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History of the New South Wales College of Clinical Pastoral Education

After a number of planning meetings in 1962, the Council for Clinical Pastoral Education in NSW (now the New South Wales College of Clinical Pastoral Education Inc) was formed in April, 1963 to promote Clinical Pastoral Education activities in NSW. This included training courses for theological students and ministers and inter-professional seminars, “leading to a fuller understanding and acceptance of the distinctive contribution of the pastoral ministry.”

Its Constitution of July 1963, revised August 1977, allowed for denominational representatives from seven participating Protestant Churches and the Catholic Church, plus representatives from general and psychiatric hospitals, prisons and the NSW State Committee of the Australian Council of Churches. Other denominations and regional CPE organisations could be given representation by application to the Council.

During the 1960’s, the Council sponsored CPE programmes. These consisted of Hospital Orientation Courses for theological students; interprofessional Pastoral Care seminars, including care for local clergy at various city hospitals; live in seminars for country ministers; an “Advanced Seminar in CPE ” (a full week’s course in hospital chaplaincy led by Rev Leslie Hahn of Victoria) and participation in training activities for other disciplines.

Training in CPE Supervision included; in 1965, a course for Hospital Orientation Course Supervisors involving two full weeks plus eight 1½ hour tutorials; in 1966, a seminar for chaplains led by Dr Graeme Griffin; and in 1968, previously trained supervisors of hospital orientation courses ran training workshops for new “Assistant Supervisors”.

In 1970, planning was started for a one hundred hour Clinical Training Programme in pastoral care, to be attended on a part-time basis, along the lines of American CPE programmes. The first such intensive CPE courses run by the NSW Council were (i) the 1973 Chaplaincy Training Course led by Rev George Stewart and Rev Geoff Simmons, and (ii) the 1973 Pastoral Care Training Course for Newcastle clergy led by Rev Eric Stevenson.

Since 1973, the Council (now NSWCCPE Inc) has sponsored further programmes in CPE including (a) pastoral care training courses of half a day a week for ten and twenty weeks for local clergy and lay people; (b) the Annual Chaplaincy Training Courses; and (c) full time and part time units at Gladesville, Kenmore and Royal North Shore Hospital. In the succeeding years more CPE Centres have been opened. In 1980, the Council published its first booklet setting out its standard for different levels of

Accreditation for Supervisors. This booklet has now been revised to meet the changed circumstances. Since 1981, the NSWCCPE Inc has endorsed Units of Supervisory training. In 1982, the NSWCCPE Inc formally recognised its first Trainee Supervisors and Accredited its first Supervisor Trainer.

In 1990, the CPE bodies in the Australian States and New Zealand together formed the Australia and New Zealand Association for CPE (herein after referred to as ANZACPE). The association was formed as a forum for the discussion of matters of general concern and as a means of facilitating a mutual recognition of supervisors within the area. To this end it has developed a standard for Level II supervisors and at its Annual Conferences people seeking accreditation or reaccreditation at that level are often reviewed. ANZACPE does not accredit but recommends accreditation of the applicant to the member organisation.

In 1992, the Council was restructured under the New South Wales Associations Incorporation Act. This was done to enable graduates of CPE programmes to hold membership in the Council and for the Council to have an elected Executive Committee. A number of committees were formed in order to involve more members in the activities of the Council.

In 1999, the NSWCCPE Inc became an affiliated institution with the Sydney College of Divinity in order to provide a Masters Degree in Pastoral Supervision as part of its supervisory training. It also changed its name to the NSWCCPE Inc.