This course examines the biblical, theological, philosophical, and cultural basis for sports chaplain ministry. Attention is given to scriptural principles empowering chaplains to provide spiritual leadership, care, and counsel to players, coaches, and families. Finally, students will evaluate and practice the skills, strategies, and character traits necessary for effective chaplain ministry within the pluralistic culture of sports.
For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.
Sports chaplains must have a foundation in the theology, culture, and philosophy of sports in order to best understand and minister effectively in the field of sports. Sports chaplains need to be prepared to spiritually lead and address a wide range of spiritual and ethical issues facing players and coaches.
Measurable Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Assess the biblical and theological basis for the sports chaplain.
- Compare and contrast pluralism in the New Testament world as it relates to the sports chaplain working within the pluralistic setting of today.
- Develop a philosophy of sports ministry based on biblical principles.
- Evaluate current issues, trends, and ethics in sports from a biblical worldview.
- Evaluate the unique leadership opportunities and challenges of the evangelical sports chaplain while ministering in secular and pluralistic settings.
- Develop a biblically based, culturally informed ministry plan within the sports context.
Textbook readings and lecture presentations
Course Requirements Checklist
After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.
Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each Discussion. Each thread must be at least 400 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. Each thread will be a direct reflection of the student’s ministry within his/her chosen sports team (reflection questions provided in prompt). In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 200 words. (MLOs: A, C, D, E)
Shadow Evaluation Assignment (3)
The student will complete a 3-hour interview/shadow with 3 chaplains (for a total of 9 hours and 3 evaluations). The student will evaluate his/her shadowing experience. Each of the 3 evaluations must be at least 1,250 words and incorporate at least 2 scholarly citations (in addition to applicable course textbook citations) a conclusion, and utilize a current Turabian format bibliography. (MLOs: A, B, D, E)
Biblical Nature of Sports Chaplaincy Paper Assignment
The student will write a 1,250-word research-based paper that focuses on the biblical nature of sports chaplaincy ministry. This assignment will explore how Scripture guides the sports chaplain in ministry. The paper must include the definition of pluralism, religious tolerance, and diversity as they relate to the sports chaplain working in the pluralistic settings of today. The student must attempt to demonstrate how the New Testament supports these conceptsand discuss how a sports chaplain will minister by cooperating without compromising their Christian faith convictions. The paper must be completed in current Turabian format and include a minimum of 5 scholarly references (professional journals, professional magazines, and books) published within the last 5 years, in addition to the course textbooks and the Bible. (MLOs: A, B)
Theology of Sports Chaplaincy Paper Assignment
The student will write a 1,250-word paper explaining his/her theology of sports chaplaincy based on the Scriptures. The paper must be rooted in Scripture and supported with sound interpretation and biblical analysis. The student will define sports chaplaincy and discuss the different venues of how ministry could be performed within a team setting, as well as include what he/she believes would be God’s plan and purpose for sports chaplaincy. The paper must be completed in current Turabian format and include a minimum of 5 scholarly references (biblical commentaries, professional journals, and books) published within the last 5 years, in addition to the course textbooks and the Bible. (MLOs: A, B, D)
Philosophy of Sports Chaplaincy Paper Assignment
The student will write a 1,250-word paper explaining his/her philosophy of Sports Chaplaincy. The student will answer “why” and “when” ministry is performed. The philosophy must be rooted in the student’s theological and biblical understanding of sports chaplaincy, as well as refer to the Biblical Nature and Theology of Sports papers. The philosophy of sports must intertwine one’s biblical worldview and cultural insights. The student will discuss his/her vision (one’s ultimate ministry goal for that specific team) and mission statement (the steps of how to accomplish the vision) in light of knowing the specific audience, as well as consider data points as the specific sport, ethnicity of the players, gender of the players, and religious background. The student’s philosophy of Sports Chaplaincy will lay the foundation for accomplishing chaplain ministry in secular and sacred sports settings. The paper must be written in current Turabian format. (MLOs: A, C, E)
Sports Chaplaincy Ministry Plan Assignment
The student will use his/her desired sport and create a 1,250-word ministry plan for the area of chaplaincy. The ministry plan must reflect the student’s biblical, theological, and philosophical insights of sports chaplaincy in regards to the spiritual disciplines provided and how he/she plans to apply them personally and in his/her ministry. In the paper, the student must also include the nature of his/her calling to chaplaincy or ministry, gifts and abilities, personal values, and what energizes him/her in ministry. This paper must be completed in current Turabian format and include a minimum of 5 scholarly references published within the last 5 years in addition to the course textbooks. (MLOs: D, E, F)