Professional Chaplaincy Training (CPE)

We are the first and only Buddhist-based organization to be fully accredited by the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education to offer professional chaplaincy training—Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE). Our New York City ACPE Clinical Pastoral Education Training Program is open to those who have completed our Foundations in Buddhist Contemplative Care Training Program. Our CPE Training Program is a professional level training and is designed for those interested in becoming professional chaplains, and anyone interested in deepening their spiritual practice.

Our Clinical Pastoral Education Program is an multi-faith, professional education, from a contemplative perspective, in providing contemplative care, as a chaplain or lay person. Our training brings students into supervised encounters with hospital patients at pivotal moments in their lives. Coming from a reflective, intimate involvement with people in both crisis and celebration, and with feedback from peers and teachers, students can develop a new awareness of themselves and of the needs of those they care for. In the Center’s CPE program, we emphasize the training of being with others, as differentiated from doing or helping another. From deep contemplative practice and reflection, students begin to acquire a new understanding of care giving. Within the interdisciplinary team process of helping professions, students develop skills in intrapersonal, interpersonal, and interprofessional relationships.

The Contemplative Advisory Committee oversees our Chaplaincy Training. The Committee consists of interdisciplinary professionals who meet at regular intervals to consult and advise us on the development of our Chaplaincy Training Program. The Committee helps insure that the CPE Training Program is well integrated within our organization and provides feedback for quality assurance.

Program Components per Unit

  • The 300 hours of clinical practice of chaplaincy to patients and staff
  • 100 hours of education in 10 monthly, daylong trainings held on Wednesdays, Thursdays or Fridays, and one four day retreat
  • Detailed reporting and evaluation of that practice
  • Clinical supervision
  • Monthly peer meetings
  • Monthly readings and written papers

Areas of Focus:

  • Contemplative care of those facing the crisis of illness and loss
  • Spiritual assessment
  • Spiritual diagnosis
  • Transference and Countertransference
  • Archetypal Approaches to Contemplative Care
  • Spiritual Bypassing
  • Care of dying persons and their loved ones
  • Medical and spiritual ethics
  • Buddhology of suffering
  • Buddhology of contemplative care
  • Contemplative care in multicultural and multi-faith settings
  • Elective Study

To complement the training program, the New York Zen Center offers public talks, retreats, workshops, and other training programs. To view Upcoming Events, click here.

Location & Dates:


Scheduled Dates for 2015-16 CPE Classes

New York City Training

Location: New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care, 119 W. 23rd St., Suite 401

New York City, NY 10011

September 2, 16 (+ hospice orientation days TBA)

October 7, 21

October 22-25 (Contemplative Care Retreat- Required)

November 11

December 2, 16

January 6

January 14-17 (Silent Retreat- Required)

Feb 3, 17

March 2, 16

April 6, 20

May 5 (Class and Completion Ceremony)


Houston Training

Clinical Hours will be done at Bering Omega Hospice House—a loving home environment where people in the late stages of HIV/AIDS can live their final days.

Classes are held at:

McGovern Center for Humanities & Ethics

UTHealth Medical School

6431 Fannin, JJL 400

Houston, Texas 77030

Chaplaincy Training Days are Fridays from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

Koshin and the Center’s Founding Director, Dr. Thomas Cole, a historian, gerontologist, and documentary filmmaker, will co-teach a nine month course, Nurturing Resiliency and Care: A Contemplative Approach, for medical students; All NYZCCC Chaplain Interns are invited to join this course. This class will be on the Thursday evenings directly preceding the monthly Friday CPE class from 5:00 to 6:30 pm.

September 17, 18

October 8, 9

October 22-25 (Contemplative Care Retreat at The Garrison Institute, Garrison, NY- Required)

November 5, 6

December 10, 11

January 14-17 (optional silent retreat at The Garrison Institute, Garrison, NY);

January 21, 22

February 11, 12

March 10, 11

April 7, 8

May 12, 13

Guidelines for Enrollment

Our New York City Contemplative CPE Training Program is designed for people who have taken our Foundations Training. If there is space in our upcoming training, those with previous CPE experience and significant Contemplative Practice experience will be considered.  Our Houston training is open to those who have not done the Foundations Training.

  • 3 Letters of recommendation: from a Buddhist teacher or someone who knows your spiritual practice, from an academic reference, and one from a personal reference
  • An in-person interview for NYC and a Skype interview for our Houston Program
  • Availability to do all your clinical hours in one of our partner institutions in New York City or Houston
  • Please email: for an application


  • The cost for the ten-month program is $2550 + retreat fee
  • A limited number of partial work-exchange scholarships may be available
  • Space is limited. Applications will be reviewed as they are sent in. Admissions are rolling and on-going.


The Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc.
1549 Clairmont Road, Suite 103, Decatur, GA 30033
Tel: 404.320.1472
Fax: 404.320.0849

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