Chaplain Prey's CPE Fund

In the summer 2003, I took one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at a level one trauma center. I was in seminary, learning a lot about theology and trauma recovery, but not exactly sure how I would put what I was learning into use. A few weeks into that summer I knew where I belonged: working with people in crisis and transition as an interfaith chaplain.

As I graduated from seminary in 2004, I was all set to begin a chaplain residency at that same hospital and get the three remaining units of CPE that I’d need. The week after graduation, however, I learned that I was pregnant and my trajectory dramatically changed. Instead of residency, 2004-05 was The Year of Becoming a Parent, which was followed by The Years of Staying Home with Tiny Children and Trying to Work Part-time Jobs, which were nothing next to The Years of The Messy Divorce. For the past decade, those three units of CPE have been out of reach for the exhausted, time- and cash-strapped, single-parent version of me that has been working hard to create a better life for myself and my kids.

Unfortunately, those missing units of CPE stand between me and where I want to be in the decade ahead. I want to become a Board Certified Chaplain. For this, I need four units of CPE. I want to be trained as a Chaplain Supervisor so I may lead a pastoral care department. For this, I need four units of CPE. At the very least, I want to be the best spiritual support person I can be and keep my growing edge alive and well-tended. For this…well, you get the picture. I need to do more CPE.

To that end, I am all signed up to do an extended unit of CPE during the 2[phone redacted] academic year. Tuition for this year will be $3545, with additional costs for travel to my classes, which are over an hour away from home. My employer does reimburse for ongoing education, however I need to front the money and would not get reimbursed until next summer. My plan would be to roll over the reimbursement money into the next year’s training fees until I complete the three units.

Putting the funds together right now, though, is the tricky part. There aren’t scholarships available for this kind of class, nor are any denominational or other funds like spousal support available to me right now. I also don’t think it is responsible to take on any more debt (I’m still paying student loans from my seminary education) or to take on additional work that would cut into my time with my children or all those things that keep me put together (like loved ones, church, yoga, meditation and sleep).

That’s why I’m turning to you now. By making a donation to this campaign, you will not only be investing in me and my family, but the people whose lives are in crisis and transition that I will be even better equipped to serve. I am at a pivotal place in my life right now where I have the energy to take this next step and continue to move more deeply into the call on my life, and I need your support. A donation of any amount would be greatly appreciated.
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Organizer

Julie Prey 
Organizer
Philadelphia, PA
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