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Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)

Our mission: Deeply committed to the communities we serve, we enhance health and well-being.

We at Community Howard Regional Health care about our patients and their families, and we care about our community. A regional acute care health system, we have two hospitals on three campuses with a total of 136 beds. Community Howard Regional Health System West Campus Specialty Hospital is an acute rehabilitation facility with 30 beds. This facility includes a Sleep Center. Accredited by The Joint Commission, CHRH earns consistently strong patient satisfaction ratings. The System provides a broad range of acute care and ancillary services creating a variety of learning and service opportunities for student chaplains who desire to implement a continuum of care for our patients.

This past year, Community Howard Regional Health was recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a 2011-2012 Best Performing Hospital in the specialty of pulmonology. Community Howard Regional is the only hospital in Howard County recognized by this national publication, which has been providing “Best Hospital” recognition for 22 years. Additionally, in May 2012, HealthGrades, a leading independent health care ratings company, rated Community Howard as being among the top 5% in the nation for patient safety, a reflection of our hospital’s quality of care.

Fairmont Rehabilitation Center of Kokomo is another clinical site where CPE students learn the art of spiritual care and counseling to long-term patients in a nursing home context.

Community Howard Regional’s Clinical Pastoral Education program (CPE) is one of only approximately 450 accredited CPE centers in the United States. The Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program with its 38 years of history is designed to support the student chaplains’ goal in pursuing board certification by credentialing bodies such as the Association for Professional Chaplaincy, the National Association of Catholic Chaplains, and the National Association of Jewish Chaplains. Student chaplains develop ministry confidence by establishing and maintaining professional relationships with worship communities, seminaries and other agencies such as Fairmont Rehabilitation Center. Our Professional Consultation Committee (PCC) is composed of a variety of professionals that represent medicine, ethics, administration, chaplaincy and parishes.


Accredited by ACPE (Association for Clinical Pastoral Education), Inc.
1549 Clairmont Road, Suite 103
Decatur, Georgia 30033
(404) 320-1472

Clinical Pastoral Education programs

Clinical Pastoral Education Residency

A 12-month CPE residency to earn 4 CPE units (a requirement for board certification).

  • September 2013– September 2014 (exact dates will be provided at interview)
  • Full time. On-duty shifts required
  • $24,266 stipend plus benefits
  • One meal provided per working day
  • Four units of CPE
  • Tuition of $200.00 each unit
  • Application fee, non refundable—$35.00
  • Rolling admission
  • Requirement: Graduate theological degree or equivalent; no prior CPE is required
  • Applicant maintains good standing in her/his faith group

Extended Clinical Pastoral Education

A student can take 4 units to meet the minimum requirement for board certification.

  • Weekly overnight on-site on duty shift
  • One meal provided for each duty shift
  • Tuition fee of $500
  • Application fee, non-refundable—$35.00
  • Rolling admission
  • Basic theological knowledge
  • Applicant maintains good standing in her/his faith group

Program objectives and methods

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is a creative movement that prepares persons who engage in theological education for ministry. It has its roots in the efforts of pioneers who sought to bring the theological students into supervised encounter with persons in crisis. Students learn about the human condition, their spiritual needs and the care of souls through a holistic approach in ministry. Hence, the concept of learning from the “Living Human Documents” is central in CPE. It is an experienced-based, process-oriented, person-centered theological education. CPE at HRHS offers you the opportunity to learn and discover some of the following which are competency criteria in chaplaincy board certification.

  • Cultivate listening skills: spiritual assessment, support and crisis intervention
  • Develop sensitivity and knowledge in ethics, psychology and cultural issues in patient-care ministry
  • Advocate for the well being of staff and organization
  • Develop cultural competence in inter-ethnic and inter-cultural relationships
  • Nurture and sustain ministry relationships with inter-disciplinary team
  • Deepen the ability to reflect theologically
  • Respect differences in religions, cultures and theological perspectives
  • Identify specific goals in ministry formation with references to personal strengths and weaknesses
  • Demonstrate ministry competence in the practice of continuous quality improvement
  • Demonstrate a working and cultural relevant knowledge of current theory and practice
  • Effective use of Family System theory in ministry

Learn from our patients/families and staff

From a unit manager:

“Chaplains: I wanted to take a moment to thank you. The chaplains as a group were mentioned on the patients surveys for [my unit]. The service you provide to our patients is appreciated so much.”

From a family member:

An emergency department patient’s family member wrote to thank the team, including the chaplain, that cared for her loved one. “[The chaplain] was waiting for me when I returned. [They] went back to [my loved one’s] room with me…. the chaplain stayed with me for the bulk of the time I was with [my family member]…. The care my [family member] received and the concern shown me, was, in my opinion above and beyond what I had expected….”

Spiritual services team

Director of Spiritual Services

Rev. Yoke Lye Kwong is the first female American-Malaysian-Chinese certified ACPE supervisor. She speaks and writes several languages, and has lived in Southeast Asia, Canada and the United States. Her journey of immigration energizes her to teach and offer workshops that stimulate dialogue in exploring intercultural, interethnic spiritual care and supervision to promote justice, compassion, inclusion and collaboration in a growing diversity and complexity world. She is the author of numerous articles and book chapters. The most recent chapter she wrote was Spiritual Care to Worlds Beyond published in the book, Professional Spiritual & Pastoral Care-A Practical Clergy and Chaplain’s Handbook, Editor: Rabbi Stephen Roberts. She is a member of Pacific, Asian, and North America Asian Women in Theology and Ministry (PANAAWTM). She serves on the ACPE East Central Region Ethics Commission. Yoke Lye is a member of the Howard County Ministerial Association. She also serves as an Advisory Council Member for Ivy Tech Community College.

She is married to Rev. Robert Lim. Their older son, AJ Yew, resides and works in Japan. Their younger son, RJ Wei, studies at Stanford University. The family enjoys movies, music and travel.

Staff chaplains

Rev. Sandra Sherrick, BCC, graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in English and psychology from Indiana University in Bloomington and earned her master of divinity degree from Anderson University School of Theology. Sandra is an ordained Church of God (Anderson) minister. She began her CPE training as an expanded unit intern in 2004, followed by two consecutive CPE Residencies. She has been on the CHRH Spiritual Services’ staff since 2007 and is a board-certified chaplain by the Association of Professional Chaplains. Rev. Sherrick is a clinical member of the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education. She has specialized in ministry with oncology patients, families and staff and at the HRHS West Campus Rehabilitation Hospital as well as providing chaplaincy services throughout HRHS and mentorship for CPE residents and interns.

Rev. Suzi Keown, BCC, earned her undergraduate degree from Anderson University with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work & Psychology and a minor in drama. Suzi earned her Master of Divinity from Anderson University School of Theology with an emphasis in pastoral care and counseling in 1999. She is an ordained minister with the Church of God (Anderson). Suzi spent a year of CPE residency with IU Health (Methodist, IU, Riley Hospitals) and she is an alumni of Community Howard CPE, a second year resident in 2011-2012. In September 2012 Suzi became part of the Community Howard chaplaincy team. Prior to her residencies, Suzi served as a children’s pastor in Indianapolis for three years and a Presbyterian interim pastor in Kirklin, Indiana for two years. She loves to create and entertain through clowning, magic, face painting, balloon art, storytelling and puppets. She considers herself to be a “humor therapist” – facilitating laughter and joy.

Why complete clinical pastoral education in Kokomo?

“As a former resident of Carmel, Indiana, I wondered what it would be like living in Kokomo for my residency. How wonderful that most of the people I met were welcoming, family-oriented and ready to help with anything I needed. The hospital administration and staff are team-oriented and inclusive. I feel right at home!” Rev. Suzi Keown, Chaplain Resident 2011-2012.

  • The Indiana Association of Cities and Towns awarded Kokomo its 2012 Community Achievement Award. Kokomo also won the Community Achievement Award in 2010.
  • The Indiana Chamber of Commerce honored Kokomo with its 2011 Community of the Year Award.
  • In the August 10, 2011 edition of Forbes Magazine, Kokomo, IN was listed as fourth place on their “Top 10 Best Places to Live Cheaply” list.
  • In the May 2011 edition of Forbes Magazine, Kokomo was listed as #215 for the Best Cities for Jobs,” which is 177 places above the previous ranking.
  • CQ Press, a leading publisher of books, directories and reference publications focusing on U.S. government affairs, released its annual City Crime Rankings for 2011 – 2012. In the report, Kokomo ranked 45th out of 405 U.S. cities for safest places to live.
  • The Kokomo Tribune lifestyle editor recently created her “Best of Kokomo 2012” list, noting that “people, places, and things make Kokomo the best.” Some of the distinctive features of local culture making the list include the following: the Kokomo Speedway, the abundance of drive-through drink places, Dan’s Donuts, “Kokomantis,” Hibachi Grill, WWKI radio station, Kokomo YMCA, Kokomo Beach, and Taste of Kokomo.

Application procedure

Each applicant must submit:

  • The standard ACPE application, available online at
  • A screening/admissions interview with a CPE supervisor and members of the Professional Consultation Committee and/or medical faculty
  • $35.00 application fee, non-refundable
  • Payment of $50.00 acceptance fee

International students, prior to making your applications, please refer to

For additional information, please contact:
Rev. Yoke Lye Kwong, ACPE Supervisor, Board Certified Chaplain, AAPC Pastoral Care Specialist
Director of Spiritual Services

Community Howard Regional Health
3500 S. Lafountain Street
Kokomo, IN 46904-9011

About board certification and degrees from non-CHEA-accredited schools

The Association of Professional Chaplains (APC) sets the standards for certification by the Board of Chaplaincy Certification Inc. (BCCI). The standards require a bachelor’s degree in any subject from a school accredited by a member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, plus a master’s degree(s) from a theological institution(s) accredited by CHEA. Master degree(s) and any additional coursework must involve a minimum of 72 semester credits for BCC/PBCC applicants and 48 semester credits for ACC/PACC applicants.

The BCCI cannot review application materials unless both degrees (bachelors and masters) are from CHEA accredited schools. Applicants can complete a process to verify equivalency by submitting their undergraduate transcript to a school accredited by CHEA to determine if that degree is equivalent to a degree offered by the CHEA school, After this determination and the appropriate form and documents are submitted, BCCI will be able to evaluate the applicant’s graduate degree. Additional information about this process and the certification process in general may be found at

Statement of confidentiality and student rights

Annual Notice (published in accordance with ACPE Standard 304.4):

This ACPE CPE center/program guarantees to its students the rights to inspect and review education records, to seek to amend them, to specified control over release of record information, and to file a complaint against the program for alleged violations of these Family Education and Privacy Act (FERPA) rights.

A student has the right to object to record content. If not negotiable, the written objection will be kept with and released with the record. Grades are exempted from this right.

Violations of these protocols may be reported to the Chair of the Accreditation Commission at: ACPE, 1549 Clairmont Road, Suite 103, Decatur, GA 30033.

Our awards

  • Top 10 Indiana Cardiology Hospitals
  • Accredited Chest Pain Center with PCI
  • HealthGrades 2013 Patient Safety Excellence Award

Proud sponsors

  • Indiana Fever
  • Indianapolis Indians
  • Indiana Pacers
  • Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing
  • Indy Eleven

Health and wellness shopping

  • Home Health Medical online store for medical supplies and equipment
  • Wellspring Pharmacy
  • FigLeaf Boutique
  • Jasmine gift shop