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VDS Concentrations:

Chaplaincy (MDiv Only) 

See concentration video HERE

Chaplaincy focuses on holistic, integrative, embodied, emotional and spiritual care in a variety of contexts beyond the local congregation. The Chaplaincy Concentration provides students theoretical and practical knowledge to prepare for vocations in variety of  contexts (healthcare, campus, social justice, street ministries, prison, military, corporate) and with diverse populations. 


  • Reflect theologically and pastorally on the practice of chaplaincy

  • Cultivate competence in theory and facility in the practice of pastoral counseling with attention to diversity and differences, including race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and religious affiliation.

  • Develop facility in practicing ritual and prayer in interpersonal, communal, and public contexts appropriate to diverse settings and needs

  • Reflect critically on institutional and societal cultures and systems in order to engage issues of justice and fairness in ways that integrate the pastoral and prophetic into holistic practice.


Encourage and advise an additional Field Education option (beyond 7900 Supervised Ministry and Seminar) as one of the four courses; but open to adding a theory-praxis component to designated classes upon prior agreement of the professor and Concentration Convener.       


Minimum one course in Pastoral Care (See below list of approved courses by semester.)

Steering Committee: Trudy Hawkins Stringer (Convener), Bruce Morrill , Herbert Marbury, Phillis Sheppard Jaco Hamman


Course Projections:

Fall 2020:

6810 Morrill Christian Praxis: Liturgy & Ethics 

6927 McClure New Perspectives in Preaching 

6904 McClure Ethical Approaches to Preaching 

7000 Sheppard Pastoral Theology and Care 

7031 Rogers-Vaughn Race and Class: Cultivating Radical Care 

7042 Rogers-Vaughn Seminar in Death and Dying 

7904 Matson/ Stringer Clinical Pastoral Education Spring 


Spring 2021: 

7053 Rogers-Vaughn Contemporary Psychotherapy & Pastoral Counseling 

7064 Hamman Humanity & Technology 

7904 Matson/Stringer Clinical Pastoral Education



ACPE is…Department of Education recognized organization that provides the highest quality CPE programs for spiritual care professionals of any faith and in any setting. We do this through a rigorous accreditation and certification process for centers and educators that provide CPE. The depth of our training enables students to realize their full potential to strengthen the spiritual health of people in their care as well as themselves. [1]

You may enroll in 7904 Clinical Pastoral Education for academic credit.  [See page 61 in The Divinity Catalogue.] 

Note that that the Association of Professional Chaplains Board Certification requires four Units of CPE for Board Certification, often fulfilled through enrolling in a year-long Residency after attaining the MDIV degree .   MTS students are eligible for Affiliate Certification requiring two Units of CPE. 

At this time chaplaincy in healthcare settings increasingly requires certification.  In other chaplaincy settings (i.e., campus, correctional facilities, organizing, etc.,) requirements for Board or Affiliate Certification varies.  

View a video with more information here.


Spiritual Care Association at

Association of Certified Christian Chaplains at

Association of Professional Chaplains at

National Association of Catholic Chaplains at

National Association of Jewish Chaplains at

Attaining Board Certified or Affiliate Certified status with the Association of Professional Chaplains requires specialized CPE education.  See information below:

Association of Professional Chaplains

Board of Chaplaincy Certification, affiliate of Association of Professional Chaplains

Association for Clinical Pastoral Education



[1] Association for Clinical Pastoral Education. Accessed January 12, 2020