Clinical Pastoral Education at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital

Clinical Pastoral Education at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)

At MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, chaplains play an essential role in providing for the spiritual and emotional support of a widely diverse population of patients, families, and staff from all religions and cultures. The Department of Mission and Pastoral Care works as an integrated part of interdisciplinary care throughout the hospital. We approach our care in the Jesuit tradition of cura personalis, or ‘care of the whole person’. Care at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital is also directed by The Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. MedStar Georgetown University Hospital’s Department of Mission and Pastoral Care is accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc. (ACPE) to offer Level I, Level II and Certified Educator Candidate (CEC) programs. Currently, the center offers full-time and extended Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) units. The center does not offer half units.

How to contact ACPE:

ACPE: The Standard for Spiritual Care and Education
1 Concourse Pkwy, Suite 800
Atlanta, GA 30328

The MedStar Georgetown University Hospital CPE Team:

Thomas J. Chirdo
ACPE Certified Educator
Phone:  202-444-6969

Rev. Dianne Malcolm
ACPE Certified Educator
Phone:  202-444-4481

Rev. Edjigu (Ed) Tolessa, D. Min., BCCI
Certified Educator Candidate
Phone: 202-444-3747

Current CPE programs include:

  • Full Time Summer Unit Internship
  • Part Time Extended Unit Internship
  • Full Time Residency Program
  • Full Time Certified Educator Candidate (CEC) Residency Program

We accept the standard CPE applications (PDF/DOC) which can also be found on the ACPE website. There is no application fee.  Summer Unit applications are accepted January through April, or until all slots are filled.  Extended Unit applications are accepted June through mid-September, or until all slots are filled.  Residency applications are accepted on an ongoing basis, or until all slots are filled.  All applications and questions should be directed to Thomas Chirdo.

Attn: Thomas J. Chirdo
MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
Mission and Pastoral Care
3800 Reservoir Road, NW
One Main         
Washington, D.C., 20007-2113

Applications may also be e-mailed to

CPE Admission & Financial Policies here


Internships vary based on unit (see below)

  • 1 Unit of CPE
  • Tuition per individual unit is $1,000 for internships.
  • A non-refundable deposit of $200 is required upon acceptance into a non-resident CPE unit to hold a place in the program.
  • Second or subsequent consecutive units at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital are $500.
  • $20 meal stipend provided for overnight on-calls
1. Summer Unit

  • Approximate dates: May 30, 2024 to August 11, 2024
  • Full Time: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, with up to 8 overnight on-call shifts (weekdays/weekends)
  • Up to 7 interns
2. Extended Unit

  • Approximate dates: September 17, 2024 to April 8, 2025
  • Part Time: 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesdays for group program meetings, 8 hours of direct patient care per week; up to 14 overnight on-call shifts (weekdays/weekends); totaling 300 hours of clinical work and 100 hours of education.
  • Up to 7 interns

Residency (Level I and Level II units)

Residencies vary based on unit openings (see below)

  • 4 Units of CPE
  • Full Time: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, with 2 to 6 overnight on-call shifts per month (weekdays/weekends)
  • No tuition fees
  • Stipend salary $35,568 + basic medical insurance
  • 13 holidays 
  • 14 vacation days
  • Sick leave
  • $20 meal stipend for overnight on-call shifts
  • 4 Residents

Residency Dates

  • September 1, 2024 to August 31, 2025

Certified Educator Candidacy Program

The department has one CEC stipend position. Information concerning admission to the Certified Educator Candidacy Process is available on the ACPE Website: under Certification. This position is currently filled.