M.A. Chaplaincy Studies
Including P.G. Cert. and P.G. Dip
A Unique Programme
St Padarn’s M.A. in Chaplaincy Studies is a unique development, validated by Durham University, that supports in‑service chaplains in their practice and ministry. We offer postgraduate education in chaplaincy studies in association with relevant professional bodies. Our programme will expand your thinking and broaden your awareness of both the theoretical and practical aspects of your work.
Given our 20 years’ experience at equipping chaplains from across the UK and beyond, there are plenty of good reasons to join us at St Padarn’s.
We are working closely with the UKBHC about accreditation and would welcome approaches from students who would want this.
Hear what our students have to say about the course:
Dominic Whitting - Healthcare Chaplain
Caroline John - Healthcare Chaplaincy
Sarah Burke - Healthcare Education
Andrew Thompson - Military Chaplain
Lucyann Ashdown - Healthcare Chaplain
Our Master’s Programme
The St Padarn’s Chaplaincy Studies programme is focused on providing advanced continuing professional development for chaplains but may be suitable for others.
The programme is designed to give you flexibility. The whole MA takes three years part-time. You can alternatively register for the one-year Certificate or the two-year Diploma as illustrated in the table below. The modules offered may vary from those shown below. Please contact us for further information.
|Year One (illustrative) Postgraduate Certificate||Year two (illustrative) Postgraduate Diploma||Year three M.A.|
|Inhabiting Public Ministry: How we represent faith communities||Chaplaincy and Christian Mission: Relating well to our context||Dissertation on an aspect of Chaplaincy agreed with Supervisor|
|Moral Issues in Chaplaincy: All about difficult decisions||Chaplaincy in Organisational Context: Exploring approaches to chaplaincy||Dissertation|
|Research and Reflection: A foundation in research skills OR||Reflective practice: Being effective and safe practioners||Dissertation|
Year One Modules
Inhabiting Public Ministry
Representing a faith community and doing so successfully can be challenging. This module will help you grapple with a deeper understanding of our formation and purpose. It will prepare you for greater leadership within your organisation and show you possibilities for chaplaincy that you may not have considered.
Moral issues in Chaplaincy
Students seeking the PG Certificate may choose to take the Reflective Practice Module instead of the Research and Reflection Module. As a chaplain, you spend much of your day taking difficult decisions. Postgraduate training in ethics will sharpen your thinking, boost your confidence, and enable you to understand your colleagues’ perspectives. This module explores resources for ethical thinking and ethical approaches. You will get a chance to investigate an issue within the context of your organisation, faith, and society.
Research and Reflection - Resources and Methods
Providing a foundation in research, this module introduces some of the study skills you’ll need for more advanced study. It will help you produce a research proposal and make sense of how research shapes both policy and practice. (It’s optional for those on the Certificate)
Year Two Modules
Chaplaincy in Organisational Context
Today’s rapidly changing chaplaincy settings require flexible responses. This module will not only introduce various approaches to chaplaincy but evaluate their strengths and underlying assumptions. It critiques chaplaincy in its wider context of globalisation, diversity, and inequality. It will equip you to use the resources of practical theology on the frontline.
Reflective Practice: Relationships and Emotional Management in Ministry
We want to do everything we can to enable you to practice safely and effectively. We do this by exploring issues related to stress in ministry, resilience, and safe practice. We’ll give you some tools to explore the subject. You then negotiate what you want to write about in more depth. It’s a great chance to share experiences of chaplaincy with others.
Reflective Practice - Placement
Reflecting on our professional context and being self aware helps ensure we are both a safe and effective practitioner. Reflecting on our routine place of employment enables us to see fresh possibilities and develop as a leader.
Chaplaincy and Christian Mission
Making sense of our relationship with our sending church (or other faith community) and our chaplaincy role is not always straightforward. This module will give you an opportunity to deepen your understanding of chaplaincy’s historical roots, and its relationship with theology and culture. It will help you critically reflect on your role.
If you subscribe to another faith or none, please feel free to contact us so we can explore how best to respond.
Dissertation in Chaplaincy Studies (MA only)
This triple module gives you a chance to experience being a researcher. Supported by a supervisor, you agree a subject. You then get a chance to navigate research libraries and ethics committees before working with participants. Your 15,000-word dissertation will be something well worth the effort! If you do well, it could be your first step to an MPhil or Doctorate!
At St Padarn’s, we offer learning targeted at your specialism. Most of your modules will be studied with peers working in the same or a similar sphere. There is also the chance to study alongside chaplains serving in other sectors, for example education, health, military, prison, sport. We are particularly proud to have held the national Ministry of Defence contract since 1999.
A Course Delivered to Suit Working Professionals
To meet the needs of working professionals, teaching is delivered in four intensive blocks each year. To obtain the MA Chaplaincy Studies, you must complete six taught modules and a 15,000‑word dissertation. In year three, you are encouraged to attend the residentials as members of our learning community and work on their dissertations with access to the library, teaching staff.
Residentials take place from Monday to Wednesday at our site in Cardiff where we enjoy an extensive library and well-equipped teaching rooms. You are welcome to worship alongside members of our theological college in our attractive chapel. Our en-suite accommodation is modern and purpose-built.
|September||Monday 5- Wednesday 7 September 2022|
|November||Monday 21 - Wednesday 23 November 2022|
|February||Monday 13th - Wednesday 15 November 2023|
|April||Monday 24- Wednesday 26 2023|
Accommodation charges are separate to this and charged fully inclusive at £180 per residential, full-board.
We welcome people of all faiths and beliefs
We are keen that everyone on the Chaplaincy Studies programmes should enjoy their time at St Padarn’s. We hope that whatever your belief or faith perspective, you will encounter respect, humility, and hospitality. To help you decide whether you’re likely to be comfortable studying with us, we thought we’d offer some additional information.
You will be studying alongside professional chaplains who by their very nature tend to be welcoming and respectful of a range of opinion. Similarly, we employ staff who reflect the diversity of our local area.
There are however some distinctively Christian aspects of the programme that may not suit everyone:
- tutors may well start or finish lectures with a short Christian prayer (which may be formal or informal in style)
- most students are Christian ministers, and therefore will naturally express themselves using Christian language and draw on examples from Christian ministry
- integration of life, work and faith is seen as important and there will not be easy boundaries with faith being expressed in one activity or room but absent from another
- time is scheduled in the day for those choosing to take part in morning and evening prayer/Eucharist.
We really do hope that you will enjoy studying with us. We always welcome an informal conversation, whether by Zoom, Teams, email, phone or face to face.
Course fees are spread over 3 years. For students beginning their studies in 2022 the following course fees will apply:
|Qualification||Year One||Year Two||Year Three|
Students may be eligible for postgraduate loans/grants through Student Finance. To find out please contact Student Finance for the home nation where you usually live:
English Students: https://www.gov.uk/apply-online-for-student-finance
Welsh Students: https://www.studentfinancewales.co.uk/
Scottish Students: https://www.saas.gov.uk/
N Irish Students: https://www.studentfinanceni.co.uk/
The programme is currently undergoing course designation to enable students who qualify for it to apply for Student Finance.
The usual entry criteria are a 2:1 degree with two years’ experience of chaplaincy or a 2:2 degree with substantial professional experience. If you do not meet these criteria, please get in touch to discuss your available options.
The closing date for applications is the end of July.
You can also download a brochure here
See more information regarding Postgraduate Study at St Padarn's here