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Program Outline


Phase I – Contextualized Chaplaincy and CPE Component

The MDiv/CPE program begins at the Florida Hospital campus, Florida Division (in the Orlando area). During this year students begin practical theological education for ministry by completing three units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) and interning alongside professional chaplains.

Students will have many models for ministry through developing relationships with peers, Supervisors, Chaplains and Pastoral Care Leaders.

Engagement in the learning process and personal suitability for ministry in a specialized setting will be evaluated in formal and informal ways throughout the year. These evaluations will serve as the basis for assessment of suitability for continuation in the program.

This year consists of, but is not limited to the following:

  • The successful engagement and completion of three units of ACPE, Inc. accredited CPE at Florida Hospital. This includes satisfactory completion of all conceptual and clinical requirements of the CPE program as assigned by the CPE Supervisor.
  • Participation in assigned clinical duties, as assigned by Pastoral Education Services at FH, in any assigned hospital within the Florida Hospital Florida Division. The student/intern serves as an apprentice, in a mentoring relationship, with staff chaplain(s) on those campuses, beginning to develop their unique pastoral identity and authority as skill and learning progress.
  • Regular meetings with M.Div. peer group facilitated by Jay Perez, VP for Mission and Service at FH.
  • Regular meetings, as assigned, with Greg Ellis, Admin. Dir. of Pastoral Care at FH
  • Application materials submitted to Andrews University Seminary on time for a fall acceptance
  • Review and consultation committee appearance on or about the 6 month period of the first year. This committee, which may be made up of representatives of Pastoral Education, Pastoral Care, Mission and Ministry (FH and AHS), will assess suitability for continuation in the AHS M.Div. program and recommendations for sponsorship to Andrews University Seminary for academic training.
  • Adherence to the policies of the Florida Conference of SDA’s for pastors.
  • Adherence to the policies of Adventist Health System
  • Adherence to the policies of Florida Hospital and the Florida Hospital Department of Mission and Ministry

Phase II

The next step takes the student to the campus of Andrews University Theological Seminary in Berrien Springs, Michigan. The second phase is focused on academic achievement and the successful completion of academic requirements for the Master of Divinity degree at Andrews University Theological Seminary. During the seminary experience, students are expected to complete the Master of Divinity degree program in a timely manner, maintaining academic standing and personal integrity as a minister of the Adventist Church.

A separate application is required by Andrews University Theological Seminary for the MDiv program. It is available at Andrews University Theological Seminary. Students should submit an application by December 1.

In addition to academic requirements students will:

  • Provide formal and informal updates on their progress to the Department of Pastoral Education at Florida Hospital and the VP of Mission and Ministry at Florida Hospital. The formal updates are shared with AHS Dept. of Mission and Ministry and maintained in student files.
  • Develop connection and appropriate participation among a local SDA congregation
  • Abide by the policies of the Florida Conference of SDA’s for pastors
  • Abide by the policies of Adventist Health System
  • Abide by the policies for students at Andrews University Theological Seminary
  • Beginning in the final year of academic training, interns/students will work with AHS Representatives to arrange interviews for post-academic placement which will take place in the spring of the final year of academic study.
Nine months prior to graduation from Andrews University Theological Seminary, students should submit their resumes to AHS. AHS will solicit Adventist Health System hospital CEOs based on pre-determined criteria such as geography, past student placements and needs within the Adventist Health System. Students will interview with the AHS institutions who are seeking chaplains.


Phase III – Contextualized Chaplaincy and CPE Component in AHS Context

The third phase is the post-academic placement. Students continue practical theological education for ministry by completing their Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) and ministering alongside professional chaplains at an Adventist Health System (AHS) hospital campus. Post-academic placement is made by AHS. Placements may be anywhere in the country within the Adventist Health System.

  • Students are expected to complete remaining units of CPE training so that four have been completed. This CPE must be completed at an ACPE, Inc., accredited CPE Center in the geographic area of placement.
  • Upon completion of the fourth unit of ACPE, Inc. CPE the student will begin pursuit of ecclesiastical endorsement with Adventist Chaplaincy Ministries.
  • The student’s sponsorship agreement with AHS outlines a 4-year minimum commitment of service.
  • Students provide formal and informal updates on their process and professional development to the Department of Pastoral Education throughout placement. The formal updates are shared with Mission and Ministry Departments in Florida Hospital and AHS and maintained in student files.
  • Develop connection and appropriate participation in local SDA congregation
  • Abide by the policies of AHS and the placement institution for pastors

Upon completion of CPE, a student commitment of four years of service at that AHS facility is required. If a long-term placement is not available the student will return to Florida Hospital, Florida Division to serve one year and complete the necessary units of CPE. (If the initial placement does not maintain a position for the student for the full four years, a second placement will be attempted. If that second placement opportunity does not exist the student may be released from their commitment to AHS, without prejudice, and is free to seek employment on their own).

When CPE and academic requirements are complete students are qualified for:

  • Endorsement from Adventist Chaplaincy Ministries
  • Board Certification with the Association of Professional Chaplains