MDiv with a Concentration in Chaplaincy
“Denver Seminary is leading the way in providing vital education and training for chaplains under the professional and insightful leadership of Dr. Jan McCormack. To be a chaplain requires much more than knowing the foundation of one's own faith.
A chaplain by definition "possesses a particular understanding of the relation between faith, illness, and the emotional and mental conflicts that arise, and seeks to motivate and invite healthy, meaningful use of each individual's religious beliefs and attitudes in the management of his/her problems [situation]."
Therefore, prerequisites for chaplain ministry, military and institutional, by definition must be more inclusive and diverse than preparation for denominational church work. The M.Div. Degree in Chaplaincy at Denver Seminary offers this exceptional training, and ensures the subsequent ministries will be significant for both the care-giver and care recipients.”
Chaplain, Major General, USAF (Ret.)
What is a Master of Divinity with a concentration in Chaplaincy?
A chaplain is a spiritual leader who performs the same types of rites, services and ceremonies as a pastor or priest but in environments outside of the church. Chaplains often serve a group of people who are not organized as a church or mission or who are otherwise unable to attend a church for various reasons such as health, confinement or military or civil duties. Chaplains can touch the lives of people who are not likely to be drawn to typical churches or ministries. For chaplaincy ministry in settings that require ordination (such as the military), the M.Div. with a Chaplaincy concentration will provide the broad-based biblical, theological, and pastoral training you need (be sure to check with your church or denominational Chaplain Endorsing Agent to be sure this degree meets their particular endorsement requirements). Specialized chaplaincy courses will acquaint you with the distinct nature of this unique ministry and equip you to navigate the world of institutional chaplaincy. With this degree you also earn a unit toward Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE), which allows you to participate in clinical settings where ministry is being practiced. Would you like to represent Christ in arenas where few others have access? The chaplaincy concentration in our M.Div. program will send you out ready to make an immediate impact.
At Denver Seminary, the chaplaincy program falls under the Division of Counseling. Watch a video from the Division of Counseling. Read an article in Christianity Today about chaplaincy.
Watch a short video about chaplaincy:
The MDiv with a Chaplaincy concentration is excellent preparation for:
Crisis and disaster teams and first-provider units (police/fire/EMT)
Crisis counseling centers
High school/graduate school educational institutions
Hospice, eldercare and teen residential centers
- Healthcare settings
Business, workplace, or industrial organizations
Rescue missions and other parachurch organizations
- Prison Ministry
Sports and leisure organizations and teams
In addition to the MDiv core (85 hours), this concentration includes 12 hours of chaplaincy specific courses. To view a class description, hover over the class number or name. To view the full academic catalog in a separate page, click any of the class links.
1 Students in the chaplaincy concentration should replace T/M 712Mentored Spiritual Formation/Mentored Ministry Experience: Students in the MDiv program complete these courses during the fourth and fifth semesters of the training and mentoring program. Each of these semesters focuses the process on a specific theme of relevance, utilizing one learning plan that integrates character and skill development in light of the chosen theme of the semester and each student’s anticipated future vocational expressions. Students meet regularly with their external mentors, while selected colloquium sessions bring students together for the formation group aspect of the process. Prerequisite: T/M611 Mentored Spiritual Formation and TM612 Mentored Ministry Experience. Each T/M course must be taken in sequence. One hour each. with
CO 570Brief Counseling Practicum: A laboratory course for students who wish to observe and clinically practice the basic features of brief counseling from a Christian perspective within their particular ministry target population. Instructor and peer group supervision of written and video student-client cases will form the basis for feedback concerning the student’s brief counseling skills. Limited enrollment. Pre- or corequisite: CO 560 Brief Counseling. Offered fall semesters. One hour. and PME 602Counseling in Pastoral Ministry: Centering on the role of the pastor as an agent of spiritual care, this course considers the common spiritual, emotional, and relational difficulties which people experience together, along with the basic skills needed to counsel individuals and families within a church fellowship. Offered spring semesters, alternate fall semesters, and alternate summers. Two hours. with CO 526Therapeutic Communication: This course is designed to help students develop the facilitative skills that form the basis of therapeutic communication in both formal and informal counseling settings. The focus is on empathy as a way of being, and as the core skill in relating to both individuals and couples. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the MA in Counseling Ministries, MA in Counseling Ministries with a concentration in chaplaincy, MA in Youth and Family Ministries with a concentration in counseling ministries, MDiv program with a concentration in chaplaincy or pastoral counseling, or instructor permission. Offered fall and spring semesters. Two hours..
2 Students must also enroll concurrently in one hour of mentored ministry experience and one hour of mentored spiritual formation while enrolled in CHP 650.
Dr. Janet R. McCormack, Director of Chaplaincy and Pastoral Counseling
Dr. Janet R. McCormack is Director and Assistant Professor of Chaplaincy and Pastoral Counseling. Dr. McCormack is ordained by the American Baptist Churches, USA and is a retired Air Force chaplain with 22 years of experience in military chaplaincy. She is an Association of Professional Chaplains board-certified chaplain with experience in hospital, police, prison, NASCAR, drag racing, crisis, and trauma. She has served on the boards of the Association of Professional Chaplains (APC), the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, and the Military Chaplains Association.