Online Chaplain Training Programs
Chaplains perform an important function by providing counseling, comfort and spiritual guidance in a variety of settings, such as the military, prisons, nonprofit organizations, hospitals and hospice. A few online programs at the graduate level are available to prepare aspiring chaplains for service.
Online Master of Divinity - Chaplaincy Programs
Most online chaplaincy programs are based in the Christian faith, although there are also Islamic programs and inter-faith programs designed for military chaplains. Depending on the program, courses may be completed asynchronously at the student's convenience or online classes are held at a specific date and time. Typically, coursework is accessed through the school's distance learning portal and students communicate with professors and fellow students via e-mail, instant messaging and online forums.
Students are required to have a bachelor's degree from an accredited undergraduate program to be admitted into an online master's program. Some programs also require a pastoral recommendation from the student's church or pastor.
Sample Curriculum for a Master of Divinity - Chaplaincy Program
Master's degree programs provide in-depth study of various Bible interpretations, often in the original written language. Other coursework involves non-Christian religions, especially in programs designed for military chaplains. Common coursework includes:
- Non-Christian ministry
- Family life ministry
- Greek language
- Bible interpretations
- Christian ethics
Online Doctor of Ministry with Chaplaincy Concentration Programs
Online programs at the doctorate level are available; however, they are exceedingly rare. Students may be able to concentrate in a specific chaplaincy field, such as military ministry or institutional chaplaincy. Often these programs have a pastoral component that must completed in-person at an affiliated institution or military branch.
Most doctorate programs require students to have a master's degree, often in a religious field such as divinity. Programs may also prefer applicants who are ordained pastors or ministers.
Sample Curriculum for a Doctor of Ministry Program
Core coursework in a doctoral program is often combined research projects and a dissertation. Coursework in a chaplaincy program can include:
- Leadership values
- Spiritual leadership
- Theological organization
- Church history
- Vision, mobilization and management
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