the difficulty in communication about personal sacred meaning systems.

Personality Theory: Understanding of Humanity Informing Education

Presented By: Roy M. Myers, DMin., ACPE
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After watching the video, write a response to the following prompts and upload to your portfolio.
1. Name and describe the three models of personality theory offered in the video.
2. Explain the following statement: “A theory of your own is as important as the theories offered by external theorists.”
3. Name and describe two of the five components of a working Personality Theory.

CPE Group Theories

Presented By: Rev. Angelika Zollfrank, ACPE
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After watching the video, write a response to the following prompts and upload to your portfolio.
1. Which CPE Level I and Level II outcomes are directly related to CPE group work?  Offer a brief description explanation of why you chose those outcomes.
2. Name two Common Competencies that relate to skills acquired in CPE group work and give an example of each from your work.
3. Give two examples of how the goals of CPE group work, the theory, group behavior and leadership interventions relate.