LCPT Requirements

Requirements to become a Licensed Clinical Pastoral Therapist in Tennessee

The requirements to become a Licensed Clinical Pastoral Therapist in Tennessee were changed in 2016.  New rules pertaining to these requirements were adopted by the board at their September 2019, June 2021, June 2022, and October 2023 meetings.  The rules are now continuing through the lengthy legislative approval process.  Assuming final approval, the current requirements for license in Tennessee as a Clinical Pastoral Therapist are as follows:

1. A master’s or doctoral degree from an accredited graduate institution with at least 60 credit-hours that covers the CPT Body of Knowledge (9 hours core clinical theory, 9 hours pastoral counseling theory, 15 hours in areas of specialization, 9 hours in diagnosis & treatment of mental disorders, and the other 18 can be electives) and includes a supervised practicum or internship experience.  If your degree doesn’t cover all the Body of Knowledge, you can take other courses to complete those requirements.

2. Accrue at least 1400 client clock hours while being supervised for 270 hours by an Approved Supervisor (and these numbers include hours earned during your degree program: up to 90 of your supervision hours can come from your practicum/internship).

Up to half (135) of your 270 supervision hours can be group supervision and the other half must be individual (including “dyadic individual,” i.e. no more than 2 supervisees in one supervisory session). 

Up to 180 of your 270 supervision hours can be with an approved supervisor for any licensed mental health profession or a certified psychoanalyst, but at least 90 hours must be under a Licensed Clinical Pastoral Therapist who was an AAPC Fellow or Diplomate, or who has completed supervisory training (these supervisors are noted in purple on the TNAPT Membership Listing).

3. While acquiring your supervision, you’ll need to take a national exam of your choice– either the Marital & Family Therapy Examination, or the NCMHCE (National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination), or the EPPP (Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology), or the National Social Work Exam (at the highest clinical level).

4. Once you’ve met the three requirements above, you can complete an application online and will be asked to submit a checklist of documents including:

  • Academic transcript(s),
  • Passport-sized photo,
  • Notarized copy of your birth certificate,
  • Academic coursework summary sheet,
  • Verification of supervised experience (270 hours of supervision of 1400 hours of client sessions), including your academic practicum/internship,
  • Two letters attesting to your moral character and professional ethics,
  • A notarized Declaration of Citizenship form, &
  • You will need to be fingerprinted for a background check. 

Once the Board confirms that they have received all these documents, you will be eligible to schedule an appointment to take the Jurisprudence Exam (a multiple choice test over the CPT statutes and rules in TN).

You may contact the administrative staff of the board with questions and to find application materials (to be updated when all requirements are approved).