Dual Master of Arts in Interreligious Studies and Chaplaincy

Dual Degree Program in Interreligious Studies and Chaplaincy

HIU’s dual degree program in Interreligious Studies and Chaplaincy is designed for students planning on a chaplaincy career for which a unified 72-credit program is a necessity—the federal prison system, Veteran’s Administration hospitals, and the US military. The dual degree program streamlines the admission process: students are admitted to, then work toward, both degree programs simultaneously. Thus they are able to fully integrate the development of multireligious fluency and deep study of [or grounding in] their own tradition with professional training. Through coursework and field experience, students develop intellectual, interpersonal, and professional skills necessary for the provision of spiritual care in complex, pluralistic environments.

Featuring a rigorous curriculum that balances classroom and online study with field experience, our dual degree program in Interreligious Studies and Chaplaincy provides a single point of entry into graduate study at HIU. (This is a necessity for students preparing for service as chaplains in the US military, with the Veteran’s Administration, or in the federal prison system.) Students in this program complete (simultaneously or sequentially) the requirements for the academic Master of Arts in Interreligious Studies and the professional Masters of Arts in Chaplaincy—a total of 72 academic credits.

In this dual program, students explore the vocabulary, grammar, and lived realities of religions different from their own. They develop the concrete skills and deep understanding necessary for spiritual caregiving in a multifaith environment, as outlined by the Association of Professional Chaplains. They graduate with confidence that their multireligious fluency, their understanding of the role of faith in local, social, and political contexts, their ability to conduct advanced-level research, and the chaplaincy competencies they have attained equip them to provide empathetic spiritual care for people of all backgrounds in complex settings such as hospitals, the military, universities, and prisons.

Program Structure

The Interreligious Studies and Chaplaincy dual degree is a 72-credit program through which students earn both an academic Master of Arts in Interreligious Studies and a professional Master of Arts in Chaplaincy. It can be completed online, apart from the Field Education and Clinical Pastoral Education requirements (which may be completed at students' local sites), and a required 3-day on-campus retreat. The first of these retreats is scheduled for Summer 2024. Students may attend the retreat during the first or second year of their program. Completion will require three to five years of full-time study.

This dual curriculum is distinct in that it enables students to acquire broadly recognized professional chaplaincy qualifications and competencies and to learn to integrate spiritual caregiving theory and practice, while delving into the foundations of their religion—thus completing coursework typically expected by their endorsing bodies or necessary to attain their particular career goal. All the while, they are expanding their understanding of the religions of others.

Students have the option to specialize in Islamic Chaplaincy. Students who choose this option will use the program’s electives to meet Islamic Studies requirements.


Where Your Journey May Lead

Dual MA in Interreligious Studies and Chaplaincy Career Paths

Military Chaplaincy

Prison Chaplaincy

Preparation for Academic Career

Pathway into Ministry

Pathway into Chaplaincy

Here is a small sample of courses students in the program take. To view the entire course listing, use the link below.

Opportunities & Highlights

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