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Chaplaincy Studies Specialization

The specializations for the Master of Arts in Christian Ministry (MACM) degree program have been designed in light of the mission of Memphis Theological Seminary and the strengths of the faculty. Students will be assigned a faculty adviser who will guide the student in course selections so that those reflect the specialized ministry in which the student chooses to focus. 

The Master of Arts in Christian Ministry offers specializations within different areas.  All specializations share the common core of required courses in Bible, theology, and church history, along with requirements in the areas of the social context for ministry and the practice of ministry.  The latter requirements are shaped with regard to the student’s specialization and include practicum and immersion components. 

The Chaplaincy Studies specialization allows students who are interested in pursuing the call to ministry as a chaplain to deepen their theological preparation and practical skills for this important ministry that usually occurs outside of the local congregation either in hospitals, other health care facilities, prisons, the military, or the workplace. 

The MACM in Chaplaincy Studies does not provide professional credentials with professional chaplains’ associations. However, it enhances the theological and practical understanding of the ministry of chaplaincy and will strengthen the qualifications and preparedness for those who wish to pursue ministries of chaplaincy upon graduation from seminary. Students should bear in mind that many denominations require an M.Div. degree for ordination, and that ordination is required for credentialing by many professional chaplains’ associations. 

Core Courses

Introduction to Theological Study for Ministry 3
Interpreting the Hebrew Bible 3
Interpreting the New Testament 3
Christian Heritage I 3
Christian Heritage II 3
Total credits in Core Courses 15

Cultural Context

Context and Models for Mission and Evangelism 3

Interfaith and Intercultural Elective (with immersion)


Christian Ethics

Total credits in Cultural Context 6

Personal and Spiritual Formation

Formation, Spirituality, and Ministry 3
Formation and Contextual Ministry (involves a ministry placement in a chaplaincy context) 3
Total credits in Personal and Spiritual Formation 6

Specialization Courses

CS 301 Introduction to Chaplaincy Studies 3
CS elective 3
CS elective 3
PC 200 Theology and Practice of Pastoral Care 3
PC 300 Clinical Practicum 3
Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)* 1 unit
Total credits in Specialization Courses 15 hours plus 1 unit of CPE


Free Elective

Free Elective 3
Total credits in Free Elective 3


Integrative Seminar 

MACM Integrative Seminar: Formation and the Practice of Ministry 3
Total credits in Integrative Seminar  3


Total credits: 48

* PC 350 Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) may be taken for credit or not for credit. For the non-credit
option, students will not be registered for credit hours nor will they be charged tuition or fees for the unit of
CPE. For the credit option, students taking one semester of CPE will be registered for 3 credit hours
(including tuition and fees) that will satisfy the Free Elective requirement. Students taking one
year of CPE will be registered for an additional 3 credit hours (including tuition and fees) that will satisfy
the PC 300 Clinical Practicum requirement under Specialization Courses.

The student’s CPE placement must be approved by the Director of the Center for Pastoral Wholeness and
Chaplaincy Studies from an accredited program with either the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education
(ACPE) or the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy (CPSP).

Note: Within the area of specialization no more than three courses may transfer in from another accredited seminary.

Colloquia CreditsMACM students are required to earn 6 theological colloquia credits. The colloquia are administration and faculty-approved events held on campus or other events approved by the student’s faculty adviser.

Required GPA for Graduation: Students are required to maintain a minimum 2.00 cumulative grade point average.

Requirements for Ordination: Memphis Theological Seminary offers additional courses that meet ordination requirements for certain denominations. Students seeking ordination should consult their denomination officials to ascertain current requirements and procedures.

NOTE: Degree requirements listed here are for overview purposes only. Official degree requirements are found in the most current Academic Catalog or on current degree sheets.


Students should be able to understand and critically interpret scripture, history, and Christian theology.

Cultural Context

Students should be able to analyze local and global contexts and respectfully explore culturally non-dominant perspectives in light of Christian tradition.



Students should be able to show growth in personal faith, emotional maturity, and moral integrity.



Students should be able to employ practical theological reflection and exercise skills within a specialized ministry.


Our videos share the insight from our former students and current students who are serving in the area of chaplaincy. They answer questions about the industry and discuss the impact of the pandemic on how they serve.

Important Admission and Financial Aid dates 

NOTICE: If you intend to apply for scholarships as an incoming student you MUST meet the early application deadline.


August 9, 2024
Fall 2024 Admission deadline for Masters & Certificate programs
August 19-22, 2024
Fall 2024 Orientation and Residency I for New MDiv & MACM
August 19, 2024
First day of Fall 2024 Classes
October 1, 2024
2025-2026 FAFSA Opens
MTS School Code G10529
December 31, 2024
Spring 2025 Scholarship Application deadline
January 10, 2025
Spring 2025 Admission deadline
January 13-16, 2025
Spring 2025 Orientation and Residency I for New MDiv & MACM
January 13, 2025
First Day of Spring 2025 Classes
April 30, 2025
Admission deadline for DMin program
May 31, 2025
Fall 2025 Scholarship Application
deadline & Fall 2025 Early Admission deadline
for Masters &

Certificate programs
August 8, 2025
Fall 2025 admission deadline for Master's &
Certificate programs
Admissions Department
We appreciate your interest in Memphis Theological Seminary. The MTS admissions staff is committed to supporting you in your theological journey. We are here to help you while you are discerning your call, considering degree and certificate options, and supporting you as you do ministry in the real world. At MTS we are committed to educating and sustaining men and women for ordained and lay ministry in the church and the world through shaping and inspiring lives devoted to scholarship, piety, and justice. Please don’t hesitate to ask how we can assist you along in your journey.


LaShonna Williams


1 (901) 334 5887

Associate Dean for Students