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DMin Chaplaincy Concentration 



MAY, 31st




Prompted by the promise of Christ's soon return, the Doctor of Ministry program at Andrews University is designed to develop spiritually mature and responsible professionals in ministry for the worldwide church. The DMin Chaplaincy concentration prepares participants for excellence in health care and other chaplaincy fields.

 The Cohort Experience 

The program is delivered in the cohort model, wherein participants proceed through the sequence of courses together. Study and learning are year-round, with pre-intensive, during-intensive, and post-intensive activities and experiences. Pre-intensive assignment preparation can begin as early as six months prior to an intensive, but a course's 365-day life span begins about 60 days prior to the start of an intensive. There are four annual teaching sessions presented by chaplaincy ministry professionals. During the program, you will participate in regional work groups, follow a ministry development plan, read and reflect on the best literature in your concentration area, and develop and evaluate a professional project dissertation within the context of your own congregational or other leadership responsibilities. For those doing the ACPE option, a portfolio is developed in lieu of the project dissertation.

Cohorts are identified by the year in which they formed. For example, if you are a member of a cohort that formed in 2019, during the five-six years you expect to be in the program, the title of your group will be "the 2019 Chaplaincy Cohort."

 Specialty Options 

Persons who apply for the cohort may choose to follow the "standard" chaplaincy curriculum or a parallel curriculum that prepares participants for excellence in chaplaincy ministries concomitantly with the ACPE (Association of Clinical Pastoral Education) competency-based certification process. This option is developed and delivered in partnership with AdventHealth. Applicants for this option will develop a professional portfolio in lieu of the usual DMin professional dissertation as part of the DMin degree requirements. As part of the application to the DMin program, the applicant must provide documentation of acceptance to the ACPE Certification Process. (NOTE: the distinction between the "standard" Chaplaincy and the ACPE curriculum cannot be made on your initial online DMin application. Communicate directly with the DMin office via to make your selection of curriculum option known to DMin office personnel when you submit your online DMin application.)

 Module Descriptions 

PATH 787 - Theory and Research in Chaplaincy
Credits: 4
Examines current research on spirituality and health, as well as a theological understanding of spiritual care within the clinical context. The theoretical framework is based on psychological, sociological, and theological literature. Enables participants to have a better understanding of the lived experience of the people to whom they minister.


PATH 761 - Wholistic Health Care Ministry
Credits: 4
Develops the whole-person care concept based on the Creation Life principles focusing on lifestyle preventive steps in order to achieve total health and wellness.


GSEM 706 - Spiritual and Theological Foundations for Ministry
Credits: 4

This is a foundational module required of all DMin students. The module builds the spiritual and theological basis from which the practice of ministry and mission grows and seeks to lead the student into a self-reflection and examination of life and belief.

GSEM 790 - DMin Professional Dissertation Seminar
Credits: 2
Participants receive assistance in forming their DMin project proposal, and orientation to issues in the successful completion of the project. Areas of focus include a literature review, theological reflection, critical thinking, experiential learning, reflective observation, academic writing, development of an effective work plan for completion of the project, and other project-related topics.


PATH 739 - Advanced Clinical Pastoral Education
Credits: 2
Arranged with a CPE provider


PATH 788 - Professional Practice in Chaplaincy
Credits: 4-5
Explores various leadership roles and functions involved in chaplaincy. Includes professional conduct, leadership, ethics, interdisciplinary consultation, and interdepartmental relations. Promotes the integration of the chaplain into institutional life. Teaches how to conduct workshops and organize support groups.


PATH 786 - Clinical Issues in Care and Counseling
Credits: 5
Training in theory and clinical skills related to the clinical setting within the context of spiritual care. Provides education in the following specialty areas: psychological and spiritual assessment, grief recovery, trauma, conflict resolution, and specific disease processes such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, disability, and mental health issues.


PATH 773 - Health Care Leadership (alternative to PATH 786 for those who want a health care emphasis)
Credits: 5
Students pursuing a health care emphasis take this module instead of PATH 786 in the fourth year. Examines chaplaincy leadership roles within an institutional setting. Conflict management, effective communication, decision-making skills, and team supervision are investigated using current leadership principles. Analyzes best practices to navigate complex medical institution governance and management operational systems. Participants will design a Pastoral Care Department with multiple pastoral care delivery systems. Prerequisite: three completed CPE units recognized and or validated by the Adventist Chaplaincy Institute.


GSEM 796 - DMin Professional Dissertation/Portfolio
Credits: 2-7
The DMin professional dissertation/portfolio integrates theological reflection, scholarly research, and practical ministry. The professional dissertation/portfolio contributes to the enhancement of ministry and to the growth and development of the ministry professional. Students taking the Chaplaincy ACPE Certified Educator option must successfully complete the competency-based professional portfolio according to the guidelines outlined in the ACPE Certification Manual. 


 Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) 

Clinical Pastoral Education is a significant component and a standard requirement in the clinical training of chaplains. An applicant in the health care field must have at least one year of full-time work experience as a health-care chaplain and two completed units of CPE (four units if applying for ACPE Educator option). Persons who have four units CPE will be considered as having one year of work experience.  Participants who have no more than two units CPE are required to take at least one additional unit of CPE while in the program (those in the ACPE option will take four more units during the program). A minimum of three units of CPE is required for the Adventist Board Chaplain Certification; four units are required by the Association of Professional Chaplains. The CPE requirement may be completed by arrangement in the first three years of the program. Participants may choose the CPE site that is in close proximity to their workplace.

Contact the Coordinators for the Chaplaincy/ACPE Certified Educator cohort are:
Dr. A
nna Galeniece, 1-269-471-3244, and...
Dr. Vaughan Grant, 1-407-717-0819,

2021 Cohort

2025 Cohort

“The DMin helps the pastor to hear the
voice of God in their ministry.” 

John Grys,

speaking at the 2013 Doctor of Ministry Conference;

2011 DMin alumnus and now an adjunct professor for the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

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