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Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE Program) & Spiritual Journey

Throughout 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 also has strong connections with chaplains in local hospitals, hospices, other senior-living communities and other CPE programs. 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.

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
  • Two one-year residency positions are available with a tuition of $550

There is an application fee of $45. Please complete this application and submit it along with a check for the fee to Director of CPE Liz Pomerleau at Goodwin House Bailey’s Crossroads | 3440 S Jefferson Street | Falls Church, VA 22041. You can also contact Liz by email or by calling 703.578.7576. Liz 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. Goodwin House Foundation generously offers scholarships to CPE students who need help with tuition. Liz can talk to you about scholarships as well.

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.


“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


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