Clinical Pastoral Education

CPE Students. 2014-2015

Adult education for clergy, seminarians, and laypersons of all faiths

Healing the spirit

2015 CPE Intern and Resident.2Clinical Pastoral Education is theological and professional education for those currently working, or who wish to learn how to work, with people in crisis and facing life-changing events.

CPE is designed to challenge and integrate religious perspectives, personal experience, the behavioral sciences, and theological assumptions with the realities of pastoral care.

Students will find strong educational and emotional support through individual supervision and peer group seminars designed to develop personal and professional skills. Experiences in a clinical setting will give students opportunities to grow both as individuals and as a group while they minister to patients, families, and staff in a culturally and religiously diverse environment.

Since the program was established in 2005, more than 75 trainees have completed the CPE course at Charles E. Smith Life Communities. Enriched by their experience on our campus, they have gone on to serve as chaplains in healthcare, educational, and hospice settings, and to lead congregations of various faiths across the country.

Unique learning opportunity

Charles E. Smith Life Communities offers the only Jewish-themed CPE program in the Washington, DC metropolitan region. It is also one of a few CPE programs in the area specializing in long-term care. Trainees will have the opportunity to learn about:

  • Basic principles and literature of pastoral care
  • Aspects of elder-care chaplaincy
  • Palliative care chaplaincy
  • Issues in bereavement counseling
  • Using individual talents in pastoral care
  • New developments in senior care, and their implications for pastoral care 
    Clinical Pastoral Education - 2015 Brochure
    Read our brochure.
  • Understanding group behavior and group process theories
  • An analytical approach toward human behavior
  • Peer consultation

Program accreditation and description

This program is accredited by the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy (CPSP) and offers 400 hours of clinical training:

  • Seminars
  • Group learning sessions
  • Patient contact hours
  • Evaluation and feedback
  • Individual supervision
  • Theological reflection
  • Assigned and elective readings
  • Peer review and much more

Choose your preferred format

  • Extended unit, part-time study from September to mid-May
  • Summer unit, full-time study from June through mid-August

Inquiries and applications for either of these units may be submitted at any time.


The tuition cost of a CPE unit varies with the location of your clinical training site: 

  • $800 per unit if patient care is on our campus
  • $1,150 if patient care takes place elsewhere

To apply

  • Complete the CPE application form, available at, on the Documents page.
  • Submit the application and all associated essays described on the application form to the address here.
  • Schedule an admission interview on our campus.

Rabbi James Michaels 

Rabbi James R. Michaels, Director of Pastoral Care

Charles E. Smith Life Communities
6121 Montrose Road, Rockville, MD 20852

PH: 301.816.7711  EMAIL:

Rabbi James Michaels, D. Min., directs pastoral care at Charles E. Smith Life Communities.  He is a Board-certified chaplain and CPE supervisor. He is the co-author of Flourishing in the Later Years: Jewish Pastoral Insights on Senior Residential Care.

About our community

Wasserman Residence. Arch.Charles E. Smith Life Communities, established in 1910, brings together six senior living options on a campus in the heart of Rockville, Maryland, each with its own specialized services. Every day, more than 1,100 seniors take advantage of:

  • Long-term care at the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington
  • Outstanding post-acute care at the Hebrew Home
  • Independent living at Ring House and Revitz House
  • Assisted living at Landow House and memory care assisted living at Cohen-Rosen House 
  • Outpatient medical services at Hirsh Health Center
  • Shelter and advocacy, safeguarding seniors from abuse through the ElderSAFE Center

A full-time, on-site medical staff contributes to our expertise in the field of aging. As a not-for-profit organization, we deliver innovative  and compassionate services for seniors of all faiths, guided by the Jewish values at our core. Our programs and services are open to all; respect for the dignity of each individual is an integral part of our mission.

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