Clinical Pastoral Education Distance Learning Collaborative

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) Distance Learning Collaborative

Building Collaboration Between the CRC & the RCA

Close-up of hands clasped in prayer over Bible

This CPE program is offered to pastors from both CRC and RCA churches throughout the United States and Canada.  A cohort of six pastors is selected to meet via video conference twice weekly for three hours each session for four to five months. Typically three in-person weekend retreats are held–one at the beginning of the unit, one at mid-unit and one at the end of the unit.  The location of the retreats varies depending on where the applicants are located in order to share the travel burden among them.  These retreats have proved to be invaluable in establishing bonds early in the program and developing relationships as the unit progresses.

Pine Rest will provide CPE seminars, group sharing, and personal supervision through distance learning technology via a digital platform developed for the project.

Pine Rest CPE program serves as an excellent forum for Christian Reformed Church (CRC) and Reformed Church in America (RCA) seminary students, ministerial candidates, and congregational pastors to learn together, work together, and support each other in ministry. Pine Rest, the CRC, the RCA, their seminaries, and their directors of ministerial candidacy are collaborating to achieve the following outcomes:

• Improve the lives of parishioners in CRC/RCA churches through improved pastoral leadership and pastoral care skills of the clergy.
• Develop close bonds of friendship and collegiality between RCA/CRC clergy that can lead to improved denominational collaboration.
• Reduce clergy turnover through improved self-care and self-awareness.

Prerequisite: One year in an accredited seminary, or other accredited college or university theological program, or equivalent experience in a ministry setting, a completed application, and an admission interview.

Application fee: $50
Please submit your application along with a check or money order for $50 payable to “Pine Rest CPE.” (Application may be sent electronically, but will not be processed until the $50 fee is received.)

Tuition: $600
Participants are encouraged to use continuing education funds from their congregations, classes or denomination.

Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services has been providing Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) for 45 years. CPE helps pastors and seminarians develop pastoral care skills, self-awareness, and spiritual leadership. Pine Rest’s program is nationally accredited .

The Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program is designed to train participants in pastoral care ministry through:
• Active engagement in ministry for at least 16 hours per week
• Reflection on ministry experience
• Assimilation of learning into ongoing ministry

Opportunities for clinical reflections occur in:
• Group settings
• Individual supervision
• Seminars with professionals from other disciplines

The CPE program offers seminars about pastoral care as well as experiential learning. A key program component is the time spent in small group discussions. Led by a CPE Supervisor, participants discuss their ministry interactions, what they are learning about themselves and their ministry, and their understanding of the pastor’s leadership role in the congregation. These sessions create strong often lifelong bonds with others in the program.

Rev. Ecko DeVries
Chaplain, Spectrum Health
Retired Minister of the CRC

Rev. Kathy Bird DeYoung
CPE Supervisor
Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services
616.281.6363 Ext. 2831

Rev. Dr. Verlyn Hemmen
CPE Supervisor
Retired Minister of the RCA

Rev. Dr. Cornelis Kors
Executive Director
Ministerial Formation Certification Agency
Reformed Church in America

Shari Oosting
Associate Director of Formation for Ministry
Western Theological Seminary
616.392.8555 Ext. 154

Rev. Sarah Roelofs, BCC
Ministry Consultant
Christian Reformed Church in North America
877.279.9994 Ext. 2733

Rev. Dr. Faye Taylor
Acting Director of Field Education
New Brunswick Theological Seminary
732.247.5241 Ext. 118

Rev. Geoff Vandermolen
Director of Vocational Formation
Calvin Theological Seminary

Rev. Dr. Karl Van Harn
Director of Pastoral Services & CPE
Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services
616.281.6363 Ext. 2902

Contact and Information

For additional information and/or application, please contact us using the form below or calling 616.281.6363 x2566.

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Rev. Karl VanHarnSupervisor
Rev. Karl Van Harn, DMin
Director of Pastoral Services & Clinical Pastoral Education
Karl is ordained in the Christian Reformed Church, an experienced pastor and chaplain, and an ACPE Supervisor.

Since 1970, Pine Rest has been accredited by:

The Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc.

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

Rev. Karl Van Harn, Director
Department of Pastoral Services & CPE
616.281.6363 ext. 2902

Carolyn Dykstra, Executive Asst.
Pastoral Services Department
616.281.6363 ext. 2566

Mailing Address:
Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services
P.O. Box 165
Grand Rapids, MI 49501-0165

“I learned so much about myself and my functioning as a pastor.” — CPE Student

“I count my CPE experience as one of the most important experiences I had while at seminary.” CPE Student