Clinical Pastoral Education Students Celebrate Time Spent at Phoebe

On April 27, a group of five Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) students gathered to celebrate their graduation from Phoebe Ministries’ program. The CPE program offers clergy, seminary students, and qualified community members of all faiths a chance to minister to seniors in continuing care communities.

The CPE program at Phoebe Ministries is led by the Rev. Dr. Scott Brooks-Cope, Director of Pastoral Care Services. Rev. Brooks-Cope is ordained in the Presbyterian Church with dual standing in the United Church of Christ, and has been a certified CPE supervisor since 2004. CPE supervisor candidate and chaplain at Phoebe Berks, Rev. Leah Knox, assisted with the class this year.

CPE for the 2020-2021 group looked different than in previous years. Students attended classes through Zoom sessions. Rev. Brooks-Cope joked that they considered attending the graduation ceremony in pajamas, as that was their class attire for the year. In addition to classroom learning, students had the opportunity to work closely with Phoebe residents. This couldn’t have come at a better time, as many residents were lonely due to restrictions placed on visitation during COVID. Students were able to hear residents’ stories and talk with them, providing comfort and company during an uncertain time.

The celebration featured poems written by the students, music, and scripture readings. Rev. Cliff Herring offered a meditation, thanked the students for “sowing seeds of healing grace” for Phoebe’s residents, and reminded them to “keep listening to the stories.” Afterward, all in attendance enjoyed dinner and fondly remembered their time with Phoebe.

Phoebe is currently accepting candidates for the Summer 2021 and Fall 2021 sessions. For more information, please visit:

Pictured are (top, left to right): Rev. Leah Knox, CPE student Gary Barraco, CPE student Emmanuel Mathews, Rev. Scott Brooks-Cope. (Bottom, left to right): CPE student Mary Edmonds, CPE student Sumatha Thalathoti, CPE student Holly Gainor.