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Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE Program) & Spiritual Journey

a group of people from all races and ages are in a circle smiling and looking at the cameraThroughout history, pastors have served as spiritual guides, crisis counselors, unwavering supporters and teachers. That tradition is central to Goodwin House and our faith-based roots. We are among a small number of senior living communities nationwide that offer a Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program. A professional theological training program, CPE is an educational process that trains leaders from all faiths in pastoral ministry and chaplaincy.

Our Life Plan Communities are ideal settings in which to teach and practice pastoral skills. More than 1,000 residents and more than 900 team members come together from a wide range of cultural and faith backgrounds to experience the ups and downs along life’s continuum. Goodwin House CPE students engage in ministry in a variety of clinical placement sites: Goodwin House Life Plan Communities, Goodwin House Palliative Care and Hospice, and local hospitals. This makes us a hub for professional spiritual care in our region. Goodwin House Chaplains and local professional chaplains mentor students in spiritual care with older adults.

With Goodwin House, CPE students benefit from the rare opportunity to develop relationships with older adults, their families and caregivers. These students develop their skills in providing pastoral support, home and hospital visits, leadership, public worship, pastoral administration and crisis intervention.

CPE Class Winter 2021
The Winter 2021 Graduating CPE Class with Liz Pomerleau (bottom left), director of Clinical Pastoral Education.

Our program is the only CPE in Northern Virginia and one of only about 350 accredited centers in the United States, most of which are in hospitals. The Goodwin House CPE is fully accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education. We offer three CPE units each year as well as residency positions:

  • Fall Session is 15 weeks in September to December with a tuition of $850
  • Winter Session is 15 weeks in January to April with a tuition of $850
  • Summer Session is 10 weeks in June to August with a tuition of $950
  • CPE Hospice Residency is a year long position in which one student works with the Goodwin House Palliative Care and Hospice team and earns three units of CPE over the course of the year. The CPE Hospice Resident earns a stipend of $15/hour for 20 hours/week throughout the year. Tuition is $650 per unit.

We are still accepting applications for the Fall 2021 unit (September 6 – December 17, 2021). Click here to download your application. As Director of CPE Liz Pomerleau will be out on maternity leave over the summer, we ask that you send your applications to contract educator Caroline Unzaga, ACPE associate educator.

There is an application fee of $45. Please email the written portion of your application to Caroline and mail a check for the fee to Goodwin House Bailey’s Crossroads, Attn: Ann Lam, HCC | 3440 S. Jefferson Street | Falls Church, VA 22041.

Goodwin House Foundation generously offers scholarships to CPE students who need help with tuition. Caroline can talk to you about scholarships as well.

Caroline Ungaza will be receiving applications and conducting interviews over the summer. She is also glad to be in touch with you to discuss the program, any questions you have and to learn more about your own personal spiritual journey. You can contact Caroline by email.

Goodwin House CPE Program does not discriminate against persons because of race, ethnicity, religious/spiritual tradition, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age or disability. We take seriously complaints and ethics violations for which we are in compliance with all ACPE Policies.

Please review our Annual Notice.


“Residents and chaplain interns learn to cultivate spiritual friendships with one other. Everyone feels relevant and connected in mutuality. We are a faith-based organization. While we have a historical connection with the Episcopal Church, we also welcome people of all and no religious traditions in our community. Faith is not limited to one religion; it is a faithful, hopeful stance towards the possibilities for growth and discovery on our shared spiritual journeys.”
– Liz Pomerleau, Director of Clinical Pastoral Education

Contact the Director of Goodwin House CPE: Liz Pomerleau, BCCI, ACPE Educator | lpomerleau@goodwinhouse.org


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