Certificate in Chaplaincy & Spiritual Care

The Certificate in Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care program equips students with the concepts and skills required for effective ministry in chaplaincy and spiritual care in a variety of settings.

The program is delivered entirely online.

Program Overview

Two-Year Certificate Program (27 credit hours)

This program is open to Salvation Army officers and staff and the public.

Students in this two-year certificate program will be provided with an orientation to the ministry of chaplaincy and spiritual care and will develop an awareness of the various contexts in which chaplains and spiritual caregivers minister. They will also develop pastoral skills that are essential for effective ministry.

The certificate is offered in a cohort structure; students will begin and complete the required and elective courses together. All courses are delivered online.

Learning Objectives 

At the conclusion of the Certificate in Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care, the participants will be able to:

  1. Integrate contemporary questions, experience, and actions with the beliefs, traditions, and practice of the historic community.
  2. Demonstrate familiarity with the symptoms of selected mental/emotional problems.
  3. Have a framework for making decisions regarding the use of prayer, scripture, and religious resources in counselling.
  4. Articulate a personal theology for ministry reflective of their practical ministry experience.
  5. Demonstrate competence in the writing, use of verbatim reports, and group dialogue to support the action-reflection-action model of learning for pastoral interventions.
  6. Constructively integrate theological understanding with psychosocial reflection in ministry activity.
  7. Have an ethical perspective for the ministry context.
  8. Have developed competency in the role of the chaplain in the interdisciplinary team.
  9. Demonstrate competence in required administrative functions, including spiritual assessment and care planning, documentation of care, and program planning.
  10. Develop a deepening consciousness of themselves in their role as chaplain especially as it relates to faith development, transition, and change.
  11. Evaluate their attitudes and behaviours related to their expression of ministry to others, whatever their faith tradition, while maintaining the integrity of their own Christian faith.
  12. Have a broadened understanding of the diversity and complexity of the social service context for ministry.

Program Requirements 

The Certificate in Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care is intended for individuals who are either currently engaged in the ministry of chaplaincy and spiritual care, or who anticipate that they will be as part of their vocational ministry. The primary group in each cohort will be composed of commissioned Salvation Army officers and employees selected by territorial personnel leadership. Non-Salvation Army chaplaincy students demonstrating preparation commensurate with Salvation Army officer training will be considered for admission to the certificate program as space is available.

The certificate program is comprised of six required courses (18 credit hours), one elective course (3 credit hours), a one-term practicum course (3 credit hours), and a one-term graduating project course (3 credit hours).

Required Courses:

  • MIN141 Biblical and Theological Foundations of Ministry (3 credit hours)
  • MIN242 Foundations of Chaplaincy (3 credit hours)
  • MIN245 Spiritual Care in Times of Crisis (3 credit hours)
  • MIN246 Practice of Chaplaincy (3 credit hours)
  • MIN248 Pastoral Counselling (3 credit hours)
  • MIN249 Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care Practicum (3 credit hours)*
  • MIN250 Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care Graduating Project (3 credit hours)
  • MIN257 Individual in a Pluralistic Context (3 credit hours)

Elective Courses (choose one):

  • MIN247 Corrections Chaplaincy (3 credit hours)
  • MIN254 Long-Term Care Chaplaincy (3 credit hours)
  • MIN255 Social Services Chaplaincy (3 credit hours)
  • MIN256 Spiritual Care in Family Services (3 credit hours)

*Practicum: The certificate program requirement of a practicum experience may be fulfilled in one of two ways:

1. Students may complete the School for Continuing Studies’ MIN249 Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care Practicum (3 credit hours).

  • Students taking this practicum must secure a community advisor for supportive pastoral dialogue. The advisor and student are required to complete a mid and final evaluation of the student’s development.
  • Salvation Army students complete their required 200 hours of practicum field experience through their current chaplaincy appointment.
  • Non-Salvation Army students are required to make arrangements for a field placement with a community facility where they can volunteer their required 200 hours. These placements must first be approved by the School for Continuing Studies.
  • Each week there will be a specific online lesson with required cohort discussion and assigned submissions.

2. Students may complete one learning unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) through the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care (CASC). In advance of registering with CASC, students must first complete the Booth University College Letter of Permission process when choosing this option. Following completion of the CPE unit, the student must also submit documentation certification to Booth University College. Both steps are necessary to ensure that the three credit hours will be entered into the student’s records.

Core Courses 

MIN141 Biblical and Theological Foundations of Ministry (3 credit hours)
Sound pastoral practice requires an ability to integrate contemporary questions, experience, and actions with the beliefs, traditions, and practice of the historic community. Although contemporary chaplaincy has been enriched by knowledge and theory from the human and behavioural sciences, it has also been accused of a corresponding neglect of its own foundational disciplines – theology and biblical studies. This course seeks to expose students to this methodological debate and consider the manner in which pastoral practice can be responsibly informed by biblical, theological, and historical perspectives.

MIN242 Foundations of Chaplaincy (3 credit hours)
This course introduces students to the ministry of spiritual care in an institutional setting. Issues considered include the contexts of spiritual care delivery; basic practices and procedures in spiritual care; theological foundations for spiritual care; and the multi-cultural, multi-faith context of spiritual care.

MIN245 Spiritual Care in Times of Crisis (3 credit hours)
This course provides a combination of a theological paradigm and a mental health framework for acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary to respond appropriately to people in crisis. The course material will focus on a holistic pastoral care model as it relates to various kinds of trauma that people experience in crisis situations. The concept of critical incident stress management (CISM) will be presented and participants will have opportunities to explore the role that crisis intervention plays. Pastoral care in other crisis situations including suicide, grief, post-traumatic stress disorder, spiritual crisis, family violence, and abuse will be discussed.

MIN246 Practice of Chaplaincy (3 credit hours)
This course will provide a detailed study of the practice of chaplaincy and spiritual care. Among the topics considered will be the philosophy of chaplaincy, record-keeping, ethical issues, self-care and self-awareness, basic counselling skills, theological reflection, and issues related to specialized ministry in chaplaincy. Students will also participate in a discussion of the Myers Briggs Temperament Inventory and a Spiritual Gifts Inventory as these apply to their professional roles as chaplains.

MIN248 Pastoral Counselling (3 credit hours)
This course will focus on skill development related to pastoral counselling. The course will be taught in a lab format. Among the topics considered will be empathic attunement, assessment, active listening, responding, theological assessment, and counselling theories. Approximately 50% of the course will be spent in skill practice. Students must be willing to participate in practice counselling sessions.

MIN249 Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care Practicum (3 credit hours)
This course is an online course with community experience. Students will engage in a one-term field placement practicum relevant to their present or anticipated arena of field ministry. The 200 hours of the practicum placement are composed of supervised direct client/patient contact and related experiences.

MIN250 Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care Graduating Project (3 credit hours)
This course will be the concluding piece of academic work for the Certificate in Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care. The student will complete either a practical project with research and written work to demonstrate their learning or they will complete a substantive research paper. The purpose of the graduating project is to integrate the student’s vocational ministry practice with their accumulated understanding of the Bible, theology, and professional chaplaincy in their specific field of ministry.

MIN257 Individual in a Pluralistic Context (3 credit hours)
This course will examine transition and change as it relates to the self of the chaplain and the culture in which they live and minister. Among the topics to be considered will be the psychosocial and faith transitions one encounters as a person and the changes in the cultural/religious context of ministry encountered in twenty-first-century faith traditions. One of the goals of the course will be to learn how to embrace change so that it will enrich and not threaten the chaplain’s values and ministry.


Students are required to choose one of the following four electives:

MIN247 Corrections Chaplaincy (3 credit hours)
Restorative justice is defined by several key principles around which community support can be built. Restorative justice is not a specific program or set of programs, but is a way of thinking about responding to the problem of crime, a set of values that guides decisions on policy, programs, and practice. This course will look at a comprehensive restorative response to crime as a resource for reconciliation of victims, offenders, and community.

MIN254 Long-Term Care Chaplaincy (3 credit hours)
This course looks at the specifics of chaplaincy in the long-term care (LTC) setting. Topics covered include distinctives of spirituality/religion in the elderly, spiritual assessment and spiritual care planning for the elderly, gerontological/physical changes in the resident, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, the impact of grief and loss, end-of-life palliative care, ethical issues, and political climate in healthcare and interventions/programs specific to LTC residents.

MIN255 Social Services Chaplaincy (3 credit hours)
This course offers an opportunity to consider and reflect upon the quality and delivery of spiritual care in a diversity of settings that characterize the social service context. The course includes topics such as the role and identity of the caregiver, addictions, homelessness, grief and loss, mental illness, and cultural issues. The use of themes of Scripture and pastoral practice are central to each topic and the final units are directed towards integration and development of a theology of spiritual care/pastoral care.

MIN256 Spiritual Care in Family Services (3 credit hours)
This course will consider the specifics of spiritual care in the community family services setting. Students will review concepts of poverty, the four key relationships that are integral to client transformation, the development of programs, and best practices for spiritual care.

Course Sequence

“When it was suggested that I take the Certificate in Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care program because of my new appointment as a Chaplain I reacted with – what for, I have been a Corps Officer for over 25 years there’s nothing they can teach me.’ How wrong could I have been?! I would strongly recommend that every Corps Officer should consider this as a necessary and vital learning experience. I wish I had taken these practical training courses years ago.”

– Ray Braddock (Certificate in Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care/20)

Contact Us

For more information about the School for Continuing Studies, contact us. 
Email: SCS@BoothUC.ca
Phone: 1-204-594-6130 
(toll-free) 1-877-942.6684 x 130
Fax: 1-204-942-3856
SCS staff

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