Most chaplaincy positions require that you obtain a Masters of Divinity. As such, we have designed this concentration with the focus of helping you obtain a career position after you graduate. However, those choosing to do Movement or Entrepreneurial Chaplaincy may find their educational grounding in our MASC program instead. In either case, we have maintained our focus on radical education, sacred activism, multi-religiosity, and social justice.

Questions? Email Matthew Waterman, Director of Admissions, at

MDiv or MASC Chaplaincy Concentration

Are you fueled by a desire to serve your community as a chaplain? If so, the Starr King Chaplaincy Concentration provides a path for those seeking to become a chaplain, board-certified or not, in a variety of settings, including: hospital, hospice, military, law enforcement, and more.

Required Courses

Required for MDiv

  • Educating to Counter Oppressions (ECO), required within the first six months of the program
  • Multi-Religious Core Course
  • Leadership Core Course

Chaplaincy Concentration Required Courses

  • A Theological Ethics Course of Your Choosing (3 units)
  • Spiritual Traditions Courses of Your Choosing (at least 3 courses, but more can be taken if determined necessary by student and advisor) – please work with your advisor to determine what courses are appropriate for your journey. If you are going to be ordained through the Chaplaincy Institute, you may want to discuss this with that organization as well.
  • Under the SKSM Spiritual Practice & Care of the Soul Threshold:
    • Spiritual Practices for These Times (3 units)
    • Illness, Health, & Healing (3 units)
    • Forgiveness & Moral Repair (3 units)
    • Deep Listening for All Forms of Ministry (3 units)
    • Pastoral Care (3 units) – “Pastoral Care” or “Pastoral Counseling” course is required
    • Depth Psychology for Chaplains (3 units)
  • Chaplaincy Formation – 6 stages (1.5 units/semester. Up to 2 stages can be taken each semester for a total of 9 units)
    • Stage 1 & Stage 6 – Delve into your own personal spiritual formation, with the focus of being able to articulate your beliefs in writing.
    • Stage 2 – Explains the requirements of working as a chaplain in multiple settings.
    • Stage 3 – Explores group dynamics and organizational culture, system, and relationships within each of those settings.
    • Stage 4 – Focuses on functioning pastorally within boundaries and using pastoral authority from an ECO perspective.
    • Stage 5 – Explores ministering to people in specific traditions and identities.
  • One unit of CPE, or equivalent (up to 10 units)

A Unique Feature of the Chaplaincy Concentration​

Our “Pastoral and Professional Formation” sets Starr King apart from many other seminaries in the United States. As we are offering a program to assist anyone of any religious or spiritual tradition, we are in collaboration with several ordaining bodies to assist those who graduate from our program to become ordained. As a result of this, we offer a unique set of courses known as “Pastoral and Professional Formation” that provides our Chaplaincy students with a cohort to go through the formation process in preparation of ordination with whatever ordaining body they choose (see the growing list below). For those on a regular 3-year track, they will stay with the “Pod” with which they started; for those on longer tracks, this Formation process will be provided in their last 6 semesters. These courses will detail the requirements of working as a chaplain in a multiple settings; how to function pastorally within boundaries and using pastoral authority; group dynamics and organizational behavior; as well as organizational culture, system and relationships; and finally, attention to each individual’s formation process. Each pod course is a 1.5 unit per semester [for a total of 9 units].


Other seminaries center around mainstream faith traditions, their theologies, and the voices and identities within them. This is a deterrent for those who have been marginalized. Starr King has its foundation in Unitarian Universalism and is inclusive to those with “the call” and who are accountable to their community by being well prepared to embody it. That means if you consider yourself to be pagan, spiritual-but-not-religious, or in another marginalized spiritual tradition, you too can have a career in Chaplaincy, like those in traditional religions. There are many seminaries in the United States that offer Chaplaincy — but what sets Starr King apart is our focus on radical learning, sacred activism, multi-religiousity, social justice, and a commitment to educating to counter oppression (ECO) and antiracism — which has been a major part of the curriculum since the late nineties. In connection to this ECO commitment, Starr King is not only UU, but multi-religious, a multi-religiosity grounded in justice concerns.

Questions? Email Matthew Waterman, Director of Admissions, at .