Chaplaincy — M.S.Chap.
The Master of Science in Chaplaincy (M.S.Chap.) program is theological and clinical based chaplaincy education at Loma Linda University. It has been developed using guidelines established by the Association of Professional Chaplains (APC), which oversees and rigorously maintains “best practice” standards for the chaplaincy profession. It is designed to meet a variety of students’ needs, namely:
- It meets the APC full board certification academic requirement.
- It is a professional degree that blends theological study with clinical experience.
- It provides specialty training in spiritual care and/or chaplaincy.
- It prepares students for employment as professional chaplains.
Graduates of the program will receive excellent academic training enhanced by professional, clinical, and ministerial experience. The program's goal is to prepare chaplains who can model the "teaching and healing ministry of Jesus Christ"; and who are trained at the highest level of Christian professionalism, in preparation for full board certification by the APC.
Students are required to complete four (4) units of clinical professional education (CPE) credits prior to graduation. As a premier teaching and research medical complex, Loma Linda University Health (LLUH) is an excellent setting to experience clinical aspects of this program and is an accredited Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) Center. (Students are not required to complete their clinical internships at LLU but are able to complete this requirement at any ACPE-approved site in North America. Visit the ACPE-approved centers web page here to view a list of available sites. Separate application, fees, and acceptance procedures are required for this component of the program.) To increase diverse learning experiences, students are requested to complete a maximum of two (2) CPE units at Loma Linda University Medical Center.
The professors represent areas of expertise, such as biblical studies, theology, practical theology, marriage and family therapy, cultural psychology, American church history, health education, nursing, spiritual care, and ethics. In addition, clinical faculty members from across many health-care professions are involved in the program. This diversity of specialists provides students a rich and balanced program of study.
All courses are taught from the Christian perspective. Students from more than sixty-five religions and eighty countries study here. A mutual and shared respect for various cultures and beliefs is emphasized on campus and in the classroom. Small class sizes allow for specified instruction and personal growth.
The program draws upon resources from across the entire Loma Linda University campus. These include the Chaplain Services of LLUH and the Center for Spiritual Life and Wholeness, both of which provide a rich context in which to study chaplaincy. The Center for Spiritual Life and Wholeness is dedicated to promoting and supporting wholeness in individuals, as well as providing tools for health-care professionals across various disciplines to use in providing whole person care to their patients. The center sponsors a number of programs, along with the Center for Christian Bioethics, to minister to the spiritual and intellectual needs of students, staff, and patients.
Program learning outcomes
The following address competencies in four areas of chaplaincy. By the end of this program, the graduate should be able to:
- Integrate theory and practice competencies into chaplaincy;
- Exhibit professional identity and conduct as a chaplain;
- Demonstrate professional practice skills;
- Function effectively in organizational leadership.
Students are permitted to transfer up to 14 units of approved graduate-level courses from other accredited institutions into the M.S. in Chaplaincy Program.
- A four-year baccalaureate degree (or its equivalent) from an accredited institution
- Grade point average of B (3.0) or better in the overall program and in the major field
- Writing samples: CV, personal statement, and previous research paper (qualitative or quantitative)
- Three letters of recommendation (two academic and one pastoral)
- Admissions Interview
- One (1) unit of CPE highly preferred
Students must complete 108 quarter credits from the list below, with an overall grade point average of B (3.0) or better, with no grade lower than C, and no grade lower than a B- in a core course.
|RELE 548||Christian Social Ethics||3|
|RELE 567||World Religions and Bioethics||3|
|RELE 589||Biblical Ethics||3|
|RELG 504||Research Methods in Religious Studies||4|
|RELR 520||Clinical Training in Spiritual Care I||4|
|RELR 521||Clinical Training in Spiritual Care II||4|
|RELR 526||Pastoral and Professional Formation||4|
|RELR 527||Crisis Care and Counseling||3|
|RELR 535||Spirituality and Mental Health||3|
|RELR 540||Wholeness and Health||3|
|RELR 565||Practical Theology and Methodology||3|
|RELR 567||Pastoral Counseling||4|
|RELR 568||Care of the Dying and Bereaved||3|
|RELR 584||Culture, Psychology, and Religion||3|
|RELR 587||Religion and the Social Sciences||3|
|RELT 500||Biblical Hermeneutics||3|
|RELT 508||Contemporary Christian Theology||3|
|RELT 520||Church History||3|
|RELT 557||Theology of Human Suffering||3|
|RELT 558||Old Testament Thought||3|
|RELT 559||New Testament Thought||3|
|Choose from the following or other courses as approved by advisor:||21|
|Faith and Flourishing|
|Bioethical Issues in Social Work|
|Bioethics and Society|
|Ethics for Scientists|
|Ethical Issues in Health-Care Management|
|Bioethics Case Conference I|
|Bioethics Case Conference II|
|Ethics and Health Disparities|
|The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Moral Aspects of Art and Illness|
|Bioethics and the Law|
|Health Care and the Dynamics of Christian Leadership|
|Spirituality and Everyday Life|
|Whole Person Care|
|Personal and Family Wholeness|
|Religion and Society|
|Religion and Society|
|Religion and Society|
|Daniel and the Prophetic Tradition|
|Seventh-day Adventist Beliefs|
|Faith and Flourishing|
|The Bible and Ecology|
|World Religions and Human Health|
|The Adventist Experience|
|Jesus the Revealer: The Message of the Gospel of John|
|Vision of Healing: The Message of the Book of Revelation|
|Seminar in Philosophy of Religion|
|Seminar in Religion and the Sciences|
|Internship (12 units of RELG 795, listed below, count toward the 108 units required for ACP board certification)||12|
Students must also satisfactorily complete four (4) units of clinical pastoral education (CPE) at an accredited CPE Center—400 clinical hours consists of one (1) unit (1 unit consists of 10 weeks for an intensive unit or 16 weeks for an extended unit). Each registration of RELG 795 Clinical Internship earns one (1) unit of CPE required by the APC board for certification. Twelve (12) of the 48 internship units from one of the four CPEs can be counted toward both graduation and the APC board certification.
When students have completed the majority of their course work and at least some clinical work, they must also be able to articulate, in written form, all chaplaincy competencies, as defined by the Association of Professional Chaplains (APC). This will be based on their theoretical understanding, reflection, and personal experiences.
Students will be evaluated on their academic and clinical competencies at the end of Spring quarters of their first and second years.
Dean’s Exit Interview
Graduate candidates are required to attend exit interviews with the Dean of the School of Religion during the Spring quarter of their graduation year.
Normal time to complete the program
Three (3) years (11 consecutive academic quarters)—based on full-time enrollment; part time enrollment is permitted.