Faith can play a critical role when a person is facing a crisis. Having someone to minister spiritual guidance can provide tremendous comfort.

Cornerstone Hospice and Palliative Care is offering ministers of all faiths (pastors, priests, rabbis, imams and others) a Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) course that will train participants to render pastoral care to individuals facing stress in various settings.

Led by a certified teacher-practitioner of pastoral ministry, the 20-week program offers one unit of study which involves 300 clinical hours and 100 hours of group and individual training. Cornerstone Hospice requires three units to be certified to minister to its patients and their families.

“Each unit is comprised of three components taken from the Clinical Pastoral Education-International,” said Rich Behers, DMin, BCC, CFHPC. “The topics cover Pastoral Formation, Pastoral Competence and Pastoral Reflection.”

“From a theological perspective, my understanding of ‘who’ I am as a Clinical Pastor and Chaplain has been brought into clear focus,” said Joe Maher, Chaplain at Sumter Correctional Institution and a course graduate. “From a clinical perspective, my knowledge and skills of Spiritual/Pastoral Care, and the application of those skills have provided me with the confidence, and competence to grow exponentially in the field of non-pharmacological clinical, spiritual care.”

The CPE course will be held at the following two Cornerstone Hospice locations and via distance learning:

  • Mondays, beginning April 29, from 1 – 5 p.m., 4117 County Rd 561, Tavares
  • Fridays, beginning May 3, from 1 – 5 p.m., 2140 E. County Rd. 540A, Lakeland

Tuition is $500. For information and to register, please email