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Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE Program) & Spiritual Journey

a group of people from all races and ages are in a circle smiling and looking at the cameraThroughout history, religious leaders have served as spiritual guides, crisis counselors, unwavering supporters and teachers. That pastoral tradition is central to Goodwin Living and our faith-based roots. We are among a small number of senior living communities nationwide that offer Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE). CPE is an educational process that trains leaders from all different faiths in pastoral ministry and chaplaincy. As the only CPE program in Northern Virginia, Goodwin Living CPE is a hub for professional spiritual care in the region.

Goodwin Living CPE students engage in ministry in a variety of clinical placement sites, including the following:

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 Living chaplains mentor students in spiritual care with older adults. CPE students benefit from the rare opportunity to develop relationships with older adults, their families, our diverse staff and caregivers. Students refine their skills in providing spiritual support with visits in hospice, palliative care, hospital and home contexts.

Students through our Inova partnership are precepted by local professional chaplains who are well-experienced in all aspects of hospital-spiritual care. The variety of hospital contexts our students can practice in – from level 1 trauma hospital to community hospitals to cancer center – have and will continue to give our students a wide range of challenge and experience in which to grow their pastoral skills.

Goodwin Living CPE is fully accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education.  Goodwin Living CPE offers CPE  units*
at Level IA, IB, IIA and IIB in each unit.  Students progress through the levels at their own educational pace.
Goodwin Living CPE also offers year-long CPE residency positions in which residents will earn 3 units of CPE over the course of a year.

Goodwin Living CPE program offers three CPE units each year as well as residency positions:

CPE Class Winter 2021
The Winter 2021 Graduating CPE Class with Liz Pomerleau (bottom left), director of Clinical Pastoral Education.
  • Fall Session is 15 weeks, September to December (30 hours per week)
  • Winter Session is 15 weeks, January to April (30 hours per week)
  • Summer Session is 10 weeks, June to August (40 hours per week)
  • CPE Hospice/Hospital Residency is a year-long position in which student works with the Goodwin Hospice team or hospital site and earn three units of CPE over the course of one year. The CPE Resident earns a stipend based on the clinical placement.

    A unit of CPE is comprised of 400 hours. Successful completion of 400 hours (as according to program requirements) is registered as
    1 credit of CPE in the ACPE database.

Tuition is $1,000 per unit.

We review applications and interview prospective students on a rolling basis. Click here to download your application. Please email the written portion of your application to Liz Pomerleau, Director of CPE at and mail a check for the $45 application fee to the following address:

Goodwin Living CPE
3440 S. Jefferson Street
Falls Church, VA 22041.

Goodwin Living Foundation generously offers scholarships to CPE students who need help with tuition. Liz can talk to you about scholarships as well.

Goodwin Living 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.

Please review our Annual Notice.

“CPE students learn to cultivate spiritual friendships through a ministry of mutuality and befriending with older adults. Goodwin Living is a faith-based organization, historically connected with the Episcopal Church and welcoming of people of all (or no) religious traditions. We come from a faithful stance, ever hopeful for growth and discovery on our shared journey.”
– Liz Pomerleau, Director of Clinical Pastoral Education

Contact the Director of Goodwin Living CPE: Liz Pomerleau, BCCI, ACPE Educator |

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