UnityPoint Health - Des Moines

Clinical Pastoral Education

UnityPoint Health - Des Moines enjoys a rich history as a faith-based, not-for-profit health care organization where pastoral care is valued as a vital component of the care of patients and their families. Our Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) programs provide a clinical ministry immersion experience that sets the stage for profound learning, personal growth, meaning-making and wholeness. CPE provides clinical education for clergy, theological students, members of religious orders and laypersons.

Program Offerings

Summer Intensive Internship

This program is designed primarily for entry-level students such as seminarians, ordained clergy, qualified laypersons, and postgraduate theology students fulfilling a prerequisite for CPE. The summer intensive unit is a full-time, 11-week program meeting early June through mid-August. The education fee is $1000.

Extended Internships

This is one unit of CPE extended over several months. We offer two units each year, September through February and February through May. It convenes one day per week for seminars in addition to required clinical hours. The clinical placement may include one's parish or other ministry site as well as clinical time and serving on-call in the hospital. The education fee is $1,000.


The residency is a full-time, year-long program (4 units) designed for ordained clergy, postgraduate students, and qualified religious leaders preparing for specialized ministry or seeking to enhance their pastoral care skills. Acceptance in the residency program also requires an M.Div. or equivalent and successful completion of one prior unit of CPE. This program pays a stipend of $30,000 with health benefits. We accept applications throughout the year, but students usually enter the program in the fall. The education fee is $1,000.

The residency also offers opportunities for students to focus on particular specializations depending on their interest. Examples of areas for focused specializations may include: Behavioral Medicine, Chemical Dependency, Pediatrics, Oncology, Palliative Care and Trauma.

Click here for the ACPE UnityPoint Health - Des Moines Application