The Master of Science in Chaplaincy 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), who oversees and rigorously maintains national “best practice” standards for the chaplaincy profession. This professional graduate degree:
- Meets the Association of Professional Chaplains (APC) and Adventist Chaplaincy Institute (ACI) Full Board Certification academic requirements
- Blends theological study with clinical experience
- Provides specialty training in spiritual care and/or chaplaincy
- Prepares for employment as a professional Chaplain
- Provides professional spiritual care training for other healthcare disciplines
The program will also prepare students to meet competencies in four areas of chaplaincy:
- The students will integrate theory and practice competencies.
- The students will form professional identity and conduct competencies.
- The students will conduct themselves in professional practice skills competencies.
- The students will function effectively with organizational leadership competencies.
Graduates of the program will receive excellent academic training enhanced by professional, clinical, and ministerial experience. Our 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 and ACI.
Students are required to complete two (2) units of Clinical Professional Education (CPE) credits prior to graduation. As a premier teaching and research medical complex, Loma Linda University Health is an excellent setting for the 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 accredited centers website to view a list of available sites. Separate application, fees and acceptance procedures are required for this component of the program.)
Your 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 from across many health care professions are involved in the program. This diversity of specialists provides you with a rich and balanced program of study.
All courses are taught from the Christian perspective at Loma Linda University. Students from over 65 religions and 80 countries study here. A mutual and shared respect for various cultures and beliefs is emphasized on the 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 Whole Person Care, both of which provide a rich context in which to study chaplaincy. The Center for Whole Person Caret 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.
Students must complete 108 quarter credits (96 academic and 12 professional credits) from the list below, with an overall grade point average of B or better, with no grade lower than C, and no grade lower than a B- in a core course.
Core Course Work (75 units)
|Bioethics and Society
|Explores (from Christian and philosophical perspectives) issues confronting both society and patients. Uses case studies to illustrate such themes as health disparities, AIDS policy, end-of-life care, and organ transplantation.
|Christian Social Ethics
|Bible, Theology, and Bioethics
|Research Methods for Religious Studies
|Studies presuppositions and procedures for scholarship in religion and ethics, with an introduction to research in the natural and behavioral sciences. Practical themes include writing, library and Internet resources, and forms of scholarly papers and articles.
|Students will articulate in writing all 29 competencies based on their theoretical understanding, reflection, and experiences; toward the end of the academic and clinical experiences.
|Clinical Training in Spiritual Care I
|Combines theoretical and clinical aspects of spiritual care in exploring a theological understanding of health and illness.
|Clinical Training in Spiritual Care II
|Combines advanced theoretical and clinical aspects of spiritual care in exploring a theological understanding of health and illness.
|Christian principles of leadership in the community and in the practice of health care.
|Pastoral and Professional Formation
|An introduction to the professional requirements of working as a chaplain in a health care setting; how to function pastorally within boundaries and using pastoral authority. Group dynamics and organizational behavior, as well as organizational culture, systems, and relationships will also be explored.
|Crisis Care and Counseling
|Crisis phenomena, current crisis theory, a Christian model of crisis care, and the dynamics and practices of crisis care.
|Spirituality and Mental Health
|Explores the interrelationship between spirituality and mental health. Seeks to enhance understanding of the term “spirituality” in the context of religious traditions; considers the therapeutic effects of both spirituality and religious traditions.
|Wholeness and Health
|Incorporates a mix of personal and professional activities using biblical concepts of wholeness in four areas: integrating mind/body/spirit, strengthening relationships, care for the environment, and healing of the nations.
|Pastoral Theology and Methodology
|Studies the biblical, theological, and historical foundations for the practice of ministry.
|Pastoral Care and Counseling
|Provides an overview of theology, history, theory, and practice of pastoral counseling
|Care of the Dying and Bereaved
|Studies the biblical, theological, cultural, religious, relational, and psychological aspects of dying and death.
|Preaching and Worship
|Culture, Psychology, and Religion
|Introduces the major contours of Western culture as they relate to various schools of psychological thought and the influence of religious beliefs.
|Religion and Social Sciences
|Introduces classic and contemporary dialogues between religion and the social sciences.
|How to understand and use the Bible in real life situations.
|Introduction to Contemporary Christian Theology
|Acquaints students with the principle issues, figures, and movements that have shaped the development of Christian thought the past one hundred years. The course objective is to reveal how the central elements of Christian faith still provide lasting continuity and stimulate reflection within the Christian world.
|Students will trace the birth, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ through the first 300 years of Christianity.
|Theology of Human Suffering
|Suffering and evil in relation to the creative and redemptive purposes of God for this world.
|Old Testament Thought
|Introduces the literature and key theological themes of the Old Testament.
|New Testament Thought
|Introduces the literature and key theological themes of the New Testament.
|World Religions and Bioethics
Additional Required Courses (21 units)
Students will also select elective courses from the following offerings or other religion courses approved by student's advisor:
|Ethics and Health Disparities
|Focuses on causes of -- and responses to -- key health disparities. Provides a context for analyzing and understanding disparities, and ethically evaluating inequalities in health status and responses to them.
|Ethical implications of the primary theological legacies of Western culture.
|Personal and Family Wholeness
|Studies personal spiritual development as the center for individual and family life and professional practice, with special attention to balancing healthy family relationships and professional obligations.
|Liturgy, Homiletics, and Healing
|An examination of the biblical and theological foundations for liturgy and preaching, with a special view to the healing context. Attention will be given to liturgical ministry in diverse settings and with diverse faith perspectives.
|Psychology of Moral and Faith Development
|Studies logical, moral, and faith reasoning from a cognitive-developmental perspective. How cultural and religious norms affect moral thinking.
|Daniel and the Prophetic Tradition
|Examination of the message from the book of Daniel and the Old Testament prophetic tradition.
|World Religions and Human Health
|Studies the history, beliefs, and practices of major religion of the world, with an emphasis on theological and ethical issues in the practice of health care ministry.
|The Adventist Experience
|Introduces the beliefs and values that shape the Seventh-day Adventist community.
|Spirituality in Seventh-day Adventist Theology
|Clarifies the unique role Seventh-day Adventist theology plays in fostering spirituality.
|Jesus the Revealer: The Message of the Gospel of John
|A study of Jesus as revealer and healer; the basis for the Loma Linda mission, "to make man whole."
|Vision of Healing: The Message of the Book of Revelation
|A study of Revelation’s description of the end of suffering and God’s vision for healing a broken world.
Students may transfer approved graduate-level courses from other accredited institutions, up to a maximum of 14 quarter units.
Clinical Internship - RELG 795
Students must also satisfactorily complete two (2) units of clinical pastoral education (CPE) at an accredited CPE Center. Loma Linda University Medical Center is accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc. (ACPE) to offer Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) training for Level I, Level II, and Supervisory Education. However, the required CPE units for graduation can be completed at any ACPE-accredited Center. (Note: acceptance into the LLUH CPE program is at the discretion of the CPE supervisor and must be arranged individually and in advance.) Twelve (12) professional credits hours from one of the four CPEs can be counted towards both graduation and the APC board certification.
For information regarding CPE training at LLUH, visit https://lluh.org/patients-visitors/spiritual-care/clinical-pastoral-education.
For information regarding CPE training, including a state-by-state listing of approved educational sites, visit www.acpe.edu.
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.
Annual Evaluation - Students will be evaluated on their academic and clinical competencies at the end of Spring quarter of their 1st and 2nd year.
Dean's Exit Interview - Graduates are required to attend an exit interview with the Dean of the School of Religion during the spring quarter of their graduation year.
Students applying for admission must meet the following requirements:
- Undergraduate record from a regionally accredited institution with a grade point average of B (3.00) or better in the overall program and in the major field
- Critical essay
- Three (3) letters of recommendation (two academic and one pastoral)
- Interview (faculty members in relational studies and a representative from the LLUMC CPE program)
- One (1) unit of CPE highly preferred
Apply online at www.llu.edu/apply. Students begin the program during fall quarters only. Your application must be submitted by the deadlines listed:
- November 1
- Late admission: May 1
Documents required beyond the online application include:
- All official transcripts of college/university work (mailed directly to LLU)
- International applicants must submit current TOEFL scores and evaluations of any international transcripts – please visit https://llu.edu/admissions-aid/how-apply/international-students/international-academic-transcripts
Note: All documentation should be received within two weeks after the application deadline for the quarter of choice. The online application will prompt you with instructions and timelines to successfully complete the process.
Michael Rhynus, MDiv