Master of Arts in Practical Theology


This specialization is designed for students called to chaplaincy work who intend to seek professional certification as Associate Certified Chaplains by the Association of Professional Chaplains (APC) and other such agencies. Students will develop a pastoral-theological framework of justice, inclusivity, and appreciation for the diversity and complexity of human experiences. They also will acquire critical tools for assessing needs and providing pastoral and spiritual care to people who are experiencing various existential difficulties and suffering.

The APC requires two units of clinical pastoral education (CPE) for certification as an Associate Certified Chaplain and four units of CPE for certification as a Board Certified Chaplain. 

After completing the MAPT, students will apply for a year of residency at an approved CPE training program. Residencies are full-time paid positions during which students complete an additional three to four units of CPE. Students will apply for board certification after fulfilling all APC requirements.

Chaplaincy certification from APC generally requires an endorsement from a religious denomination, in the form of ordination or commissioning. Additional courses may be required in order to meet these requirements. Students should consult with their own denominations or religious bodies to determine what other requirements may be necessary.


MAPT students who wish to pursue a specialization in Chaplaincy must use one of their elective slots to complete PC500: Introduction to Pastoral Care (3 credit hours) in order to satisfy the prerequisite for the specialization courses. Choose 12 credit hours from the following list:

  • PC510: Clinical Pastoral Education (3 credit hours)
  • PC640: Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy I (3 credit hours)
  • PC661: Pastoral Theology of Suffering (3 credit hours)
  • PC665: Forgiveness in Pastoral Care and Counseling (3 credit hours)
  • PC672: Trauma and Narrative Pastoral Care and Counseling (3 credit hours)
  • PC711: Multicultural Perspectives and Issues in Pastoral Care and Counseling (3 credit hours)
  • PC721: Gender, Race, and Class Issues in Pastoral Care (3 credit hours)
  • PC756: Spiritual Dimensions of Illness and Recovery (3 credit hours)
  • PC771: Grief Care and Counseling (3 credit hours)
  • PC772: Integrating Spirituality and Pastoral Care (3 credit hours)

A note about dual degrees and specializations: There are some limitations to overlapping requirements between M.Div. specializations and dual degree requirements. For example, in the dual M.Div./MAPT degree, students cannot use the M.Div. required Spirituality course in a MAPT specialization as well.

Also, dual degree students cannot combine certain specializations because of the overlap. For example, in the M.Div. program a student may have a Spirituality specialization, but if that student is also seeking a MAPT degree, the student may not specialize in Spiritual Formation and Small Group Ministry. Please contact the registrar for more details.