Chaplaincy Institute Joint Program

Starr King School for the Ministry and Chaplaincy Institute – Joint Program for Interfaith Chaplaincy

May 2014

The Board of Directors, Staff and Faculty of Starr King School for the Ministry (SKSM) and The Chaplaincy Institute (ChI) and are proud to announce a formal affiliation between the two institutions. The purpose of this affiliation is to integrate the ChI Certificate of Interfaith Studies into Starr King’s accredited Master’s Degree (Masters of Divinity or Masters of Arts in Social Change) program, thereby providing a pathway for students to meet both the educational and ecclesiastical requirements for certification as a professional chaplain.

View (download) SKSM ChI Joint Program Agreement.

Signing of SKSM and ChI Joint Program Agreement

Signing of SKSM and ChI Joint Program Agreement.

Background and Precedent

To receive “board-certified chaplain” status from the Board of Chaplaincy Certification, Inc. (BCCI), an affiliate of the Association of Professional Chaplains (APC), requires a 72-credit Master’s degree (or its equivalent) from a seminary accredited by a member of the Council for Higher Education (such as SKSM) and ordination/endorsement from a recognized body. The ChI Interfaith Community is a religious, ordaining entity that has been recognized as an Ecclesiastical Endorsing body by both the APC and the ACPE (Association for Clinical Pastoral Education). This “ChI-SKSM Joint Program for Interfaith Chaplaincy” is especially intended for students whose vocational aim is to become a board-certified chaplain.

Collaborative Curriculum, Credits Awarded

Through this affiliation, ChI and SKSM agree to admit students jointly, allowing students to pursue both a ChI Interfaith Studies Certificate and a SKSM M.Div. or M.A.S.C. degree concurrently, with the ChI certificate as an integral component of earning their SKSM degree. A total of 18 credits towards meeting the requirements of an SKSM M.Div. or M.A.S.C. degree will be awarded to students who commit to and complete the full ChI program as part of their SKSM degree.

In an era where chaplaincy is taking many new forms, and in many different and new contexts, it is good and right to be engaged in the work of preparing religious leaders who will be able to mindfully respond, in a broad variety of religious traditions with respect, preparedness and compassion. This is a core value for both schools.

Admission and Enrollment

In the preferred and usual circumstances, it is expected and encouraged that a student will apply for joint admission prior to beginning either program. Mutually agreeable procedures are to be worked out for handling exceptions:

  • If an SKSM student who has completed part of their SKSM M.Div. or M.A.S.C. degree wishes to apply for admission to the ChI Interfaith Studies Certificate Program, this will be possible by joint agreement of the two institutions. In general terms, this will be possible only in cases where the student still needs 18 or more credit hours to complete their SKSM degree and has a clear vocational plan to become an Interfaith Chaplain.
  • Reciprocally, if a ChI student who has completed part or the entire ChI program wishes to apply for admission to an SKSM Master’s program (M.Div. or M.A.S.C.), the student will be welcome to do so. If admitted, SKSM will specify the academic credit and a proportional tuition reduction for the part of the ChI program that the ChI student has completed.

We are excited about this new program and affiliation, and look forward to continuing to enhance our ability to be of service to and support those who are on the path to professional chaplaincy.

For more information, please contact SKSM’s Shirley Liu at sliu@sksm.edu / (510) 549-4706 or ChI’s Vicki Weiland atVicki@chaplaincyinstitute.org / 925-588-6189.