Become Equipped to Engage in Chaplaincy Ministry with CIU’s MA in Chaplaincy
Are you passionate about bringing spiritual guidance and support to people in the workplace? The Master of Arts in Chaplaincy program at Columbia International University can equip you with the skills and knowledge to do just that. The MA in Chaplaincy prepares you to minister on-site at organizations and businesses where chaplains are employed.
As a chaplain, you will have the opportunity to minister to people in their workplace where they spend 30% to 40% of their lives. You will be trained to provide pastoral, caring, comforting, serving, emotional and spiritual support to employees in a variety of work settings. With ten functional areas to choose from, you can specialize in an area that interests you the most. No matter what area you choose, you will develop a strong foundation of skills that can make a positive impact on people's lives. By pursuing a Master of Arts in Chaplaincy at CIU, you can prepare for a fulfilling career that allows you to meet people where they are and make a meaningful difference in their lives.
Why Choose Columbia Biblical Seminary
At Columbia International University, you will have the opportunity to pursue an education in an evangelical context that prioritizes hands-on learning experiences guided by skilled and supportive professors from a wide range of evangelical denominations. These professors are not just experts in their respective fields, but they are also committed to investing in their students' growth and development. They'll challenge you to integrate your Bible knowledge with your personal spiritual formation and practical ministry skills. Our seminary offers a community of fellow believers who share your passion for ministry and learning, and you will be encouraged to explore your calling while developing relationships that will last a lifetime.
Overall Benefits of the Degree
If you have a heart for serving others in a chaplaincy role, our M.A. in Chaplaincy program is the perfect fit for you. This program offers training that will enable you to apply the biblical and theological aspects of chaplaincy in a variety of settings, including pluralistic environments. You will learn methods for practicing the ministry of God’s presence internally, as well as being a bearer of God’s presence to others. Through your coursework, you will develop essential biblical leadership and ministry skills that display God’s presence, along with evangelistic strategies for bringing others to Christ. You will be equipped with practical tools and techniques for providing care for the emotional and spiritual needs of others, as well as gaining the ability to effectively communicate with people of various faith backgrounds. Our experienced faculty, consisting of experts from various denominations, is committed to helping you grow personally and professionally while providing support and encouragement every step of the way.
What Will I Study?
- CBS 5000 Succeeding in Seminary
This course prepares you for your studies at Columbia Biblical Seminary. You will be introduced to five core values that reflect the institution's mission and ethos. Services and resources available to students will be addressed, as will expectations and guidelines for being successful in seminary. You must complete this course during your first term as a seminary student.0.00 credit hours
- BIB 5112 Introduction to the Old Testament 1
In this course, you will trace the structure, content, and purpose of the Old Testament Pentateuch and Historical books. You will identify key theological themes and relate the content of these books to contemporary Christian faith and practice.3.00 credit hours
- BIB 5113 Introduction to the Old Testament 2
In this course, you will trace the structure, content, and purpose of the Old Testament Poetic and Prophetic books. You will identify key theological themes and relate the content of these books to contemporary Christian faith and practice.3.00 credit hours
- BIB 5132 Gospels: God's Means of Providing Redemption
This course will guide you through a chronological, synthetic study of the four gospel records, emphasizing the time, place, circumstances, and persons involved in the events of Jesus' ministry. The gospel writers narrate the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God's appointed Redeemer of the world, who fulfills the promises and prophecies of the Old Testament.3.00 credit hours
- BIB 5133 Acts to Revelation: God's People Proclaiming Redemption Globally
In this course, you will study the introductory background, structure, and content of the New Testament books, Acts to Revelation, understood within their first-century life setting. The authors of Acts, the letters, and Revelation not only relate the advance of the Early Church in proclaiming redemption globally, but they also provide the contemporary church with normative missionary documents to guide it in fulfilling Christ's commission.3.00 credit hours
- BIB 5410 Hermeneutics
In this course, you will explore and defend hermeneutical principles and processes based on evangelical presuppositions of Scripture and authorial intended meaning. You will apply an exegetical method to interpret Old and New Testament passages from a variety of biblical genres and apply them to contemporary settings.3.00 credit hours
- ICS 6024 Understanding Cultures & Worldviews
This course will enable you to understand the worldview assumptions that are foundational to a person's belief systems and behavior patterns. You will analyze the culture and worldview of an ethno-linguistic or socio-economic grouping of people from a biblical worldview perspective. You will also consider elements of biblical contextualization.3.00 credit hours
- MIN 5300 Foundations of Spiritual Formation
In this course, you will examine the foundational principles of spiritual formation for an effective life and ministry with emphasis on personal sanctification and growth with others in a mutually-edifying community.3.00 credit hours
- THE 6320 Theology and Ethics 2
In this course, you will examine the doctrines of Anthropology, Soteriology, Pneumatology, and Ecclesiology, as well as ethical principles related to these doctrines.3.00 credit hours
- CHP 6100 Introduction to Chaplaincy
In this course, you will explore the various types of chaplaincy ministry, including their commonalities, distinctives, and expectations. You will develop a comprehensive theology of chaplaincy and create a plan to employ it in your own ministry setting.3.00 credit hours
- CHP 6060 Clinical Pastoral Education
Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is a form of chaplaincy or counseling internship in which you are taught through hands-on practice, clinical supervision, and academic study to observe, listen, communicate, and respond to someone's spiritual and emotional needs. In CPE training, you will gain the knowledge, skills, and practical experience to assist people in crisis with competence and confidence. CPE can be completed in a resident or distance-learning environment. You have the option of completing one unit of CPE (3 semester hours) or two half-units (1.5 semester hours) to fulfill graduation requirements. Permission of program director required.3.00 credit hours
- Completed application
- Official transcripts for highest earned degree and any master’s degree work
- Church leader reference
- Application Essay (800 words total, typed)
- A GPA of 2.5 or higher
Career Path Opportunities
In our ever-changing world, ministry must meet people where they are — the workplace. That’s where the Master of Arts in Chaplaincy comes into play.
The Chaplaincy concentration will train you to minister on-site at organizations and businesses where chaplains are employed. Chaplains minister and go to where people spend 30% to 40% of their lives — at work. Chaplains help ensure that employees’ work time is not devoid of spiritual guidance and support.
You can specialize in one of the 10 functional areas of chaplaincy. No matter which area you choose, you will develop a foundation of skills to perform the pastoral, caring, comforting, serving, emotional and spiritual roles that help people live happier, healthier lives:
- Healthcare Chaplaincy
- Military Chaplaincy
- Corporate Chaplaincy
- Institutional (prison) Chaplaincy
- Public Safety (Police, Fire, EMS) Chaplaincy
- Sports Chaplaincy
- Community Chaplaincy
- Disaster Relief Chaplaincy
- Educational Chaplaincy
- Recreational Chaplaincy
- What career opportunities are available with an M.A. in Chaplaincy?
The degree equips you with the professional and practical knowledge and skills you will need to minister effectively in any of the following roles:
- Ministering to the sick in a major medical center or to vets in a Veterans Administration Hospital
- Serving military personnel and their families worldwide as a chaplain in the Military (Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Air Force, Space Force)
- Ministering in a local jail, juvenile hall or state/federal prison system
- Ministering to sports teams at the university level or to pro sports teams and organizations (football, baseball, soccer, NASCAR, Athletes in Action)
- Ministering in a local marketplace with major corporations or businesses
- Discipling students in educational programs at colleges and universities
- Ministering to police officers, sheriff deputies, fire and EMS personnel
- Ministering on a cruise ship, to passengers at airports or at national park through recreational chaplaincy
- Responding to a natural disaster as a member of a disaster relief team
- Care and comfort to the indigent and homeless through a local community mission program.
- Can I take this program residentially, online or both?
Our M.A. in Chaplaincy program is fully available either residentially or online. All required courses are offered in both formats.
As a residential student, you will benefit from close interaction with professors and other students, building relationships that can support you for a lifetime of ministry. Classes are designed around block schedules, which gives you flexibility if you are working or serving in ministry while taking courses. Residential students have the option to take courses online if they wish.
As an online student, you will benefit from courses that foster your learning within the context of an intentional learning community. We recognize that not everyone can uproot themselves and move to seminary. For this reason, all our courses are asynchronous. This allows you to continue working and serving where you are located while taking courses. At the same time, you will be provided with opportunities to have regular live online meetings with your professors and classmates, if you so desire.
- How long does it take?
Residential courses follow a 16-week semester format, with two semesters per calendar year (Fall and Spring). Thus, residential students can complete this program in about two years (full time, taking three courses per semester) or in about five years (part time, taking two courses per semester).
Online courses follow an eight-week term format, with six terms per calendar year (Spring 1, Spring 2, Summer 1, Summer 2, Fall 1, Fall 2). Online students can complete this program in about two years (full time, taking two courses per online term) or in about four years (part time, taking one course per online term).
Hybrid students can complete this program in about two years.
- When can I start this program?
Residential courses follow a 16-week semester format and have two starts every year. The spring semester begins in January and the fall semester begins in August, with a break for summer in between semesters.
Online courses follow an eight-week term format and have six starts each year. Every eight weeks is a new start, meaning there are two online terms offered each spring, summer and fall.
- How much does it cost?
Visit the Tuition and Fees page for detailed information on cost.
- Am I provided with Bible software?
Yes, upon enrolling in your first course, you will receive a professional-level copy of Accordance Bible Software, customized for your studies at Columbia Biblical Seminary. It is yours to keep upon graduation.