Religious Studies-Military Chaplaincy MA
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.
RELIGIOUS STUDIES MA DEGREE
Dean: Brent L. Top
Graduate Coordinator: Terry B. Ball
Graduate Secretary, 370 JSB
Provo, UT 84602-2115
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
- Credit hours (90): minimum 84 course work hours plus 6 hours Clinical Pastoral Education (Rel E 688R).
- Courses: Rel E 595, Rel E 600, Rel E 600a, Rel E 601, Rel E 602, Rel E 611, Rel E 621, Rel E 624, Rel E 625, Rel E 630, Rel 631, Rel 635, Rel E 640, Rel E 641, Rel E 642, Rel E 645, Rel E 650, Rel E 688R, Rel E 698.
Also, Twenty-seven hours in the following areas: Marriage and Family Therapy, Social Work and Counseling Psychology.
- Project: The project is a substantial work (academic) that demonstrates your knowledge and understanding in a particular area of interest. Projects should have a practical focus and be ministry-centered. The project committees must include least two members from the chaplaincy department and one from the Religious Education graduate faculty or other approved academics.
- Examination: Oral examination of chaplaincy course work and defense of project.
- Minimum Registration: Following admission to the program, students will be expected to work continuously toward completion of all requirements for the degree and finish class work on schedule in two years to include the project. Students must be continually registered for courses throughout this period.
Admission and Entry
Application deadline: December 1 of the year before the program begins. Program begins every summer.
- Baccalaureate degree.
- GPA: minimum 3.0 for last 60 hours of undergraduate work.
- GRE general test: Verbal and analytical/writing sections.
- Statement of Intent: A thousand word essay on your reasons and intent for pursuing a master's in Religious Studies with a military chaplaincy emphasis.
- Recommendation by LDS Director of Military Relations and Chaplaincy Services.
- Two letter of recommendation from an academic source.
- All parts of the application must be completed and submitted together before the application deadline. All materials are submitted on-line through graduate studies (https://graduatestudies.byu.edu/). If you have any problems submitting any materials contact Graduate Studies: E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or Telephone: (801) 422-4091
Graduate Catalog Listing of Courses with Course Description
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.
Authorized Religious Support
Provide or perform rites, ordinances, and authorized religious support.
Demonstrate competency in the area and knowledge of different faith-based traditions and interfaith dialogue.
Effectively represent LDS doctrine, theology, and thought in the Armed Forces.
Provide pastoral counseling and care in a military context, integrating spiritual insight into the counseling process.
Demonstrate personal style of preaching in regular devotion presentations, prepared homilies, and structured sermons.
Reflect and practice the ethics and professional requirements of Armed Forces chaplains.
Advise the commander regarding religion and religious support as they affect military operations.
Demonstrate effective writing in academic research papers, sermons, and final project.