AcademicsGraduate AcademicsDivinityCenter for Contemplative Chaplaincy

Center for Contemplative Chaplaincy

The Center for Contemplative Chaplaincy was established in 2019 to provide Buddhist-inspired contemplative spiritual health training to MDiv degree students and members of the larger community interested in pursuing professional chaplaincy and spiritually-integrated approaches to related disciplines such as medicine, nursing, spiritual leadership, and counseling. The Center offers ACPE accredited Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) internships in community settings under the supervision of an ACPE-Certified Faculty Educator.  Clinical sites for learning include local hospitals, hospices, and non-profit settings, as well as innovative contexts such as eco-chaplaincy, where students learn to integrate contemplative practice, trauma-informed care, earth-based spirituality and interreligious/interspiritual approaches to spiritual health in caring for persons in crisis and transition.

ACPE Faculty

JoAnne S. Morris, DMin, MDiv, LMFT, ACPE-Certified Educator, lives in Louisville, KY, and is originally from the foothills of the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas. JoAnne holds a Master of Divinity and a Doctorate of Ministry in Pastoral Care and Counseling, a dual track with marriage and family therapy licensure. JoAnne has specialized in oncology and palliative care for the majority of her career. JoAnne maintains a private therapy practice that specializes in helping folks cope with chronic illness, chronic terminal illness, dying and grief as well as working with the LGBTQ+ community. She co-founded a hospital-based Diversity and Inclusion Committee and is passionate about anti-racism work. JoAnne comes from a Christian faith-of-origin and is endorsed by The Humanist Society as a Humanist Celebrant and Chaplain. As a Humanist, JoAnne’s contemplative practice is centered within the spiritual naturalist tradition.

Contemplative Chaplaincy Internship Programs

The Contemplative Chaplaincy internship program offers contemplatively based Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) training to degree and non-degree students of all religious and spiritual traditions. Through compassion-based group process learning and individual supervision, students cultivate the skills and presence needed to support the spiritual health and wellbeing of patients and clients in crisis.

Students meet live for a weekly class, over video-conferencing, and are placed at clinical sites including hospice, trauma hospital, and community-based settings in their location of residence.  A total of 400 hours of training is completed: 300 hours at the clinical site and 100 hours of education.

Course themes include working with social and psychological systems, intergenerational and ancestral trauma; cultivating resilience through compassion; earth-based practice as a resource for spiritual health; and discovering what it means to be an ethical, clinical leader in the field of professional spiritual care.

  • Fall CPE Program: August to December (15–16 weeks)
  • Spring CPE Program: January to May (15–16 weeks)
  • Extended Fall/Spring CPE Program: August to May (30–32 weeks)
  • Tuition: $2,000 plus fees (up to $200, depending on the site requirements)
  • Class Day(s): Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8:30–noon MST (typically)
  • Clinical Sites: Hospitals, Jails, Community Agencies, Hospices, Congregational/Sangha Settings

Applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis. Non-degree students from all professional backgrounds are encouraged to apply. To inquire further, contact

In the Fall of 2023 Naropa’s Center for Contemplative Chaplaincy was granted full accreditation status as a CPE program by ACPE: The Standard for Spiritual Care and Education. For more information about the ACPE accreditation process visit the ACPE accreditation page.

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Naropa Campuses Closed on Friday, March 15, 2024

Due to adverse weather conditions, all Naropa campuses will be closed Friday, March 15, 2024.  All classes that require a physical presence on campus will be canceled. All online and low-residency programs are to meet as scheduled.

Based on the current weather forecast, the Healing with the Ancestors Talk & Breeze of Simplicity program scheduled for Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday will be held as planned.

Staff that do not work remotely or are scheduled to work on campus, can work remotely. Staff that routinely work remotely are expected to continue to do so.

As a reminder, notifications will be sent by e-mail and the LiveSafe app.  

Regardless of Naropa University’s decision, if you ever believe the weather conditions are unsafe, please contact your supervisor and professors.  Naropa University trusts you to make thoughtful and wise decisions based on the conditions and situation in which you find yourself in.