The Taylor Centre and Training for Chaplaincy at Acadia Divinity College

The Acadia Divinity College (ADC) has a long and distinguished history of educating, forming, and training men and women to become Christian chaplains in a wide variety of settings. For over forty years, ADC was the primary centre for chaplaincy formation east of Montreal. The purpose of the Taylor Centre, named in honour of Dr. Charles J. Taylor, who spearheaded that forty-year effort and inspired several generations of chaplains, is to become once again a world-leader in this area of Christian ministry. In a world in which church attendance is dwindling, chaplains working in secular settings become more and more significant bearers and proclaimers of the Good News, sometimes serving as the only points of contact between people in the wider community and the Christian church.

Chaplaincy-Related Degree Programs at Acadia Divinity College:

The academic degree of Master of Divinity (MDiv) is the basic graduate degree program designed to educate, form, and train ministers, including those who will be chaplains.

ADC offers two specialized MDiv programs—the MDiv with a specialization in Prison Chaplaincy, and the MDiv with a specialization in Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care. Each of these programs is designed to provide the additional and specialized education, formation, and opportunities for training required by people who wish to serve as chaplains in a variety of contexts.

For more and specific information about the Master of Divinity program at ADC and the specializations in Prison Chaplaincy and/or Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care, including the list of required courses and links to course descriptions, start here: You are also welcome to contact the Director of the Taylor Centre, Rev. Dr. Dorothy Hunse, via email:

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)

    • There is no one, single, uniform path to chaplaincy. The requirements in terms of education, formation, and training established for applicants for chaplaincy positions vary widely, according to the type of chaplaincy, the scope of practice of chaplains, even according to geography and the law of supply and demand. Nevertheless, one standard element of chaplaincy training that is required for most chaplaincy positions is the completion of at least one (sometimes more) unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE).
    • Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is an education, skills development, and hands-on training program, which takes place in different sites—e.g., nursing homes, hospitals, correctional facilities—in various parts of the country and elsewhere. CPE Units are typically offered either as 12-week, full-time, intensive programs (often run from May through July) or, in some places, as part-time programs run over the academic year (roughly September-April).
    • In Canada, Clinical Pastoral Education Units operate under the policies, guideline, and oversight of the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care (CASC), which approves the CPE Unit site, certifies the Unit instructors, oversees the specific program elements, and provides formal recognition (apart from academic course credit) for those who successfully complete CPE Units and other specialized training programs.
    • Successful completion of at least one CPE Unit is a requirement of the two MDiv programs with chaplaincy specializations at ADC, which awards two? three? academic credits for successful completion of each CPE Unit. Because there is a separate application process for CPE Units, and because they take place off-site, involve extra costs, and are time- and labour-intensive, it is critical that students discuss their intentions to undertake CPE training with the Director of the Taylor Centre, the Reverend Joe Green.
    • Specific information about Clinical Pastoral Education and links to information about and applications forms for current and prospective CPE Units can be found at the website of the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care (CASC): Look under the Education tab for the link to specific information about CPE Units.