UTS offers an educational track that can lead to careers as a professional chaplain. As a chaplain, you will be working in a hospital, hospice, military, correctional system, or other institutional chaplaincy.
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An Interfaith Vision: Chaplains serve individuals and families of any or no faith commitment. Chaplaincy offers a unique avenue to express the vision of the solidarity of humankind as one family under God, through day-to-day service to the spiritual needs of all people. If you have an interfaith peacebuilding component to your life vision and are looking for a way to implement it, consider chaplaincy.
A Practical Vocation: The care-giving sector is one of the fastest growing in our economy. It is a respected vocation that demands the best of spiritually mature and effective individuals. If you want to achieve meaningful career goals while raising a family and contributing to the community, nation and world, consider chaplaincy.
A Way to Touch Hearts and Lives: As a chaplain, you are there for individuals and families at times of the greatest need. It is there that our common humanity and the common need for comfort and presence appears. If you seek a rich life of ministry in the shoes of a servant, with the heart of a parent, consider chaplaincy.
Chaplaincy is highly regulated by private, public, religious and secular agencies, and the specific requirements for hiring vary by state and by specific placement (hospital, correctional, military, etc). But the following requirements are generic to virtually all career paths in this field:
- A Master's Degree, normally the M. Div. at an accredited graduate school
- 1-4 units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)
- Further chaplaincy experience after completion of the CPE
- Ordination and/or ecclesiastical endorsement by a recognized faith group for ministry in a specialized setting
Master's Degree: UTS provides the accredited Master's Degree, normally the M. Div.
Clinical Pastoral Education: UTS provides support in CPE site selection, admissions, and financial aid with a track record of placing students in some of the best locations nationwide. Recent placements include Westchester Medical Center, a regional Level-One Trauma Center in New York, and Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.
Connections to Professional Associations: As a student of UTS you will be eligible to become a student member of the Association of Professional Chaplains (APC) and begin to connect with a national network of seminarians training for chaplaincy and professional chaplains. Select students may also receive financial support to attend the annual professional conference of the APC or other professional chaplain associations.
Professional mentoring: The Directors of Field Education at the Barrytown Campus and the Extension Center have been trained in CPE and are Clinical Members of the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education. They are available to guide you on your journey to professional chaplaincy.
Ordination and/or ecclesiastical endorsement: You will need ordination or endorsement from your own faith affiliation. If you are a Unificationist, UTS will enable you to obtain endorsement from the Family Federation in America. This is an endorsement recognized by the Department of Defense and the Association of Professional Chaplains.
UTS has financial aid available, and we do all we can to help students meet their financial needs. For students interested in military chaplaincy, UTS can help eligible students access the generous funding and unmatched training opportunities that are available through the chaplain candidate program in the Army, Navy and Air Force.
The M.Div. degree normally takes three years, and this can include 1 or more units of CPE. The time needed beyond that depends upon your specific career objectives and the requirements established by your faith group for ordination and/or ecclesiastic endorsement. Students who are accepted into the U.S. military chaplain candidate program during seminary and meet the requirements of their faith group, may become full-time chaplains immediately after graduation from UTS. Students who complete a unit of CPE during seminary may enter a full-time year-long paid CPE residency immediately after graduation which may then lead to board certification by the Association of Professional Chaplains and full time employment in a hospital or hospice setting.
The Admissions and Field Education offices can answer your questions and provide more information to help you in your individual planning.
Dr. Jacob David,
Director of Field Education
Phone: 212-563-6647 x103
Mrs. Davetta Ogunlola
Phone: (212) 563-6647 x105
- Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE) (www.acpe.edu)
- The Association of Professional Chaplains (APC) (www.professionalchaplains.org)
- The National Association of Catholic Chaplains (www.nacc.org)
- The National Association of Jewish Chaplains (www.najc.org)
- Muslim Chaplains Association (www.muslimchaplains.org)
- International Council on Pastoral Care and Counseling (www.icpcc.net)
- National Guard Chaplaincy (www.1800goguard.com/explore/chaplain/index.php)
- American Correctional Chaplains Association (www.correctionalchaplains.org)
- National Association of Veteran Affairs Chaplains (www.navac.net)