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Association for Clinical Pastoral Education-Motion 43-An Indication of a Troubled Organization

In May of 2006 the ACPE Board of Representatives at it's spring meeting in Atlanta, a motion was adopted that ACPE accredited centers can no longer offer CPSP units of CPE training.The following reasons were presented as to the rational for the motion:


Whereas, the Accreditation Commission has consistently received reports from students and seminaries of a lack of informed consent about the contrast of ACPE CPE and CPSP CPE;

And whereas, the Accreditation Commission has experienced a lack of consistent application of the program standards of CPSP CPE programs,

And whereas, the Accreditation Commission finds a lack of transparency with the organization of CPSP, its curriculum processes,

And whereas, the Accreditation Commission has received reports ofACPE CPE centers who hire CPE Supervisors who have membership inboth organizations being dropped from the ACPE roster and offering only CPSP CPE after telling the hospital administration the CPSP CPE is "cheaper".

And whereas, the Accreditation Commission has received reports of students being offered both CPSP and ACPE units at the same time but being told that the ACPE units are more expensive and therefore they would have to pay a higher tuition fee. The student is then given the choice of which they would like to be granted.

And whereas, the Accreditation Commission works diligently to uphold the standards required by the DOE accreditation. This is stated onthe certificate we give to each ACPE CPE center. When an ACPE supervisor offers CPSP within the same center it is the Accreditation Commission's belief that this gives the appearancethat both organizations have the same rigorous process.

Therefore, the Accreditation Commission requests the ACPE, Inc.,Board of Representatives to immediately establish a policy that noACPE, Inc. accredited center can conduct units of CPSP CPE.

The motion:Move that the ACPE, Inc. Board of Reps immediately establish a policy that no accredited ACPE, Inc. Center conduct units of CPSP CPE.

Made by Art Lucas, seconded by Miriam Needham and passed with one abstention.

While listing grievous charges against CPSP members the ACPE went public with its allegations and at no time addressed the alleged issues with CPSP.

Following the adoption of motion 43 the ACPE took the following action:

All ACPE Centers to receive a letter from Decatur asking to declare and report what kinds of CPE the center currently offers: ACPE, NACC, CPSP or other. This response (signed by each center's primary Supervisor, Professional Advisory Group chair and Administrator responsible for CPE) will be required to accompany each Center's2006 Annual Center Report. A process for addressing ACPE Centersoffering CPSP is in place and ACPE accreditation will be withdrawn.

The ACPE then sent a letter to seminaries across the US informing them of motion 43.

At no time has the ACPE addressed any of its concerns with CPSP.

While making serious allegations against CPSP the ACPE was reprimanded by the Department of Education for placing students at risk.

Department of Education evaluator, Ms. Jones, who recently attended meetings with the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education directs ACPE to end a practice which "has frequently created problems and put students at risk." The issue, as outlined in theDecember 2006 edition of the ACPE North Central Region News, is as follows:

There have been many occasions when ACPE supervisors, despite having clear guidelines in the Accreditation Manual and duly designated colleagues with whom to consult about accreditation processes, have initiated units in satellite or component sites that have not been assessed and approved by those charged with that task. Colleagues on accreditation committees have felt themselves held hostage there after by appeal to students' welfare. ("If you don'tgive us retroactive provisional approval, our students won't getcredit for their unit!")

Ms. Jones pointed out that "the greatest disservice to ACPE students was the continuation of a unit in an unevaluated site.

"The DOE evaluators unequivocal counsel was that "such situations should receive a cease and desist order rather than accommodation."

While alleging a lack of consistent application of the program standards of CPSP CPE programs, an internal ACPE report revealed that: while the ACPE "excels at developing thoughtful standards to guide supervisory practice, it remains a challenge to embed the standards into actual practice, given how practices evolve differently from center to center and supervisor to supervisor, andhow processes for peer review and continuing education reflect wide variance."

The report further reveals the ACPE as a troubled organization in which the peer review process has broken down. The report reads:

"the peer review process in the ACPE is not structured to support the growth and development of our educating supervisors and no other processes have been formally identified.

Additionally this month the ACPE is required by the DOE to "develop and implement complaint procedures for addressing complaints against programs and institutions related to violations of the agency's educational standards and procedures and to develop and implement complaint procedures for addressing complaints against the agency. In other words to put in place a satisfactory mechanism for addressing complaints against itself.

In response to the Dec. 2006 DOE re-recognition hearing the ACPE's Deryck Durston reflected in the ACPE News that the ACPE representatives questioned the competency of the DOE committee members in relation to their task.

Now isn't it interesting that CPSP is not the only organization that the ACPE leadership considers to be incompetent.

The bottom line is that CPSP is in the good company of the Department of Education.

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