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Spiritual care professional education opportunities

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)

VGH’s Spiritual Care Services department has been offering CASC accredited CPE courses for decades. Basic, Advanced and Supervisory levels of education are all being provided currently. CPE is taught in an interfaith context to people from all faith traditions and walks of life. After completion of two basic units and one advanced unit, if one has a M.A. degree in Theological studies or equivalent one can become eligible to apply for positions in BC public health facilities to work as a Spiritual Care Practitioner. Theological schools may also require their students to take CPE units as part of their training to be a minister or denominational chaplain. Please see below under VST for more information.

Usually there is one Extended (Sept – April) and one Intensive (April – August) being taught in a calendar year at VGH. Other teaching sites may start operating in hospitals under VCH in the future.

For general information, please contact:

Phone: (604) 875-4111 Ext. 68875

For course details or specific information about CPE, please contact:

Doug Longstaffe
Profession Leader
Phone: (604) 875-4643


Subsequent to completing all CPE units students may apply for a residency that includes a stipend. This may be formatted as one full-time position or two half-time positions. The residency is at done at VGH through directed studies in an area of specialization in conjunction with the Vancouver School of Theology and the VGH Teaching Supervisor. Residencies are renewable up to two years. A post-graduate diploma may be incorporated.

Vancouver School of Theology (VST)

We have partnered with VST where students are able to take a Master’s degree in Public and Pastoral Leadership (PPL) in Spiritual Care with CPE units as a part of it. Learn more about VST's PPL in Spiritual Care Graduate degree program

Canadian Association for Spiritual Care (CASC)

The BC Ministry of Health requires all Spiritual Care Practitioners, to have achieved the equivalent of 2 basic units and one advanced unit of Clinical Pastoral Education. In Canada this training is provided by supervisors certified by the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care. CASC is a national multi-faith organization, committed to the professional education, certification and support of persons providing spiritual care, pastoral counselling, education and research. It provides educational programs for interested persons who are preparing to become professional providers of Spiritual Care and Pastoral counselling in a variety of institutional and community settings such as health care, corrections, education and private practice.

Visit the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care website

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