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Members of the University community should respond to the daily VitalCheck prompt at least 30 minutes prior to entering campus.

M.A. in Pastoral Care

This program is offered online with a one-week intensive on campus.

Integrating theory and practice, the M.A. in pastoral care program prepares you to serve as a competent and effective pastoral caregiver. You’ll delve into the philosophical, theological, historical, psychological, sociological, and cultural underpinnings of pastoral care while engaging in meaningful reflection. 

Offered exclusively online, this program is designed for clergy and lay people involved in parish ministry, youth ministry, chaplaincy in hospitals and other settings, and those who work with the elderly or at-risk populations. 

Program Highlights

  • All classes are online, except for one on-campus requirement.
  • The on-campus pastoral counseling skills course is typically offered as a one-week summer session class in mid-June, or at times as a 15-week fall or spring course.
  • Graduates interested in chaplaincy may apply for certification from the National Association of Catholic Chaplains (NACC) or the Association of Professional Chaplains (APC) upon fulfillment of other requirements such as completion of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) units.

Program Basics

  • The curriculum requires satisfactory completion of 12 courses (36 semester credits).
  • You may pursue the program either as a full-time or part-time student.


  • Chaplaincy in hospitals, prisons, hospice, or nursing homes
  • Leadership in pastoral care organizations
  • Parish, school, or diocesan ministry of pastoral care
  • Nonprofit or faith-based pastoral care