Clinical Pastoral Education Programs

Description of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)

CPE at UCLA Health offers the opportunity to develop important clinical skills for professional ministry while developing as an effective and soulful spiritual care provider. CPE utilizes an experience-reflection model of education, where students function as hospital chaplains assigned to multi-disciplinary patient-care teams and patient medical units. Through group and individual supervision, case presentations, lectures and spiritual reflections, students synthesize their own spiritual foundations and theological education with spiritual teachings of other traditions, along with key tenets of psychology, counseling and clinical skill development, in order to enhance their capacity for professional ministry. Small groups provide a safe and supportive atmosphere to explore learning opportunities and to mutually grow in self-understanding and competence. Students in our programs also serve as on-call emergency chaplains for our hospitals and are given opportunities to provide leadership for interfaith prayer services and occasional ecumenical services, all as components of our curriculum. CPE is a unique experience that combines patient interactions with peer reflection and thoughtful, sensitive guidance, in order to further develop the art of professional ministry. A unit of CPE consists of a minimum of 400 hour commitment, combining study, clinical experiences, emergency on-call coverage, group interaction and individual supervision.

CPE at UCLA Health

The Spiritual Care Department of UCLA Health offers all levels of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE). Our programs are designed to provide different options to meet individual needs for clinical theological education for spiritual care ministry. All of our programs are accredited the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE) in accordance with the ACPE Standards. We offer the following:

  • Level I CPE is an introductory program in which the student develops basic clinical skills while developing a professional identity and growing in personal authority for spiritual care practice. It is offered both as a full time program, generally run over 10-12 weeks, and as an extended (part-time) program, generally run over approx. 35 weeks at UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center. Graduates receive credit for one unit of Level I CPE.
  • Level II CPE is for applicants who have completed Level I CPE program(s) and met the Level I outcomes of the ACPE Standards. Generally, the Level II curriculum is offered as a component of the CPE Residency Program, offered at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.
  • Certified Educator CPE: Certified Educator CPE program is for the student who has fully satisfied ACPE’s Level I and Level II objectives and outcomes, and is interested in working toward certification as a CPE Certified Educator

Admission Requirements

Formal Requirements for Admission to CPE Internship Programs include, but are not limited to:

  • A completed ACPE application accompanied by the application fee
  • An admissions interview
  • Undergraduate degree from the CHEA-member organization with concentration in theology/religious studies and/or Master’s Degree with concentration in theology/religious studies from a CHEA-member organization or equivalent (completed or in process) preferred
  • Ordination and/or commission by a faith community preferred, where applicable
  • Student and supervisors Final Evaluations from any prior CPE
  • Acceptance into a CPE program and payment of the non-refundable deposit
  • Payment of tuition fees during the first week of the program

Formal Requirements for Admission to CPE Residency Programs include, but are not limited to:

  • A completed ACPE application accompanied by the application fee
  • An admissions interview
  • Undergraduate degree from the CHEA-member organization with concentration in theology/religious studies and/or Master’s Degree with concentration in theology/religious studies from a CHEA-member organization or equivalent (completed or in process) preferred
  • Ordination and/or commission by a faith community, where applicable, preferred
  • A minimum of one unit of previous ACPE Certified CPETM strongly preferred
  • Student and supervisors Final Evaluations from any prior CPE.
  • Acceptance into a CPE program and payment of the non-refundable deposit
  • Payment of tuition fees during the first week of the program

Certified Educator CPE

  • Certified Educator CPE training is available to qualified applicants as openings occur. Position openings are posted as they occur.

How to Apply

Please download the ACPE standard CPE Application form. There is no page-length requirement or limit to the application's essay questions, but most applications are no more than seven pages total. Along with your written application, please include the application processing fee of $30 (non-refundable) in US currency via money order, cashier's check or personal check made payable to: UC Regents/Spiritual Care.

Mail Applications Materials to:

Rev. Yuko Uesugi
UCLA Health
Department of Spiritual Care
1001 Gayley Ave., 2nd Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Or, you may E-mail applications to: [email protected]. If you send your application by e-mail, please send application fee of $30 to the above address so that your application can be processed.

Interview Information

For our CPE programs, we first review applicants' written application materials and we interview those who are selected for the interview stage of our selection process. We conduct an in-person interview with the ACPE certified supervisors at UCLA Health. For non-resident applicants, a teleconference or other alternative interview procedures may be established, but a direct in-person interview is preferable. Should you be selected for the interview, we will contact you to schedule one.

Deposit and Tuition for CPE programs at both sites

Tuition is $500 per unit of CPE.

If accepted into an internship program at either full-time or extended (part-time), a non-refundable deposit of $150, which will be applied to tuition, is required to hold a space in the program.

If accepted into a residency program, a non-refundable deposit of $200 is required to hold a space in the program. We offer a full tuition scholarship for a one-year commitment to the Residency or Supervisory CPE Programs.

The Supervisory Staff

Rev. Yuko Uesugi is the Director of ACPE Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) and Interim Director of the Spiritual Care Department.  She is an ACPE Certified Educator and an ordained Elder of the United Methodist Church (UMC). She completed the ACPE internship and residency programs at UCLA Westwood and Santa Monica Hospital.  She is a native of Japan, and came to the U.S. in 1996 in order to pursue her theological education. She holds her B.A. in Business Administration from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo, Japan and M.Div. Degree from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. Rev. Uesugi has chaplaincy experience in cardiology, psychiatry, oncology, and general hospital ministry and management experience of the Spiritual Care Department at UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center.

Chaplain Blake Arnall is the Manager of Spiritual Care at UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center. He is an ACPE Certified Educator and a commissioned minister with the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). He holds a BFA from Art Center College of Design and a Master of Divinity from the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California. He is a member of the Association of Professional Chaplains (APC) and has been a Board Certified Chaplain since 2007. He completed his ACPE Certified Educator training at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. He has experience providing chaplaincy care to oncology, transplant, and psychiatric patients and their family members. He has served on Palliative Care Teams and Ethics Committees for over ten years. Prior to joining UCLA Health, he was the Manager of Pastoral Education at Methodist Hospital of Southern California in Arcadia, California.

UCLA Health CPE Program Sites

CPE Programs are offered at two sites: Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Westwood and UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center in Santa Monica.


CPE at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center

The Medical Center

The Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center is the cornerstone of the network of health care facilities known as UCLA Health. Licensed for 530 beds, it is a world-renowned teaching and acute care facility where treatment is provided for a full range of medical conditions from neonatal care to geriatric medicine. In addition, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center is one of the world's largest organ transplant centers and one of the nation's leading hospitals for bone marrow transplantation. There are specialized intensive care units, state-of-the-art operating suites, a Level I Trauma Center and a comprehensive oncology department. It is rated the best medical center in the West. Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center also includes:

  • UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital, which is located on two floors of the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and holds 90 of its 520 beds. It offers a full spectrum of primary and specialized care for infants, children and adolescents. In addition to a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and a Level III Neonatal ICU, there are more than 20 specialty services, including Hematology/Oncology, Neurology, Nephrology, Cardiology and Cardiothoracic Surgery, Gastroenterology, Liver Transplant, Allergy, Immunology and Pulmonology.

  • The Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA, located on one floor of Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, is licensed for 75 of the 520 licensed beds. RNPH is among the world's leading centers for comprehensive patient care, research and education in the fields of mental health, developmental disabilities and neurology. This hospital provides expert evaluation and treatment programs designed for patients suffering from a variety of illness, including depression, childhood and adolescent disorders, seizure disorders, genetic syndromes, schizophrenia, eating disorders, mental retardation, neurobehavioral problems, psychosomatic illnesses, sexual disorders, sleep disorders, autism, alcoholism and drug abuse.

The CPE Programs

  • The Year-long Residency Program generally begins around the end of August and concludes at the end of August of the next year. CPE residents receive a complement of medical and psychiatric clinical experience. This is a full-time program, 40 hours per week, plus on-call in the evenings and weekends. Residents are paid a stipend of approximately $36,900, which is the total annual compensation; including time spent responding to after-hours emergency on-calls. In addition, UCLA will provide residents with medical, dental and vision insurance, paid vacation and holidays and a full tuition scholarship for four units of CPE. Those accepted into the residency program are required to live within a 30-mile radius of the hospital. Graduates of the residency program receive four units of Level I and/or Level II CPE credit.

  • The Level I CPE Internship Program is held in conjunction with the residency program. This is a full-time unit that runs early September through late November. We normally have one or two openings for the fall quarter and occasionally in winter and spring. If you're interested in applying for the winter or spring quarters, please contact us first to ascertain if there are any internship openings for these units.

  • Certified Educator CPE is available to qualified applicants as openings occur. Position openings are posted as they occur.

Program Dates:

(For dates for the CPE Programs at UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center, please see the CPE at Santa Monica section)

CPE Programs

Program Dates

Program Application Deadline

Year-long Residency Program: Aug 23, 2021 - Aug 31, 2022 Sep 1, 2020 (if you need a Visa)

April 30, 2021 (all others)

Full Time Internship Units:    
Winter Quarter Jan 4, 2021 - Mar 19, 2021 CLOSED
Spring Quarter Mar 22, 2021 - May 28, 2021 CLOSED
Summer Quarter N/A N/A
Fall Quarter Aug 23, 2021 - Nov 24, 2021 Contact Alycia Murphy at Spiritual Care Office for opening

CPE at UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center (A Satellite of UCLA Health)

The Medical Center

In 1997, UCLA Health acquired Santa Monica Hospital, a community hospital that has served the healthcare needs of West Los Angeles and Santa Monica since 1926. Today, the Santa Monica campus of UCLA Health encompasses the operations of UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center; Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital; the UCLA Rape Treatment Center; and a unit of UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital. The campus provides the full continuum of services, from neonatal intensive care to geriatric medicine, in a welcoming and technologically advanced facility. The Santa Monica campus is a cornerstone of UCLA Health, featuring 281 inpatient beds and providing a holistic, caring, patient-focused environment..

The CPE Programs

  • Level I CPE Internships are offered both as a full time program, generally run over 10-12 weeks, and as an extended part-time program, generally run over approx. 35 weeks. The summer unit is offered as a full-time unit and runs early June through mid-August. The Fall/Spring extended unit is offered as a part-time unit (12 hours per week) and runs from mid-September through mid-May of the following year. Graduates of these programs receive one unit of CPE credit.

Program Dates

CPE Programs

Program Dates

Program Application Deadline

Summer Full Time Internship June 7, 2021 - Aug 20, 2021 Mar 30, 2021
Fall/Spring Extended Internship Sep 16, 2021 - May 12, 2022 May 15, 2021

Information for International Applicants

All prospective international CPE students must complete the ACPE standard Application form. All written materials must be in English. The $30 non-refundable application fee must be in the US currency. Personal checks, Casher's check and money orders are acceptable forms of payment. Credit cards, cash or money transfer are not accepted. Payment needs to be made payable to: UC Regents/Spiritual Care.

If you are an international applicant and applying to a CPE Residency program, you will have to obtain appropriate documentation from US Immigration, which usually implies a visa. If you live in the US with Resident Alien status, please provide a copy of immigration registration card and any other relevant documents such as work permits, green cards, working visa, etc. in order to verify your legal right to work during the entire CPE Residency program dates. If you are in the midst of visa application, please include your explanation in your application materials. Please note that we are unable to accept a person on a R-1 visa for our CPE Residency program.

If you are an international applicant, applying to a CPE Residency program and do not have a valid immigration/non-immigration visa to legally allow you to work in the US during the CPE Residency program dates, you will need to obtain a J-1 visa issued through ACPE National office. You need to apply to the CPE Residency program at least a year prior to the start of the desired program to allow time for visa processing (Please see our program application deadline).

Also, please note that we have a requirement for the international student to have lived in the US for at least one year prior to their application to our CPE Residency program. Based on our past experiences, international students who have not spent time in the US prior to entering the program found themselves needing to orient to the US culture, our large teaching hospital and CPE group all at once. These compound demands were overwhelming and impacted negatively on the student's CPE learning experience. Therefore, we find this requirement necessary in order to allow the international student to have a much stronger CPE learning experience. Sometimes international students do a year of seminary or doctoral studies, or an internship in a church/religious setting in the US for a year prior to their CPE training. It is the applicant's responsibility to make arrangements for such a year, if the applicant does not have prior experience in the US

As your prepare and submit your application, in addition to the standard application essay questions listed on the ACPE standard Application form, please answer the following question:
Your experience of living in the US Include the length of your stay in the US and a brief statement about your function/role (studied in a seminary, church internship, ministry function, etc.) during the stay.

Special Notations

  • UCLA CPE program does not offer a stipend for full-time or extended CPE interns. A stipend with benefits is offered only to CPE Residents and Supervisory CPE students.
  • UCLA CPE program does not offer housing for CPE students. Please visit dailybruin.com/classifieds (the UCLA online campus newspaper) for available rent options.

We are available to assist you with any questions you may have about the process. Please contact UCLA Health Spiritual Care Department at 310-825-7484 or e-mail [email protected].


UCLA Health is an ACPE Accredited Center for Level 1, Level 2, and Certified Educator CPETM Programs.  

UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center is an Accredited Satellite Program of UCLA Health CPE Program.

ACPE, 55 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd., Suite 835, Atlanta, GA 30308.

Phone: 404-320-1472 

Website: acpe.edu

Rev. Yuko Uesugi and Chaplain Blake Arnall are ACPE Certified Educators.