Student Testimonials

Receiving feedback is an intrinsic part of the CPE process. We appreciate the candid and positive comments below and welcome more as our members continue their journey.

Comments from 2023:

My CPE experience was 100% worth the effort, time and work.  It helps me very much with my goal to become a competent Hospital Chaplain, and get my practice correct.  The Action and Reflection process is like no other, and it made me continually refine and improve my pastoral care practice.  I highly recommend that any chaplains that are starting out, or current chaplains that need a refresher to complete a CPE unit.  Overall, the CPE unit I just completed will gave me exactly what I needed to practice pastoral care.


N - Volunteer hospital chaplain

CPE has provided a timely and beneficial opportunity to peel back the layers of some aspects of who I am in things that may consciously and unconsciously affect the way I relate to others.  I am so grateful for a supportive experience in which to begin this process.


P - Hospital Spiritual Carer

This CPE experience has been life changing for me.  I have been able to see so much clearer what pastoral care is really about, what I bring to my ministry, and areas where I can improve.  It has been challenging, but extremely rewarding.

S, Volunteer Hospital Chaplain

This training is perhaps one of the most important trainings for me, because it touches on areas that I struggle with.  I was always out to solve issues and this is not always the wway to forge relationship.  I was new good in reflective listening which is very important in helping people.  I have found this course not only helpful in doing Pastoral Caring but also very helpful  my other ministries and in my home life.  Overall, I am very excited to have taken this course.

S, Volunteer Hospital Chaplain

I thoroughly enjoyed my CPE experience.  It tranformed me from one who didn't really know what I was doing, to one who now has some foundation stones in place to form the basis of good pastoral practice.

The course was well structured, providing numerous opportunities to practice the skills were were learning and numerous opportunities to fail and start again, knowing you are fully supported in the learning experience.  There was good vaiety in the course, skills were certainly empahsised, as was background info (such as info on grief and spirituality) which was provided didactically.  There were also opportunities and challenges which permitted me to delve into some long dormant creative skills and find a place for them in my practice.

I would thoroughly recommend this course to anyone starting out in pastoral care and anyone wanting to learn more about it.

B, Aged Care Chaplain

My CPE experience made me question many of my long-held beliefs.  My CPE experience alerted me to the unlimited variety of viewpoints people might hold.  My CPE experience completely turned upside down my ideas about what is helpful in a pastoral care situation.  My CPE experience gave me the tools to draw out from people what they really want to say to facilitate finding their own solutions.


S - Volunteer Rural Hospital Chaplain

I would recommend CPE to anyone who wanted to get to know themselves more and be more compassionate, kind, empathetic towards those in vulnerable situations.  CPE has shown me we have our past to draw on as a gift to others who may also be dealing with trauma.  I have realised through this course that I can show the love of Jesus to those whom we visit.  I have learnt to sit in silence and allow people to express themselves, without feeling a need to be bubbly and bright or the need to fix them and try and make them feel better.  I feel I have come a long way to knowing myself and being comfortable in my own skin - but have a long way to go.


M - Volunteer Rural Hospital Chaplain

Through my CPE experience, I have gained valuable insights on the importance of actively listening with intent and being a supportive presence for those who need someone to confide in.  I have also learned to embrace my own vulnerability and use it as a gift to connect with others on a deeper level.  Additionally, I have become more aware of the need to set healthy boundaries.


H - Aged Care Chaplain

I have found that through the course my pastoral skills sky-rocketed.  Being thrown into the deep end with intetense bedside practical work was balanced out well with a supportive group of peers and supervisor.  Probably the greatest advantage to my own ministry was learning how to pastorally care for people outside my faith tradition:  by ministering to universal human experiences of pain, loss, joy and hope, my ability to speak into and hear about them within my own faith tradition has deepend immensely.  One other main advantage of taking this course has been the fact it has emboldened me in my pastoral identity.  I am now much more confident in entering into difficult situations as well as my ability to connect with fellow humans, wherever in life they may be.

T, Formation student

It is overwhelming but a healing journey of love, experience, wisdom and knowledge to finding my authentic self.  I find myself in the midst of others and am aware of my surroundings more, deeply and spiritually.  

I feel it is just right, a moment of relief that I found where I want to be and who I want to become.  The CPE programme has helped me alot to reflect and wonder about my life and how I can support others with my culture, gifts, values and beliefs.

H, Volunteer Hospital Chaplain

Comments from 2022:

Beautifully facilitated space for openness and vulnerability to be shared with others in ways that are safe and compassionate, yet challenging.

A dynamic process for exploring myself in pastoral care and myself through pastoral care.

CPE has allowed me to be ME and enhanced receiving other people's expressions of self with love and acceptance.

CPE has been one of the most growth filled periods of my life.

J, Formation student

Words cannot describe the amazing journey that is CPE.  I have learned so much during this course, from my supervisors, peers, reflections, talks and discussions.  I have not only become a better Pastoral Carer, I have also gotten to know myself better.  My learning path has been supported and encouraged.  We have shared so many valuable gems of wisdom and the learning is unitquely tailored to best suit each person.  I loved it.

C, Private Hospital Chaplain

My experience of CPE has challenged and enriched my pastoral care practice and understanding of ministry.  The action-reflection model in practice has been explored and shared through personal and peer experience, with clear, knowledgeable, kind supervision and spiritual care surrounding the whole process.  It has been a rich, communal and transformative process.

C, Aged care employee

I actually, honestly had no real idea of what CPE entailed, but I knew I would need to do this course to enable me to do what I wanted to do.  So I applied and was accepted! (Oh Joy!)  The course was just like everything I thought it might be like, and nothing like what I thought it might be like.  But I do know, it has equipped me for starting the work I want to do, caring for people a their most vulnerable times.

R, Aged Care Spiritual Care Co-ordinator

CPE has changed my life, while introducing me to a group of people who have given me inspiration, love, growth and life-long friendship.  My pastoral care has improved dramatically over the course which is attributed to the strong bond the group has formed, the excellent course content and superb instruction and supervision.  I can't recommend this CPE course highly enough.

J, Formation student

What a spirit-filled program.

I say this because not only do we focus on how to show love to others but also how to show it to ourselves.  It is a learning to embrace all of who we are in order to see more clearly who others understand what the other is searching for.

If you are brave enough to face yourself honestly, I highly recommend this program.

N, Parish chaplain

The CPE Foundational course is one of the most fulfilling courses that I have been included in. It has changed my perpective in areas of my own life and in particular the call of Jesus to "listen if you have ears." Vulnerability, and owning the complete me (warts and all) has been shown to me to be "gold" in the meeting with others as a support to them.  I have realised through the course that aiming at perfection can be thrown in the river.  Not only are we learning reflective listening but also to zone in on our own feelings as a spiritual tool to guide us in supporting others.  The course providese learning in practical application to follow Jesus in non-judgment, non-condemnation, compassion, love and seeing all as a person loved by God regardless of who they are or where they have come from.  For me especially, the "group" setting was integral and a formative necessity for growth throughout the year.  So much so, I can't imagine doing the course without my "peers."

I, Private hospital chaplain

I highly recommend this course for anyone who is interested in learning more about pastorally caring for themselves and others.

C, Aged Care Chaplain coordinator

The group or team relationship was magnificent and it helped me to learn more about others’ experiences.  The openness and willingness to share our stories and life journeys was so helpful during my CPE training.

M, Formation student

The CPE course created the opportunity to face myself honestly first before developing the ability or skills to take care of others.

S, Formation student

Comments from 2021:

This CPE unit has helped me to discover the feelings and emotions hidden within me.  The more I discover, the more I become my truer self.  It is highly recommended for all those who pursue or have a passion in pastoral care or chaplaincy for you will be fostered to develop your ability and pastoral skills.  You don’t journey alone or achieve your goals by yourself for there is process and function group and teamwork that help to broaden your own perspective, give you strength and motivation and confidence that ‘you can do it.’  Friendly and professional supervision is the biggest support that you can get.  I feel blessed to be in this program.

L, Religious sister and school chaplain

A wonderful introduction to the gift that CPE skills provide…life giving and life changing.  A journey of self discovery and increasing self awareness.  Should be taught in schools/uni at all levels.  Improved my communication skills like no other training I have done.  Has equipped me for those important conversations that lie ahead.  Was an adventure…exciting, challenging, rewarding, revealing and fun.  Changed the way I approach all conversations.  Has improved the relationship I have with myself and others.

C, Anglican parishioner and hospital chaplain

This course is life changing.  I came to the course with sound, professional, therapeutic skills.  I have discovered some valuable lessons and tools and been offered opportunities to reflect on the impact of my own personal experience on my professional skills and the lens with which I view my clients.  I have grown in confidence and competency in my personal life and professional identity.  I highly recommend C and her team and the course content.

L, Hospital Chaplain

Overall, I have enjoyed my CPE.  I have, in this unit of CPE rediscovered the power and my passion for pastoral care.  This is in itself an incredible blessing.

S, Defence Force Chaplain

My CPE experience brought me to an unknown or unfamiliar environment.  It pushes me to go out from my comfort zone. My CPE experience gives me and and teaches me another level of learning.  My CPE experience has made me cry, disappointed.  It was a challenging experience, learning with other people from a diverse culture and language.

S, Hospital Chaplain

“This course has been incredibly challenging for me, and worth every bit of the effort I have poured into it.  I have grown in my faith, my pastoral practice, and the way I see myself, with insights that will have far-reaching consequences now and for the rest of my life.  The experience was transformative.  Brave space.

C, UCA Pastor and Hospital Chaplain

I love CPE.  Experiential learning, action-reflection, is in my opinion the best and most effective kind of learning.  CPE has been a transformative experience for me.

A, Aged Care Chaplain

“I have found CPE challenging and a form of training I have never experienced before.  It’s also been one of the most formative and life giving courses I have completed.  The course opened my eyes to other faith traditions in the spirit of ecumenism.

L, volunteer Catholic aged care and Hospital Chaplain

It helped me realise my potential, get in touch with my feelings, gave me the confidence to better engage in Pastoral Care, it should be a requirement for every ministry agent and helped me build very good relationships.

L, UCA Pastor

CPE is the ultimate experience/journey of self-discovery and self-awareness.  I have been invigorated, both professionally and personally by participating in CPE.  I have discovered the therapeutic value of deep listening and just being ‘present’ for the person.  CPE has improved all areas of my life – personally, professionally, pastorally and theologically.  CPE has heightened my awareness of my relationship with God – to value moments of stillness and calm.  I have learnt to love myself more…the ‘me’ that includes all of my broken bits…the ‘me’ who sits at Jesus’ feet in awe of his unfailing love.

P, Lutheran Hospital Chaplain

CPE is a course that pastors, school chaplains, counsellors, social workers, volunteers, nurses, really anyone in the ‘helping’ industry should do.  The opportunity to evaluate and reflect on one’s practice is fantastic.  The pastoral care skills and awareness I have gained, and can now apply in many areas of my life, will help me enormously in my practice.  The time contribution to the course is significant, however it has been a worthwhile investment for me in my own faith and my ministry.  I will continue to reap the rewards from this for a long time to come.  Thank you for this opportunity.

L, Hospital Chaplain

I began CPE at the same time that I started working as a Pastoral Carer.  This course has been invaluable in helping to shape my practice as I have learnt about pastorally and spiritually caring for a wide variety of patient needs.  It has also been a transformational time in my own personal growth and I would not hesitate to recommend CPE to anyone working in Pastoral Care or Chaplaincy roles.

K, Hospital Chaplain

My CPE journey took me to a place of deep personal reflection which, although challenging, enabled me to tap into personal experience in a way that enriches my pastoral care encounters.  The course enables essential skill development for chaplaincy and congregational ministries.

M, Anglican ordinand

Whilst CPE is a training program, I personally experienced it as a formation.  It’s a process and experience of being formed from the inside out to be emotionally, practically, reflectively and professionally equipped to companion others in the privileged work as Spiritual Care practitioner.  Although I have worked many years in this arena, I found the CPE training personally and professionally stretching, enlightening and life-giving.

K, Hospital Spiritual Care Co-ordinator

I have heard how tough it is of the CPE course from my religious brothers.  I have thought that they were to make it more serious than it is.  However, when I do the course, I understand how tough it is if you do the full-time course.  At the same time, the course help me a lot to understand others especially those who are struggling in their life.  It also makes me understand more about myself and be humble to listen to others more than judge them.

L, Catholic priest and Hospital Chaplain

CPE Training has enabled me to reflect on my pastoral care practice at a deeper emotional level. I also have a greater awareness of the emotions / feelings during pastoral care encounters. I have valued going through this CPE Journey with the members of my group. We have all grown together.

G, Aged Care Chaplain

Comments from 2018:

CPE is Adult Learning in its purest form.  It is self-directed but supervised, customisable but structured, different but familiar, practical, theoretical, reflective, theological, communal, individual, relational, and fruitful at any stage of  ministry in any setting.  If you want to talk less and listen more, CPE is for you!  If you want to learn more about emotions and how to identify them, CPE is for you.

J, Armed Services Chaplain and UCA Pastor

CPE helps you to be aware of yourself and embrace who you are, to journey with others with a compassionate heart, to be with yourself, to be with patients, to be with God.

G, Religious Sister

During the CPE process, I felt embraced and understood.  The challenges of being within a group were resolved congenially allowing for space to share experiences.

D, Anglican Hospital Lay Chaplain

I found CPE challenging in a good way.  I felt I was moved out of my comfort zone and this made me grow as a person.  I feel that my journey through CPE is not over but just beginning.  I felt I was very supported through CPE.

M, Anglican Lay Chaplain

Yoga yields a gentle stretch, weights set right the frame.  Film reveals a life complex.  Music?  Where shadows have a name.

But where feet run not, and stillness prevails, an encounter with another is a deepening of oneself.  This is CPE – where conversation free, one learns to be, the life of the in-between….or if not, just a better poet!

B, non-denominational Pastoral Carer

During CPE I felt myself learning and growing every week.  The structure of group work and clinical visiting is very practical and hands on.  CPE takes a lot of work, but is one of the most worthwhile things I have ever done.

R, Anglican Ordinand

The CPE journey is confusing, challenging, thought provoking, difficult, joyful, satisfying, crushing, depressing, hopeful, growing, learning, dawning, empowering, strengthening, relief.

J, Catholic Hospital Lay Chaplain

CPE has been a process through which interiority and exteriority interact.  The point of interaction is what I would call human encounter.

F, Catholic Seminarian

CPE gave me the opportunity to fully immerse myself in what it means to truly be present to another person.  The action-reflection-action model is a crucial part of deepening my practice.  The reflection uncovered parts of me I didn’t know were there and led me to healing and integration, magnifying the importance of showing up for others.  I have hated moments, and all of those moments have led to the biggest growth for me personally and in my practice.  As the course ends, I go forward with a sense of peace and wholeness, inspired to continue this important work.

E, Anglican Ordinand

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