Fuller Launches First-Of-Its-Kind Master of Arts in Chaplaincy

Pasadena, CA, March 16, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Fuller is excited to announce the launch of a new degree program, the Master of Arts in Chaplaincy (MAC), which provides holistic training for those called to create new paths and spaces for spiritual care as chaplains. This 64-unit degree is designed for students called to chaplaincy in settings including health care, schools, law enforcement, and corporations. 

“Fuller Theological Seminary continues to respond to the needs of the church and society through our new MA in Chaplaincy,” said President David Emmanuel Goatley. “This new program being launched from our campus in the global city of Houston, Texas, offers a diverse range of courses that incorporate real-world contexts as textual resources. Drawing upon our unique capacity for integrating missiology, theology, psychology, and therapy, our program blends theory and practice to provide a comprehensive and unparalleled educational experience. This is a unique opportunity to prepare for ministry among people in the critical places of life.”

"This is the degree I hoped for when I became a chaplain: a degree that focuses on practical theology, integrated theory, and tangible skills as well as on chaplain wellness. Fuller’s MA in Chaplaincy program helps chaplains to serve from a place of groundedness and peace. The cohorted learning creates a community of fellow chaplains to journey within and beyond the degree program," said Mary Glenn, the program’s co-chair and assistant professor of the practice of chaplaincy and community development. 

The MA in Chaplaincy will be based in Houston, with most coursework completed online. Students will gather with their cohort at the Fuller Texas campus for occasional intensives for dynamic in-person learning and reflection. 

"Chaplaincy involves being present to yourself and others while discerning God's voice and movement. The city of Houston is culturally and theologically diverse, and our students will be able to engage this diversity while being present in their formation and vocational process,” said Jaclyn Williams, who is based at Fuller Texas as assistant professor of the practice of preaching and chaplaincy. “Fuller is uniquely positioned to bring together the theory, theology, and practice of chaplaincy within the vibrant backdrop of Houston's innovative and authentic spirit."

This practice-focused degree was created by three faculty members with deep experience in different fields of chaplaincy: military, hospital, and law enforcement. The rigorous curriculum intentionally addresses all 31 core competencies shared amongst the major chaplaincy certifying bodies in the US, including the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education and the Association of Professional Chaplains. Additionally, the program’s distinctive focus on the wellness of the chaplain allows for students to learn best practices for sustainable, healthy ministry careers. 

“Fuller’s MA in Chaplaincy is a unique and much-needed offering in chaplaincy education,” said Mareque Ireland, affiliate assistant professor of theology. “Designed from the ground up by chaplain practitioners, this program goes beyond just learning cognitively about chaplaincy and is created to holistically develop students to be firmly grounded in their exercise of ministry of presence in the world. This is an amazing opportunity for those who want to do ministry outside a traditional church setting.”

Fuller’s MA in Chaplaincy is also ideal for those already ministering as chaplains who want to advance their career opportunities and deepen their ministry. “I’m excited to journey alongside students already answering the call to chaplaincy,” said Dr. Williams. “I'm also excited to work with those who have an inkling of a call and want to walk with others in that discernment and learning process.” 



Fuller Seminary is one of the largest nondenominational seminaries in the world with a global enrollment of more than 3,000 students in its master’s and doctoral programs. Fuller students may take classes in person, online, or through a hybrid of the two via campuses in Pasadena, Houston, and Phoenix. Founded in Pasadena, California, Fuller is committed to providing indispensable, formational education to diverse Christian leaders everywhere. Responding to changes in the church and world, Fuller is transforming the seminary experience to create a global learning community where leaders can access Fuller’s traditional graduate programs, as well as non-degree courses through the digital learning platform FULLER Equip, and free resources created by FULLER studio. Fuller’s distinctive integration of its four major disciplines—housed in the School of Mission and Theology and the School of Psychology & Marriage and Family Therapy—is evident in its range of master’s and doctoral programs, uniquely equipping leaders for innovative, nuanced, and intellectually grounded service in a variety of roles and settings.


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