Religious Studies-Military Chaplaincy MA

Program Purpose


The Master of Arts in Religious Studies with an emphasis in Military Chaplaincy is designed to prepare graduates for service in the Armed Forces. This program focuses on training future chaplains to serve in this challenging and rewarding environment. In a rich academic setting it does the following: (1) Qualify students with an MA in Religious Studies to apply as a Military Chaplain in the Armed Forces; (2) Provide a solid practical and theoretical foundation in religion, scriptural studies, and applied theology, as well as courses in military ministry, homiletics, worship, interfaith seminars, pastoral counseling and care, family studies, and clinical pastoral education; (3) Prepare chaplains to meet and face the special challenges of working in a military setting; and (4) Enhance and stregthen the effectiveness of chaplains working in a pluralistic environment.

 

Curricular Structure

Department Information

RELIGIOUS STUDIES MA DEGREE

Dean: Brent L. Top

Graduate Coordinator: Terry B. Ball

Graduate Secretary, 370 JSB

Provo, UT 84602-2115

(801) 422-3290        

The Program of Studies

The Religious Studies MA program is open only to full-time chaplain candidates in the LDS Church who have been approved by the Military Relations Division and Chaplaincy Services.

The master's degree is designed to provide advanced preparation for service as a military chaplain. Emphasis in the core curriculum is placed primarily on the following areas:  Religious Studies, Old Testament, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Doctrines of the Restoration, Armed Forces Chaplaincy History, Christian Theology and History, World Religions and Security Analysis, Pastoral Counseling, Military Ministry, Professional Standards and Ethics, and Clinical Pastoral Education.

Religious Studies admits a maximum of three to four students to the master's program each academic year. Course work begins summer term. The program is designed to be completed in two years.

Requirements for Degree-Chaplain Candidates

 Also, Twenty-seven hours in the following areas: Marriage and Family Therapy, Social Work and Counseling Psychology.

 Admission and Entry

 Application deadline: December 1 of the year before the program begins. Program begins every summer. 

 Application requirements:

Graduate Catalog Listing of Courses with Course Description

Course Descriptions

REL E 595

Research Methods in Religious Education.3

Methodology in and resources for research in the four areas of focus: Church History and Doctrine, Old Testament, New Testament, and Book of Mormon.

REL E 600

Basic Skills in Pastoral Counseling and Chaplain Care Ministry.3

Focuses on the basic skills of pastoral counseling for those wishing to be full-time military chaplains. The emphasis is on pastoral skills in a military setting and understanding different models of pastoral care.

REL E 600A

Pastoral Counseling Lab.1

Introducing chaplain candidates to basic pastoral counseling skills used in the military. Various models of pastoral counseling are examined and how to provide pastoral counseling in a variety of situations common in a military setting are explored.

REL E 602

Ethics, Professional Roles, and Standards for Armed Forces Chaplains.3

Orientation of the chaplaincy as a profession, including the study of standards, roles, ethical/legal issues, and the organizational structures of the Armed Forces Chaplaincy.

REL E 610

Graduate Seminar on the Old Testament.3

Topics in the Old Testament emphasizing doctrinal, historical, and cultural background.

REL E 611

Graduate Seminar on the New Testament.3

Topics in the New Testament emphasizing doctrinal, historical, and cultural background.

REL E 621

Graduate Seminar on the Book of Mormon.3

Topics in the Book of Mormon focusing on doctrine and the historical background of the text.

REL E 624

Doctrine and Covenants Graduate Seminar.3

Topics in the Doctrine and Covenants, emphasizing doctrinal and historical background.

REL E 625

LDS Church History Graduate Seminar.3

Topics in LDS Church history, emphasizing contemporary current issues.

REL C 630

World Religions and Security Analysis.3

Focuses on how religion influences our national policy and more specifically provides a framework for assessing how religion impacts the military operational environment where chaplains advise commanders.

REL C 631

World Religions and Area Analysis. 3

Focuses on the various Islams (Sunni, Shite, and Sufis) and groups of interest (Hezbollah, Al Qaeda, Taliban, etc.) and how they influence areas of interest (Middle East).

REL E 635

Fundamentals of Religious Studies.3

Exploring ideas about the divine; ways in which religious concepts are expressed in writings, rituals, and belief systems across time and among various cultures from the past to the present.

REL E 640

History of the Christian Church.3

Background and history of Christianity from the first century A.D. to the present.

REL E 641

Military Ministry 1: Historical Foundations and Current Practices.3

Preparation of new military chaplains; learning the historical foundation of the U.S. Armed Forces Chaplaincy, emphasizing practical ministry within a theological and spiritual context.

REL E 642

Military Ministry 2: Homiletics. 3

Preparation of new military chaplains; leading worship, preaching, and guiding the teaching ministry within a chapel and operational environment, emphasizing a practical ministry within a theological and spiritual context.

REL E 645

Graduate Seminar in Christian Theological Thought.3

Doctrines about God, Christ, the Trinity, salvation, human beings, sin, grace, the Church, sacraments, and Christian hope in comparison with the restored gospel.

REL E 650

Doctrinal Contributions of the Restoration.3

Doctrinal contributions of the Restoration from Joseph Smith to the present prophets, seers, and revelators; LDS theology and practice.

REL E 688R

Clinical Pastoral Education Practicum.6

Supervised encounters with persons in crisis. Experiencing the interdisciplinary team process of helping persons. Developing skill in interpersonal and inter-professional relationships and a deeper understanding of ministry.

REL E 698

Chaplaincy Comprehensive Final Project.6

Research project based on an approved topic that has a practical ministry application.

Additional Coursework (27 hrs.) in Marriage and Family Therapy, Social Work and Counseling Psychology. Consult with chaplaincy advisors before registering for coursework.

 

 

 

Learning Outcomes


Authorized Religious Support

Provide or perform rites, ordinances, and authorized religious support.

Courses that Contribute: REL E 698
Linked to BYU Aims: Faith and testimony, Gospel knowledge
Interfaith Dialogue

Demonstrate competency in the area and knowledge of different faith-based traditions and interfaith dialogue.

Courses that Contribute: None
Linked to BYU Aims: Gospel knowledge, Communicate effectively
LDS Ambassador

Effectively represent  LDS doctrine, theology, and thought in the Armed Forces.

Courses that Contribute: REL E 698
Linked to BYU Aims: Faith and testimony, Gospel knowledge
Pastoral Counseling and Care Skills

Provide pastoral counseling and care in a military context, integrating spiritual insight into the counseling process.

Courses that Contribute: REL E 600
Linked to BYU Aims: Faith and testimony, Communicate effectively
Preaching/Communication

Demonstrate personal style of preaching in regular devotion presentations, prepared homilies, and structured sermons.

Courses that Contribute: None
Linked to BYU Aims: Gospel knowledge, Communicate effectively
Professionalism

Reflect and practice the ethics and professional requirements of Armed Forces chaplains.

Courses that Contribute: None
Linked to BYU Aims: Competence, Character
Religion and Conflict

Advise the commander regarding religion and religious support as they affect military operations.

Courses that Contribute: None
Linked to BYU Aims: Think soundly, Communicate effectively
Writing Skills

Demonstrate effective writing in academic research papers, sermons, and final project.

Courses that Contribute: None
Linked to BYU Aims: Think soundly, Communicate effectively
Other

General

Courses that Contribute: None
Linked to BYU Aims: None

Evidence of Learning


Learning and Teaching Assessment and Improvement