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Mater Dei Institute of Education Professional M.A. in Healthcare Chaplaincy
Mater Dei Institute of Education

Professional M.A. in Healthcare Chaplaincy

Dublin, Ireland

1 Years


Full time

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The Professional MA in Healthcare Chaplaincy offers students a multidisciplinary approach to Healthcare Chaplaincy. It provides academic, pastoral, spiritual, personal and professional education for people who wish to work in Healthcare settings.

Who is this MA programme for?

The programme is designed for those wishing to pursue a career in Healthcare Chaplaincy in a variety of approved healthcare contexts including:

  • Hospitals
  • Hospices
  • Rehabilitation Facilities
  • Nursing Homes & Care Facilities

The course is offered on a one year full-time, three semester basis only. Upon successful completion of this programme the Graduate will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an ability to engage in a holistic manner with the Chaplaincy needs of patients, residents, family, staff and wider community,
  • Exhibit self knowledge to a degree that permits pastoral care to be offered within the contexts of his/her strengths and limitations
  • Be aware of and articulate how their feelings and attitudes, values and assumptions affect their ministry
  • Be competent in reflecting theologically and facilitating that process in others.
  • Give evidence of understanding current theological, spiritual and ethical issues that confront chaplains
  • Demonstrate an ability to articulate and empathise around spiritual, moral and medical issues
  • Demonstrate an ability to understand and help others discover the meaning in the experience of suffering, grief and loss
  • Demonstrate the facility to integrate theology of ministry and pastoral practice
  • Understand the operational systems in the healthcare setting
  • Engage sensitively in faith conversation and faith development initiatives in an invitational and inclusive manner.
  • Exhibit competence as a reflective practitioner and openness to continuing spiritual, theological, professional and personal development.
  • Demonstrate the ability to manage his/her own work as a Chaplain and to integrate this with the work of others in order to provide an effective Chaplaincy Team Service in a healthcare setting.

Taught Modules:

  • Spiritual Accompaniment & Pastoral Counselling Skills (10 credits)
  • Cultures, Religions & Pastoral Ethics (10 credits)
  • Spirituality & Ritual in Context (10 credits)
  • Theology of Ministry (10 credits)

Pastoral Placement and Thesis

The Professional, Spiritual, Personal Development and Supervision module includes an on-going placement as a student chaplain, in approved healthcare contexts:

  • Hospitals, Hospices, Rehabilitation Facilities, Nursing Homes & Care Facilities

The placement involves 18-20 hours per week over the 36 weeks (3 sessions each comprising 12 weeks) of one academic year and must be arranged in collaboration with MDI prior to Admission to the programme. The Pastoral Placements will provide each student with training under supervision to enable him/her to undertake the responsibilities of healthcare chaplaincy

  • Pastoral Placement 1: Context and Basic Skills Placement (10 credits)
  • Pastoral Placement 2: Research Placement (10 credits)
  • Pastoral Placement 3: Advanced pastoral Skills Placement (10 credits)

The minor thesis will consist in writing up an action research project, based on research undertaken in the second pastoral placement (10 credits) and written up in the third semester (20 credits)

Integration Sessions

As part of the Professional Spiritual & Personal Development and Supervision module, students will be required to attend lectures, and participate in workshops, seminars, integration days and retreat as set out, on designated Saturdays.

Topics to be covered will include, but not be limited to:

  • Systems and Governance in Healthcare
  • The Healing Ministry of Jesus
  • Legal Issues in Healthcare Chaplaincy
  • Bioethics

Entry Requirements:

  • A good honours primary degree in Theology or Religious Studies (with a minimum 80 ECTs in Theology/Religious Studies
  • There is a minimum age requirement of 23 years at the time of application
  • Applicants must have secured a suitable first placement prior to application
  • Applicants must be successful at a pre-admission interview

About the School


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