Master of Arts in Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care (MCPC)

The Master of Arts in Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care is a 72-hour degree designed for people interested in pastoral care in a variety of contexts.  The core curriculum (5 courses) provides a theological, historical and ethical foundation for pastoral ministry.  Other required coursework equips the student for general chaplaincy ministry in a variety of settings.  Elective courses enable students to broaden and deepen their understanding of particular ministries in specified settings (e.g., hospice, VA hospitals, prisons, workplaces, disaster relief).  The curriculum provides the requisite 72 credits specified by the Association of Professional Chaplains (APC) for recognition as a Board Certified Chaplain (BCC). Students or prospective students seeking board certification by the APC should review carefully the information at to learn about additional requirements for certification. The MCPC does not include Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE).  Students seeking board certification as a chaplain are responsible for undertaking and completing the CPE units required by the APC. Most students pursuing APC certification generally undertake one unit of CPE while in seminary and complete the remaining three units post-graduation.

Through core courses in Biblical studies, history, theology and ethics and an in-depth study of issues in and approaches to chaplaincy, students will achieve formation and integration in three areas:

Being-Character Objectives:

  • achieve self-awareness and develop habits of reflection that will inform and sustain personal and professional development.

Knowing-Content Objectives:

  • articulate the Scriptural and theological foundations of ministry and how they inform the theory and practice of pastoral care and chaplaincy
  • identify the pastoral and spiritual dimensions in various ministry settings within a religiously plural and culturally diverse society
  • integrate relevant perspectives from the social sciences

Doing-Practical Objectives:

  • become familiar with a range of pastoral practices and strategies, including significant resources of the Christian tradition, and demonstrate facility with them in the practice of ministry

Core Curriculum     (15 credits)

B5330 Intepretation of the Bible for Ministry

H5310 Historical Studies for Ministry

P5391 Contemporary Context for Ministry

T5340 Ethics for Ministry

T5350 Theological Studies for Ministry


Required Courses     (36 credits)

F5306 World Religions and their Spiritualities

F5316 Practicum in Theological Reflection

L5310 Liturgy and Ritual in the Pastoral Context

P5310 Preaching and Teaching for the Chaplain

P5320 Organizational Development and Systems Theory

P5330 Issues of Identity and Authority in Chaplaincy

P5340 Issues in Death and Dying

P5350 Issues in Loss and Bereavement

P5360 Ministry in Times of Crisis

P5370 The Life-Cycle in Pastoral Context

P5380 Ministry Practicum A: The Practice of Ministry and the Process of Reflection

P5390 Medical Issues and Healing Presence


Elective Courses     (21 credits)

MCPC students may take electives in the Master of Divinity, MA in Spiritual Formation, and MA in Counseling programs (only five counseling courses in the Counseling program will be allowed). Other specific MCPC electives are listed below.

P5301 Establishing and Maintaining a Workplace Chaplaincy

P5302 Theologies and Practices of Christian Forgiveness

P5303 The Bible as a Resource in Pastoral Care

P5304 The Chaplain as Leader

P5305 Ministry to People with PTSD

P5306 MinistryPracticum B: The Practice of Ministry in Supervised Settings


The MA in Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care may be completed in three years of full-time study or up to six years of part-time study. Prior to being awarded the degree, each student must fully discharge all financial obligations to the seminary.