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Chaplaincy Studies - MA

Course Description

Programme Overview

The MA Chaplaincy Studies is a resource for professional development for people in chaplaincy ministries and can provide an appropriate preparation for chaplaincy for people who already have a degree level qualification in Theology.

Is this programme for me?

The programme will be suitable for anyone who wants to:

* bring the resources of academic theology into conversation with the needs of contemporary chaplaincy practice
* develop an informed understanding of chaplaincy that is willing to engage with hard questions in bringing this distinctive ministry to expression in secular contexts today
* be actively involved in a chaplaincy context where you will undertake practical research tasks to resource your theological reflection
* learn with the input of practitioner theologians sensitive to the chaplaincy environment and engage in a learning dialogue with practising chaplains from varied sectors

What is distinctive about the course?

The course has a distinctive focus on contemporary chaplaincy and the integration of theology with practice. Some key features are:

* Contextual theology and spirituality. You will engage with theological and sociological aspects of the context for chaplaincy, in order to develop a distinctive chaplaincy voice for today.
* Chaplaincy as an expression of mission. You will explore the models of mission chaplaincy embodies, and locate chaplaincy within a contemporary mission strategy for the church.
* Role and person in the institutional setting. You will explore the chaplain’s particular challenges including engagement with acute pastoral and ethical issues, and relating to secular institutions.
* The multi-faith environment. You will address fundamental questions of what it means to work collaboratively within a practice characterised by encounter between faiths.


The MA Chaplaincy Studies comprises four taught modules of 30 credits each and a 60 credit dissertation.
The Taught Modules are delivered in blocks on residentials twice a year. The four modules are delivered in a two-year cycle:

* Chaplaincy within the Mission of the Church
* The Chaplain in the Institutional Context
* Chaplaincy in the Multi-Faith Environment
* The Theology & Spirituality of Chaplaincy

You can also gain a Postgraduate Certificate by taking any two of the four taught modules, and a Postgraduate Diploma by taking all four of them without the dissertation.

Study on this programme is part-time only. Two taught modules are delivered each year, each one in a teaching block of four days.


Each taught module is assessed by a 6,000 word essay or research report. The dissertation is 12,000 words and is preceded by a
Research Proposal of 1,500 words which must be passed before you are allowed to proceed with the dissertation.

How to apply?

Apply online at: http://www.yorksj.ac.uk/postgraduate/postgraduate-study/courses/theology--religion-studies/apply/chaplaincy-studies-ma-apply.aspx

Visit the Chaplaincy Studies - MA page on the York St John University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Ivan Pegg

819.jpg Part-time MA in Theology & Religious Studies at York

"I have always wanted to study the Bible and the course was ideal for me, since it was about exegesis and about applying this to ministry. I found the course staff very helpful (admin and academic), and the resources centre and lecture rooms are great . I've been studying the course for eighteen months and being a student at York St John University has turned out to be very stimulating and rekindled a love of learning in me."

(Student Profile)

Andy Heslop

3464.jpg The MA Theology and Religious Studies programme attracted me because of the broad range of modules available, and the flexible nature of how the programme is arranged for part-time students. I specifically chose York St John because of the helpful support received when I made my initial enquiry. Despite setting high academic standards the staff at YSJ are not at all stuffy and formal; non academic staff are also very supportive and respond quickly to any requests for help.

Although I have not studied at degree level for many years I found the first module easy to get into. Course materials are well prepared, structured and presented – and the library system is wonderful and straightforward to access – nothing like my last academic experience twenty years ago. I have enjoyed conducting research from the comfort of my laptop.

I would not be classed as someone who practises a particular faith, but chose theology because of the breadth and importance of the subject. I have not been disappointed. The themes addressed by the programme are of universal interest and relevance, whatever your personal religious perspective. I have enjoyed listening to the input from other students in class discussions, and have been surprised by the diversity of opinion and approach. If you are interested in advanced study in an exciting and relevant subject, you should certainly consider this programme.


Entry Requirements

An upper second-class or first class honours degree (or equivalent). This can be in any subject, though priority will be given to students with degrees in humanities and especially in theology or religious studies.

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