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​​Uniting CPE - The John Paver Centre


The John Paver Centre (U​niting CPE) is the Synod of Victoria and Tasmania’s centre for Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE), run under the auspices of the Synod’s Commission for Mission​ and in collaboration with the Centre for Theology and Ministry.

Traditionally associated with Hospital settings, this Centre, established in 2010, offers the same program to people engaged in a range of community-based pastoral care roles; as volunteers or employees. Integral to the program is the use of social analysis in recognition of all pastoral care being located within a context broader than the 1:1 circumstance. To date participants have been drawn from settings as diverse as: faith-based agencies, prisons, forensic and community mental health, disability, schools, aged care, congregations, hospitals.

In 2013 a unique program in eco-ministry was conducted, in which candidates were located in a range of environmental settings.

CPE, also known as Supervised Pastoral Education (SPE), is a rigorous action-reflection process of education focused on enhancing pastoral identity, skills and responsiveness. It provides opportunities to reflect on and explore the distinctiveness of pastoral encounters with people within a range of settings. Feedback and learning is gained from both peer group interaction and individual supervision.

Supervision is provided by people accredited within the Standards of the Association for Supervised and Clinical Pastoral Education in Victoria Inc. (ASACPEV Inc.) ASACPEV Inc. is a member body of the Australia and New Zealand Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ANZACPE).

The CPE/SPE process seeks to clarify for each participant the resources, methods and meaning of their faith in the practice of pastoral care. Participants set their own learning goals with an emphasis on developing capacity for self-supervision.

John Paver

Rev Professor John Paver was passionate about Clinical Pastoral Education as a means of personal and professional formation for ministry. Originally ordained as a Churches of Christ minister in 1965, John transferred to the Uniting Church in 1995. John founded the Peter McCallum Cancer Centre and the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital CPE Centre.

He was also the Director of Ministry Studies at the Melbourne College of Divinity and in 1993 was appointed Professor of Ministry with the Uniting Church Theological Hall. He pioneered the development of the Supervised Urban Ministry Program and founded the Victorian Association for Theological Field Education.

Uniting CPE is named in John’s honour because it seeks to perpetuate his focus and passion for people practising pastoral care in community-based settings (agencies and outreach in a range of faith contexts). In addition to a focus on the care of the individual, participants will also explore societal and political dimensions of pastoral care.


The 2018 program will be offered in the period September to December to people involved across the spectrum of community-based pastoral care. To date participants in the programs have come from prisons, forensic psychiatry, schools, parish, aged care and hospital contexts.

You can read more about Uniting CPE at the John Paver Centre​. 

Out of the Whirlwind: CPE and Climate Change​’ is the name of an article written by Dr Jan Morgan and Rev Andy Calder, about the 2013 ecoministry program run under the auspices of this Centre. Probably the first such program conducted internationally, the article was publishe in the Journal of Pastoral Care and Counselling, Winter/Spring 2016.

Applications are welcome from staff, volunteers, lay and ordained persons, students. Selection, by interview, will take into account a range of factors. Group size is usually up to six participants and two supervisors.

Applications are also welcomed from students pursuing academic studies with University of Divinity​

Participants are required to supply evidence of an agency or organisation’s support for the duration of a placement. By negotiation, an on-site Administrative Supervisor will also be appointed.

Admission Requirements

  • Submit the required written application details.
  • Provide the necessary documentation regarding referees and placement arrangements.
  • Be available for a potential interview


A CPE graduate is accredited with one unit (either Level 1 or Advanced) by ASACPEV Inc.

Upon successful completion of the unit University of Divinity students gain credit according to undergraduate or post-graduate enrolment​

Successful completion of the unit can be credited as a subject for the Bachelor of Theology degree with teaching institutions associated with the University of Divinity.


Andy Calder – Centre Director
Uniting CPE – The John Paver Centre
C/- Uniting Church Centre
130 Little Collins Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Telephone: 03 9251 5489