Respect Graduate School is happy to launch a fully online Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program that offers 4 Units of Clinical Pastoral Education. The units will be taught and supervised by Dr. Ron Cockroft, a certified CPE supervisor. Each unit requires 400 hours of supervised learning, which covers 100 hours of online learning and 300 hours of practicum.  Intern Trainees can do their practicum in their respective communities or in any local institution where they can provide pastoral care.


Clinical Pastoral Education is a multidisciplinary field in which elements of theology, psychology, sociology, anthropology, ethics, and medicine are incorporated.  The discipline teaches the students to see patients as integrated and whole and it seeks to enrich them with the competency of pastoral care and counseling. The following chart lays out the themes of each unit:

Unit 1: Human communication, human development, crisis counseling, theological reflection

Unit 2: Contextual theology and theological assessment, human needs and responses, theories and strategies

Unit 3:  Grief and bereavement, bioethics, mental illness and psychopathology

Unit 4:  Marriage and family, multicultural counseling, theodicy – God, evil and suffering


What can I do with this education?

In its essence, clinical pastoral education empowers the trainees with profound understanding of human being and with efficient human communication skills. Therefore, the education would improve the overall life quality of the trainee remarkably. 


Besides this life improvement, the trainees, after finishing Units 1 & 2 of CPE, can apply CPSP (College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy) to obtain associate chaplaincy certification and apply job positions. Similarly, the trainees who finish Units 3 & 4 can apply for full board certification. The trainees can learn more about the process at and they will be guided about the process by the program supervisor during their CPE education.


Short Bio of Dr. Ron Cockroft, program supervisor:

Dr. Ron Cockroft is a Diplomate in Pastoral Counseling and Pastoral Education/Training with CPSP. Dr. Cockroft is also a retired Chaplain Director and the former Director of Spiritual Care at Austin State Hospital.  Ron had been at Austin State Hospital since January 2002. He has served hospitals in Bryan Texas, San Antonio Texas, and Lubbock Texas, before coming to Austin.

Ron also served and retired as a U.S. Army and Army National Guard Chaplain for more than 25 years.

Chaplain Ron obtained his Master of Divinity from the Golden Gate Baptist Seminary in Mill Valley, CA; an MA in Linguistics from the University of Texas Arlington, and an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Psychology from Texas A&M University. 

Ron is a member of the Alamo Chapter of CPSP, and is currently president of the board of non-profit Focus Girls 4 Education Runner’s Pal.

Chaplain Ron is a Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor.


Apply for Unit 1! 

Dates: Mondays, March 2nd – July 13, 2020

Time:  11.00 AM – 3.30 PM EST

Teaching Method: Online

Max Number of Trainees: 10

Content: The purpose of Clinical Pastoral Education is to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the trainees and accordingly to meet with their needs rather than following a set class curriculum. Having said that, the curriculum will still cover the themes of human communication, human development, crisis counseling, and theological reflection.  

Each week throughout the whole unit, students will receive 5 hours online teaching and do 15 hours of practicum work. The unit also requires a minimum of 10 hours of individual supervision.

Installment Plan Also Available Here.


Application Requirements:

  • Students must be minimum high school graduates (High school graduates are eligible for this education, yet finding job positions or to be board certified might require 4 years college education.)
  • They should be a part of faith community
  • Tuition is $ 750 per unit
  • Students should submit the below online application form
  • Students should pass the admission interview that will be conducted by the supervisor of the program


Admission Interview:

After the submission of the application, the program supervisor Dr. Ron Cockroft will contact the candidate to set up an appointment for the admission interview. If the candidate cannot pass the interview, the tuition will fully reimbursed by RGS. The interview aims to make an assessment in the following areas:

  • Understanding the background of the candidate
  • English speaking and listening competency of the candidate
  • The faith community of the candidate