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Spiritual Care and Education

Bridgeport Hospital’s Department of Spiritual Care and Education offers spiritual and emotional support to patients, families and staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week through direct patient involvement, including help in a crisis interventions, religious resources and  help from area clergy.

Our Clinical Pastoral Education Program is accredited to offer professional education for ministry by:

The Association of Clinical Pastoral Education
“The Standard for Spiritual Care and Education”
We Work, Floor 4
120 West Trinity Place
Decatur, GA 30030
Phone: (404) 320-1472
Fax: (404) 320-0849
Email: [email protected]

Learning Environment

Bridgeport Hospital is the most comprehensive healthcare provider in Fairfield County, with 501 licensed beds on two campuses, plus 42 beds licensed to Yale New Haven Children's Hospital , as well as a teaching hospital. It was founded in 1878 as Fairfield County's first hospital by a group of community leaders that included P.T. Barnum (who became the hospital's first president). Today, Fairfield County is a changing urban area.  The hospital is located in Bridgeport, the most populated city in the state of Connecticut, on Island Sound, 20 miles south-west of New Haven, 62 miles north-east of New York City. The Yale New Haven Health system currently includes five hospitals and numerous outpatient clinics in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York (Westchester County).

Bridgeport Hospital has a Trauma 2 designation and is the most comprehensive medical facility in Fairfield County, with a respected teaching program. Its excellence in healthcare delivery includes specialization in cardiology, oncology, pediatrics, trauma, burn and wound care, rehabilitation and psychiatry.  Bridgeport Hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) and has earned JCAHO's Gold Seal of Approval. The hospital admits more than 23,000 patients and provides nearly 350,000 outpatient treatments annually. It has 2,600 employees; nearly 770 active attending physicians representing more than 60 subspecialties; 235 resident physicians including 150 from Yale University School of Medicine programs (general surgery, emergency medicine, pediatrics and pathology) and 85 from Bridgeport Hospital-sponsored programs (including fellowships); 660 registered nurses; 286 volunteers and 245 auxilians. The longest-operating School of Nursing in Connecticut, established in 1884, is across the street from our hospital main campus.

The religious and cultural diversity of the area fosters a multi-faith hospital ministry with strong ties to local religious communities and in-depth exposure to many local issues. The Department of Spiritual Care and Education began in 1987 and the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE) accredited the CPE program two years later.  The department currently is comprised of a Director/ACPE Educator, a Manager /ACPE Educator, a CEC/ Coordinator of Spiritual Care, chaplains (part-time and per-diem/adjunct), two Roman Catholic priests assigned by the Diocese of Bridgeport, Chaplain Residents (employees) and Interns (volunteers).  There is a 24hr. chaplaincy on-call system, consisting of adjunct chaplains and CPE students.

Programs Offered

Dates for Bridgeport Hospital CPE Programs

Extended CPE Unit Spring-Summer 2024: Jan 17 - June 26, 2024    
Summer CPE 2024: May 28 – August 10, 2024 
CPE Residency 2024-2025: Aug. 19, 2024 – May 24, 2025
Extended CPE Units: September 11/12, 2024 – May 21, 2025 

Summer unit of CPE

A full-time 11-week program that includes a week-long schedule of 28 hours of pastoral ministry and 12 hour group and individual supervision, plus on-call duty that involves (24-hour) weekend and (16-hour) weeknight coverage. The curriculum focuses on an individualized and group learning contract that promotes personal growth, theological reflection and professional development based on each person’s interest and readiness.

Extended units of CPE

A part-time, 30-week program, September - May. Clinical hours (8-9 hrs./week average) are negotiated based on the student’s availability. Students participate in overnight on-call duty twice a month: a weeknight – preferably Monday and Wednesday nights, and one weekend shift. Educational group hours are conducted on Wednesdays (1  -4:30 pm) for the day group and on Thursdays (4:30 - 8:30 pm) for the evening  group; individual supervision is bi-weekly. The curriculum focuses upon an individualized and group learning contract that promotes personal growth, theological reflection and professional development based on each person’s interest and readiness.  

Residency Program

A nine-month program that provides three CPE units. The program includes a weekly schedule of 24-26 hours of pastoral ministry and 10 hours of group session and individual supervision. Residents participate in on-call duty once each week, including either a weekend day (24-hours) or an evening shift (16-hours).  The curriculum focuses initially on completion of Level I outcomes and exploration and/or completion of Level II outcomes. A minimum of 1 CPE unit is required for all residency applicants. Chaplain Residents receive a stipend and full benefits, including medical and paid time off (PTO).


The summer, extended and part-time units tuition is $850. Tuition for a half-unit of CPE is $500.

Admission Criteria

Admission to a program includes motivation to learn, emotional stability, interpersonal awareness and ability to learn how to minister in crises situations.  Students who apply for the residency program must have at least one unit of CPE. Our programs are geared toward those interested in pastoral care in religious congregations, for seminary students, and those who are entering pastoral ministry. Our CPE programs are accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc.

CPE Faculty

Find out more about the Clinical Pastoral Education faculty

Application Process

  1. Submission of ACPE application materials
  2. References - Provide the following link to the references on your ACPE application. They will need to complete the form.

  3. Admissions interview, preferably at Bridgeport Hospital with a CPE supervisor.

More application materials can be found on the ACPE website.

Download the fillable CPE applicationpdf

Application can be sent to the following address or emailed to:

Fr. Adrian Budica, ACPE Certified Educator
Bridgeport Hospital, Department of Spiritual Care and Education
267 Grant Street, Bridgeport, CT  06610
Phone: 203-384-3881 
Fax:  203-384-4630
Email: [email protected] 


Pet therapy dogs.

Pet Therapy

Dogs and their handlers are available to visit patients various times during the week. Visits usually last around 15 minutes. If you spot one of the pet therapists around the hospital (they’re the ones wearing the blue vests and wagging their tails), please feel free to stop by and interact with them. Our dogs love to be petted, and may even have a few tricks to show off.

Learn more about our Pet Therapy Program

Contact Us

Spiritual Care Office 


Bridgeport Hospital
Department of Spiritual Care
     and Education
Clinical Pastoral Education Program
267 Grant Street
Bridgeport, CT 06610

Email List
Fr. Adrian Budica
Director of Spiritual Care
    and Education
[email protected]