ACPE Educator Certification

Certification as an ACPE Educator by ACPE is an earned privilege and responsibility. It is achieved by meeting the requirements for certification in the ACPE Competencies.  ACPE certified educators are clinical pastoral educators who are academically prepared and who are authorized by a recognized faith group. They combine perspectives from theology and the behavioral sciences in conducting accredited programs of clinically supervised ministry education.

ACPE only certifies ACPE Educators. We do not certify chaplains or pastoral counselors. CPE may be a prerequisite for certification as a chaplain or pastoral counselor. If you would like to enroll in a CPE unit, please reference our directory of Accredited Centers to find a location near you.

For more information about becoming a certified chaplain, we recommend contacting the following organizations: Association of Professional Chaplains, National Association of Catholic Chaplains or Neshama:  Association of Jewish Chaplains.



ACPE’s new certification process began on January 1, 2018. The New Certification Process is designed as a developmental, competency-based approach to learning. In this new, innovative approach, evaluation of Educator Candidates is ongoing and is grounded in clearly articulated competencies that are required to successfully engage in our work. Competency-based learning utilizes systems of instruction, assessment, and reporting that are based on students demonstrating that they have learned the knowledge and skills they are expected to learn as they progress through the process.

For more information on the New Certification Process, please refer to the New Certification Process Manual.