A woman speaks with a clinical pastoral educator.

Clinical Pastoral Education for your vocation in spiritual care

Opportunities to advance your vocation in spiritual care and chaplaincy

We offer Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital to provide spiritual and clinical education that equips students to become deeply and uniquely effective in their ministry.

Our CPE program seeks to deepen each student’s spirituality and faith; strengthen pastoral identity and personal authority; encourage development of skills that provide spiritual care for patients; integrate lived experience and professional expression; and generate greater interpersonal (and self) awareness. Our innovative curriculum includes didactic instruction and small group reflection.

Program clinical settings include all areas of a major regional hospital, such as cancer care, the emergency center, inpatient hospice, intensive care units (ICUs), a family birth center, neurology, palliative care, surgery and more. Students can also learn and practice at the Heart and Vascular Center, Melrose Center for eating disorders and Struthers Parkinson’s Center.

Methodist Hospital’s CPE learning environment

We invite students to explore their learning and ministry with us from an inclusive, holistic perspective:

  • Collaboration with hospital staff
  • Facilitated peer dialogue
  • One-on-one consultation with the CPE Certified Educator
  • Partnership with a chaplain mentor
  • Personal goal setting
  • Reflective evaluation process
  • Team approach to patient care
  • Theological and spiritual reflection

Current offerings

CPE accreditation and student rights

The Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital CPE program is accredited for Level I CPE, Level II CPE and Certified education by:

The Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc.
We Work, Floor 4
120 West Trinity Place
Decatur GA 30030
Phone: 404-320-1472
Fax: 404-320-0849
Email: acpe@acpe.edu

Park Nicollet, which includes Methodist Hospital, does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, faith group or national origin.

The Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital CPE program guarantees to its students the right to inspect and review education records, to seek to amend them, to specify control over release of record information and to file a complaint against the program for alleged violations of these Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) rights.

Meet our clinical pastoral education team

Abbie Engelstad – Manager, Clinical Pastoral Education at Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital

Abbie has been a chaplain for eight years and a chaplain leader for four. She graduated with her bachelor’s in religious studies and history from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, then completed her Master of Divinity (MDiv) at Harvard Divinity School in 2015.

Abbie is board certified through the Association of Professional Chaplains, and commissioned and endorsed for chaplaincy by the interfaith organization The Federation of Christian Ministries. She is thrilled to be working with such a caring and experienced team, and is committed to anti-racist, post-colonial wisdom in the field of chaplaincy to best serve students, patients and health care workers.

Shawn Mai – ACPE-Certified Educator at Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital

Shawn has been an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America pastor and chaplain for 30 years – specifically in health care leadership for the last 20, serving in several different health care organizations in Minnesota. His undergraduate degree is from Gustavus Adolphus College and his Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree is from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. Shawn has been a certified educator with the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE) since 2009 and, with his colleague Kyle Vlach, has promoted the integration of head + heart in health care delivery.

From the hospital room to the coffee shop, Shawn’s theology of spiritual care has been informed by a quality of connection in which spirits are joined in courageous vulnerability and authenticity.

Lucy Mungai – Chaplain, Methodist Hospital ICU and Advanced Medical Care units

Lucy Mungai is an APC board-certified chaplain currently working primarily in the ICU ad Advanced care units. Lucy delights in facilitating spaces where people can tell their stories –including new stories that would otherwise not be told – all while offering active and empathic listening.

Lucy earned a dual masters in Christian education and church music from the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta, Georgia (1999), and a master’s in religious communication from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio (2003). An educator and counselor at heart, Lucy earned her PhD in Pastoral Care and Counseling from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota in 2011 , she is enthusiastic about starting the process of becoming a certified educator for CPE since 2023. She has a long-term engagement with CPE students as a clinical mentor since completing her CPE residency in 2009. A champion for the value of CPE, Lucy looks forward to being fully immersed in the personal and professional transforming education that CPE provides.

Kyle Vlach – Director, Spiritual Care at Park Nicollet; CPE program faculty member

Kyle came to Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital in 2022 after 18 years with Allina Health – where he served as chaplain at St. Francis Regional Medical Center, Abbott Northwestern Hospital and United Hospital – as well as 14 years of crisis chaplaincy at children's hospitals in the Twin Cities. Kyle has been an ACPE-certified educator since 2009, supervising interns, residents and certified educator candidates. Kyle has a BS in psychology, a Master of Divinity (MDiv) with a marriage and family therapy (MFT) concentration and a postgraduate certificate in MFT.

The hospital setting is a point of concentrated human suffering as well as love, and Kyle is grateful for the sacred opportunity to care for and learn from the diverse people it holds.