Spiritual Care Services

Related Resources

Spirituality can have a profound effect upon the physical, mental and emotional well-being of people’s lives. Spiritual support and resources can have an important role in our journey toward healing.


AHS values our community religious care partners and their supports to Albertans affiliated with their respective religious communities. During this unprecedented time of pandemic, your supports through phone or other virtual means is most appreciated. Please note that your access to dying members of your faith group is permitted, subject to approval of the patient/resident’s essential visitor as per the order of Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH). We encourage you to read the CMOHs order dated April 7th outlining the parameters and requirements for these visits.

Additional Resources

Religious Community Visitor Program

Religious Community Visitors are one of many partners offering comfort and care in the Calgary Zone. These visitors play a valued role in the healing process by maintaining a connection to a patient's religious community. As a source of support during what can be a difficult time, Religious Community Visitors also help the patient by providing access to rites and rituals from their religious community.

Successful applicants will be registered with Alberta Health Services as a designated Religious Community Visitor and will be issued an identification badge to be worn in Region facilities when on official visits on behalf of a religious community.

Orientation Sessions

As part of the application process, a face to face orientation session geared specifically towards being an AHS Religious Community Visitor (RCV) is offered by Spiritual Care Services. The applicant will receive an email from Volunteer Resources inviting them to AHS RCV orientation sessions offered, once they have completed the rest of the application process.

Hospital Chaplaincy Spiritual Health Practitioner)Training Programs in Alberta

Hospital Chaplaincy Spiritual Health Practitioner) and Course-Based Spiritual Care Education Programs

The Alberta Consortium for Supervised Pastoral Education offers both unit and course-based spiritual care education programs. Placements for Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) are within healthcare and community settings of the Calgary and Edmonton areas. All Alberta CPE programs are offered according to the certification standards of the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care/Association canadienne de soins spirituels (CASC/ACSS).

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is an experience-based approach to learning practical skills and competencies for ministry. It combines qualified supervision and group reflection with clinical learning about spiritual and pastoral care. CPE programs are open to ordained and lay persons studying in theological education. As well, students in other disciplines who seek to learn in the field of spiritual assessment and care, and are keen to walk in the shoes of spiritual care practitioners, are welcome to apply. CPE aims to assist learners in achieving their full personal, vocational and professional potential.

Programs of CPE are offered at educational centers throughout Canada, each is administered in keeping with educational and clinical opportunities. Students learn about spiritual and pastoral care in general, pediatric, psychiatric, and long-term care health facilities, correctional centers, and a variety of community based locations. Each educational program is connected to a theological college. Teaching Supervisors are certified by CASC/ACSS.

In Alberta CPE is in a process of redevelopment. CPE programs are being offered in partnership with Alberta Health Services (AHS), Covenant Health, St. Stephen’s College, and Ambrose University. There are steps being taken to establish and solidify an Alberta Consortium of stakeholders interested in “educating to create competent, compassionate spiritual care and pastoral counselling providers to meet the needs of Albertans” (Vision statement of the Alberta Consortium for Supervised Pastoral Education).

CPE Dates for 2021-2024

Note: Foreign students should apply well in advance of their desired program as it can take up to six months to obtain a Student Visa to study abroad. While screening interviews are held twice a year (February and June), foreign students’ acceptance into a program will be later than the next program offered following the screening interviews.

  • Extended CPE Unit/Program (Calgary & Edmonton) - September 7-10, 2021 (Four Days Orientation) to March 18, 2022 (2 days/week). Deadline for Applications: May 28, 2021
  • Summer Intensive CPE Unit (Calgary & Edmonton) - May 9, 2022 to July 22, 2022 (5 days/week). Deadline for Applications: January 7, 2022
  • Extended CPE Unit (Calgary & Edmonton) - Sept 6-9, 2022 (Four Days Orientations) to March 24. 2023. Deadline for Applications: May 27, 2022
  • Summer Intensive CPE Unity (Calgary & Edmonton) - May 1-5, 2023 (Five Days Orientation) to July 14, 2023. Deadline for Applications: January 13, 2023
  • Extended CPE Unit (Calgary & Edmonton) - Sept 5-8, 2023 (Four Days Orientations) to March 22, 2024 (2 days/week). Deadline for Applications: May 26, 2023
  • Summer Intensive CPE Unit (Calgary & Edmonton) - May 6-10, 2024 (Five Day Orientation) to July 19, 2024 (5 days/week). Deadline for Applications: January 12, 2024

CPE Application & Screening Process

There are four steps in the application and screening process.

Step One

Contact one of the Alberta Intake Supervisor-Educators with any questions you may have:

Step Two

Download and complete the Application Form. Compile all required documents listed in the application form. Submit this material to& Kathy or Darlene, whichever CPE Intake Supervisor-Educator is closest to you geographically.

Step Three

Applicants are notified that their application has been received. Following the application deadline listed on the website, those selected to be interviewed will be notified, and those not selected will also be notified.

Step Four

If you are invited to a screening interview, you will have an opportunity to meet a team of people who teach in the CPE program. The interview is a two-way process. You are discerning whether you want to move forward in CPE and the team is discerning your suitability for the next available CPE program.

Application Information

If you are accepted to a CPE program, you will need to complete Step Five and Step Six as well.

CPE Registration

With either Ambrose University Seminary or St. Stephen’s College.

Step Five

Following your screening interview, if you are selected to participate in the next available CPE program, you will receive a Letter of Offer from the Supervisor-Educator. You need to have this letter before you can register at either Ambrose (for a CPE Unit) or St. Stephen’s (for a Course-Base CPE Practicum).

Step Six

Upon receipt of the Letter of Offer, you must register for CPE at one of the two designated Theological Colleges. In your letter, you will be instructed to register for “SC 715/716: CPE Unit” through Ambrose University, Calgary, or for “CPE 5889: Course-Based CPE Practicum” through St. Stephen’s College, Edmonton. (Note: Wherever you are located geographically, you will still need to register through either Ambrose for a CPE Unit or St. Stephen’s for a Course-Based CPE Practicum; academic credits for all CPE program offerings are transferrable to your College, Seminary or University).

Payment of CPE Course Fee

Cost of both a CPE Unit and a Course-Based CPE Practicum are the same – i.e. $2,400.00. This fee is payable with registration. Successful completion of a CPE (unit or course-based practicum) will gain students up 6 academic credits at a Theological College.

Have a Question?

Contact one the following Intake Supervisor-Educators for more information about both CPE Unit and Course-Based CPE Practicum program offerings:

Rev. Kathy Marshall-Spate, Certified Supervisor-Educator,
Intake Supervisor, Calgary & Southern Alberta
c/o Spiritual Care Services
Foothills Medical Centrel
1403 29th Street NW
Calgary, AB T2N 2T9
Phone: 403-944-0945

Dr. Darlene Pranke, Provisional Supervisor-Educator
Intake CPE Supervisor-Educator, Edmonton & northern Alberta
c/o St. Stephen’s College
8810 – 112 Street
Edmonton, AB T6G 2J6
Phone: 587-785-1536