2020-2021 University Catalog

Master of Divinity Chaplaincy

Because of its practical, balanced approach to ministry training, Multnomah’s Master of Divinity program offers an ideal curriculum of professional preparation for institutional chaplaincy. All of the M.Div. courses provide a framework of biblical knowledge, ministry skills, and professional expertise essential to success in the chaplaincy. The M.Div. Chaplaincy is a specific seminary educational track for those entering military or hospital chaplaincy.

Chaplaincy Options

Students are admitted through the general M.Div. admission requirements. Students interested in chaplaincy may choose from various alternatives. Some students plan to enter the military chaplaincy with a certain branch of the armed services. Other chaplaincy options include a prison chaplaincy, law enforcement chaplaincy, fire and rescue chaplaincy, elder care chaplaincy, and hospital chaplaincy. Office chaplains are being hired by large corporations. Students should consult with a curriculum advisor or department chairperson for course recommendations.

It is recommended that any potential military chaplain contact the specific branch of service they are interested in as to the educational requirements for chaplain candidacy before beginning any program.  Military chaplaincy, depending on the branch of service, may require two-thirds (2/3) of the program (based on credit hours) to be done in residence.

The M.Div. Chaplaincy waives the biblical language requirement for students in this track of study.

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)

Hospital chaplaincy usually requires Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) from a certified Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE) training hospital. Students can earn 1 unit of CPE that fulfills the MM 790 Mentored Ministry requirement. ACPE board certification requires 4 CPE units.  This would be 3 CPE units beyond an earned Master of Divinity degree in the Chaplaincy track. See ACPE website for details.

Students must apply to a CPE program at an accredited hospital/facility.  Usually, they have completed one year of seminary. To earn one unit of CPE, the student must intern at a hospital for 400 hours (ten 40-hour weeks or twenty 20-hour weeks). Some programs allow students to take a half-unit, or 240 hours.

While Multnomah does not offer CPE training, the student may waive the required 4 credits of mentored ministry (MM 750-760) and take one unit of CPE. Students choosing this option register for Chaplaincy Internship (MM 790, two credits for two semesters). One-half unit of CPE is equivalent to two credits of MM 790. One unit of CPE is equivalent to four credits of MM 790. Therefore, a chaplaincy student needs to take one unit of CPE to fulfill the mentored ministry requirement. Multnomah will pay the required CPE fees to the appropriate hospital for concurrent enrollment in MM 790.

There are a few Portland metro hospitals offering CPE programs. The ACPE website has a directory indicating hospitals with accredited CPE programs. Contact the chaplaincy program director for further information.

Multnomah Biblical Seminary has a working agreement with Healthcare Ministries of America (HCMA) which provides clinical pastoral training for students in the chaplaincy program.  HCMA certification is not the same as CPE but it offers students substantial training that is distinctly Christocentric. 

Click here for program details.